Carriers, a Science Fiction story | SparkaTale

Sparkatale

Carriers

By: A . Nonymous

Status: In Progress

Summary:

The population has surpassed ten billion. In a little accident, eight people become the sickening solution. Shay Claire and her friends are released no longer just as people but as Carriers, the only way of spread for the virus. With the threat of a pandemic on the rise, people react fast, and within days the entire country wants them dead. The United States and its people will stop at nothing until they are. Soon they are trapped in a battle of instinct verses morals, fighting to survive while at war with themselves. A deadly game of cat and mouse is no place for fifteen year old children.

Rated PG-13 for mild to strong language and scenes of graphic violence.

Created: August 25, 2013 | Updated: January 3, 2015

Genre : Science Fiction

Language : English

Reviews: 7 | Rating:

Comments: 312

Favorites: 14

Reads: 12785


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Reviews (7)


  • Unknown117 Ouy

    Well in terms of writing skills you are much more proficient with your words than I could ever be; and for you to have written so many chapters while being consistent with your own content is amazing. The perspective and plot of a reverse pandemic scenario like this - the protoganist being carriers of a deadly virus - is new to me, and the way it is shaped and ended was well done and smooth. Overall, I hope to read more of your other works soon.

    Rating:
    June 10, 2014 Flag


  • Leia Elkins

    I love this story! It's insightful and very true to something that might actually happen. Just one question: Why would the CDC let high school kids who could ruin research and all that, including the Blue Plague, into their laboratories??

    Rating:
    April 4, 2014 Flag


  • Marguerite Grimmett

    Really awesome book! I love all the characters and the different personalities they have, and how they're coping with everything. Hope you post Internationals soon!

    Rating:
    March 15, 2014 Flag


  • Navara-Desen Ikakkunatsa

    To see more of my thoughts on the story you can read my book review (probably should have put it here instead but you know I thought of at a later time) The reason why I didn't give it five stars is because while it is a great concept, a great plot and such, some of the wordings you use and the hard time I had at first in understanding the characters threw me off a little bit. I wouldn't however say that someone should not read it because of that. If someone has the time I suggest they read this story because it is an amazing one. Great job! ~Nava-Desen ps I'm also that type of person who almost never gives out 5 stars

    Rating:
    March 13, 2014 Flag


  • Sherry Whiteside

    Very good start. I love your writing style and the characters are great. I'll admit that there are perhaps a few too many of them to begin with, but I suspect that, giving the nature of this story, some of them won't be around for long.

    Rating:
    March 12, 2014 Flag


  • Dave Robertson

    I liked the story, and the characters were solid. There was a good plot and plenty of action.

    Rating:
    January 7, 2014 Flag


  • Heather O'toole /Davies

    This story is well thought out and the characters are fun.

    Rating:
    December 7, 2013 Flag


Comments / Critiques


  • Reply

    This is a great idea for a story. Obviously this is not a zombie novel, but I really am a fan of the whole "patient zero" concept. A few things to consider for your writing in general: 1. There were lots of points where you used a capitalized first letter after the dialogue when it should have been lower case. Picky, I know, but as a reader it catches my eye and makes me stop reading since it doesn't look right. An example would be the first bit of speaking with the "Shay, you have ten minutes..." Her mom - It should be 'her mom'. 2. There are a few spots where the word choice was just a little off. There's no good way to fix this other than reading it over and over and over and reading it slowly since you know what you want it to say and that will make your mind automatically miss some things that should be edited (hence the reason publishing houses have professional editors). Just one example so you know what I'm talking about is when Shay leans against the wall at the CDC and is "gazing on..." the 'on' just doesn't sound right. Again, a picky comment but something to consider. 3. A few little typos (ie Feed instead of feet) that spell check won't catch. Other than that this was an engaging first chapter. The idea of the story really intrigues me. So very good job of getting your readers sucked in.

    August 26, 2013 | D.M. Gergen


  • Reply

    It's a habit. I keep forgetting that I DIDN'T put a period there, so it becomes sort of an accident. I don't think I do this continuously throughout the story but I will check. No matter how many times I read over there seems to always be a typo I don't catch. I'm glad you like the idea and hope you continue to read- I'll continue to check for the errors you pointed out.

    August 26, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Wow, i'm really amazed by the story, and i'm not even on the second chapter. I would definitely give your book another comment when i'm done with this book, but i have to say great story :)

    September 1, 2013 | F.D. Charles


  • Reply

    Thank you! I'm not sure how you can be amazed by the story after the first chapter as it's the one that bugs me the most personally, but thank you for saying it's a great story. I do believe you can comment again when you finish all five chapters currently posted- I'll be looking forward to what you have to say. (:

    September 2, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    I am personally not into violent books but I did think that the concept was a solid one. In the first chapter I felt like too many people were being thrown in at once but I'm sure that can be either fixed or ignored. Aside from a few typos and etc. my interest was piqued. Good job.

    September 14, 2013 | Elizia Brittian


  • Reply

    Ah, thanks. Well, I can't really say that there won't be a lot of violence, but it kind of tones down after chapter 6 for a while. I hear this a lot about all the people being thrown in, but with the pacing of the story I really can't introduce them in any other way- they all had to be in that box at the same time, you know? Glad to know it got your interest and looking forward to more feedback from you. I will warn you in advance, chapters 4, 5, 6 are all chapters that contain violence. -A. Nonymous (Will return the favor when I get time.)

    September 14, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Hello! Sorry it took me so long to actually do this, I have been busy lately but here it goes (hope it helps):

     

    The idea is a great one, its something that hasn't been done very many times before and eve if it did it is told in such a way that it makes the reader want to read it. The way you begin is very catching because it makes the reader want to understand the story and why that is being said. That being said there also seems like the mystery that is there is slightly confusing. It seems like they way you are saying it is suppose to be that way but cleaning it up a little might help what you are trying to get at a little more.

    There aren't that many errors in the stories besides for the random capitalizations of certain words that should be (I do that all the time too). It doesn't happen that often but just be careful of it.

    There are also cases were the world choice seems slightly off. It's like you are trying to get at an idea but you can't get at because of the way you say it and thus what you want to say gets a little confused. Take the time to go back and think about those sentences a little more.

    Overall: The story is a great one at that. If you fix up the random errors and the way you go about saying things at different times I'm sure it would be even better. I enjoyed reading what I did read and I will probably go back and read more now. 

     

    ~Nava-Desen

    March 13, 2014 | Navara-Desen Ikakkunatsa


  • Reply

    Curious to know, how much did you read? The first five are pretty shaky, and even though I just did a recent round of editing on them there's still some work to do. If you'd mind giving me a few examples of the odd wording it would help me clean it up a lot!

    This is a response to both the review and comment-

    I understand the character confusion. I made the more important ones have bigger roles and tried to make it show- there's a lot of side characters, but they come in handy in a story of this nature, if you know what I mean...

    There's still a good deal of cleaning up to do, I'll admit. I always miss something when I edit those first 5 every time. The writing cleans up a lot after those, I promise, although I'm sure there's still something I can fix. I'm in the midst of another round of edits while I work towards writing those final chapters.

    March 13, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    So, I've been procrastinating on reading this, and when I started, I couldn't stop reading your book (and procrastinating on my other duties...). Well, so here goes!

    The first two chapters are definitely the roughest parts of the story, in my opinion. But once it slid into action, it flowed much more nicely. I maintain the idea that characters don't have to be established too early on because most readers (if their IQ is painfully average like mine) will not remember exactly what the characters look like as the story continues.

    In my personal opinion (meaning that the following statement should be taken with a grain of salt), you didn't to describe anyone more than Shay, Carson, Marena, Cassie, and Katrina. That's already a lot to absorb! I really couldn't tell Jaycee, Laylia, and Kyleigh apart for a while. Owen was alright though, I guess. (Though I don't feel like he plays a big part in the story anyways).

    Otherwise, the action was great! Sometimes there was the occasional typo like writing "sense" instead of "since" and such. Though, I'm sorry I can't pinpoint the exact location now that I've read up to the latest update. 

    I'm not quite sure exactly what to think about Marena's death because it happened so fast, but perhaps you could slow down a little though. It feels as if I haven't really absorbed the fact and Shay didn't have the chance to absorb the loss. Perhaps just dedicate an extra paragraph or two? Or explicitly explain that she was too preoccupied with Carson and their current situation to have a chance to mourn. Leaving it hanging doesn't make sense.

    Personally, I'm excited to see how it plays out. I wish you could spend more time on Shay's sister and home situation since that's only popped up once so far. One more nitpicky thing I want to mention is the inconsistent chapter lengths, but really it's not a bother when reading the story. Good job and I hope to read more soon! 

    March 17, 2014 | Liz uli


  • Reply

    I was certainly surprised to see you'd read it all, but I'm actually quite pleased. More's coming, I promise, but, as it was with the first draft, these final chapters are giving me lots of trouble. Lots of high stakes, conversations I have to write meticulously, and the stressful job of getting the ending just right. So it could end up being a fair amount of time before there's any more up.

    I believe I already mentioned how I intend to rearrange it, somehow. Been thinking about who's I can move back- I know Shay, Marena, Carson and Katrina's introductions need to remain, and I'll include little bits about the other characters. Should help bring down the overall wordcount.

    I try to find those typos, but I always seem to miss a few. Quite annoying, but I'm glad I have people to catch them. If you wouldn't mind a little PMing so we can discuss how I should go about smoothing out the first two chapters, I'll shoot you one later today.

    March 19, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    The concept of this story is fascinating!  Teenagers being infected with an internal virus and forced to spread it is a little bit strange, considering that normal scientists would rather try to remove the virus from them as fast as possible.  Although I must be getting mixed up with doctors, so I understand the man's motives.

    The characters are marvelous, wonderful, and have a vast selection of personalities!   As I read further, their personalities stick out more as they try to fight for their lives.  The bonds they share are just heart-warming and equally stand out in the plot.

    I cannot wait to continue reading this!  When I get to the last chapter, I'll make another Book Comment. 

    July 4, 2014 | Travis Mayfield


  • Reply

    Awesome, I'm glad you're enjoying the story so much so far. May I ask which chapter you're currently on? It would help me get a better grip on what I'm doing right where!

    Also, I'll try to return your review soon, although I usually do chapter-by-chapter as I can usually get back to the user sooner, but I can easily do a full book review if you'd like me to.

    July 5, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Currently, I left off at chapter 4.  I haven't been on much, due to business this summer.  And with school returning that means I got to do school work before it starts.

    Either chapter or book review would do just fine.  All I need to know is if I'm doing a good job writing-wise or if there needs to be more character structure, etc.

    I will get back to reading this story whenever my schedule becomes low on work. 

    August 18, 2014 | Travis Mayfield


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    [wafting smell of waffles.] You had me with this phrase. I love good alliteration. [upmost caution,]- That should be utmost. [flickered from she to Carson and back again]- I found a couple of mistakes in objective and subjective pronouns. Here it would be 'her' rather than 'she'. You have a real talent for description. Do you use photos of people as the basis for your characters? [The deeper her and her friends traveled into the CDC]- This one would be 'she'. An original beginning to a story. It's very visual and most of the characters were easy to keep in order because you'd characterized them and their relationships really well.

    October 3, 2013 | Vera (Persevera) Burris


  • Reply

    I see, thanks for pointing this out. And thank you! And no I don't use pictures, I just have a very strong mental image of my characters, so I guess you could say it's a picture in a way!

    October 4, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    What a gruesome man the guy in the lab is. The heartless, clinical scientist is a common character in sci-fi but this one...shudder. He just told Cassie she would die with absolutely no emotion. Of course, the others didn't seem that upset by her plight either, concentrating on themselves. But it felt natural, like that's what most people would do in a a similar situation. I wonder if there would be a way to tell how Shay is feeling without using the word 'pain' so much. It registered with me on its third appearance in just the first two chapters. [A look of stress plagued his face, hovering over the aged man like a dark storm cloud.]- I love this line. Hovering just seems to have so many meanings in this case. It suggests something ominous, alludes to the virus in the air itself and, of course, in a way he's hovering over them right now on the screen that they have to look up to see. [She wanted to hear was much as she could]- I believe that should be 'as' instead of 'was' [she’d found he could but just as ruthless with her words as she could.]- Should that be 'be' instead of 'but'? I think that the disgruntled employee isn't so much that as a person with a conscience. It will be interesting to see if he becomes an ally.

    October 7, 2013 | Vera (Persevera) Burris


  • Reply

    Oops, thanks for catching those few things. I type quite fast but never seem to notice those tiny little errors when proofreading. I could try to reword that paragraph, use different words that still have the same basis meaning. I never really considered the disgruntled employee being someone with a conscience, but hmm.. Anyways, thank you for the comment!

    October 9, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    The way everything starts is maybe a bit clichee, but it could be called as well classic. I was a bit discouraged by the lenght of this chapter, but fortunately it was entertaining. The opening chapter is constructed well - it starts innocently with a school trip to end with a bang. It wasn't an unexpected twist, but the plot develpment was enjoyable. So, good job.

    Characters. You portrayed each of them very vividly, the descriptions were great. I especially liked how each of the characters looked like a regular human being with certain flaws. In a single paragraph you managed to create a living person, not a peice of cardboard. However, there were too many characters. I lost count after the tall, skinny blonde and wasn't able to clearly remember each of the kids (nine in total, right?). Plus, the story began losing pace after a couple of the characters got introduced. It may be a good idea to write some of the kids off.

    Plot. It was surpringly entertaining. The development was predictable, but I wasn't bored at all - the kids were behaving great, the texting was fun too. The middle part seemed to be a bit too long, but it could be easily fixed by getting rid of few characters.

    Overall, it was a fine chapter which encourages to read further.

    October 13, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Yeah, I will have to agree with you that the length of the first chapter is something that does appear a little daunting, and not much happens the first chapter. I never thought of it as cliche before, but I could see how it cab easily be. I spent most of my time introducing and fleshing out my characters, which I'm glad you enjoyed, but I can see how they might interrupt the flow. The first thhree- Shay, Carson and Marena are pretty much the 3 main characters, so as long as you remember them I guess I still succeeded. Each character has screen time, but we don't see much of it here. And there's 8, I suppose counting Cassie there is nine, but she doesn't become one of the main group the story follows.

    overall, thank you very much for your comment! I'll try to return the favor later today.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    October 14, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    I loved the description of how the kids got infected. It was quite vivid and their behavior seemed natural.

    The whole idea of a polulation control virus is really interesting. I was surprised though that the scientist gave the explanation to the teens so easily. Usually the scientists try to keep people in the dark as long as possible. I know that it was relevant to the plot that the doctor explained everything thoroughly (and I enjoyed it), but it felt a bit unreal. I suppose if I were the scientist, I'd send the kids home without telling them a thing. But, there would be no explanation then.

    Anyway, fine chapter. I felt pity for the girl who got infected - her reaction to the news was very good.

    October 13, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Well, the doctor saw it as they needed to be informed of what they're capable of, or what they have to do. The ladder is a little darker, and they won't walk into it with open arms so it doesn't really work, but it's how he saw things. I can say he didn't tell them everything- they find out bits and pieces through the span of the story.

     

    October 14, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Once again - the idea of popluation control plague is both thrilling and original. I read books about plagues as tools for genocide, but never as a tool to accomplish a "positive goal".

    The reactions of children are splendid - you described their panic in the really fine way. I found all the reactions very natural, I felt as though I was there, in your book, observing the drama unfolding before my eyes (in short, you did the descriptions very well).

    I spotted some inconsistencies though (don't be upset).

    1. I was surprised that the virus was left with almost no security. The research facilities store their bio-hazard material under tight control so that the incidents such as this wouldn't occur. There is video surveillance, door are secured by passwords changed few times a week, fingerprints readers (even laptops have these nowadays). Plus, in order to access a high-risk zones you have to wear the special suit and go through a special room in which the suit gets disinfected and is checked for holes. Therefore it was strange that the kids went in so easily.

    2. Next thing, the pursuit. The doc said that the authorities know that there are 8 kids infected, but they don't know their identity. Actually, finding out who they are would be far easier than finding out that there was a security breach.

    Okay, I've complained enough. I hope my review was helpful. I wasn't going to read this chapter until you review Mystic Mirror, but somehow I couldn't help myself. Good job.

    October 14, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    I see. Well, it wasn't exactly like it was a super top-secret, as it wasn't planned to be released there, or have the workers be exposed. I can see how this could be viewed as a plot hole, but I'm kind of at a blank on how to tweak it without stretching disbelief even more than I already have. Also, it was never specified if a keycode lock wasn't there- Katrina did slip in as the worker slipped out and Cassie let them in. I can understand all the things you pointed out and will consider ways to adress them.

     

    I'll try to review Mystic Mirror tonight, but I ended up being out later than I thought. I'll do my best to respond to the rest of the commentsyou left me and head over to review your work. (:

    October 14, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Once again - the idea of popluation control plague is both thrilling and original. I read books about plagues as tools for genocide, but never as a tool to accomplish a "positive goal".

    The reactions of children are splendid - you described their panic in the really fine way. I found all the reactions very natural, I felt as though I was there, in your book, observing the drama unfolding before my eyes (in short, you did the descriptions very well).

    I spotted some inconsistencies though (don't be upset).

    1. I was surprised that the virus was left with almost no security. The research facilities store their bio-hazard material under tight control so that the incidents such as this wouldn't occur. There is video surveillance, door are secured by passwords changed few times a week, fingerprints readers (even laptops have these nowadays). Plus, in order to access a high-risk zones you have to wear the special suit and go through a special room in which the suit gets disinfected and is checked for holes. Therefore it was strange that the kids went in so easily.

    2. Next thing, the pursuit. The doc said that the authorities know that there are 8 kids infected, but they don't know their identity. Actually, finding out who they are would be far easier than finding out that there was a security breach.

    Okay, I've complained enough. I hope my review was helpful. I wasn't going to read this chapter until you review Mystic Mirror, but somehow I couldn't help myself. Good job.

    October 14, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 4 Reply

    Wow, I loved the action and tension in this chapter. It really did keep my on the edge of my sit while reading it. The kids' reactions are perfect as always and the action sequences were flawless - dynamic, the pacing was good, the decriptions helped visualize what was happening, but weren't making the scenes boring. So far it was the most entertaining chapter.

    Shay has become a true heroine in the meantime. She's confident and capable, but still like a regular human being. She's definitely a likeable character.

    I'm really sorry for Cassie and I have to say that she's no wuss. I'd surely freak out horribly if I was in her shoes and thought I was about to die. And, I wouldn't run if the death was imminent - there could be always a possibility the doc lied and it's possible to manufacture a cure. I'd take that chance. After all, she'd die anyway.

    Now to my complaining called by some constructive critique. When there is a serious security breach, especially in facilities containing bio- and chemical waeapons, the standard procedure is to do a lockdown, surround the premises with a cordone and snipers. Then the people in positive pressure suits go in to solve the problem. Police officers wouldn't get an order to storm inside and search for the infected. Plus, everyone from the building would get detained and treated as a potential virus carrier.

    But, it would make the plot harder to carry out, huh? Anyway, your story sucked me in. I was about to go shopping, but somehow I can't resist the temptation to read more chapters.

    October 14, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    This was where I expected it to pick up for most people. I too find the first few a little boring, but the next few are pretty much like this one, except the stakes are raised quite a lot. I'm happy to know my MC is likeable, and I'm actually glad she comes off as confident, she's supposed to. It sounds a little weird coming from me, but her character's rather cocky and confident, but she uses it to drive her. Cassie's thinking in the heat of the moment, and that's a unique take I never considered. Hmm, I never thought of this. With the stakes I might actually suspect they would, especially if someone working inside the CDC had tipped them off- I'm not saying that happened, as I never gave it much thought. Your reviews are provoking a lot of thought with my work, thank you! And I feel rather honored you gave up shopping to read.

    October 14, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Reading your storyis far more interesting than picking up eggs and milk anyway ;-)

    Actually, I didn't think the chapters with all the explaining are boring - I always enjoy the world building as it takes most creativity to build an unique setting for your story. And you did well.

    As for my nit-picking, I agree that it would be rather impossible to push the plot forward without making any plotholes along the way It would be like a horror when everyone sticks in the group and blondes don't got to dark cellars alone - uneventful.

    As for the security stuff, in CDC even the most non-dangerous viruses are heavily protected and the workers are checked if they are wearing masks with sepatare breathing aparats. A tip for you - before writing it's beneficient to do some research, it helps a lot.

    October 15, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 5 Reply

    Yet another action-packed chapter. I won't mention how awsome the descriptions and the pacing are anymore - the chapter was written well enough to allow me to enjoy the fluent flow of action.

    I didn't mention it in the precious review, but I loved Shay's dad's action, when he gave her his gun.

    The whole escape scene was plainly awsome, the only awkward moment being when the kids suddenly started gossiping about their friends in the middle of the life-threathening situation.

    October 14, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Thank you yet again for the kind comment. If you don't mind me asking, when did they pause to gossip about their friends again? I skimmed the chapter and found a few places it might have been taken as that way.

    October 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Sure, there you go:

       “I would have never guessed Katrina, Owen, Laylia, Jaycee or anyone besides the people beside me for that matter,” Carson muttered. Marena and Shay both looked to him. “What? Owen hangs out with the weird kids, Laylia and Jaycee are the weird kids, Kyleigh’s your classic dumb blonde, and Katrina’s stupid enough to date Owen.”

    This paragraph stood out quite a bit and I found it weird to think in such details while desperately running away. Usually when there is an andrenaline rush, it's a miracle when a person is able to think at all. I hope I helped.

    PS. I invite you to review Mystic Mirror.

    October 15, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    I see you have manged to get indentation in your paragraphs.  Can you explain how you did this?  I am so far unable to include indenting in my presentations.  --Lynn.

    October 15, 2013 | Lynn Hollander


  • Reply

    I see the problem's since been solved, but before I would simply copy and paste my work from word. I would have to go through and reapply things like bold text and whatnot, but I never seemed to find a problem with it. It should be fixed now!

    October 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 6 Reply

    Great chapter, fine action and loved how the characters were interacting with eachother. Shay's ideas to blow stuff up were especially comical and the decision to block the passageway with fire was clever. I feel the kids have future after all.

    I think the scientists who created the virus made a blunder considering the window between infection and death. Plot-wise it's great, the maccabre descriptions of people dying whithin seconds after touching the carrier are awsome. But (my nagging starts here) it's awfully easy to deduce who the carriers and infected are (they're probably a few steps sawy from the victim) - it will make tracking down the kids easy. Moreover the virus is not effective if the necessary quarantine time lasts about a minute. The infected won't have enough time before their death to walk around and transfer the plague. End of nagging.

    But the action was great, you are doing very well with the dynamic scenes, many people can't get them right, but you do.

     

    October 21, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Actually, it's just the infection point that happens directly after. You don't know this yet but find out I think in around chapter 17 that the virus takes one week to kill- the patient's reaction just happens directly after and ends about a minute or so later. I once thought about having them drop dead, and although scary it seemed a little unrealistic. Thanks for the comment again, and I'm so sorry I've been lacking in my reviews of Mystic Mirror. When I come home I tend to just crash and I forget about everything I'm supposed to do.

    October 21, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 7 Reply

    Depressing, but true. Shay showed some good thinking here, unlike Carson, when she told him not to change the station. It's sad, but the kids ARE a threat to the public, it's okay they realized this.

    You explained why Shay is able to drive in a legit way - a cupcake for you. Overall it was another fine chapter, the characters behaved naturally and I spotted no plot holes whatsover (and you know I try).

    It's tricky that the only feature that allows to distingush between normal people and the carriers are rings around the pupils, because no one really pays much attention to such details normally. I once made a survey among my friends and asked them about the eye colors of our aquaintainces (I always pay attention to people's eyes, maybe I'd have a chance to survive the plague?). They were bacisally guessing, having a hard time telling if a person has blue or brown eyes, not to mention the shade or spots on irises. So, the future of the world is grim ;-)

     

    October 21, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Carson's kind of silly, but he knows when to boost up his maturity. Also, I've always noticed people's eyes. That's what I tend to notice first about someone, actually. The sunglasses is certainly something they should do, but I hate to say in their panic they don't ever think about it until we're almost done with the story. Thanks for the positive feedback again, I'll do my best to review at least four chapters of Mystic Mirror tomorrow.

    October 21, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 8 Reply

    The broadcast sounded very reasonable and very... American.

    I think the kids are worrying about the wrong thing here. As I wrote in the previous chapter, people don't pay attention to the details in eyes unless they're glowing like flashlights. Moreover, it's very easy to hide the weird eye color by sunglasses or by contact lenses. I'm surprised any of the kids didn't think of that yet. I'd get sunglasses first and worry about everything else afterwards.

    The kids should be more concerned about the dead bodies they leave behind like an arrow pointing in their direction. As the people die really fast, the corpses are a dead giveaway of the kid's position.

     

    October 21, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    I think I already mentioned they don't actually die fast- it's just immediatley upon infection they go into brutal coughing that lasts about a minute, but then they seem fine.

    And would you mind explaining how it's very American..lol? Sounds odd, so to say.

    October 21, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    It has to do how it's portrayed in movies about catastrophes, the speeches of US president always end with: "god bless you all/god bless America", it's very distinctive, much like a sound of an eagle squeaking in a diastance and everyone saluting at the ned of the movie.

    October 22, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 9 Reply

    Shay has some balls. The description of how she took down those agents was awsome, seemed quite realistic with the stray bullets and missing hits.

    The agents appeared as villains. They were very unprofessional while saying those stuff to Shay and not shooting her first, but ut made the kids more likeable. Shay's inner tumoil was great as well - she was struggling weighing her instinct of survival and moral side of killing someone and, of course, the first won. She surely has a lot of emotional problems right now, but the way she copes with them shows how strong she is. Yup, she's a fine heroine.

    October 21, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    you have no idea how scared I was the readers would hate Shay after this chapter, but I'm glad you don't. She is a strong character, but she's also never exactly been a warm person- she's always lacked empathy, so to say, but she has morals- or did. But she knows that if her and her friends aren't dying then these people have to. I'm glad you liked the chapter.

    October 21, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 10 Reply

    I have a great praise for this chapter for you.

    I found no plotholes and I loved how you handled the fact the kids causes somebody's death (and Shay pulled the trigger). It's often neglected for the sake of pacing and I'm glad you didn't ignore the huge impact killing would have on kids. Shay's and others reactions were just how they should be, Marena's words were painfully true - it was a matter of survival. Remorse, doubt - everything was there.

    October 26, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 11 Reply

    Gosh, those people who wanted to whack Shay were idiots. If they recognized their group as the carriers (I have the impression they did), the most logical step would be to either run or to take them down from a distance. Getting close to the people who can give you a deadly virus by touching you is just plainly stupid. If I was Shay, I'd kiss them all or kick their ..., just as she wanted.

    Marena strikes me as a reserved person who keeps her head cool, which makes a contrast with Shay's feisty behavior. I really like the difference in their personalities.

    One more thing, the reference to Hunger Games. This book is quite well-known, but it's not a pop-culture icon yet, like Star Wars, Star Trek or Indiana Jones. About 70% of people I know wouldn't have a clue who is Katniss Everdeen (I didn't remember her surname to be honest). Be careful with books and movie references, you have to choose the stuff everyone knows even if they didn't watch that particular movie or read that particular book.

    October 26, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Shay and Marena have this kind of contrast that makes their relationship even more fun to write. However, the people didn't know this- as the broadcast the previous night stated they don't know much.

    It seems like most people would know the reference though, or at least I thought. You might live in a different place than I do, but here it seems like everyone and their dog has read the Hunger Games. I can understand where you're coming from, though.

    October 27, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 12 Reply

    What an action-packed chapter.

    I like how you didn't neglect the fact that the car would run out of gas. The whole accident was due to Shay's stupidity, but I'm glad it happened - you showed thet Shay isn't perfect, she can act juvenile and unresposible at times, just like most of teenagers.

    The scene at the bar was a bit dragging on, but I see the purpose of it - you re-introduced the other characters. To be honest, I don't remember who is who except Shay, her boyfriend and Marena. I noticed however that the presence of the girls is overwhelming and Carson is doing a poor job at being a distinct male character. Give boys a moment sometime.

    Also, a cliffhanger - nice!

    October 26, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 13 Reply

    You know what I like about your story? The action. In every chapter there is something happening, there are chases, shootings, drama - the tension is up all the time. I reach the last paragraph before I know it.

    Now about this chapter. The chase sequence was nice and I absolutely adored how you managed to show Shay's and Carson's love here. Because of the nasty situation they were in, their love was being neglected (what is natural when one's life is in danger) and I'm really glad to see that it exists.

    October 27, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Nice to know I'm not as awful at writing romance as initially thought. Thanks for that. I may or may not be dissapointing you when I say this, but the romance kind of is on a backburner in the story. It's there, but it's not overpowering as you often see in YA fiction these days.

    Some chapters feel dull to me, but it's nice to know not everyone agrees with me. Sometimes I write chapters that all that might go on is arguing or a small little bit of plot development, but I guess it works!

    October 27, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 14 Reply

    Marena is great, I liked her before but in this chapter she bacame my favorite (although Shay is a distinctive character as well). I noticed that in your book girls are the ones who have balls. Shay is now the team's leader and killer (bodycount of 3 is... impressive) and Marena isn't staying behind. Carson had his tiny moment in the last chapter, but Shay outshone him. And Owen isn't doing a thing, he's more of a statist. I think the team would use a male character who would be useful - it would help the potential male readers relate to one of the characters.

    So far, I like your story. There are some plotholes, but the action and vivivd characters make up for them, reading every chapter is entertaining. I wonder how the events will play out. The kids are fighting their way through, I'm curious how long it would be till chaos errupts.

    October 27, 2013 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Well.. It's not that they aren't lacking balls, so to say, but more like they still have more humanity. Carson is, I will confirm, the next person to step up when needed, but him and Owen aren't like Shay and Marena. At the moment he's just laying back because it's his personality- he's only mature when required, and although he's sarcastic and cocky he can be like the others, but he hasn't been in the line of fire just yet, so to say. Same with Owen.

    Otherwise, I'm glad you've liked it so far.

    October 27, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    This was.. oh my wow. I found out a long time ago that stories like these that are actually well written with a wide array of characters with all sorts of personalities are hard to come by. I like this though. Usually these types of stories start out when the world has already come to end, so to speak, but starting it as the end starts is much more interesting.

    I am impressed.

    November 8, 2013 | Amber Kinirsky


  • Reply

    I think oh my wow is a good thing, correct? Anyways, I understand what you mean. I've spent countless hours browsing through stories that are just awful. It gets harder and harder to find good stories in any genre as the more tween girls realize they can write stories about them and their favorite boyband...

    Nonetheless, I'm glad you enjoyed this and found the characters each different in their own way. Looking forward to more comments from you!

    November 8, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Alright, so... let's get started. I can honestly say that the writing here is pretty well done, and your premise is certainly interesting. I'm sorry if this ends up being shorter than my normal comments, but as I'm tired today and I already don't have much to say on this chapter, I can't guarantee that I'll say too much. Anywho, let's get started.

    1. Your chapters are long, or rather, this one is. Now length is not so much an issue and this chapter's word count definitely isn't an issue [I know a person who has upwards of 7000 words in each chapter], but length becomes an issue in the absence of a strong tone. Now this isn't to say your story lacks tone, because it's definitely there, however your tone stems from your character and your character is bored, thus your chapter is 4000+ words of droning. That's when it becomes a problem, when your character is so busy trying not to fall asleep that combined with the *slight* disconnection that third person limited perspective creates in the readers makes the audience want to skim, quite like I wanted to when I got to the second half.
    2. Descriptions, to say it simply. Your descriptions aren't bad so much as they are... misplaced. I know you want people to know what your characters look like, but the paragraphs to describe each of your main protagonists elevate the urge to skim significantly when considering that you halt what little action there is to insert them. Also, I think it worth noting that some of these paragraphs are short life stories, telling you everything you need to know about a character before you get to see it for yourself. That really takes me out of it, honestly. I'm not very fond of direct characterization for relationships and personalities, so just straight-up telling me that Katrina is a trouble-maker, or that Carson is one step away from full blown narcissism, or that Laylia looks at everyone like they're diseased--it just bothers me. I'd prefer you to show it, not say it.
    3. Some of your descriptors are... too pc, is one way of putting it, but that's not quite the problem. The problem is that descriptors like "not-exactly high cheekbones", "lacked an attention span of great length", and "wasn't the skinniest girl in the world" are not only *technical* direct characterizations, they are also direct characterizations that more or less completely avoid telling the reader what these characters have in lieu of the traits you've said they don't have. If Shay doesn't have high cheekbones, then what do her cheeks look like instead? If Shay doesn't have a long attention span, then is it insanely short or is it just not long enough to pay attention to the tour guide? And if Laylia isn't "the skinniest person in the world, [to put it nicely]<----(by the way, remove this)", then is she on the chubbier side, or simply full on obese? You can't just decide not to say these things straight, they're decently important descriptors.
    4. Dialogue tags. You've outright avoided "said" from what I can tell, but I would suggest that you add it back into you palette. There are times when your used dialogue tags simply don't fit how people would generally imagine the line to be spoken, and I have no idea whether or not this was intentional, but I doubt Shay snapped at her mother about needing to get to the bus, as snapped is a rather harsh response to such a simple reminder.
    5. Something I noticed at the very end of the chapter that sort of bothered me…Katrina is blamed for the infection in its entirety, yet Katrina was leaving with Shay when *Owen* decided to step inside a mysterious glass box [because everyone knows nothing could go wrong with that], and *Kyleigh* had the bright idea to get nasty and shove *Jaycee* after Shay told them not to touch anything, and conveniently into the panel that started the sequence. So, correct me me if I’m wrong, but the infection isn’t Katrina’s fault, nor did Shay snap at the right person. Kyleigh is responsible, you’ve already made it clear that no one in the room likes her, why is nothing said to her?
    6. I gotta admit, I’m having trouble believing the infection sequence. I’d imagine that despite a teenager’s curiosity level that they’d actually be stupid enough to step into a strange glass box in the middle of a secret closed laboratory even if there was a stack of fresh pizza in the middle of it. I doubt this scenario entirely, and I’d suggest making the infection an accident more along the lines of their not even being aware of it.
    7. Jaycee, to put it bluntly. I don’t approve of Shay referring to her as a “goth” just because she associates with them, that’s not how social scenes or style work. I associate with “goths”, but that does not make me a “goth” and I’m a little put off by the characterization of Jaycee as something she doesn’t look like just because of who she hangs out with [that isn’t a deciding factor]

    I suggest editing this quite a bit: first, make the chapter shorter to accommodate the fact that you can’t engage a reader well with a bored protagonist.  Second, introduce the defining traits of your four main characters as you go along instead of all at once. Third, use indirect characterization instead of direct for relationships and personalities, and do not describe your characters ever by directly telling us what they aren’t. Fourth, rearrange the infection scenario, or in keeping it, have Shay blame Kyleigh, not Katrina. Fifth, replace a few of the dialogue tags with said. Otherwise your concept is strong, and your characters seem very developed. Keep up the good work ^^

    P.S.—What’s a CDC? The meaning of the acronym is never mentioned and I’ve never heard of one before so I have trouble connecting this to anything.

    November 13, 2013 | Melody Hallows


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Firstly, I loved all your descriptions of the characters. They were all diverse and interesting, although to be honest I started forgetting who they all were after the first three :P The ending was so scary, I think you built up the tension really well. Like when they entered the room with the number on the wall you could tell what was going to happen and I was on the edge of my seat reading it :D

    One thing I did find a bit weird – I don’t know about America but in my country there is no way students would ever be allowed to go on a field trip to somewhere so dangerous :P Even if they don’t actually go into the rooms where they examine viruses, I think it would be difficult to get a an excursion like that approved… But that was the only thing that bugged me :)

    Overall, a really good first chapter.

    November 20, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Glad to know you liked the characters, and I guess it isn't a total bad thing because the first 3 mentioned are the main 3. It's good to know the supporting cast as well, as some are more important than others, but they become more distinct throughout the story.

    As for the field trip, they would allow them to go to a place as the CDC as long as it was guided and they were far away from anything that could harm them. Obivously that's why the group had to sneak away. That's why there was the tour guide and teachers with him- as long as they stayed on a certain path it wouldn't be exactly dangerous.

    November 20, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    Wow this chapter was really scary, it made me shiver when I read it >.< Again, I love how vivid your descriptions were, Shay’s pain at the beginning was really frightening. The characters’ reactions to the whole situation were really well done too, it was very realistic (which makes it even more scary :P). And poor Cassie :(

    Although, there’s one thing I wondered about – if eight out of nine of them were exposed to the virus but managed to survive, then surely this virus can’t be that effective at wiping out a proportion of the population O.o Was there a reason so many of them survived, will the people they spread the virus to have a higher chance of dying from it?

    November 20, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    We find out the reason why those 8 survived towards the end of the story. I decided to not reveal it until towards the end to keep the reader as well as the characters guessing.

    Thanks for the review, if there any other work of yours you'd like me to check out?

    November 20, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    We find out the reason why those 8 survived towards the end of the story. I decided to not reveal it until towards the end to keep the reader as well as the characters guessing.

    Thanks for the review, if there any other work of yours you'd like me to check out?

    November 20, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Haha I see well I look forward to finding out! :D As for my stories, I don't really mind, you can have a look at Gifted if you like, but only if you think it looks interesting ^^

    November 20, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    This chapter was good, you built up the suspense in the last part of the chapter really well. I was on the edge of my seat wondering if they’d be able to escape or not :D The bit with Marena and Shay was really sad, I think you conveyed her desperation and sadness really well.

    One thing I’m confused about though – at the beginning the scientist guy said that the government didn’t know what they were doing, but then later he says that the police and authorities would be after them straight away… Doesn’t that mean the government would know what they were doing? Because I don’t quite understand why the scientists would tell them or how they found out straight away that there were eight teenagers with a dangerous virus, wouldn’t it be more effective for the Carriers to be “under the radar” for a bit until they start to notice? I also think the government would want to quarantine at least one of them, they’d probably want to know how the virus works, what created it, it stuff like that. Although I suppose the majority of the Carriers would still end up being killed, so maybe it doesn’t matter :P

    November 22, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Hmmm... Never really thought of that. When I wrote it I figured it was something along the lines of the government didn't know but the police were somehow notified. I kind of left it open, like, maybe the doctor called them in before giving them all the information? Or something like that. Maybe I should go back and look over that.

    November 25, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 4 Reply

    That bit where Shay’s father gave her the gun was just… I had a tear in my eye when I read it :(

    Cassie was surprisingly level-headed, considering she just found out she’s going to die. I suppose she’s got nothing to lose, really... I like her character, it’s sad she’s going to die soon :(

    November 23, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    It was sad? I didn't intend it to be- it was more so a kind of foreshadowing to showing Shay's gonna have to step up to survive, and her father was kind of giving her a tool to help her. No person wants to willingly send their kid into a death trap, which is essentially what she's walking into.

    No spoiler alerts for Cassie... Just read on, you'll find her fate soon.

    November 25, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 5 Reply

    Aw she died :( I expected it to happen, but still, it was sad. And I think her death made Shay realize that this is their new reality, and they can’t get out of it. >.<

    I really love your action sequences, they’re so detailed and believable. This chapter was really good, I don’t know what else to say XD

    November 26, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Haha, reviews can be difficult at times. I didn't want to spoil her fate but I think everyone could see it coming.

    And Shay kind of already had an idea, but she's rather stubborn and hard-headed, so witnessing her death was like the extra kick.

    November 28, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 6 Reply

    It’s scary how that guy managed to get himself infected, even though he doesn’t even know what’s happening. And Shay’s reaction when she essentially accidently killed someone was very realistic, I think. How long does it take for the virus to kill someone? I’m curious.

    I’m also wondering about the truck with all the supplies in it – it seems a bit strange that it just happened to be there full of useful stuff, I’m guessing the scientists or someone left it there so  the carriers could use it… XD

    Anyway, good chapter :D

    November 27, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Uh, you find out later on, but on average 7 days. It varies depending on the age of the victim.

    As for the truck, yes, it was a little strange, but I never gave much thought about it really. I think Carson made a remark on how it looked like it was just some crazy guy ready for doomsday. I might have to figure out a way to make it more believeable, lol. It does seem kind of far fetched. :p

    November 28, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    The beginning works well to lull the reader into a false sense of security – ‘it’s just another episode in a teen’s life’, they’ll think. However, you drop some hints that something is not quite right, and that leads well into your chapter ending. Still, I think the sentence ‘Of course, she had no idea it would be her last opportunity to do so.’ acts as a spoiler. Would it be more effective if you left it out, let the reader think that everything’s normal and then drop your surprise? Then you could insert that sentence later as a reflection on Shay’s part.

    I enjoy your descriptions of the characters, which helps me to visualize them as I’m reading. There are rather a lot of them introduced here, so it got a bit overwhelming. But I’m sure I’ll figure out who is whom once I read a little further into the story.

    You’re very direct in the clues that you give about what is happening to the teenagers with the warnings on infection and germs being released. On one hand, this means that there is no possible doubt that the reader would understand what is happening, but on the other, you could increase the suspense by not having those warnings and letting them work out that something awful is happening by means of other signs – red lights, siren, countdown, etc. The last sentence on the pain beginning would be enough to show that something bad has indeed happened to them.

    Editing:

    • WHO lacked an attention span
    • slipped out her phone with UTMOST caution
    •  fairly average height, like HER
    • LINED with cold metal desks
    • the NUMBER of human beings? (actually if you didn’t explicitly point out that it’s the population of earth, it won’t be as obvious at you said it was. What would make it obvious would be three numbers: births, deaths and the difference, with maybe a B / D / P for each other)

    Like I said, if you prefer that I leave your language alone, let me know. BTW when I give editing suggestions, the capitals are to highlight the change I’m recommending, I’m not shouting. :) 

    November 30, 2013 | I hear stories in my head


  • Reply

    The countdowns and what not felt more like something that actually would be in an area like that- I wasn't necessarily thinking about the suspense aspect, but I could see what I could tweak to address what you pointed out.

    I don't mind if you point out language mistakes, I often find I need someone to help me pick out the typos I miss. (There's a lot more than I thought)

    Sorry it took so long to respond, things got busy.

    December 8, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 7 Reply

    It’s sad how the kids are wanted by the country, and are in this situation by accident. I found this chapter quite depressing because of this. I hope they find a way to get cured, but at the same time I don’t think this is likely to happen… :( Sorry, I’m a very emotional person XD

    Although I’m wondering how the broadcasters knew about the Carriers having the rings around their eyes, I don’t see how they could’ve found out.  I mean, one of the police could’ve noticed, but they were probably too busy chasing them… I don’t know, it just seemed strange to me. Otherwise, good chapter :D

    December 1, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Eh, I see how it can be depressing... It was just kind of a way to illuminate the bleak reality of their new situation- and it's only going to go downhill.

     

    As for the broadcast, hmmm. I think either the doctor told them or one of the officers noticed.

    December 4, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 8 Reply

    It’s scary to think how only one touch can kill someone. >.< I mean, something so simple as a brush of the hand can mean certain death. It must be very confronting for Shay and the others.

    I liked the news broadcast at the end, it seemed very realistic. It’s something I could imagine happening if something similar happened in real life >.< I also liked how you made the virus spread so quickly, I think it is realistic and shows the Carriers the horrifying consequences of their situation.

    December 2, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    It is a very frightening reality, yes, and I feel like it adds a certain fear factor to the story, from the POV of the characters and the readers themselves. The characters are always afraid they'll touch someone and ultimately kill them (now this may change.... *wink wink*)

    And glad I was able to pull it the broadcast. I tried to remember how some went when there were the outbreaks of Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Influenza, ect.

    December 14, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 9 Reply

    I liked the action in this chapter, but I think the agents were maybe taken down a little too easily. I mean, if they’re trained agents I don’t think they’d  put their guns down quite so quickly, or they’d just shoot Shay straight off :P But then the incompetence of police/agents/people chasing the characters is pretty much universal in all action movies and books, so I think it’s probably a case of creative license. After all, if they were too good the main characters would never survive, so I should stop complaining :P

    I loved how badass Shay was in this chapter. I like how she’s sort of stepped above the others and realized what they have to do to survive. It’s not nice, but necessary, and I like that she realizes this.

    December 2, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Well, them putting their guns down the first time was a trick. I think they were exploring the option of a peaceful end, but Shay made it apparent early on that wasn't happening, same with Carson and Marena. Yes, although they were taken out as some would say easy on terms trained agents vs fifteen year old girl, Shay did miss and not get where she was aiming several times.

    Also, yes, she has realized it, and glad you like it. This chapter always worried me- it seems like the place where people might start to dislike her, as she just killed three people. But it's for survival.

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Interesting, I am curious to see how the story develops but this is a solid beginning.  There are occasional typos, but if the story remains interesting, they are forgivable.

    December 3, 2013 | Fred Files


  • Reply

    No matter how many times I read over, I never seem to be able to catch all the typos! Thank you for your review, and I hope you drop by and read more in the future. (There probably will be typos.)

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    The action kicks in in this chapter, which is great, because if this is a plague story then a high-speed plot is expected – people won’t sit around twiddling their thumbs when there’s a deadly disease spreading. I also like that you had one of the teens figure out what the virus is for rather than the doctor telling them. And I like the doctor! I don’t know if I’m supposed to, ie if you plan to have him as the bad guy that should be hated, but I do. It’s like he saying, ‘Ok, you stupid teens got yourself infected with the sub-standard version. So now stop whining and go out there and spread it already.’

    Editing

    • body-shaking (not shacking) cough
    • become aware OF the fact
    • some of your paragraphs are not indented (minor detail, but it matters to some people)
    • from other humans: if you’d like to make the guy sound creepier, you could say ‘from other subjects’ – that shows that he doesn’t see the sick people as human
    • when one of triggered infection (missing word? when one of YOU?)

    December 3, 2013 | I hear stories in my head


  • Reply

    It doesn't matter what you think of the doctor, this is his only part in the story. Yes, that was kind of his attitude about it, but he knows they won't just go and spread it because they're human, and it's morally wrong. Of course, there's no promises for later...

    Anyways, thanks for catching a few typos and little things I need to fix!

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Once I get over the implausibility of the doctor simply letting his precious experiments go into a situation that would certainly get most of them killed (oh well, the guy IS deranged after all), the action moves forward very nicely. Marena’s reaction is realistically depicted – people do act crazy after being shocked.

    At the moment, nine people are quite a handful to keep track of, but no doubt that will become easier as I get to know each of them individually. Some are already starting to stand out, Shay of course, and Marena, and Carson.

    Editing

    • it’s mass murder (not its mass murder)
    • insignificant to Cassie’s feelings: I think you mean indifferent
    • two BILLION less than we did
    • none the wiser in this situation thAn they are

    December 3, 2013 | I hear stories in my head


  • Reply

    Those are the 3 main characters, but there's some fairly important SCs as well that you should eventually get to know. ^^

    As for just letting them go like that, it's not like he could keep them and just have them not spread it at all in there. The cops would come inside, most likely, and they'd have a better chance at escape outside, I'd think.

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Ahh teenagers, doing stupid things; in this case, releasing a virus that will infect the world. I’m surprised that no worker has caught them wondering into off-limits areas. Hot damn, 10 billion + people on Earth. O_O That’s a shit-load of people…

    Anyways, I found the chapter a bit lagging during the search for Katrina, but hey now that the teenagers are infected, the action should come along. ;)

    December 3, 2013 | Luna's Child


  • Reply

    Eh, I'm aware the chapter's kind of lagging, I've been trying to see if there's anything I could trim up.

    Yes, it is a lot of people, which is why.. Oh, well, you find out next chapter. I'll stay quiet.

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Although not the story line I typically look for this story seems well thought out and the characters are fun. I can't really  find anything I would change.

    December 7, 2013 | Heather O'toole /Davies


  • Reply

    Thanks for the review, I can understand with it not being the story line you look for as I've read your works\bio, but I'm appreciative you took the time to read. Hope you decide to stop by and read some more later.

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Just a few corrections first. I found this: "Welcome Sargent Smartass". The correct spelling should be "Sergeant". I also found this typo: "It was maybe ten feed wide and ten feet long, the ceiling of glass maybe nine feet above the floor." Instead of "feed" I believe you wanted to use "feet". Aside from that, I don't think I can point out other corrections that weren't already mentioned by a previous comment.

     

    I like how you describe. I can really imagine the setting and the events taking place in my mind. The characters also had their own set of voices which makes it easier to know who is saying what. This is a strong beginning to your story. Initially, I thought it was pretty long, but the longer I read, I noticed I didn't mind. Keep up the good work!

    December 10, 2013 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Thanks for catching typos- I never seem to catch them all. ^^

    Yes, I do have some pretty long chapters, but I also have some short ones later on in the story. I appreciate the comment!

    December 15, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 10 Reply

    “She felt nothing while killing them, which wasn’t exactly good but wasn’t worse than the ladder”. Is that meant to be “worse than the latter”?

    I really liked Shay’s (and Marena’s) reactions to her killing those agents. Even if it was for survival, it would’ve affected them tremendously. Like they were saying, everyone would like to believe they’d never kill anyone no matter what, but in situations like this one that's almost never true :(

    December 15, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    I always thought it was used as ladder, not latter. I've seen it used that way in most books I've read, but I'm taking your from Australia (correct me if I'm wrong) so there might be a difference.

    Yeah, you can't just skip over the mental state she's in, as well as the others. It helps illustrate their still a bunch of scared teenagers fighting for survival.

    December 16, 2013 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    You're probably right, it may be a language difference. But I've read plenty of books by American authors, and I don't remember ever noticing them spelling that word differently... Maybe I'm just unobservant (which wouldn't surprise me :P)

    December 17, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Chapter: 11 Reply

    What idiots those girls were. You’d think if they’d recognized the Carriers, they’d know that tripping one of them is really not the best idea. And then one of them had the nerve to complain that her best friend was going to die because of them, even though she was the one provoked her in the first place O.o

    By the way, I liked the reference to the Hunger Games. Although Katniss wasn’t really a leader, she was more of a symbol :P

    December 15, 2013 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Chapter: 12 Reply

    Aww, another one of the group has accidently killed someone. I’m starting to think they should just all invest in a pair of gloves XD Although I’m not sure if that would work or not :P

    I like how this chapter featured some of the other characters, I’m getting slightly better at remembering who they all are now. Although to be honest aside from the main three, they don’t seem to be particularly distinct in terms of their personalities, and they keep blurring together… Although that’s probably because they haven’t done that much yet, and because I’m horrible with names so I keep mixing everyone up :P Anyway, I think this chapter did a good job of showing how they’re really just scared teenagers, first with Shay crashing the truck and later at the bar too. For some reason, it reminded me of how much of nerd I am :P

    Anyway, nice cliffhanger at the end :) I wonder how the police found them, I’m assuming either the bouncer called them after he realised what happened to him or the bartender recognised them.

    January 3, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    It's explained in the next chapter.

    And yeah, that's probably true for a while. We see more of Katrina A LOT throughout the rest of the story- starting at chapter 16, mostly. Jaycee, Owen and Kyleigh are kind of the supporting characters and Laylia is between secondary and supporting. They do all have screen time though.

    January 4, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Hey,

    So I read this a while ago but I didn't have internet so I couldn't respond. I really enjoyed reading this and I think you added some nice details in here that really made me keep reading. I did however find a few things that I wanted to tell you about. You said you wanted a review and I try not to half-ass anything so get ready for an essay. Lol, I really hope you appreciate it though, because I did enjoy reading and reviewing this.
    Firstly, I really liked the opening, how you start with the futuristic aspect and then dive into the descriptions that seem unfuturistic, that really made me curious as to how the word had advanced and how it would ultimately effect the characters.
    Next, I found the phrase 'the wafting smell of waffles' to be a little jarring because of how close the two words together are in sound. I think this may have been intentional but it sounds a little off. I think a different breakfast food might be better here.
    Next, this phrase 'ruin her chances of a car for her upcoming birthday.' I think should be 'ruin her chances of getting a car...'
    K so now, let's talk about Carson, I kind of get the feeling that Shay doesn't really like her boyfriend. I'm not sure if this one is intentional or not, but I feel as though there should be more connection or chemistry between the two characters past the first two paragraphs describing him. The dialogue between them makes him come across as harsh, although this could be fixed (possibly) if he has his arm around her or kisses her forehead or something.
    Next thing I noticed is a small one, when Kyleigh says 'Now, if you don't mind, I'm trying to hide!' You have the dialogue tag as 'she ordered,' but Kyleigh's dialogue isn't actually an order.
    After that I noticed that Owen's physical description is similar to Carsons, you even use the same words. This is fine to do, but you would have to point out that they look similar or else it seems off that the same words would be unintentially used for different characters. ie. Eyes too big for face, long hair is too long.
    Another little one: the phrase 'Never before had a kid vomiting been viewed as convenient' may sound less awkward if you rewrite it as 'Never before had a kid vomiting been a convenience.'
    Haha, I found a valley girl 'like' in the narration. 'She was twig thin like Marena, but only LIKE five three in height.' maybe change 'like' to 'about'. :P
    I love the phrase 'metallic whine' I never could describe that noise, but you've done it perfectly.
    Alright another little issue I have is when they all magically flock to the box. I think it may be a bit more believable if Owen says 'What is this?' and then someone says 'Oh cool' and runs over and then someone follows and then people are interested in the buttons and what not but too scared to touch anything, meanwhile Shay, Carson and Marena stay back a bit and while Shay chimes in with a 'guys we should head back' or something, either Carson or Marena, or both, should tell her to lighten up and pull her to the box. That way it's not like, 'oh cool, everyone was drawn to the box. May the force be with you yada yada'. Ya know?
    Alrighty, last bit of constructive criticism (hopefully) is that I think you should kick the last paragraph to the curb. I think it should just end at 'releasing virus' and leave your reader in an 'AH SHIT' moment. And then start with the pain in the next chapter, or a memory of the pain. I haven't read the next chapter so I can't suggest anything specific but ya, the virus dialogue is a real kicker and you should end the chapter off as strong as possible, which, I think anyways, is with the voice speaking as the final line in the chapter.

    Sooooooooooooooooooo... take your time reading through that. haha, sorry that I'm so picky. Hope the next chapter makes me want to keep reading as much as this one did. All in all, fantastic start. I'm intrigued. ;)

    January 5, 2014 | Cam H.


  • Reply

    Oops, not the valley girl. I'll have to go and fix that.

    Shay and Carson are both the sarcastic, smart-ass, snarky type. The scene there was a little spat between them, but neither were really unhappy with the other. I think there's a few scenes where they insult each other or make sarcastic remarks at the other's expense, but it's really their relationship and their own weird, not-exactly-ritual way of flirting. She really does care about him and he cares about her, and they do show it, but there's not really many opportunities for romance in the situation they're about to get thrown in to.

    Owen and Carson- Carson's hair isn't shaggy and long, and I think what you're mentioning is that Shay mentioned how he was in need of a haircut but she liked his hair a little longer anyways. He has short hair. And while they both have large eyes, I pictured Owen's as being bigger.

    The box deal- it would probably actually be Marena suggesting they go back and Shay and Carson convincing her otherwise, as they were both bored out of their minds. Shay also has a misled sense of curiosity, so despite the trouble she knew they were in she'd still want to explore.

    Actually, yeah. I like the idea of ending it with "Releasing virus." :D The next chapter starts out with the pain, actually.

    January 5, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    Alrighty, Chapta 2
    1. When you say 'every time she coughed the intense pain in her throat refreshed...' I get what you're trying to say, refresh like refreshing the page of your internet browser kind of thing, but as I read that part my thoughts went immediately to the the word refresh as a relief, ie. drinking water refreshes you. Maybe that's just me but I was thrown off by that because I thought you were using refresh's positive connotation, even though it is supposed to be negative.
    2.'struggling to inhale, get air back into her lungs...' saying that part after the comma is redundant. :P
    3. 'and the lack of knowledge about it was terrifying.' is a little awkward, may i suggest 'and their lack of knowledge was terrifying' ?
    4. 'Encasing Katrina's pupuls was an odd ring, almost looking like the...' the word 'looking' can be taken out of this sentence without any consequences to your grammar. In my personal opinion, the sentence is stronger without the word.
    5. this chapter is pretty much fantastic so far, aside from the occasional odd wording of sentences, here's another one: 'she was on the verge of a true meltdown' it sounds a little... idk how to describe it... but i think a better word would be 'hysterical' in the place of 'true' ie. 'a hysterical meltdown' or something like that.
    6. You use order as a dialogue tag again when the tv man tells Carson that they are carriers. He's not ordering them so much as he is... i guess informing them? or some word similar to that
    7. Next, when the tv guy tells them that he cannot guarantee their morality from other humans, he says it in a way that makes you have to think about it because he is using raised language. What I mean by this is that, more than likely one of the nine would say something to clarify what he meant, so like: 'You mean other people will want to hurt us?' or something like that.
    8. I found what I think is a missing word: 'It was, well, not ready to be released when one of triggered infection.'
    9. Just read the population thing. AMAZING!
    10. When you say that Shay swears a lot, I kind of find this an issue of Show vs. Tell, because Shay hasn't been swearing much throughout the first two chapters, perhaps add a bit in so that this doesn't seem so offputting?
    11. She/he error: 'she'd found he could be just as ruthless with HIS words as she could.'

    Alrighty, that's what I found. I hope you don't think I'm being mean, cuz I'm really not trying to be. I'm actually really enjoying this. Thanks for writing it!

    January 5, 2014 | Cam H.


  • Reply

    Well, I mean, I try to keep her swearing down as much as I can for a character with a swearing tick. She kind of picks up using profanities after the first few chapters, I think I was doing it as an effort to keep from turning people off from the story by the swearing. Not sure, you made a good point though.

    Yeah, I'm going back through the first, eh, 6 or so and checking the weird sentence wordings. Those are the chapters I believe would be the most prone to have several, as you're finding a lot. (Thanks for that, by the way, I'm a fast reader so I tend to over look things quite often.)

    Raised language bit- Never thought of that, but it would probably be Kyleigh who asked because most of the other characters can grasp the 'big' words, so to say. :P

    Thanks for catching all the weird errors\sentences!

    January 5, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Haha, thanks for reading all my jibber jabber. I always find the first few chapters are the most prone to little slip-ups since you write them first and don't have the characters as defined as you would later on. I really do hope I'm helping a bit, even though you don't need it much, this is already a pretty solid piece. :D

    January 5, 2014 | Cam H.


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Wow, it's been a while since I've been in high school. I guess reading from the point of view of an adult gives me a certain bias, because I can't stop thinking about how irritating these kids would be if they were real and messing around in actual facilities. I think you captured a lot of what we despise about teenagers really well: the lack of consideration for others, the incompetence when it comes to prioritizing, and the inability to think ahead and gauge the significance of consequences. Even Shay has the typical teenage mindset, in that all she could care about was the fact that they might get in trouble and she wouldn't get her precious car, not that they might hurt themselves through their stunts, or that they might hurt someone else. And this is all very good, because the central conflict of the story is created through their shenanigans. I do feel that they kind of deserve it though, and whatever suffering happens afterwards. Shay might be the only exception, but she's the main character so she needs to be more sympathetic.

    January 7, 2014 | Yidenia Jang


  • Reply

    Sorry it took so long to respond to this, life's gotten rather busy lately and I've hardly had time to drop by.

    I'm not sure why Shay wouldn't have that mindset, really. She might be the main character and main protagonist but she's not without her flaws and one of them is being pretty self-centered. However I see where your coming from about the whole MC needing to be specific part so I understand and won't try to state anything else because I agree.

    Maybe they did deserve it? I wouldn't say they did but they sure as hell deserved to be punished!

    Anyways, thanks for the review and I hope to have your story reviewed by Tuesday at the latest, but I'm kind of over my head in a lot of things right now. Sorry for the inconvenince. 

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Wow, it's been a while since I've been in high school. I guess reading from the point of view of an adult gives me a certain bias, because I can't stop thinking about how irritating these kids would be if they were real and messing around in actual facilities. I think you captured a lot of what we despise about teenagers really well: the lack of consideration for others, the incompetence when it comes to prioritizing, and the inability to think ahead and gauge the significance of consequences. Even Shay has the typical teenage mindset, in that all she could care about was the fact that they might get in trouble and she wouldn't get her precious car, not that they might hurt themselves through their stunts, or that they might hurt someone else. And this is all very good, because the central conflict of the story is created through their shenanigans. I do feel that they kind of deserve it though, and whatever suffering happens afterwards. Shay might be the only exception, but she's the main character so she needs to be more sympathetic.

    Also there's a typo: the glass structure was "ten feed wide", I think you meant "ten feet wide".

    Otherwise, this chapter was very well-written, you use descriptions well and you did a remarkable job of keeping track of all the characters and making them easy to remember. Even if they're all brats with varying degrees of brattiness. Kekekekeke.

    January 7, 2014 | Yidenia Jang


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    Nice! Psychopathic doctor obsessed with curbing foul language. This chapter is hilarious! It's gonna be a cool adventure, I can tell. I really enjoy everyone's reactions. I really enjoy this chapter, really. It's going to be a good time!

    I do kind of wonder if the doctor shouldn't be a little more surprised by this turn of events. He almost seemed like he expected this to happen. I expect teenagers to behave like morons as much as anyone else, but I don't think I could have reasonably predicted that they would wander into the room and happen to fiddle with the touchscreen that would release the virus. I guess he could have figured out what was going on while they were freaking out about their eyes though, based on data readings and such, but he seemed a little too prepared for the speeches he gave for them to be truly impromptu. Still, whatever, I love how all these kids are freaking out, and now they have quite a problem on their hands! Mwahahahaha!

    (I'm not a psychopath, really. I just like me a good adventure :P)

    January 7, 2014 | Yidenia Jang


  • Reply

    Well, wasn't really going for funny, but funny never hurts right? And don't worry, I wasn't accusing you of being a psychopath.

    He was surprised, but he was more angry and concerned about the fact they were a bunch of teenagers and would more than likely be killed. Then again, he might know more than they do (and the reader does) at this point.

     

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    K So I'm just gonna go through the errors and what not quickly:

    1. it just, well, ended up designated to start here- this sentence is pretty awkward
    2. “But your way of saving the planet is sick! Its mass murder!”- Perhaps make a reference to another mass killing.
    3. We struggled at six billion- here, you don't need the repetition of the word 'billion' you can just leave it after six, because the billion was stated earlier in the sentence.
    4. We’re kids for God’s sake! Marena demanded,- here, it may be more realistic for her to say her age instead of just 'kids', 'we're only fifteen for God's sake!
    5. If I told you the government lies I would hope you wouldn’t be surprised. Only, it wasn’t just our government. Truth is, when we broke ‘eight billion’ in January it was us breaching the ten billion mark.- The only flaw I see in this is that previously, when they saw the number on the wall, they knew it was the population. They wouldn't have thought it to be the population if they thought that the population was only at 8 billion.
    6. to maintain the charade she had going of remaining calm, for she was anything but calm inside.- a little awkward again, perhaps 'remaining calm, even though she was anything but.'

    7. They were alone again, once again clocked in a suppressive silence- clocked -> cloaked
    8. "Because the minute you step outside of this building they will kill at least half of you.”- realistically, by the time the government found out about the contamination and the carriers, the kids would be long gone. The government would not have been able to send the police, and have the police actually arrive there, in this short amount of time. Even excluding the government, the police would not have made it to the CDC in that short of a time span.
    9. basically laying waste to the room.- you don't need the word 'basically' in here.
    10. With the thought of the virus now coursing through her veins being released with the push of a button she didn’t want to allow anyone to press another.- this sentence is really awkward, I'm not even sure how to fix it.
    11. Despite her twig composure Marena was easily the stronger of the two- 'twig composure' doesn't really work, and since we already know her to be thin, you can just say 'Despite her figure, Marena was...'
    12. the exit which used to seem so close seemed to suddenly grow so far away.- this is a cliche
    13. It horrified her how just once accident- once -> once
    14. could potentially end the life she’d been a part of for several years- i think this sentence may make sense if you change 'the life' to 'a life', but even then, I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to achieve with this sentence.

     

    Sorry if this seems mean today, I don't try to I'm just kind of tired. Another good chapter though, albeit I didn't like it as much as the first two.

    January 10, 2014 | Cam H.


  • Reply

    It's fine, I actually really appreciate how you find little things like this for me to fix. Yeah, I can see why you wouldn't really like this chapter- there's not much really going on, it's just a big info dump \ buildup. It's understandable.

    I'll try to review some more of your stuff soon, but as I said to another reviewer I'm way over my head right now in a lot of stuff. I'm not sure I'll be able to get to it for a while.

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 15 Reply

    It's been a while since I read this.

    Like before, I was thrown in the middle of the action. The pace of "Carriers" is crazy and never slows down, but it's an advantage. The descriptions of shootings and wrestling with the agents were awsome - rich in detail, dynamic.

    I have only one complaint to make. I'm confused about the part where the agent slammed his elbow as hard as he could in Marena's nose. It seems that she's perfectly okay after that though. Did he miss? Because if he didn't, Marena's reaction would be not pronounced enough. A blow with the elbow in the nose had to break it, especially that a grown, probably hand combat trained man used a lot of force. Strong blows in the nose can be lethal - sometimes the broken bones get pushed into the brain ("long-distance" blows). A person whose nose is broken automatically lifts hands to the nose and the pain is quite immense.

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Hey, your back!

    Anyways, I'm not really sure. Thought I did cover her pain? He didn't break it but the beginning of chapter 16 covers her rather bloody nose. I might say he landed off to the side a little or something, leaving her with a bruise Shay could notice later or something. I'm going back and finding little inconsistencies when I'm done with the rewrite so thanks for spotting this.

    Thanks for the praise on the pacing, by the way!

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Only a bloody nose and a bruise doesn't correspond exactly with the force of the elbow blow executed by a grown male (Sorry for being so whiny about this).

    January 13, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 16 Reply

    Shay has become a cold-blooded killer... I really like her character - strong, a natural leader, but she still seems to be a human.

    I'm glad Katrina got a bit more of "screen time" and turned out to be quite a likeable character. From what I remember, during reading the first 10 chapters I could distinguish only Shay, Marena and Carson. The rest of the gang were sort of bland (because there were so many characters). Now I see it changing and it's a nice touch.

    I hope to learn more about the plague soon...

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Wait, I'm a little confused. You said Shay's become a cold blooded killer then said you liked her...? Little confused. I mean, I'm happy to know she's a rather likeable and strong character because I worry people won't like her because of her coldness\murderous behaviors.

    I tried to bring Katrina in earlier a little more but she's a character that really sees some drastic growth over the story. There's the other four, Owen, Kyleigh, Laylia and Jaycee who are all different but Owen and Jaycee are rather quiet. Laylia hasn't had much to do with the story yet but she does later.

    And you don't get official knowledge until almost the end, but characters speculate.

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Don't worry about Shay. By cold-blooded I meant she's shooting when she needs to instead of crying and moping around. I just don't like emo-characters and Shay is a very lively person, the true heroine.

    Thumbs up!

    January 13, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 17 Reply

    Oh, I liked the ending of this chapter, made me root for the kids. I wonder if they'd manage to live through your book. Perhaps there is a cure for the plague (there's always a retired co-inventor who knows how to find the vaccine).

    Katrina introduces some great humor to the story and I'm growing to like her more with each chapter.

    So... there are six of them left now? I think I lost count, but at least I'm remembering Katrina for her awsome sense of humor.

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Weren't you rooting for them already, lol? Anyways, I would tell you but I know how much I hate spoilers so I'll refrain, but if they all die would there really be much of a story? Actually, yeah, there would be, so don't take anything I say to heart!

    Glad to know you like Katrina! She's a fun character to write and if Shay, Carson and Marena, the usual smartasses aren't around Katrina is always fun to bring in for comic relief.

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 18 Reply

    A calm before storm, huh?

    Good timing with this chapter after the crazy chases and shootings. The chapter got all of my attention - I liked both the part where the broadcast was and the one with the girls talking. It seems that Marena has a theory about the plague and I'm thrilled to read about it. I was a bit disappointed because of the cliffhanger, but it was a good disappointed - I wanted to finish for today, but it looks like I'll have to read one more ;-)

    I suspected that the rest of the gang (the ones who are bland) would be the ones to die sooner or later. Poor guys...

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Nobody has died yet? Also, all 8 of them are still here.

    And yes, Marena has a theory, and she tells Shay in chapter 23, which I'm stuck on. I've edited all the way to chapter 36 but 23 is giving me troubles.

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 19 Reply

    They can't have a break, can they?

    Finally Carson showed he's not the lady in the relationship. Compared to Shay and her habit of gunning people down without batting an eyelid he seemed to be a sissy (Marena is quite fierce too). Good that you're upholding his image as a male.

    However, I have a complaint to file ;-) What happened to the THEORY? I was really anxious to read about it after the cliffhanger from the previous chapter and I got a fat nothing... Oh well, one more chapter.

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    It's coming, I promise! (In chapter 23) but it's coming!

    Yeah, Carson's no sissy but he's not kind of cold or low on empathy like Shay and Marena. He struggled grasping it more than they did and I can also say we get to learn why in chapter 23 (his conversation with Shay is actually what I'm stuck on.) So yes, he's not a weak character, but like Katrina took more time to adapt to the idea they have to kill\fight to survive themselves.

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    ll right, I'll wait for that theory a little bit longer. So... you have 36 chapters already... Good ;-)

    January 13, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 20 Reply

    Once more a lot of action and guns. Exciting, but not as much as the previous shootings. I noticed that the scenes with the cops begin losing their charm, mainly because they're repetitive - everything is fine - cops arrive - shooting/struggle - the Carriers escape and someone gets wounded in the process. It was fine first couple of times, but now it isn't that thrilling anymore. Earlier I was anxious to know: "will they make it?". This time I thought: "yeah, they'll run away as always. And Shay will probably shoot somebody"

    Enough complaining, I liked Axel's part. It was a fine touch when an outsider noticed how much the gang has changes since they became fugitives.

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Well, there's a few action\fight scenes left in the story and none of them are actually Cops vs Carriers. There's the Government Agents, who haven't really had a fight with solely them against our protagonists. That was kind of a given though, as the Government's really the ones after them, it's just the cops they keep running into. I hope the upcoming fight scenes thrill you like the others did!

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 21 Reply

    Grr... I hate stupid people like Laylia, but they sure add tension to the story and spike readers' interest in the story (and increase the number of mental face palms). Well, thanks to her efforts the gang lacks one person now (I'd settle on a four-people group really).

    Shay experiences a crisis as a leader, what I find very entertaining. The other characters are fun (Marena, Carson and recently Katrina), but Shay has a real depth, just as a heroine should have. She turned out to be a capable leader, but there is a darker side to it. Good to have a three-dimensional character for the lead heroine.

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    The ranks will be thinned, I promise...

    I didn't expect Jaycee's death to have too much impact but it seemed rather minimal on you. It's probably because she got little screen time.

    Yes, Shay's first loss of a charge. Although it's not the first crisis she's had to deal with really, when you look at it, it is the first time she's had to deal with the death of someone that followed and trusted her. I'm glad to know she's got good depth, but do the others as well? I'm speaking mostly of Marena, Carson and Katrina, as I kinda know the other characters don't have much. I have a feel for all the character except Owen really, but he's vital to the plot later on so he is here for a reason.

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    About Jaycee's death, the rest of the characters have minimal part in the story (except Shay, Marena, Carson and now Katrina) and play the role more of the background actors. If any of the leading 4 would die, that would be the shock. It's just there isn't really much of an emotional connection with the Red Shirts (Star Trek reference) and I have the feeling that their deaths may serve more to show the peril in which the heros are.

    January 13, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 22 Reply

    I found a repetition of "rather reserved" near the beginning of the chapter.

    Later, you wrote that Marena is "ducking down". I'm pretty sure "down" is redundant. Ducking is always down.

    I was surprised Katrina bothered wearing make-up (she mentioned mascara running) in the middle of the gang's great escape. Did she have her make-up kit still with her or did she buy it somewhere along the way? I don't think I'd bother about make-up if my life was in danger.

    As always, I have nothing but praise regarding the characters' reactions. They feel very genuine. Now, who's my favorite character? I think it's Marena - cool, level-headed, sometimes awkwardly cold. 

    Now, when will you be updating? I'm not going to lie, I got sucked in and I'm still anxious to read about the THEORY.

    January 12, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    I cut out a scene where Katrina was deployed to a gas station with Kyleigh by Shay and Marena to get makeup shortly after their arrival in the first motel they ever stayed at. Although Shay told them it was for disguise purposes she really just didn't want to be around Carson without makeup on, I remember. So yes, they stole a lot very early on.

    You learn about the theory next chapter! I'm trying to finish but I'm still stuck on it. I hope I'll be done soon.

    Thanks for all the reviews, by the way! Glad to know you're back. (-:

    January 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 13 Reply

    This was a good chapter, I was on the edge of my seat reading it :) It’s nice to see someone else get a bit of action, so far it’s been mostly Shay doing all the work XD Although it is little cliché to have a character fall and sprain their ankle when running from someone, the action sequence was very well written and it was nice to see how Carson cares for her. I haven’t really been convinced of their love by the story so far (although I don’t think that’s a fault in your writing, as romance is obviously not the main focus of the story) but this chapter and the last helped remedy that a bit :) The only thing I found a little strange  in this chapter was that Shay sprained her ankle but then she was able to run okay in the next part, without even mentioning her limping or something.

    January 14, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Yeah, romance kinda takes a back seat. I mean, get to chapter 15, you'll be satisfied (hopefully).

    I thought I did mention her having difficulty running but maybe not, I'll go back and check it.    

    January 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    Wow. That has got to suck for Cassie. Knowing you have an ultimatum sucks - much more now that the doc had to clarify that she'd die before actually managing to spread the virus like wild fire. Poor Cassie.

    Anyway, I found a few errors. The first one is in this sentence: "It was, well, not ready to be released when one of triggered infection." I think you missed a "you" here before the word "triggered". The second is this: "Although he was usually friendly, she’d found he could but just as ruthless with her words as she could." I'm not entirely sure, since I got a little confused with this line, but I think you meant something like "Although he was usually friendly, she’d found he could be just as ruthless with his words as she could."

    That's it basically. I like how this chapter turned out. Shay and the others are terrified out of their wits - I know I would if I was in their position! And you made us see a little bit more of Carson and everyone else. Good job.

    January 29, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Yeah, the little bit we see of Cassie really isn't in an uplifting manner.

    Thanks for catching those errors, by the way. I'm trying to get caught up on reviews while trying to finish chapter 23 because it's been so terribly long since I posted.

     

    February 1, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Hey there. I'll point out some things I spotted first. Somewhere in the first part, when they were talking about the population, you accidentally wrote "million" instead of "billion". Then there's a typo near the end where you use "once" than "one". I know there's one more I spotted awhile ago that's somewhere in the middle but I can't seem to spot it right now. It was somewhere in the middle near a line that's italicized. I'll get back to you about it when I see it again.

    That aside, I really like how you detail your work. I get to imagine the panic that's happening as well as the tension the main characters are feeling. It's well-thought out.

    January 30, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    There's always a few errors I don't catch, so thanks for that.

    Also, thanks for the kind words so far. I tend to pay extra attention to the details in my writing, as I like a well-detailed and descriptive story!

    February 1, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 23 Reply

    This was a sad chapter.

    First, I liked the moment of affection between Carson and Shay. Because of the crazy situation the two of then didn't really behave like a couple (what was very understandable and only natural). That brief moment between them made me sigh with sadness, hoping they would be somehow okay.

    Now, the issue with Jacey's body keeps bugging me. Damn, they risked the life of the surviving members of their group for the sake of the corpse. Of course it was very humane and righteous of them, but I keep having this feeling that it wasn't what Rambo would do. It would be logical to leave dead Jacey on the bridge - perhaps her ashes could get buried on the family cemetery by her parents? On the other hand, the kids were in shock and it seemed like a good thing to do.

    I suspect the next chapter will be even sadder.

    February 2, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Well, I didn't really intend for this chapter to be depressing, but reading over it I suppose it really was. I don't want to say much but this is only the beginning of a rather bleak segment of the book. Alas, the scene between Shay and Carson seemed to have served its purpose. Yay.

    And no, the next chapter really isn't too terribly sad, but I might go back and revise it, it depends on how well it's recieved.

    February 2, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 24 Reply

    Ha. The long awaited moment has come.

    Marena had a point that it wasn't a coincidence, the kids became the Carriers. Come to think of that, most of them should have died... Seems legit. I was also convinced with the idea that the virus kills old and weak people, but I'm baffled with the theory that it kills idiots as well. Like Shay, I find it virtually impossible for a virus to be able to determine if the person has high or low IQ. Hmm... Actually I'm curious how it will progress, if Marena's theory will hold and if yes, how will you explain this.

    Anyway, I'm glad that Shay was reasonable this time and heard Marena out. It was a fine chapter; good that you decided to split the chapter into 23 and 24 - it was easier to read that way.

    And idiot-killing virus... the idea is interesting. I would like to use it on the people I know - my life would me way easier and more pleasant ;-)

    February 2, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Yes, I think we all know people we'd like to use a virus like that on. I'm someone who hates spoilers so I'll try not to say much, but we do find out the truth towards the end- three chapters from the end, to be exact.

    Shay had a handle on her emotions this time, thankfully. She was also a little curious, anyways.

    February 2, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Great start! I try not to read stuff like this because I honestly believe some idiot is going to push a button in some secret government facility and unleash a world-ending plague on us all, but regardless of my own unnatural fears, I really liked this. While this first chapter is quite long, which I've learned can be discouraging to some people, it didn't bother me. I was engaged and interested throughout. 

    You describe your characters really well, but perhaps there are a few too many. I found myself forgetting who was who after a while, but regardless of that each character seemed to be very real and well crafted.

    Good job. Will read more.

    February 2, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


  • Reply

    That's quite a logical fear, actually.

    Yes, the chapter is long. I'm quite guilty of having long chapters. I do see how the characters can blend together, but it gets easier the further you go in the story.

    February 4, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 4 Reply

    A few quick observations. You had a typo somewhere when Shay saw her dad again when you typed "the," when I think you meant "them". Also, when you described how Noah went on a coughing fit, I think "bought" might have been "bout" instead. Those are the only two things I've noticed on this chapter.

    I have a feeling that Cassie would end up running up to the officers, trying to dodge their bullets and infect them all and possibly take the bullet for anyone else in the group, especially when she sees Noah lying on the asphalt. I think that in the next chapter, I might see Cassie's good-bye. Fingers are crossed that she gets to live a little bit longer though!

    February 3, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Thanks for catching the typos, there always seems to be a few I look over. Not gonna say anything about Cassie though.

    February 4, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 5 Reply

    Alright, I'll start with a few things I spotted. In the first paragraph, last sentence, you accidentally put two punctuation marks, a comma and a period, together. Then when Shay and Cassie were talking, I think it's supposed to be "to" than "too". Somewhere in the middle, when something (I think it were bullets are before the grenade) was near her or passed her overhead, you used "she" when I think it was "her".

    Anndd... Cassie is dead. Oh man. I don't think Noah would last that long either. I don't think there's any way the men would let him off alive. I even have this bad feeling that they might torture him in place of Shay because two of their men are wounded. I just hope this doesn't toy with their sanity that much.

    February 3, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Yes, I could assume you saw it coming. Honestly I didn't think of Noah's fate. I would assume they'd move him to a hospital, as he was infected, but who knows. Never really thought about it.

     

    February 4, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 25 Reply

    This chapter was surprisingly cheerful (save the ending). Actually, I enjoyed the change of mood, to read about the kids fooling around and behaving as though all those horrible things never happened. It was a nice breather after a couple of very gloomy chapters and a death of a character. It worked like strong coffee for a tired person.

    I don't have any complains or plot holes to point out whatsoever, everything made sense. It was funny how modest the girls were about their overly revealing uniforms.

    I noticed one disturbing thing - the kids are slowly turning in cold-blooded killers. It's caused by sheer necessity and the instinct to survive, but still, it's sad to watch their innocence and clear conscience get taken away from them. Earlier they were brooding over infecting one random person and now they spit into drinks to infect as many as they can as fast as they can (good idea by the way).

    February 4, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    THAT'S WHAT I FORGOT TO PUT IN.

    I seriously want to hit myself right now- I knew I was forgetting something when I made chapter 24 so short. The Hooters ordeal wasn't supposed to be this random thing they selected to do to infect people. It was a revenge tactic, so to say, on Jaycee's death. They had someone taken away from them so they decided to take back. It's complicated, but it isn't something they're going to make a regular use of doing.

    Well, know I know what I forgot. *Bangs head against desk.*

    February 4, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 26 Reply

    That was both action-packed and emotionally loaded.

    I won't waste time on praising your awesome action sequences - you already know how much I love them.

    There were some surprises in this chapter. First, Carson. It angered me that he picked such a moment for a display of guilty conscience, but at the same time I appreciated the plausibility of such situation. I'm glad that Shay's boyfriend isn't just as badass as her - it makes her and his situation only more difficult and adds the spice to the story.

    Another big surprise was Axel. Like Shay, I was sure, he would behave like a chicken and hide behind the counter, waiting for the girls to save him. However, (gasp) it turned out that the boy knows how to repay his debts. Through this one action he became a legit character for me and gained my approval.

    The one thing I want to whine about, are the agents. One could think they learnt the lesson by now. First, they should shoot first, warn later. They had some encounters with our dangerous crew before and know that they shouldn't be underestimated. Actually, I'd expect them to use snipers.

    Overall, an excellent chapter. You described the action impeccably and, more importantly, you were able to convey all the emotions in a perfect, striking way. Well done!

    February 4, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Oh, you like snipers, do you?

    Wait, just wait...

    Although the timing of his confession certainly felt off, and it would have much rather worked the night before (then again he was focused on comforting Shay) it seemed right to me because he's in the situation where he might have to kill again, so it hits him there. See what I'm saying?

    Axel, like Shay, is a pretty hot-headed guy, so it wouldn't be like him to just sit there. He probably goes through the quickest development of any of the characters, actually.

     

    February 4, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    The timing of Carson's confession is perfect - it spices up the action (like in the horrors the victims go to the basement instead of elsewhere; you think: "don't do it!", but you still want them to go there and get the horror started).

    February 6, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 27 Reply

    It was quite sad - the speeches and digging the hole. I appreciated how you mentioned that the deceased girl wasn't Shay's close friend, so her death didn't affect her that much, but helped her realize they weren't immortal. With all those narrow escapes, it is miraculous that the most of the Carriers are still alive. It was nice to get a reminder that they can run out of luck any moment now.

    Axel constantly gains my sympathy. I have a feeling that he's flashed out better than half of the old Carriers (for example Owen) even though he's a newcomer. Anyway, he seems like a smart person who knows what to do - in the previous chapter he did the right thing, during the funeral he said a couple of appropriate words as well.

    I have to be honest about the funeral though - I almost forgot they had the body all along ;-) It was because the almost-cheerful, then action-packed previous chapter.

    February 7, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Yes, it was kind of a wake up call more so than an earth-shaking loss, but I suppose it was that for Laylia.

    Glad to know you like Axel! Like Carson he's quite a fun character to write, and as their best friends it's always easy to add some comic relief with them.

    February 7, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 28 Reply

    I found this chapter a bit odd.

    First thing, that relationship-stuff. How come Axel is already over all those shootings, Jaycee dying, killing a man and now he's snuggling with Kayleigh? It seems a bit improbable for me, given that he didn't experience as much as the other Carriers and is still a bit new to the dangerous life. Earlier I found Shay's and Carson's behavior very realistic - even though they were a couple, they weren't behaving too flirtatiously while their lives were threatened or they were coping with fear/guilt after Shay killed her first man and had her crisis of leadership.

    Anyway, Marena is my no 1 now - at least she's not letting that love stuff get to her (maybe the others are already feeling the Valentine's Day?).

    February 7, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    I've been told this chapter helps flesh out the characters as well, so I have mixed feelings. I've considered cutting it more than once.

    I can understand why it would affect the characters, especially Axel, but none of the characters we heard from really had any emotional connection to Jaycee. There wasn't much romance, honestly, but alas I'm not sure what I wanted to gain from this chapter. I can see how it's odd. It was kind of a fleshing out chapter, but the only characters we saw who need more fleshing out is Kyleigh and Owen.

    February 7, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 29 Reply

    I loved this one!

    It was a nice change of a perspective and a grim foreshadowing in one. With such huge bounties on their heads, the government agents could be least of the Carriers' concerns. The agents have to maintain some work ethic (like warning before shooting or trying to capture alive), but the bounty hunters will be completely different. I predict they will be quite ruthless.

    It was a fine way to both raise the tension and allow your readers to snatch a glimpse of what is happening at Shay's house. I'm pretty sure her mom is either dead or will be in a couple of days (sad), but I'm hoping the dad will somehow survive the plague ordeal. However, he's not young, so I may be wrong. Anyway, I'm wondering if showing Gracelyn was entirely for the sake of informing about the bounties or was in an introduction of a future Carrier.

    February 7, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    No spoilers, no spoilers...

    There's not official bounty hunters, but there are several people who would want the money and I'd assume would become as ruthless. The agents will eventually figure out to ditch the work ethic, I promise.

    February 7, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 30 Reply

    I got an impression that it was a "girly chapter", perhaps it was centered around Marena and Shay, but also Laylia and Kayleigh got mentioned. For most of it it felt sort of carefree. The birthday, the swim in the river and then the conversation in the tree were entertaining in a peaceful way. Of course, it didn't last long, but that's how the thing's are here, in "Carriers" ;-) Overall it was a nice chapter.

    I love Marena's character. She's stuck up and sarcastic, but also keeps her cool and analyzes the situation. She would make an excellent "cop pair" with Shay. The two of them are like Spock and Kirk (Marena is Spock).

    One thing came to my mind about the guns. The kids have several guns, but don't forget about the ammo - it ends, unlike in the Rambo movies (what a pity). So far the kids aren't shooting too much, but keep in mind that they will run out of the bullets eventually.

    February 10, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    They have ammo!

    And now that I think about it Marena and Shay are like Spock and Kirk. They have a fun relationship to write, the two of them. They're both a lot alike yet have a massive amount of differences, too. Makes for plenty of funny dialog.

    February 10, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 31 Reply

    I'm not buying it. Seriously, until there's a body, I refuse to believe that you killed off my favorite character.

    First of all, it was a great plot-twist and it was executed greatly. In the previous chapter you boosted sympathy for Marena, what made the loss much painful for me (I'm pretty sure that for the majority of the readers too).

    The descriptions of Shay searching for Marena in the water were awsome and held the tension up (9 out of 10). The scene where Shay expressed her grief was emotional and well-written as well (7,5 out of 10). Shay's desperation when she tried to save Marena was a testimony of their friendship, an ultimate proof that there was a bond between them. Overall, this chapter was loaded with emotions and nice descriptive writing. Well done!

    As for my predictions, Marena isn't really dead. It will turn out that she drifted and somehow got saved. I may be wrong, but I doubt you could be THAT evil ;-)

    February 10, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    This chapter was difficult for me to write. I've kept the killings sparse so far but I'm surprised you didn't expect a main character to die, given the circumstances of the plot. I didn't want to kill her and I didn't just kill her to kill her- her death pushes a lot of things forward, including a good amount of character development. And sure, the shock factor and plot twist was considered when I did it, too...

    Yes, I am that evil. It hasn't shown yet really, but although I am attached to some of my characters nobody is safe because that's how it would be in the Carriers situation- reality just comes in, stomps some ass and leaves. I'm not saying this is something I'd ever do but someone might snipe Shay right in the head or Katrina and Owen might be in the wrong place when a grenade goes off. (Those were examples of what if's, they don't happen.) It's more of a realistic kind of thing to keep characters dying because in their situation there would be a good deal of death.

    February 10, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    It was a very good plot twist. I was expecting maybe Laylia, Kayleigh or Owen to die first. I was sure that you'll keep Shay, Marena and Carson alive till the end of the book. Although it's a big surprise (I like surprises), it's a bummer that Marena was the one killed - I don't really care about anyone but Shay and her (and maybe Carson a bit). 

    February 10, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 32 Reply

    That's bad. Honestly, I was expecting Marena to pull a Jesus trick and appear alive. The fact that Alexandria became a carrier and joined the group made me doubt my theory - it looks like you've replaced Marena with her right away. I'm not going to lie, I have a mixed feelings about this. If Marena's really dead, the replacement came a bit too soon. If she's alive, it was a nice decoy.

    You're portraying Shay's grief very well. What made me admire her, was that she's conscious that as a leader she has to live for the sake of her group. That's the thinking of a responsible, selfless person - worth being a heroine of the story.

    February 10, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Oh no, no, no Marena will never be replaced, not in Shay's heart or my mind. Alexandria isn't of much use in this book but in the sequel I've started work on (it's slow right now) she's a more important character. See her as Jaycee's replacement, not Marena's, because that's really what she is. She grows a quick connection with Laylia. Marena will not be replaced.

    Shay isn't much of a selfless character, really, at least she didn't start out as one. She was cocky (still is) pretty arrogant, sarcastic and selfish. She had the general mindset of a 'Queen Bee', so to say, but yes she has matured and she's become more of a considerate leader than one who just bosses around. She still does plenty of that, though. (-;

    February 10, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    From a reader's point of you I'd disagree about Shay being selfish (it looks different from reader's and author's perspective). Her actions betray that she's capable of being selfless and does that most of the time - she saves her friends even though her life is on the line (a selfish person would cherish their own life more). Over the course of the story Shay changed for good. She toughened up, realized that her arrogance may be dangerous for people around her. She grew up as a character; perhaps she used to be selfish in the past, but I don't have the impression that it stayed that way.

    February 10, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Very, very good! This reads fluidly and immediately gets you invested in the story. Between the book summary and this, I'm excited to read the rest. :)

    February 14, 2014 | DayDreamer Extraordinaire


  • Reply

    Glad you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to hearing your response on the rest! (-:

    February 16, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 33 Reply

    Shay seemed absent in this chapter. I had an impression that because of grieving, she wasn't herself.

    As for abducting Carson, I suspect that luring Shay away from the group may be a minor reason. Perhaps the government needs the first Carriers to develop an antidote or maybe they just want to do some experiments on them. Anyway, if it was that way, it would perfectly explain why the policemen and the government agents were so ineffective. Snipers or a couple of grenades would do the trick, but it always looked as though they were trying to seize the kids alive for some reason. Hmm... I'm curious what will happen to Carson.

     

    February 16, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Yeah, grief can do things to a person and I'm glad I was able to show how it's effecting her.

    As for Carson I won't say anything as to his fate or why they took him. No spoilers. (-;

    February 16, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 14 Reply

    Sorry for not commenting on this story for ages, I must admit I forgot about it :P It didn’t take me long to remember what had happened, so that was good.

    Shay’s dream was really well written, good job :) Your descriptions were really good, and it was a good way of showing her fears and insecurities over what could happen to them.

    I really liked the part from Marena’s point of view. It was interesting to read, I hope she has more in the future ;) She’s really cool. At the moment, I can’t decide if I like her or Shay more, so they are my tied favourite characters :3 I found their plan a little illogical, though – if they planned to blow up the building, wouldn’t that just draw more attention to themselves? I was a little confused about that part, honestly :P I’m not sure if I understood it correctly.

    Oh, and an error I noticed: “she beginning to space out from tiredness” began instead of beginning.

    February 25, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Thanks for catching the typo.

    No, the plan wasn't to blow up the building. It was just to detonate the grenade somewhere as a distraction so they could go in and get the truck. I thought I'd made that clear!

    Also, it's fine that you forgot about it. I've forgotten some stories I have yet to review, shamefully.

    February 26, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    I thought they had the truck with them, though. I mean, Shay was sleeping in it, wasn't she? Or is there another one that I forgot about? :P It has been a long time since I read this, so I might be forgetting something...

    February 27, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    There's two- Shay crashed the old one and Marena & company was going to get a new one.

    February 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 6 Reply

    I don't think there are any mistakes in this chapter - good job! I like Marena's quick thinking. I was pretty scared at first - I thought the cops would be right behind them by the time she jumped down with the canister in hand. Good thing they weren't though. Shay's pretty shaken up right now, which I think is pretty normal considering it would be her first "kill" and probably first official step into being a sort of criminal for the police. Carson's gotten a little mature, or at least I think so. Good chapter.

    February 25, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Ah, the story would have been over right there if the cops had been behind them! Shay's going through a little bit of emotional turmoil right now, and Carson really is mature, he just often chooses not to be, so to say.

    February 26, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 15 Reply

    Something random, but I like how Katrina actually ran out of bullets instead of having bottomless guns like in a lot of action movies :P Anyway, now I see what you meant about the truck… It was clear in this chapter. So they were trying to get a new one, not get the old one back (I’d completely forgotten they crashed it).

    I think I might have mentioned this before, but I find some of the fights with the cops a little too easy. I mean, they’re really well written and exciting, but I just find it strange how they managed to kill/injure them all in this chapter without even one of them getting shot. I know they might be hesitant to shoot kids, but after they’ve knocked off a couple of them you’d think the cops would be a little more… Well, you’d think they’d actually manage to shoot at least one of them, even if it isn’t fatal :P

    February 27, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Shay and Owen have both been grazed my bullets before. Not the most serious injuries but it still counts. Even a non-fatal gunshot wound could mean death for the characters as the risk of infection stands, and at the current place in the story there wasn't really a place for me to kill anyone off. I can understand why it seems easy, but this is really only the second gunfight. When Shay killed the agents she had the element of surprise, and that was an aspect going into this.

    Most of it's just luck, believe me... Crap, that was basically a spoiler.

    And yes, bottomless weapons drive me insane sometimes. It's a real struggle in gunfights, especially heavy ones like the one in this chapter. A real person would run out of ammo at some point!

    February 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 7 Reply

    Wow. I definitely enjoyed reading this chapter - it made me see more of Shay's personality. She's struggling to keep her wits and still save every one of her friends. That's pretty awesome considering her age!

    There are some places in this chapter I would personally put commas on, but that's just being me. Although, I did spot these: "Carson was still sitting shotgun beside her as he had been for two hours now, never once uttering a word." and "If you spot a group of eight teenagers, or a single young adult with odd rings around their pupils, run and report your local authorities immediately." For the first sentence, it was a little awkward for me to read, so maybe you could add words/revise it a little. For the second sentence, I think you're missing a word after "report". I believe you meant "report to".

    Great job for this chapter though!

    February 27, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    I'm actually right in the midst of editing this chapter. I'm just doing basic edits on the older chapters to keep them up to date! So thanks for catching those.

    And yeah, none of them, especially Shay, are in a good mental state at the moment.

    February 28, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 8 Reply

    That, has got to suck... BIG TIME. Imagine the looks on their family members' faces! I could imagine mothers going crazy with some fathers wondering how to explain the situation to their other children. I really don't blame Shay for puking. That reaction from Marena too when she came to experience what Shay did - she can't really say people would just die no matter what now, can she? She understands the guilt now. I just wonder when everyone else accidentally infects other people.

    Anyway, I found these: "She slid the paper forwards just as the man was reached forwards to drop a handful of change onto the countertop..." I think that the "was" isn't supposed to be there. "Time seems to pass quickly when one is zoning out of everything, must like the state Shay..." I guess "must" is a typo for "just". Then there was the part where you wrote "tiredd" than "tired" and a part where the period was replaced with a "/".

    February 27, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Most of the character's siblings would be old enough to understand except maybe Carson, Marena and Katrina's, but we don't really know much about them or what becomes of their families back home... Yet. It's in the works, just not maybe in this book.

    But I'm glad to know I'm doing something right with the turmoil after infection. Never experienced anything remotely close to it so I was totally winging it.

    February 28, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 9 Reply

    I was honestly a little confused by the first sentence. Maybe "one" was supposed to be "she". I don't know. Also, there's this one that used "know" when I think you meant "now."

    Well... I can't say I like how they reacted to Shay's actions, though I probably would have reacted the same as they did if I had to witness someone kill another. She sprung into action for their sakes - she's really intent on surviving this thing, whether or not her morality has to go down the drain. I just hope this doesn't make her bloodlust - which I think won't be the case but given her thinking right now... well, I wish the next batch of Carrier hunters good luck! A girl trained with a gun with be difficult to go up against - especially if you can't even touch her.

    February 27, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Eek. I figured they'd be in shock for a while, really. She was just freaking out over infecting a person then killed three. She doesn't get a lust for blood, no, she just does what she has to do survive. She's rather determined.

     

    February 28, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 16 Reply

    I like how Katrina is playing a more important role. She seems like an interesting character and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her ;) After all, it can’t just be Shay, Marena and Carson getting all the action.

    Also something random, but I really like stories with lots of conflicting morals and inner turmoil, so this chapter made me happy. I don’t know why, but there’s just something fascinating about the way people’s minds work. Like how in this story, people think “oh, I’ll never kill anyone” or “I’ll never steal” but then they have to for survival… It’s interesting how quickly things can change given the circumstances. Sorry, I’m a bit of a nerd XD Feel free to ignore my random musings.

    An error I noticed: “Katrina replied, hissing out the final three words as if she was bitter towards his decision to do so.” I think it’s meant to be “her decision”?

    February 28, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Yes, the human brain is rather fascinating. There's PLENTY of conflicting morals here and down the road, don't worry, you'll be satisfied. (-:

    Glad to know you like Katrina, too! She's an excellent source of comic relief.

    February 28, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 17 Reply

    This was a really good chapter. It was a nice, quiet break from the action heavy previous ones, plus it had some good humour in it (Katrina is very funny :P)

    I really liked what Shay wrote, too. It’s very upsetting that they’re being made scapegoats for this whole dilemma, even though they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sadly I don’t think the rest of the world will ever realise this, so they’ll just have to keep fighting ;)

    February 28, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    I like to do that, put in a break after a couple fast-paced chapters. I usually focus more on character development\interactions in said chapters, which is probably why people are starting to notice Katrina more now.

    They were in the wrong place but shouldn't have been there... There was equal fault on both sides, really.

    March 1, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Still, although some of the fault is their own, mucking around on a field trip doesn't really equate to being made the carriers for an apocalyptic virus and being hunted down by everyone for something they didn't mean to be involved in :P

    March 2, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    That's true, and really they were just being stupid kids. There's always going to be a little bit that's their fault, though.

    March 2, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 18 Reply

    I liked this chapter a lot. It was another ‘quiet’, less actiony chapter, but there was lots of interesting plot developments. I remember wondering why so many of them survived back at the beginning, so I’m happy that there will be a reason behind it… At first I thought they might’ve been given a different strain of the virus, or something, but then they’d pass on that strain so that couldn’t really work… XD Anyway, I’m curious to find out. I wonder what Marena’s theory is, I hope it will be revealed soon... But I have a feeling you might drag it out for a while for the supense XD Oh well, that'll make it even more exciting when we do find out :3

    March 2, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    It's revealed in chapter 23. Her theory, that is. No confirmation she's actually right! (-;

    March 2, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 19 Reply

    Ah, teenagers. Getting into bar fights in the most inconvenient of situations :P I was internally face palming for most of that bit, but it was good. Emotions were running high, and it seems like the impulsive thing a teenager would do ;)

      Also, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but your descriptions are amazing. Shay’s dream was really, really good, I shivered while reading it. I really like how you’ve portrayed her reaction to the whole situation. Her fears and doubt seem very realistic to me, although I can’t say I’ve ever been in a situation like it XD I’m getting ominous vibes though, I have a fear the Carriers may suffer their first loss very soon…

    March 9, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    I tried to add that in, show that even though they've been forced into this situation they do sometimes still act their age and made dumb decisions.

    Thank you on the compliment, by the way. I'm not going to say anything about your prediction, however. No spoilers!

    March 9, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    In the beginning of 2015, if you had said the world as we knew it was going to end you would be labeled insane. By the end of the same year those who labeled you would be dead.

    That opening line hooked me. Way to go!

    I personally like that we have a large cast, but it's a bit of an effort on the reader to remember everyone's names and descriptions. The only characters that have stuck in my mind so far is our protagonist Shay, Carson, Marena, and Katrina, but I'm pretty they are the main ones anyway.

    This was a pretty fun read, and as I said, I'm hooked. To be honest, I thought someone else was sending out Katrina's texts and I had that ominous feeling of "oh, no! It's a trap!" and was surprised it was actually Katrina all along. It was a nice build up of suspense for me. Things really got excited at the end. I can't wait to read the next chapter because I'm curious to see what happens to our cast.

    Sadly, I only have time to for Chapter One tonight. I'll try to get to it this weekend when I have more time. Keep up the awesome!

    March 10, 2014 | Leigha David


  • Reply

    I've spent so many hours rewriting that first line over and over again, you have no idea. I'm quite pleased to know it pulled you in!

    Yes, the main 3 are Shay, Marena and Carson. They go on to be referred to as the 'Big 3" later on (you can probably guess why) but Katrina, is, well, I've always called her a 'primary supporting character.' Her role blooms over the course of the story, as do a few of the other characters'.

    I'm happy to know this chapter's pulled you in, as I think it's rather boring. Had to get the necessaries out of the way, you know? Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to your next reviews. (-:

    March 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 20 Reply

    Okay, there’s definitely something up with this Carrier business. If I wasn’t certain before, I definitely am now :P Not only do eight out of nine of the originals become Carriers, now Axel, who they knew before, is also a Carrier? That’s way too coincidental… I’m really looking forward to finding out more about how this virus works and what makes someone more susceptible to becoming a Carrier instead of just being infected. Or immune, for that matter.

    I liked how Axel reacted to seeing what Shay and the others had done. It’s a good way to emphasize how much the group has changed (especially Shay) and also provides a bit of perspective on how the “ordinary people” would feel about the group of Carriers. Even though they’re fighting for their lives, people will still see what they’re doing and automatically assume they’re killers at heart. As I said before, I find psychology and stuff really interesting, so all these conflicting morals are very satisfying for me :3

    March 11, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    The psychology in Carriers is pretty fun to drabble in, I will admit. I've never killed anyone or been in a situation remotely like theirs, so I usually just wing it. In the first draft Shay was rather cold and started off cold, not slowly developing as time went on, but then I realized she was behaving like a sociopath and it needed to be changed!

    No spoilers. I will neither confirm nor deny there's something going on under the radar.

    March 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 21 Reply

    I think you did a really good job of expanding a little on Jaycee’s character before her death. I mean, she hasn’t really played that large a role in the story, but it was nice to get a bit of a feel of her character before she died. I felt really bad for her. It’s a good way of making us see her death through Shay’s eyes – she didn’t really know this girl, as the readers don’t, but no doubt her death will have an effect on her anyway.

    Laylia sure is an idiot. Still, I’m curious to see what effect this will have on her, as she essentially got Jaycee killed. And the sad thing is, people like her really do exist O.o Still, I’m glad someone died. There was only so long they could go with just good luck, after all ;)

    March 12, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Yeah, really it was just a moment of "Well, somebody should have died by now. Who has no planned plotlines? Yeah her, I'll kill her." of course, I couldn't just make her drop dead in the middle of a battle. As the first Carriers death there had to be impact on both reader and characters, so I knew it would be right to expand her a little, even if it was in her final moments.

    March 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 10 Reply

    It sucks, the feeling that you're suddenly an outsider to your own group of friends but it was understandable. Marena already said so herself - they were all just shocked because they didn't really think Shay would do that. I'm happy she's there for Shay. It would make everything a little less harder to deal with. Also, as for the truth that they would have been Carriers anyway, I think it would have probably been a little easier on them because their families would have been infected too. I don't think they'd have to run away at that time - at least I think so.

    Anyway, I didn't spot anything wrong with this chapter. Great job!

    March 12, 2014 | Esca Skye


  • Reply

    Actually, since they would have ended up as the first Carriers anyways, they probably would have. They'd still be the scapegoats and what not, it just wouldn't have happened as fast.

    March 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Review Exchange:

    I love post apocalyptic stories, which it seems like that’s where this is heading giving the beginning and the summary. I’m pretty excited from that info alone to see where you take this.  I’m already noticing the weird factor of the main character and her best friend, at least in my opinion because I loved field trips in school. Anything that got me away from school and let me be with friends in a non-academic setting was fabulous to me. 

    You introduce two characters with ‘the sender was no other.’ Did you plan on doing it that way? Or was it accidental? I would suggest changing it up, just because it sort of interrupts to the flow. You also used ‘no other’ to present Shay’s boyfriend Carson. I have a few quirks where I reuse phrases and words, but once I became aware that I did it I started searching the chapter for them. I would say try to find a different way to present the characters.

    There’s also a bit of information dump as you present each character. It’s not a lot, so you can probably get away with it, but it’s always good to have a little information here and then a little there. Sometimes less is more.

    Anyhow, I like Marena, in fact, I liked her even more when she straight up told Shay that if she went down she was taking Shay with her. It was all playful and teasing, but I did sense a note of seriousness to it as well as humor. For awhile I’ve had this niggling feeling that this group of kids was chosen and how could they think, in a high security faculty that deals with viruses that they’d be able to get into a locked door that requires identification just by slipping past a worker? I feel something brewing. Like the workers knew they were supposed to allow this to happen or allow some breach to force them to be ‘carriers.’

    Poor Shay, being put on the spot by Carson saying he trusted her decisions and then bringing them into that place. I’m looking forward to seeing how she handles the guilt of it. And what a way to end the chapter! That was definitely a good choice. It makes readers want to continue reading. Great job!

    March 15, 2014 | G.S. Glow


  • Reply

    I will try to get to your story tomorrow!

    This isn't necessarily post-apocalyptic fiction. With most stories you see they started after the apocalypse while this one actually starts before... And I'm not saying it actually will end in the end of the world.

    Yeah, the sender was no other was quite accidental. I do find myself guilty of repetitive words sometimes. Thanks for pointing this out!

    I also understand there's an info dump, but I felt like I wanted to get all the characters out and paint a little bit of them for the reader. Some like it, some don't. I don't intend to really change it.

    Thanks for the overall positive feedback and I plan on getting to yours tomorrow.

    March 15, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 22 Reply

    It’s funny, when reading the last chapter I was really pissed off at Laylia but now I can’t help but feel sorry for her. I guess that means you must be a great writer ;) I found her reaction to Jaycee’s death and realising what she’d done very sad and realistic. I wonder how she'll act now that she essentially got her friend killed...

    I liked the reactions of the other group members as well, even though none of them knew Jaycee well she is one of their group, and so her death means a lot to them… I think it shows their humanity in a way.

    March 16, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Well, my intention wasn't supposed to make the reader feel sorry for her, but reading back over it I can easily see how it happened. Glad that Shay's bias didn't effect the readers. They still have humanity, don't worry, as they are only fifteen year old kids. They just have to lock it away to survive. Not all of them do that though, obviously. It's mostly just Shay and Marena.

     

    March 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    Review Exchange:

    This was a great opening. Better than your first chapter opening I think. I want to know what started in her throat and that kept my eyes focused on the words that followed. So, I like the changes in the eyes, especially since not everyone got them. I’m curious as to who was susceptible to the drug. I think the ones that had their eyes change are going to be the carriers, because they were resistant to the poison…their eyes changed as a result of their bodies fighting off at least some of the infection. The ones, like Cassie, who didn’t have their eyes change will probably die a slow death. Am I close or completely off?

    Apparently I was wrong. Cassie’s eyes changed to blue. I haven’t the foggiest idea what the difference is between the eyes. I’m assuming it has something to do with their chemical make up and how the poisonous drug bonded with their bodies on a molecular level. I’m curious to see where you take this aspect of it.

    I think the scientist responding the way that he did was unrealistic. Not that I’m a scientist, but in my opinion given the situation and experiment it would probably be classified, especially since they didn’t initially tell them they were going to be an experiment. It was intentional to get them in that room right? Anyhow, he also says it like they would know what he’s talking about. I suppose the crazy factor is down, but to me it just seemed unrealistic. Though I do like the turn of events in it being a population control virus and given the fact that he (the scientist) was apart of the group that made it, the wink seems appropriately sadistic.

    One out of nine seems like a pretty pathetic virus. All eight of them were just that lucky? Hmm. Aside from the nitpicking I did, over all this was a much better chapter than your first one, probably because the plot was starting to kick in. I’m looking forward to see where you take this. Good job!

    March 17, 2014 | G.S. Glow


  • Reply

    I might have cut this little bit of dialog out in editing on accident, but there should be somewhere in there where Shay asks the doctor why he's telling them all this because, like you, she doesn't think he should be, and he responds by saying "Because odds are, you'll all be dead in twenty minutes."

    Sucky virus? Just wait. I'm pretty big on no spoilers, but there's an explanation coming. It's not until one of the very final chapters, but it's there. The characters begin to speculate before that so you can too. (-;

    March 18, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 23 Reply

    I wonder how Shay will act as a leader from now on when one of them has been killed. I’m glad they took her body with them, it was heart-warming. Sorry, I’m a very emotional person, if you haven’t figured that out yet XD

    I’m fearing for Carson’s safety right now. I think either he or Marena will die at some point in the story, as either of their deaths would have a profound effect on Shay. At the moment my bet’s on him, because, well… The minute anyone says “I love you” in a story like this, they’re doomed! xD At least, that’s what always seems to happen, who knows you could surprise me :3 Anyway, the scene between them was sweet, appropriate for the situation but depressing at the same time. Before I wasn’t really that convinced that they actually liked each other, but this chapter has pretty much cleared that up.

    March 17, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    They do, but romance kind of takes a back seat in this story. There's not a lot of physical representation of their relationship in the story, as most of it is them flirting with each other via sarcastic remarks, but I try to find places to wiggle in a little physical romance between them. Shay is a very focused and determined girl- survival and leadership are her main focuses at the moment, so her relationship with Carson has been on the back burner for a while. He understands and has most of the same mindset as she does, but he also knows she needs him to keep her grounded and he'll take advantage of a situation if he can. Well, that was longer than I expected.

    I try not to be 'that' author that kills off every character that forms valid emotional bonds with other characters. Well, I try not to go out of my way to. It might just be safe to say nobody's safe in this story- not because I'm an evil author but because I want it to be realistic, and given their situation (not saying this will happen in the story) Shay could be sniped in the head and be dead before she hit the ground or other major characters suffer quick, unexpected deaths. I'm not saying that's what's happening in the story, as I'm very anti-spoliers, but I also want it to be realistic, and if I'm writing a fight scene where no fatalities seems very unrealistic, a character will get the boot.

    March 18, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 24 Reply

    I can’t say I find Marena’s theory about the virus killing stupid people that likely, as I can’t really see how a virus could work like that… Old and weak people I can understand, simply because they wouldn’t have the immune system to deal with it. Besides, like Shay I’m sceptical because not all of their group strike me as the sharpest tools in the shed :P

    There’s definitely something up with the virus, though. Especially because they all knew each other, and the Axel who also knew them became a Carrier too… But then, Cassie and that guy (can’t remember his name, her boyfriend) were infected, and they knew them… Hmm, but aside from that I can’t really think of something they all have in common :P

    March 26, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    At this point I'm just leaving everyone speculating! The end should tie a good deal of the questions up, but it will also provide more ones... The characters are left guessing now and then too, don't worry.

    Sorry it's taking so long to get back to Gifted! I'll try to get to it soon, but the rest of the week is looking awfully busy.

    March 26, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Hehe, don’t worry about it. I have a whole bunch of tests and exams coming up, so I probably won’t be able to do much commenting for a while anyway :)

    March 26, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Chapter: 34 Reply

    It was nice to get to "Carriers" after a while.

    The kids' situation is getting worse by the chapter and the crisis in this one was really nasty. What was very positive in this chapter, it brought out the other characters. Finally, I'm beginning to fully grasp what kind of people are the ones aside the "great trio". Especially Laylia got her five minutes in this chapter, but didn't gain my sympathy. Katrina, on the other hand, gave off a good impression - despite her easy-going nature, she was responsible enough to step up as a next leader.

    It was hm... not entirely nice of Shay to pretend she was dead, but at least she knows now, who should she groom to become the next leader. I was very relieved to discover, she was alive - after all, she's my favorite character. Killing off Marena was a good move, although I liked her character. Thanks to that, my fear for Shay got real - now I'm not sure if she's going to make it until the end of the book.

    March 27, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Glad to know I conveyed what I wanted to. With a group like the Carriers not everyone is going to get along- there's bad apples and assholes. Katrina's arc is a fun one to write. I often turn to her for comic relief but I also have made sure she's matured over the span of the story, and I'm glad to know it showed.

    Yes, it wasn't very nice of Shay, but she's more calculating than she is of a feeler. She sensed something brewing and went with it- it would have been clearer in her POV, but we would have missed a good chunk of the argument.

    March 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 35 Reply

    Oh? That slip-up about killing off a half of Earth's population interested me. However, it would be not plausible. The kids are on the run for too short. Many countries are hard to reach and infect the majority of the citizens - spreading the virus in the whole Africa, Arabic counties and China would take months. People there are not as mobile as the ones in the USA and Europe.

    Well, I think I'll refrain from complaining for know - after all it was just a teaser ;-)

    Anyway, Carson was very cool in this scene - almost like captured James Bond. It was great to read a chapter from his point of view.

    March 27, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Maybe I ought to reword that line. It will make sense eventually, I promise. But all those people aren't dead. That's all I'll say.

    Glad to know Carson's a 'cool' character. He'd be very pleased to know he was compared to James Bond. (-;

    March 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 36 Reply

    I wasn't expecting Shay to lose her leadership, especially to Laylia. By the way, Laylia became a very distinctive character. Moreover, it's very refreshing to have a villain in the Carriers' ranks - it makes the storyline even more interesting. I felt sorry for Shay, but I'm siding with Katrina on that Shay wouldn't be so eager to save Owen or anyone other than Carson. It's a brutal truth, unfortunately.

    Although Laylia's quest for power was an exciting development, I worry for Carriers. Shay was quite stern, but she is a far better leader than Laylia could ever become. Plus, I don't understand why anyone would willingly become a leader of a group, that is destined to die sooner or later. It's a lot of responsibility, tough decisions and guilt. Laylia is not ready for this.

    March 27, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    I like plot twists. There wasn't really many in the first eh, third of the book, but towards the end it's really been picking up. Certain events had to happen to move the story forwards, and Shay's fall from power was one. It had to happen. There's a quote out there that I think more authors should know about, even if it's just as sarcastic as a handful of my characters.

    "Your characters are like geodes. In order to know what they're really made of, you must break them."

    That's probably going to concern you about the wellbeing of my characters. There's still more to come, both good and bad. I will swear to secrecy.

    March 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 37 Reply

    Rescuing Carson with only Axel by her side may prove difficult for Shay. However, I think that the others may create a distraction in the right time. I suspect that Katrina will play her part in freeing Carson one way or another.

    At this point of the story, I feel sorry both for Shay and for the entire group. However, breaking them up was a splendid idea - earlier, I thought they'll stay together until the end. By bringing tension into the group, you made the plot much more believable and complex. It turns out that the government agents aren't the Carriers' only enemies. The enemies in their own ranks may prove even more dangerous than the outsiders.

    I wonder how Carson is doing.

    March 27, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    As I said before, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. I felt like it added a certain degree of unpredictability as well as complexity to the story and I'm glad to know the readers agree.

    It will certainly be a feat for the two of them to do it, but when Shay is determined, well, it takes a lot to stop her. Even if she has to get her hands bloody.

    March 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 38 Reply

    Shay's dream at the beginning of the chapter was a nice touch - it would be strange for her NOT to have any bad dreams when her best friend is dead and boyfriend kidnapped.

    Axel gains more of my sympathy, his character gets developed gradually and he becomes more 3-D ;-)

    I also liked weaving the fragments of the article from the newspaper - it was a fine storytelling device. Actually, the last few chapters were very entertaining and weren't monotone at all. Lots was happening, both regarding the everlasting fight with the government agents and the internal conflict. Thumbs up!

    March 27, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Axel's character was one that was introduced later, but he's been pretty well developed in my view. He wasn't a character that's just there, so to say. He has himself a fairly big role in the story- I often think of him as the male Katrina, as their importance is rather similar.

    We're nearing the end of the story, so there won't be any let ups in the pace for here. (-;

    March 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 39 Reply

    A new character! Jess is surely interesting, fierce. She may be an unusual addition to Shay's group (if all of them manage to pitch in). However, she's a bit crazy and creepy. I feel sorry for her though - killing her little siblings was utterly horrible. It seems that world went crazy since the outbreak of the blue plague. Executing the Carriers without a trial is... harsh, but killing people, who were harboring the "criminals" is pure bestiality. It's sad and shocking that a government of a civilized country starts doing such gruesome things.

    Carson is still being cool and my hatred for the government rises steadily. I wait anxiously for the final showdown. I hope that Shay and Carson will survive the ordeal.

    I believe that's enough reading for tonight.

     

    March 27, 2014 | Malgorzata Wyrwas


  • Reply

    Jess has a few screws missing, but she's been through a lot. (It's revealed later, I have profiles on most of my characters) She's a fun character to write.

    Yes, the country's descending into anarchy rather rapidly. It's only going to go downhill as more people die, unfortunately.

    March 27, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 25 Reply

    This chapter was a nice break from the heaviness of the previous ones. I actually laughed a couple of times through the chapter ;) I don’t think spitting in people’s drinks was a very good idea, though, as it’ll just draw attention to them and further fuel the theory that they’re nothing but cold-blooded murderers. But then, it’s good in a way because it would be boring if they made really smart decisions all the time :P

    Although, I did find it strange that none of the customers seemed to notice that the waitresses had all been replaced. Places like that would tend to have regulars, so I would expect somebody to notice. But then, I suppose they weren’t there for that long before the agent found them, so maybe someone would have noticed given time.

    April 9, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Spitting in the drinks would have been the most efficient way to infect the customers, so... Glad to know you laughed, that's what I was going for with this chapter. It's supposed to be light-hearted and funny.

    And yeah, overall I'd say they were only there for 45 minutes or so.

    April 9, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Oh, sorry I phrased that wrong. Spitting in the drinks was a good idea and a good way to infect people, I just meant that infecting a whole bunch of people from the same restaurant using that method wasn’t a very good idea :P

    April 9, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Ah, I see what you mean now. I suppose it wasn't the best, but they aren't famous for making good choices. :p

    April 9, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 26 Reply

    I liked Carson’s breakdown in this chapter. It’s good because it contrasts with Marena and Shay’s “do anything to survive” . To be honest I’ve more been seeing him as an extension of Shay rather than his own character for most of the story so far, but now he’s definitely beginning to stand out by himself, in this chapter especially :-)

    Sorry if I’m being whiny about this, but I think the agents/cops are being a bit slow on the uptake about their group. I mean, they are trained in combat, I presume, and yet they’ve only managed to kill one of them so far while the kids have killed/badly injured the vast majority of them :P By now they really should have learnt to use the element of surprise, instead of just barging into the place or talking directly to one of them as the agent did to Shay last chapter. For me, it’s a little unbelievable.

    April 20, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    No, I get it. I've been thinking of ways I could switch it up, and I think it would be more suspenseful if I end the previous chapter with the agent grabbing Shay or something. I'll look into it, but this is the final run in that follows this formula, I'll say that.

    Glad to know Carson's character development is really shining through.

    April 20, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 27 Reply

    Overall, a good chapter. It was sad, and to be honest I’d forgotten they still had Jaycee’s body with them, until now ;) I like how even though none of them (except Laylia) knew Jaycee, but her death has affected them all the same. Anyway, it was a really good scene overall – the grave digging and the speeches were good, and I think your descriptive writing at the start was very good for setting the atmosphere :)

    One thing I didn’t like, though, were the digs the kids were making at Laylia during the service. I mean, what they were saying was right, it was her fault, but for me it just seemed unrealistic that people would make those sort of comments during a semi-funeral. I know they don’t like Laylia and a lot of them aren’t particularly empathetic, but even so I think people just wouldn’t make jabs like that in this situation. For me I found that a bit awkward. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense, by the way. I’m not sure if I explained myself correctly.

    May 12, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    No, it made perfect sense to me. A lot of them were attacking Laylia, probably, to find a scapegoat, because that's the natural thing to do when a tragic thing like a death happens. Although they killed her killer, Laylia was at a large fault, but the group seemed to escalate her blame. It's in Shay's background and personality to lash out regardless, and Marena, when angered, lacks as much resolve as usual, and she's making jabs in the wrong places because of it. She's sarcastic, but Marena is the character who knows her place.

    I understand why it would be weird, but it wasn't supposed to be a good scene. I was going to trigger something in the reader, whether it be sadness over Jaycee's death, anger towards Laylia (or possibly the others) or something else.

    May 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Haha, Katrina's great. Her very..."interesting" personality really stood out against the boring guide. I can't tell what all the characters are like yet, but it already looks like they'll have their different personalities. Kyleigh was a little rude at times, like when she pushed Jaycee near the end, but she seems like a sensitive type. You said that Carson wasn't a troublemaker, but he looked like one. I think Shay is like the leader, because she was sort of the most responsible person there, and when she told the others to stop looking at her they did so.

    Overall, I think this chapter was very well-written and you have an original plot. I really enjoyed reading. It was rather confusing at first, but I read it again and it makes sense now. I'll go over some the things that confused me, but I recommend that, if you haven't already, read the whole chapter again because you know what you wanted to convey. That way you can clarify and fix typos. Anyway, here's my review, sorry if I sound picky:

    The first thing was at the beginning, with Shay looking at herself in the mirror. What was she upset about? Was it the fact that she was going to go to...wherever they went? Some kind of sciencey place. Why did they go on a field trip there? 

    After Shay read Katrina's second text, I didn't get that she was the one who whistled. It was probably confusing partly because Carson was then whistling after that. Oh yeah, speaking of that, you said "Thankfully Carson struck up a tune" but I didn't get why anyone would be thankful if he was whistling so badly. (Press the Ctrl and F keys at the same time and type in those words to see where it was.)

    Also, I didn't understand why she thought she was going to be busted when the group saw Laylia and Jaycee soon after that. Are they the type of people who would tell their teacher, or at least is Laylia like that?

    When Shay answered Marena ("That's definitely her, Marena.") I was confused about that because she answered it late, and it wasn't related to what Cassie was saying. I would probably say "Shay said belatedly" at the end of that quote, or something similar.

    After she said that, they saw the ever-growing number 10,234,044,098. But if it was ever-growing, how could it be a single number? And if it's the population number, wouldn't people be dying, decreasing it too?

    I would personally like a more detailed description of the glass structure. At first I thought it was a little display case with some kind of diseased specimen in it, not a proximately six foot tall glass box that they could walk in. What was inside, besides the screen?

    There were some typos, like when Carson said "weren't" instead of "aren't" near the end. Some of the paragraphs were indented strangely, and most of the dialog was written with a period at the end, like ["Uh, no." She said] as opposed to ["Uh, no," she said]. One last thing that made me confused was how you used Shay's name sparingly, calling her "she" more often, even if there were other female characters.

    Again, I apologize if I seem really picky or negative. I like the story already and, like I said, it's well-written and original. You have some good vocabulary, and I don't think there was any repetition. Besides what I talked about, I don't know how to describe it but I like the way you described everything. One example is when you said "She carried a look of displeasure" in the second paragraph, while the name of the story is Carriers. I like how you only have Shay's thoughts, and not anyone else's. It made the chapter more fluent.

    Also when they heard the touchscreen and thought there was a woman behind them. There was a good amount of tension as I wondered what would happen, and whether they would get caught. There was some humor too, like with Marena's Sergeant Smartass coment, so it wasn't too tense.

    I liked the beginning. It was attention-getting and thought-provoking, but you didn't dump too much on the reader. And the ending was nice too. A cliff hanger, making me wonder what the heck a BPv-01 is and how it will infect them, but it wasn't overly dramatic.

    That's all for this comment. Let me know if I can clarify on anything, or if you have any questions. I could also try making my comments shorter, if you want. Hope you found this helpful.

     

    June 7, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    First off, thanks for the comment, and I should be getting to my leg of the exchange later tonight. I tried my hardest to display the multiple personalities of my characters the best I could in this chapter, and for the most part you picked up on them. Carson's not a troublemaker, just a smartass. His mouth occasionally does get him into trouble, as does Shay's.

    Shay's just kind of a negative person- yes, she certainly was upset about the field trip, and I probably should have mentioned that, but I wanted to leave some speculation to the reader.

    He broke the silence, and really, the silence was beginning to make the characters uncomfortable. I can see how the earlier lines could become confusing, though.

    She assumed, hearing someone new speaker, that it was a teacher, not fellow classmates. Laylia wouldn't snitch unless it worked in her favor, and in this case, it wouldn't, as she was directly involved as well.

    As for the number, the world's death rate is lower than the birth rate at this point, so although people are dying, it is not at fast enough rate to balance or weigh over the births on a global scale, creating the need for... Well, you'll see in the next chapter.

    The box, for the most part, was empty, and I thought I made that rather clear, but I suppose not. A lot of things in this chapter were intended to not be directly clear, because the characters were confused and curious, and I wanted the readers to be for some aspects as well, but not all. I wrote it so they could picture it clearly enough in their heads.

    There's always a few typos I can't catch- it's inevitable, really. And I'm aware I use her name sparingly, but I read once that you only want to use a character's name 3-4 times per page unless interacting with another. I also do this out of preventing an old habit, for in the first draft of the story I used the names too often, and it became rather annoying.

    You didn't seem picky nor negative, no worries. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    June 8, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    What a great chapter! It was really intense, and even though this is just the second chapter it worked because of the way you built up to it. It wasn't confusing either. The plot is intriguing, it makes me want to know what will happen next. That scientist guy was pretty creepy, and his actions posed a lot of questions, answering a lot of them. But I'm still wondering what they will do, and how you're going to take up the space of the story. And Poor Cassie...what's going to happen to her?

    As I said, this wasn't confusing, though I won't leave you without some suggestions. The first one concerns your fourth paragraph. You talked about Cassie's eyes as well as Katrina's, which is likely something I would do as well but it could sound better if you only mentioned Katrina's eyes.

    Something that didn't quite catch was why Marena said, "Cassie is fine!" even though nobody mentioned her. What happened, and why would she say that? Was it because her eyes had changed color instead of getting rings?

    Speaking of Cassie, another thing that didn't make sense to me was "Cassie's small little hand." Besides being repetitive, why is her hand particularly small? I got the impression that she's a little kid, but surely that isn't the case.

    When the man gestured to the wall behind them, I found that unrealistic because he was projected on the ceiling of the glass box, and due to his being 2-D how could he point without making it look like he was pointing upward? I would make him say, "Behind you."

    I know you said that you don't like using "she" a lot, but I still felt that you could have used it at least once more in this chapter, when you were talking about Cassie crying. the next sentence said she, so for a second I thought you were talking about Cassie, but you were talking about Shay.

    I noticed that the thoughts in this chapter weren't in italics like they were in the last chapter.

    The internal dialog is good. It seems like a lot of people don't put in a lot of thoughts into their stories, and I like it when it's there. I like your characters' thoughts and dialog, because they're reasonable but not predictable.

    Everything was pretty well thought-out, too. It's good that you thought of why they didn't just use airborne viruses. The way it affects people in three ways was interesting and original. I look forward to finding out a bit more of how everything works, like how many people are involved in this population control project and how many Carriers there are. I think the plot and characters are going to be the best part, because they're very creative.

    On terms of what will happen in the future, it looks like anything could happen. You said there's action in here, and the man told them to not die while infecting others. Are they going to go along with it, and try infecting the population? I wonder how they would do it, and what would happen if they don't. I'm guessing there will be other people to act as Carriers, but they won't have much choice because the disease spreads through touch. Judging by the description I'm guessing that people are going to be hunting them down. It must be a grand adventure if it takes up such a long story.

    You know what would be really bad? If a grand majority of the population, like 95%, are immune or Carriers themselves. Then all the struggles will have been for nothing.

    June 10, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    Hmmm, the thoughts should be in italics. There is occasionally a thought I miss, but I don't believe I missed any in this chapter. This could be a potential glitch with SparkATale- I've been noticing my Word formatting hasn't 100% been carrying over recently.

    Yes, Marena said that because the rings did not appear in Cassie's eyes. I probably should have made that clearer.

    Cassie, at least in my mind, was always imagined to be a kind of small girl. She is the same age as the other characters, but shorter and more petite.

    Projected on the ceiling? He is on a screen in the corner, angled downwards, so gesturing in the general direction would be enough to give the characters a hint as to what they were looking at.

    I'm aware there's a few places I probably should use the names of my characters, but it's become more or less a blatant habit to use them sparingly. I do know which scene you're referring to though, and I do happen to agree with you there.

    I utilize internal thoughts and dialog because one, it's a good way to build character, especially for the ones that we can't get inside their heads. I've never written a chapter where my characters aren't actively thinking, and they all think differently, although some are more alike than others. I'm glad someone else appreciates a story with character depth- I find I tend to write what I search for in novels I read.

    We will meet more Carriers throughout the story, so I promise there are more. That is all I'll reveal, though, as I'm rather hesitant to reveal too much. I'm aware Carriers is pretty long, and yes, a lot happens, but it's not all with the world falling into the clutches of a plague and whatnot. There's action, certainly, and lots of it, but there is also a good deal of a psychological aspect, which you'll be exposed to very soon.

    Thanks for the comment again, and looking forwards to hearing more from you!

     

     

     

    June 10, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 28 Reply

    Sorry for taking a while to get back to this, I’ve been quite busy lately. Anyway, I liked the way the kids were acting. Once again this was a lighter chapter, I suppose you could say. It felt almost too light - I feel like something really bad is going to happen soon. This chapter was too peaceful, it’s like the calm before the storm :P Still, it was a good way to get in some humour. I laughed a few times when they were pulling Shay out of the truck. But, at the same time I feel like the weight of Jaycee’s death is hanging over them, with her grave in the background while they’re talking. I think her death has affected them more than they think, even though none of them were her friend.

    I did find it some of the relationship stuff a bit weird in this chapter. I don’t really see Axel and Kyleigh deciding to have a relationship or whatever when so much is going on around them. It seems a bit out of the blue to me. Especially from Axel’s point of view, as he only just joined them and killed someone and stuff. It might just be me, but that seemed a little weird. I think in a situation like the one they’re in couples are more likely to grow apart, then anything. Not that it’s unrealistic if they don’t, but I find it a little hard to believe that two people would suddenly become a couple like that, so soon after everything that has happened.

    June 11, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    This chapter's been up on the cutting block a few times, but it always ends up being saved. I get that it's unlike the usual chapter of this story, and I won't say anything about it being a 'calm before the storm', but sometimes a little lighter tone is good. I do need chapters to remind the readers that the characters are still kids.

    Which brings me to the point on the relationship- it's a stupid decision, and the characters in this story will make plenty, especially as they are young and scared. Of course, teens will be teens and hormones can't really be pushed aside, and although relationships are probably neglected (Shay and Carson, for example. Albeit, one of them is the leader of the group.) I wouldn't really say Axel and Kyleigh are a serious thing, anyways, such as Shay and Carson or Katrina and Owen.

    Not to worry about the delayed comment, either.

    June 11, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    What a dramatic ending. I certainly wasn't expecting something like that. I wonder what Shay's dad is going to be like. The story overall is exciting and there's plenty surprises. I'm not really a sci fi person but the story is still enjoyable because of the plot.

    I may be picky to say this, so feel free to take my complaints with a grain of salt, but my main concern for this chapter is wording. There were a few repetitive parts, like when you talked about "taking the words right out of her mouth." I like that expression, but you used it in the last chapter. Since it isn't used commonly (as far as I know) I would use it more sparingly.

    In the paragraph starting with "So if we..." you said that the doctor was grinning, and it could be more fluent if you didn't use the word "grin" in the same sentence.

    In another paragraph, starting with "I hope you..." the word "truth" was used twice.

    This is probably especially picky, but you said "flight or fight" instead of "fight or flight" once and when you said "Katrina was clinging to Owen like a child to his father's leg" it made me wonder whether Katrina was clinging to Owens leg, and why you said "he."

    The last thing is that some of your paragraphs are indented while others aren't. I choose not to indent them because they have spaces in between them but indenting them seems to be your style. Just make sure that the indents are the same number of spaces.

    This isn't a complaint, but what did Carson mean when he said, “Hey Laylia, if I put your opinion in one hand and spit in the other what do I get?”

    I like your use of humor in the chapter. It isn't overdone, but manages to make it so that the story isn't too dark. It didn't seem realistic to me when Shay openly swore at her teacher, or when the doctor swore (because he told them to watch their language) but it's probably just the stress of the situation they were in, or something else.

    The way Marena reacted was interesting. It added to the drama and intensity, and showed a bit of her character. I like how, while you do sometimes directly describe the Carriers' personalities, you're indirectly showing us what each of them are like through their actions. It's nice to know things like how Kyleigh isn't very fit and would slow them down, while Carson is the fastest, and how Shay isn't very strong. It helps the reader analyze the characters and see how they will fare in the future.

    I don't have a lot of analysis right now, because I still don't know a lot about the characters. Let me know if there's anything in particular you would like me to talk about, like my opinion on something.

    June 12, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    It's okay to be picky with my wording. It can irritate people sometimes, and I often search for repetitiveness, but I don't always catch it.

    For the Katrina clinging to Owen thing, it's often a common reference that children cling to their parents in times of fear or crisis, and I chose to use a male child as my example in my wording.

    I'm not sure what's the deal with the paragraphs, in all honestly. My formatting hasn't been carrying over 100% recently.

    And what Carson meant by that was, if he had a handful of spit in one hand and Laylia's opinion in the other, he'd have a handful of spit. It's meant to say her opinion is irrelevant, but in a rude and sarcastic way.

    I try to weave in humor whenever possible, and it usually shines in through my characters, as some of them (Carson, Katrina) aren't the most mature, and the main cast all have a knack for sarcasm. Shay has a swearing tick, and in her mind, she'd never see her teacher again, so she really couldn't care less about swearing towards her teacher. The doctor, however, certainly did so out of stress. I also wouldn't say Shay is weak, but Marena certainly has superior strength to her.

    And really, talk about whatever you like.

    June 12, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Chapter 1

     

    Okay, the synopsis had my curosity. Now that I'm reading, you have my attention. Definitely going to read onward! Like the way you went into the story. Very intriguing.

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Glad the first chapter captured your interest, as it's certainly the one I'd expect to be the one readers find boring.

    June 15, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Well, keep up the good work. You're writing is quite intriguing!

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    The plot thickens! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Chapter 3

     

    This is awesome! The action, the intensity, this is very good work you've got going on here.

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 4 Reply

    Chapter 4

     

    Another AWESOME CHAPTER! I was on the edge of my seat over here! This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 5 Reply

    Chapter 5

     

    Another AWESOME CHAPTER! AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! I'm LOVING THIS STORY!

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 7 Reply

    Chapter 6

     

    This is getting good. Really good. Your work is excellent!

    June 15, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 7 Reply

    LOVE IT! Despite their situation, they attempt to remain strong. You're invoking my emotions...INVOKING THEM! 

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Haha, I wasn't really intending this to be an emotional chapter, but evoking emotions from the reader is always a good thing.

    Thanks for the continued, and very positive, comments!

    June 16, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 8 Reply

    Chapter 8

     

    I'm like HOLY CRAP! I didn't know Shay had it in her! You go girl!!!!!!!!! You're really pulling me in here. I can't believe she did that!

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Then you'll be in for more surprises from Shay and the others down the road, then, but that's all I'll say. Although you seem to be in disbelief, it seems to be a positive reaction to what she did, no?

    June 16, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 9 Reply

    Chapter 9

     

    Another awesome chapter! It's either them or us mentality, fitting for the situation. Great work! Great work!

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 10 Reply

    Chapter 10

     

    LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! I LOVE THIS STORY! IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 11 Reply

    Chapter 11

     

    KEEP THE AWESOMENESS OF WORDS AFLOWING! LOVE IT! THE PLOT! THE PLOT! IT THICKENS! IT THICKENS!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 12 Reply

    Chapter 12

     

    Well....more trouble....I hope they manage to leave to leave the state and these annoying cops.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 13 Reply

    Chapter 13

     

    Okay......one thing: IT'S AWESOME! That's all I can say. Everyone manages to remain hopeful, partially, despite these harrowing circumstances.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    You're responding really well to some controversial parts of the book, some of which could really anger or turn readers off to the story, so I'm pretty thrilled about that. I haven't encountered those reactions from anyone yet so far, but I'm always expecting it.

    They aren't all hopeful, some just say things for the sake of others, especially the ones who hold more power in the group. They know if the others think they're hopeful, they'll remain hopeful.

    June 16, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 14 Reply

    Chapter 13

     

    The vividness of your writing intrigues me. I hope you write more books like this.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Carriers is actually the first in a planned series. It's likely, around 95%, going to be a trilogy, but there's a small chance for a fourth book. So there will certainly be more books like this from me.

    June 16, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Reply

    Well I can't wait to see the rest. If you could send me the entire story as a PDF so I can read it in its entirety since I'm not always at home with internet access. Yet, I always have some form of computer at my side

    I'd love that.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 15 Reply

    Chapter 15

     

    AWESOME! KEEP UP THE SUSPENSE! KEEP IT UP! LOVING THIS!

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 16 Reply

    Chapter 16

     

    Awesome! This keeps getting better and better and better. I'm never gonna stop reading this!

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 17 Reply

    Chapter 17

     

    Awesome! Another wondrous chapter, my friend. You had my curousity, now have my attention.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 18 Reply

    Chapter 18

     

    AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! This is just plain AWESOME! I must say, your writing is grand and I can't wait to see what I find next.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 19 Reply

    Chapter 19

     

    DREAMS.....dreams....how vivid are her dreams? Man, I can't imagine going through the pain Shay has undergone. I weep for her, I weep for her so much.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    She encounters some vivid dreams, and it's likely due to the trauma and stress she's under.

    I'm glad you're really feeling for the characters. Who's your favorite?

    June 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 19 Reply

    Chapter 19

     

    Wow....it would seem that for these nine, trouble seems to follow them everywhere they go.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 20 Reply

    Chapter 20

     

    Cops...cops...and more bloody COPS! These cops and agents are everywhere aren't they? Makes for good battle scenes though.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 21 Reply

    Chapter 21

    CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! I DON'T BELIEVE THIS! THIS CANT BE HAPPENING? WHAT THE HECK? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY'D THEY HAVE TO......

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    It had to happen sometime... Just be glad it wasn't a major character, although her death certainly evoked something out of you.

    I strive to maintain realism in my stories, and eventually, they were going to run out of the luck they'd been having.

    June 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 22 Reply

    Chapter 22

    THIS-BOOK-IS-AWESOME!

    You sir, are a very good writer. I applaud your skills.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 23 Reply

    Chapter 23

    Another perfect chapter. Well, death aside, a heartwarming end at least. I hope Shay and Carson at least make it out alive. I could never be in their situation and not break into one million pieces.

    June 16, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    No spoilers, it's a strict rule of mine. I'd love to reassure you, but I could either be lying or breaking my rule. Romance kind of takes a back seat in the story, and I wanted to show readers that it is there, although nobody is really directly focused on it at the moment.

    Oh, the characters are certainly breaking, and it will become more obvious the more you progress in the story.

    June 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 24 Reply

    Chapter 24

    Darkness, vivid imagery, fluxuationary circumstances and personalities....MY GOD, YOU ARE AN AWESOME WRITER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! OMG! OMG! THIS IS JUST GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!!!!!!

    June 17, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    The things you seem to like about the story will only increase, and even more so into the sequel. Thank you, by the way, for calling me an awesome writer.

    June 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 26 Reply

    Chapter 26    

    Another fight scence, another wondrous destruction of those that oppose the Carriers. May the Carriers forever prosper!!!!!

     

    I hope this story has an awesome sequel.... Nonetheless, I LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!

    June 17, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 27 Reply

    Chapter 27

    Good scene, I hope their cockiness has ended and no one else will die. I hated the fact that some of them died and how ruthless the government is. I hate that part, but I hope that everyone will still continue onward.

    June 17, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 4 Reply

    It's not every day your father points a gun at you. This isn't the most realistic story, but then again it's dystopian so I guess anything could happen. It was also very suspenseful, and I like how the characters reacted to the conflict.

    You mentioned the "Blue Plague" a few times, even though it was just called BPV-01. Am I missing something or did you change it to make it sound more sci-fi? 

    The word "barked" was used quite a few times, which is understandable but using synonyms would make it better-sounding. Yelled, scolded, et cetera.

    If I were one of the infected kids, I would probably look away from the cops so that they wouldn't see the gold rings around my eyes. And I know the other students aren't important, but I wonder what they were doing when a bunch of police officers broke in. Did they just stare, or what? And were there people outside, watching the police fire at nine kids?

    The ending was great, but a little confusing. How did the officers not hit any of them? I guess they could be like Mister Patrick Claire and not want to kill poor helpless kids, therefore intentionally missing. But Shay thought that they would want to kill them, so the thought might have crossed her mind.

    How's Cassie going to sacrifice herself? Weren't they about to run past the cars? Or am I supposed to wait until the next chapter?

    Something I really like in stories is dramatic irony. It's was intense, waiting for the cops to know what we readers know- that Shay and her friends were infected. You executed the suspense really well, especially when Shay was counting. Not much has happened physically in this chapter but I'm content because of all that happened in their minds. It's a mental roller coaster the whole way through.

    Shay's dad is a really nice person. I wonder if he's going to get punished for letting his daughter and her fellow Carriers escape. Maybe this is going to be like the Red Scare or the Salem Witch trials (you're American, right?) where everybody is accusing each other, even friends and family. I have a feeling that it's going to tear the whole nation apart, doing much more damage than the deaths of several billion people. If such a thing is possible. I still can't say who my favorite character is yet. Too bad there's only one major male character so far, which is Carson.

    June 18, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    The technical, medical term for the virus is BPv-01. It's dubbed The Blue Plague.

    Alas, Carriers is not really intended to be a dystopia. We face the world descending into it's end, not after, which is the common trope in today's literature.

    The officers hadn't actually begun to fire yet until the very end, and there was only a single bullet. It was my intention to keep the level of gunfire very low to lead into the next chapter, when it well... won't be.

    The Cassie question will indeed be answered in the next chapter.

    Yes, I'm American. I won't spoil any of that for you, I'm afraid you'll just have to keep reading.

    June 18, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 5 Reply

    Yeah, that sure is going to make it harder for them. I wonder how they're going to get things done, and I can't even think of any possibilities. They're going to have one heck of a time if they're avoiding officers for a good portion of the story. It's going to need a lot of variety too, something about each chapter that keeps it interesting. I can't wait to see what awaits the characters in the future, and the experiences they'll have.

    I had a hard time visualizing the setting. Sorry if I just wasn't paying attention, and it didn't ruin the story, but all I know is that it was hot, and there were concrete buildings. There's a bridge somewhere. Is it a city or suburbs, how many cars where there, and much space do they have? That kind of thing. Also, at some parts I had trouble with the relative distance and position between different people and objects. Feel free to ignore this suggestion if it's just me.

    I found it strange how you mentioned the noise of the gun when Marena fired it, but not the times before that.

    At the ending, that last statement seemed redundant, and I feel that it would be better as one of Shay's thoughts.

    While it was hard to picture things, I like your details such as the smell of Cassie's blood and the knockback of the gun. It's also good that the characters got hurt in the scramble. Otherwise the fight would have been dramatic at first but gradually get boring. And like the previous chapters, you do a really good job at keeping the pace where it should be.

    So Marena's father is a police officer too? Maybe he's going to be among the police that are about to shoot them, though that would be wishful thinking. I suppose another possibility is that some officers could be hesitant to wrangle with the Carriers, because they wouldn't want to risk getting infected. Of course, none of them would want to infect anyone, even one of their enemies. But they'll have eventually, won't they? It's going to be pretty crazy, and I look forward to reading more.

    June 19, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Chapter: 30 Reply

    Chapter 30

     

    A funny chapter, still a great story and I can't wait for more from you. These kids can never catch a break though, can they?

    June 20, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 35 Reply

    Chapter 35

     

    You sir, are...OMG! The imagery, the death, the killing, the one by one extermination...REALLY? Good story, but my God is it sick! You've evoked my emotions...good job!

    June 20, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Is it bad I'm slightly dissappointed that I didn't have a shocked, grief stricken comment after the completion of chapter 31? 

     
    Otherwise, yes, I am sick, and I'm glad Carriers is a rollercoaster for you.

    June 20, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 39 Reply

    Chapter 39

     

    My God, Shay's going insane! SHE'S GOING INSANE and I don't know if she's going to survive in the end. Shoot, I don't know if any of them will be alive in the end. Man, I can't believe this!

    June 20, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Someone HAS to survive to the end, otherwise we wouldn't have a sequel...

     
    She's having a little bit of a break from reality, but in light of everything she's gone through in the past day, it's understandable. Shay is an incredibly strong character, but even the strongest have to have breaking points. (They can always bounce back.)

    June 20, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 40 Reply

    Chapter 40

     

    Okay, Carriers that aren't even 10? COME ON! What's up with that? you sir...WHAT THE HECK MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    Jess's siblings were not Carriers. They were killed because they harbored one. Yes, that's fucking sick, and it's something I personally would never do, but it's my job as an author to present even the most barbaric sides of humanity when faces with a pandemic. It gives the book an edgy and raw feeling many authors are scared to take the step to create, although I fear you're hating the story now..

    June 20, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 43 Reply

    Chapter 43

     

    Okay...this just got interesting. I wonder what's going to happen now *turns the page*....

    June 20, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Chapter: 6 Reply

    Oh, that's how they were going to escape. Just charge through the traffic, and set fire to the city. I like how you built up the action and tension. First they were at the lab, thinking that all the talk about deadly diseases was boring. Now they're dodging bullets, and everybody's going to hate them. As I hoped, while not much happened this chapter has its differences from the previous ones as different things happened (like the fire) and new thoughts were provoked (like Carson being really protective and Shay doubting things).

    This might just be me, but I'm still having a hard time forming a mental picture of everything in my head. It's hard to tell sometimes whether they're facing the police or the other way, how much distance there is between them, and what the visibility is like/what they see.

    A lot of the story seems single-minded and focused on one thing at a time. This isn't necessarily bad, but in real life multiple actions happen at once. People do things while stuff is happening both in the background and nearby. This might help make if feel more natural (not that it doesn't already) and help with the visualization.

    I noticed that you used the presence tense in some places, with words like "now" and "this." It might be a thing lots of writers do, but I think it's more fluent if the whole thing is in one tense.

    Besides that, everything was well-written. For the same reasons as I've previously stated, such as pace and wording. You've also used simile ("The realization hit her like a speeding train") and metaphor ("Blood was a mustang in her veins as she ran"). I haven't been confused again so far as everything is pretty clear.

    That was a great ending, and I like the emotion in this chapter. Shay doesn't seem like a very confident person, which may affect her decision making in the future. But my guess is that she'll be the most humane, because she felt really guilty about shooting the cops and everything.

    I wonder who called the cops, and why. My guess is that there's someone among the scientists who developed the Blue Plague that is against the whole program, and is working to stop it.

    Another thing I'm thinking about is how they'll know when the population is down to the proper level. Maybe the technology is really advanced, and they have that capability. Otherwise the Carriers all over the world could accidentally wipe out way more than intended. And I'm already thinking about what will happen after the population goes down. Will it just go up again, will they kill the Carriers, take the virus out of their system?

    When Shay asked Carson about x-ray vision, it made me wonder whether the virus actually gave them powers. As a fantasy writer I'm kind of hoping it did, but this isn't fantasy. Besides, it would probably just be more endurance or speed, anyway.

    I'm thinking that my favorite character's going to be Katrina or Carson. Probably Carson, because we're the same gender. I like how he's both mature and has a sense of humor.

    June 20, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    Shay is actually a fairly confident person, but as I read over things I realized I portrayed her to have nearly bipolar episodes, which might be a fault on my own. What you've gathered from her isn't really what I've tried to put out, but I won't spoil, so..

    Hmm, most people praise the imagery in the story, so I'm kind of blindsided with this one. It might just be a collision with writing styles, as you said it's a very one-track style. I wish I had the skill to describe multiple things at once, but I can't, as I'd start rambling and would soon fill an entire page about descriptions of destruction.

    A lot of people enjoy Carson. He's not always the most mature, but he knows when he needs to be.

    June 20, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 46 Reply

    Chapter 46

     

    Okay, and overall dark book, but engaging throughout. I loved it even though it was the darkest thing I ever read. You made me laugh, cry, and scream with rage at multiple points throughout and I thank you, this book was the best fiction piece I've read.

    Great job sir! AWESOME STORY! VERY VERY AWESOME WORK!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see what happens after this. Will there be a sequel?

    June 21, 2014 | Stacey Luster


  • Reply

    It certainly wasn't my goal to make the book anything but dark- dark gets remembered, and I'm really happy to see reading was such a rollercoaster of emotions for you. it means I did my job well. I haven't actually heard of anyone crying from my story yet (some grew close) but would you mind telling me where I brought you to tears as well as where I had you screaming in rage?

    Thanks for the kind words, I'm thrilled you loved it. I'll read more of ADC soon, I'm sorry I've been a little fickle with my reviews there. Yes, there will be a sequel, and as I said, I'll post it as soon as I have a little more people awaiting it...

    June 21, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 29 Reply

    Oh, that was interesting. It’s good to get a glimpse of what is going on in the rest of the country. The Carriers are very isolated from normal society, after all, and I was wondering how they were coping with the plague elsewhere. I think it was very good of you to include this, it really adds an ominous tone knowing how much their bounties are and the state the rest of the world is in O.o Even if the plague is somehow stopped, the world will never go back to the way it used to be.

    P.S about Graceyn’s name – I can’t say I’ve ever heard it before, is it pronounced “Grace – en?”

    June 23, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    Yes, you pronounced it right. It's a fairly popular name in the States, but it might not be all too common where you're from.

    Glad to see I'm provoking your thoughts. Thanks for the comment, and sorry I took so long to respond. I kind of forgot I had a comment to respond to.

    June 29, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 7 Reply

    What a captivating chapter. It's easy to empathize with the characters and understand their emotions. Did you incorporate the five stages of grief? It looks like they're at the denial/anger stages, and are reacting similarly but differently. I don't know if this is right, but it seems like Shay is under the most stress, maybe since she's like the leader, because some of Carson's and Marena's anger was directed at each other. I wonder how the experiences will change, and whether their relationships with each other change.

    Before I get on to my review, I would like to apologize if my comments contradict what other people say, or if they seem strange. Your descriptions are good. It's just the positions of everything in relation to the rest of the story, if that makes sense. Please take my remarks with a grain as salt, if you aren't already, as I am just one person.

    One thing is the ending. It was great and made me think a little, because the good guys are technically bad guys. I just feel as though it could be more fluently connected to the end of the previous paragraph, like maybe if you had it as Shay's thoughts. That might just be me, though.

    There's a couple things that I was confused about (which isn't saying much, I get confused a lot). Why did they make Shay drive? Was she the only one who knew how or something? And she was injured from being shot, and traumatized after they had to set the city on fire. (I was surprised that it wasn't on the emergency broadcast, thought I'm sure there's a reason for that. I don't know much about emergency broadcasts.)

    Also, this is a minor thing but I thought I would mention it. I heard that if a guy like Carson can't have a healthy relationship with his girlfriend if he's mean to her friends, such as Shay's friend Marena. I don't know, maybe it isn't as much of a healthy relationship, or maybe it isn't always true.

    I like how you put the truck in the story. They have an arsenal of supplies to use, so we readers look forward to seeing how they will be able to solve various problems in the future. It's nice how their supply wasn't too useful, as they only had some bandages and painkillers.

    You do a good job at detailing, like Shay wanting to talk to someone and her trouble driving (not wanting to look at Carson, and having to pull over near the end). Things like the dried blood looking gross and the radio's noises are a nice touch too.

    While this story is rather dark, it's also interesting. There is a lot of emotion, and while not much really happened overall it feels like it. We now know that everybody's going to be after them now because they hate the eight teenagers. That'll surely continue to impact them mentally.

    I think that's all I have to say for this chapter. If there's something I haven't covered let me know. Also, would you like me to review at my own pace, maybe a few per week, or wait until you get some of your reviews in? I don't want to make you feel overwhelmed or guilty by getting ahead in our trade, but if you don't mind I could review more often.

    July 1, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    Yeah, I did try to do that. Psychological elements play a big part in Carriers, and although it was subconscious at first that I incorporated those elements, looking back later I realized I very much did begin to write the five stages of grief in the characters. You see some of them go through it in other events through the story later in time- some go through many in a small span of time.

    Yes, Shay's the leader. It's not really addressed until later, though. But she's certainly under the most pressure. Also, she was enlisted as the driver as she's the only one of them who's nearing her 16th birthday, thus giving her the most experience behind the wheel.

    Carson and Marena butt heads. They occasionally feel like the other encroaches on their relationship with Shay, so it brings them to clash sometimes. A lot of the harsh things said in this chapter were due to the pressure and other emotions.

    Yes, the story is certainly dark, and it won't get any lighter from here. Also, just feel free to review at your own pace, and I'll try to do the same.

    July 2, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 8 Reply

    That ending! "May God be with you." It's like they're blessing the enemy. Because of the ransom and everything it's getting harder and harder for our young heroes as they escape impending doom. This chapter is so far my favorite, because a lot happened (especially compared to the rest of the story) and the scenes were very gripping. The suspense was built up well, from the bathroom scene to the part with the part at the motel. It slowed down a bit when it turned to the part with the news, but it was still good.

    I have a few negative comments, but they're mostly me being confused about something, or a misunderstanding. One is Shay's thinking about how she didn't know the pain that their victims went through. If I remember correctly, which I do, they felt the pain when coming into contact with the virus. Unless...was that a different feeling?

    For some reason I was under the assumption that the infected die in only a few minutes or so, but I guess not. There must be a lot that I, as the reader, do not know yet on terms of what it's like to be infected. I wonder how long it takes before they die, and if there's any other symptoms. This made me think, how did they get the virus in the first place if it isn't airborne, and they weren't touched or anything?

    There were two phrases that confused me, such as this one: “'People are going to die whether we like it or not,'” Marena spoke up, her gaze on the vehicles that sped past on the interstate. '” It almost sounds contradictory, talking about how they're going to die but also making sure they don't die. I think the wording could be different. Also when Shay said, “If you got up at five every morning you’d understand.” She got up early but Carson didn't?

    I like how you included comedic relief again, like with the lady at the motel and how you said that the reporter stuffed the microphone into the doctor's face. It wasn't too direct, so it wasn't out of place in a story as dark as this one.

    You do a good job at making things naturally imperfect. It would have been upsetting if they found a nicer motel to stay at, or if they hadn't infected two people. Also the way Shay almost shot the lady when she was only firing a warning shot.

    There's a lot of surprises too. I thought Shay was going to kill the lady at the motel, her pulling out the gun was insane and unforeseen. I didn't think that she and Marena would infect two more, and that so many people would already have the virus in them.

    I'm curious about what Shay and her friends are going to do without the thirty dollars and two pennies. (That was a great detail, by the way.) Something tells me that they're going to turn in the less pleasant ones, like Katrina and Laylia, in order to get enough money. Betrayal would be an interesting aspect, I don't know how cliched that is. Maybe there's going to be a sort of haven for all the Carriers, like a base where they can hide and be safe from everybody else. I don't see how the main characters can survive the way they are for too long. 

    July 4, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    Once again, thanks for the comment, and I'll try to get in two or three on HA tomorrow. I don't have anything planned, but, you know, stuff always seems to come up.

    For the pain with the victims, although everyone encounters the initial pain, she was referring to what they go through as they die, which as this point, nobody knows about. So yes, the virus is meant to be kept at a sort of mysterious angle at this point in the story, don't feel bad about being confused or having negative comments about it.

    Shay got up earlier then Carson to get ready for school, as most girls do. And in that statement of Marena's, it was her stating that they would have to fight for survival, likely having to kill for it, and the disease would continue to spread. Make sense?

    No spoilers, you'll just have to keep reading. Otherwise, I'm glad this story provokes your thoughts as much as it does, and that you seem to enjoy it. I eagerly await your review of the next chapter, for multiple reasons..

     

    July 5, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 9 Reply

    This chapter was awesome! I can only assume that it will change the way the rest of the story works. Shay's friends are all horrified of her because she killed three people, so there will probably be a lot of tension. And when everybody finds out about that a fifteen-year-old girl single-handedly killed three government agents, people will likely fear them more. People won't hesitate to kill them like the agents did, and will work harder to do so.

    I'm not feeling very cynical about the chapter. Just something that was a little vague: How did the agents take Jaycee, and why only her? How did Katrina, Laylia, and Marena know about it?

    Regardless of what I've said previously, you do a really good job at descriptions. I have yet to be confused again. I also like the details, such as Shay struggling to get out of bed. It made things interesting, maybe a bit realistic and even funny.

    The plot was well done. It was good that Shay didn't kill all three guys at once. Well, not good for her, but it was good for the story as it kept the tension in the air. I thought one of the Carriers was going to get shot and die, like they did in Shay's dream at the end. The second guy almost got Shay, and Carson had a close call with the last one. I like how one of the agents said that he didn't need to touch Shay to hurt her, when Carson told them not to touch her. The fact that they were going to kill him first to torture her added a lot to the emotion.

    My guess is that they won't be able to make many stops anymore, only when they really need to. I thought they were out of money, but then Katrina had that twenty dollars I wonder how she got it, and if Laylia's really going to use it for herself instead of for the whole group. Like Shay thought, they're family now. Them betting on Shay and Carson was pretty funny, but such behavior could tear them apart in the future. I'm not asking for spoilers, by the way, just revealing my thoughts on the chapter. As always let me know if there's something I haven't covered or if you have any questions. 

    July 8, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    Glad you enjoyed this chapter. This is one that always makes me nervous, as it's the first of many where the characters make decisions that could turn the readers off to them.

    In the first draft, in a scene that was later cut, Jaycee slips from the room to go for a walk early in the morning and is taken by the agents. Katrina and Laylia heard her scream.

    As for all your questions, just keep reading. I like to try not to spoil.

    Sorry my response is pretty vague, I'm trying to get back in the writing zone at the moment. I'll try to drop in a few more reviews for HA tomorrow, or maybe tonight if my procrastination sees fitting.

    July 15, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 10 Reply

    I'm glad that I finally got to read this story some more. I would read more than this one little chapter if I had time. It was an enjoyable read, like a cooldown and collection of thoughts from the previous chapter.

    It was curious how Shay has clashing emotions, that part of her knew she wasn't a killer but she still wasn't convinced. I liked that, though it was confusing at times (for me), such as in the second paragraph. It felt like the different sentences had a tone separate from the rest, if that makes sense. In the first sentence it talked about how she didn't have mercy, but that she needed to kill the three men. Then the second sentence talked about how she was emotionless, which I thought was a bad thing because she didn't feel sorry for them. And then it talked about how the other Carriers were in awe...? Sorry if I'm talking nonsense, but if you want to show her mental strife it wasn't that clear to me, at first. Then again, that's probably how Shay felt (confused) so if that's what you're going for, cool.

    Another part I would change though: "Tension was still rigid in the air- she could sense their trust had been bruised, but bruises fade." I would make the last three words in a separate sentence, because they sort of contradict the tone of the rest of the sentence.

    I take back what I said about descriptions; you have a really good way of wording things, which I admire. There were three little things though that I would like to mention. One is that in the second paragraph you said "then" and "than" in the same sentence, in a way that I found awkward. It might seem less so if you say something like, "It was a different story now."

    In the fourth paragraph (starting with "She took in...") you wrote "hazel" twice and Marena said "owe you a thank you," both of which sounded peculiar.

    Besides that, it was very well worded. I like how you described what a killer is. The whole thing was carefully thought out as well, as shown at the end. I wouldn't have thought about why they chose Kansas would be the starting point of the plague, even though it was an international project (which makes me wonder if the scientists belong to any particular organization[s] though it probably isn't very relevant).

    It really does suck for them that they would have had to be Carriers anyway, because the blue plague would have come to them through an infected person. So many what-if questions come to mind, which helps to make it all the more engaging.

    July 16, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    This chapter is all about conflicting emotions, same with a good deal of the story. Not only is there a battle for survival going on but a psychological battle as well, and it creates two different playing fields. I want it to be messy and confusing, get a grip on what the characters are feeling, as it's harder to do with a third person POV. Glad it seemed to work.

    Another short response, so I'm sorry about that, but I'm in the midst of a busy period, and I'm about to blank out again for the entire weekend, so I'm not sure you'll be getting any reviews from me until next week. The end of this month is rather busy for me. I'm sorry to keep you waiting! I appreciate your feedback, as always, and I'm happy to see your enjoying the ride. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    July 17, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 11 Reply

    Since the next chapter is longer I'll only manage to fit in one review tonight, but I'll do another one in the morning. Anyway, this one seemed like one that won't be very significant to the overall plot, unless there was something subtle, or actions will be referred back to later. The action did make it interesting, as well as the fact that she infected two other people and the police are after them, even though it's nothing much new.

    One thing I don't completely get is why Marena was so excited that her best friend was injured, and what she meant by "suicide seat." Her excitement made me think back to the beginning, where you explained that Shay is turning into a warrior and how she wasn't the only one who was changing. It reminds me of Lord of the Flies somehow, I guess because they're kids and getting sort of wild though they aren't that wild yet in Carriers.

    This is another chapter where the italics were undone, so all the thoughts are in regular script, if you were not aware of that.

    Also, I was a bit surprised to find that Marena was also in the bathroom. It's a minor thing, but made me wonder if I skipped something.

    I like the way you showed the girls' anger towards them. Only a really furious person would charge at someone with a gun and yell at them the way she did. Your description is also really good, and the conversation Shay had with Carson, especially when she said that they were avoiding her like the plague. Another thing I like is how your action scenes have a mental aspect as well, so that they're not just punching and shooting each other but we also get to see what's going on in their minds, particularly Shay.

    I anticipate a lot of change over the following chapters. It looks like some of it is slower, some really fast. I wonder how much the other characters will be involved, and if any will die off, and what they will deal with in the future, though I'll have to read on to find out.

    August 4, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    Oh, Lord of the Flies. I could not stand that book. If, one day, some reviewer compares my book to them, I'm afraid I'll have to light them on fire... Just kidding. Don't take that seriously. I do see your point, though.

    Marena was in there too, probably spending time with Shay. Damn, why were my italics undone again?

    Also, a suicide seat is a nickname for the front seat. It's called that because the most people to die in car accidents are sitting in the passenger seat. Marena wasn't excited, per say, but mocking, as usual.

    Yes, change is coming, but I won't tell you what.

    By the way, sorry I haven't replied or reviewed any of your own work. These last few days turned out to be rather stressful, and I didn't even log on to SparkA. It's my plan to try to get some in later tonight.

    August 6, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 12 Reply

    Well that was definitely an intriguing chapter. To be honest I was a bit uncomfortable at first, but that made it more immersive. And it's not like you were promoting teenage drinking as the consequences are/will be pretty clear. Overall I really liked the chapter and thought that it was written well. It was unique in comparison to the other ones as there was a new setting and new thoughts/actions. There were more errors than usual, but probably because you were focused on the plot and I'm sure you would be able to fix them when editing. I'll go over some though so the review doesn't seem empty. I apologize beforehand if I'm being picky or weird.

    The first thing I thought was strange, though it may just be me, was how Shay "playfully" punched Carson. The word choice just didn't seem to match the tone of the surrounding text as she was pretty mad at Carson.

    Sometimes it seemed like parts of the chapter were redundant, though it isn't really a stylistic problem. One example is when Carson put emphasis on the word "awful," which is repetitive because the word was italicized.

    Another part was when it talked about how Shay messed with her hair, and then Carson told her not to, and after that it said that he noticed he was messing with her hair. We were informed of what she was doing three times, and it wasn't that big of a deal-you worded it differently-but if you just have Carson's dialogue it would be less repetitious and stronger.

    At the end a similar but different scene occurred, where Shay thought, Because she thinks it's funny, and right after that the girl said funny as well ("Wow, you're sooooo funny"). It's like she read Shay's mind, kind of awkward.

    The last redundant part that I found was the last sentence: "Chaos erupted moments after." It's kind of obvious, and the way I see it omitting that statement could make the end seem more abrupt and dramatic.

    I'm starting to get confused between Katrina and Kyleigh. Katrina's the wild one and Kyleigh's sensitive, though maybe it's because both their names start with the letter k, as well as their both being blonde and more playful than intelligent. This is just me, I'm not good with names, so I would only consider this if other people are confused as well.

    Now what I'm about to say isn't really criticism but more of an observation. Most of the story seems formal but at times the narration seems to be slightly from the perspective of Shay, and I don't know if this is a typical thing. At times there are a few direct observations, opinions, questions, swearing, and words in the future tense, that aren't inside quotes or italics. It isn't really bad, because it makes the reader feel more immersed and adds to the humor, but I thought I would let you know just in case.

    While there are errors the rest of the story, which is most of it, seems carefully written, and the plot line carefully thought through. Not only is it realistic, but it is also benefited by the little strategic things like Shay staying in the state because, while it would be better to get as far away from the cops as possible, she wanted to stay in familiar territory. The whole chapter was pretty original, or at least it had an original touch to common things, and the end was very tense. I was like, No, Shay! Don't drink! Don't fight with Carson, don't hit the girl, no!!! Oh, you did it anyway... Well, yeah.

    That's it for this review. Let me know if there's something I missed or if you have any questions.

    August 4, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Reply

    I apologize for you being uncomfortable, given the underage drinking. I never intended to promote it, and I'm glad you saw that I wasn't. I'm aware it might be something not all of my readers are comfortable with, but as you said, the consequences are clearly illuminated.

    Katrina isn't blonde. She actually has dark reddish-brown hair. At the moment, she's not much of a primary character, but her role becomes more defined later on and it will be much easier to tell a difference between her and Kyleigh.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. I can see the redundancies, now that you point them out, and I can probably go back and tweak them. Don't worry about leaving empty reviews, I've never once encountered once of yours that has come close to it!

    August 6, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    I have to say, your story reads as professional from the moment you read it to the second you put it down. A simple lab trip that escalates into unintentional infection is a great plot to go on, and I'm sure you've managed it quite well in the upcoming chapters, but I've only read the first pair so far. It was paced well, you gave all the characters personality traits, and you played on the emotions of suspicion and dread remarkably well. I'll be sure to keep reading this.

    August 6, 2014 | Danny Power


  • Reply

    We already conversed some in PM, but thank you for the comment. I focused a lot on creating contrasting characters in this chapter, so I'm glad it showed. It's also nice to know I've written a professional-sounding story although I've never once been anything close to a professional writer. Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts as you read on!

    August 6, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Wow, this was an interesting start to the story.  I like how perfect the wording is and how you described Shay. She seems like a regular goody-two shoes but also is feisty at the same time. I like the display of her. Katrina seems like a bitch, if that was what you were going for.

    How they all managed to release an infection was really creative. I hope to read more. Good job on this story.

    August 7, 2014 | Lizzie Striker


  • Reply

    I will get to your story soon, I apologize for only now just responding. My life has been hectic and stressful, and I've been sick on top of that- I haven't even come online in about a month.

    No, I wasn't going for a bitch with Katrina, she's more of a rebel, Shay's kind of the bitch, but to each their own. Thank you for the comment.

    September 13, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 13 Reply

    I'm glad I finally got the chance to read this chapter. It was so intense and suspenseful, and I kept thinking that one of them was going to die. I wonder how they're going to do things from now on. They probably won't decide to risk going in a public place again, but that seems impossible. Hopefully Shay and Carson will meet up with the others easily so they can be reunited again.

    I still feel bad saying bad things abut this story, but there are a few of suggestions I have. I really like the emotions in this chapter, like how even Carson and the police officer were scared. Most of the time you do a good job at showing instead of telling, but there were some spots like with Carson and the officer that could be described less directly (in my opinion). You could also make it part of Shay's thoughts, so it would look more natural.

    Two other things that I thought were a bit direct and unnecessary was, like with the theoretical storm threatening to break "and at that moment, it did" and when Shay was waiting for the bullet "that never came." I'm sure other people would be fine with them, it just bothered me because it was obvious that the storm broke and that the bullet didn't come.

    I like the little details, like Shay rather being shot and dying instantly than suffering for days under a tree and waiting for Carson to be all romantic and say that he loved her. Also when she thought of licking Carson's hand, that made me laugh and served as comic relief. It's nice to get into the characters' heads and hear their thoughts like that, especially when they're weird.

    The end was cool too, where Shay was sorry about the cop's death even though he wanted to kill them. It's like she came to the realization that there's no bad guys, just two sides fighting for their own safety. I wonder if this will impact Shay's future decisions the plotline.

    September 28, 2014 | David Boyce


  • Chapter: 30 Reply

    I’m pretty sure this is where I was up to. I definitely remember the last chapter, anyways :P

    I love how you built up the atmosphere of this chapter. At the beginning it was a pleasant read, I enjoyed reading about their antics with the canoes and was surprised about Shay’s birthday. It seemed like another light chapter, but then when the water patrol guys appeared the tension started building. I was holding my breath by that point, hoping they wouldn’t recognise them or arrest them… Anyway, overall it was a great build up to that ending.

    I can’t believe Marena is dead (if she is dead… But from the sound of that injury with the oar and the nature of this story my guess is that she will be). I thought she or Carson might die but I pictured it being at the end, not in the middle. Anyway, it’s a great (but sad) twist if she is, and I liked how you described Shay as the events unfolded, especially when she thought Marena was too strong for the water patrol guy to beat her. And the irony when she said: “I might die, right here, on a goddamn river. Nothing glorious, heroic or brave about that” right before it happened. Anyway, overall this was a great, very emotional chapter. The description of Marena’s fight was very vivid and tense and I’m holding my breath for the next chapter. I think she’s probably dead but there’s still a bit of hope inside me :(

    Here’s some typos I found:

    “singing the waivers under aliases”. That’s a unique method :P

    “water patrol’s for reasons unknown” I don’t know, maybe this is just me, but usually I would say “unknown reasons” instead of “reasons unknown”. Although, that phrase does remind me of a song I like, and now I’ve got it stuck in my head xD Sorry for rambling.

    Also, you repeated the phrase “watched helplessly” at the end, I think it would have more impact if you found a different way of saying it the second time :)

    December 28, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    I think this is where you left off as well.

    I won't say anything about the nature of Marena's fate, because I always want you to read on, but... You've said the right answer in there somewhere. Is she saved by Shay or does she die? Well, I won't tell you!

    Thank you for catching those typos, I will warn you now, these final chapters are the ones that have been edited the least, so are the roughest. You're probably going to catch a lot of those. Thanks for the comment as well.

    December 29, 2014 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 31 Reply

    This chapter was amazingly sad :( Shay’s emotions were just… Ugh, I can’t even describe them xD You did a great job with this chapter, I’m very impressed. I think her reaction was very realistic, especially the way she just kept on trying to get to Marena’s body, even though she was probably already dead. I wonder what will happen with their group now. One of their leaders is gone, and Marena meant more to most of them (except Laylia) than Jaycee did… I’m really curious to read on and see what happens. I feel like the story could go anywhere now.

    Anyway, there was one thing that bothered me with this chapter. Wouldn’t Marena’s body have floated to the surface, unless there was something tying her down? I’m not quite sure of the science behind it, but I know dead bodies float in water (although, it might take a while for it to happen in which case it’s probably okay). Still, Shay was acting like she’d stay at the bottom of the river forever, when she’d eventually float to the surface and be found by a camper after a while.

    Here’s a typo I found:

    “causing ever fiber in her body”             &

    January 2, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


  • Reply

    This is indeed a crucial point in the story, and I'm glad you liked it, as sad as it was. Shay's reaction was rewritten multiple times.

    Bodies would float after a period of time, yes, but sometimes first they sink. It is not always a sink or float situation. Shay was behaving in that way because of her immense grief, but it was a potential truth that her body could get entangled in underwater roots, rocks, or reeds and never resurface.

    January 8, 2015 | A . Nonymous


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Hey there--I really like your story so far! The idea is GREAT, and I love the way it started--the one mysterious line, and then jumping right in to the teenager's point of view. Very nice hint of foreboding, it really makes the casual tone later on help build up the suspense when normally it would have been a bit boring. 

    Couple of technical issues: It's "would have", never "would of". The line about excitement dancing in her fingertips is kind of weird, I'm not sure what you're talking about--I would probably change that. Also, I don't think you have to change anything on this, but just as general advice, in a story like this, no one really cares what the characters look like or what their eye color is. The writer will usually save it for later on or else leave it out entirely if it isn't important. 

    Keep up the good work! I'll keep reading and be sure to make a note of anything else I find. 

    January 18, 2015 | Catherine Rose Hillin


  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Hey there--I really like your story so far! The idea is GREAT, and I love the way it started--the one mysterious line, and then jumping right in to the teenager's point of view. Very nice hint of foreboding, it really makes the casual tone later on help build up the suspense when normally it would have been a bit boring. 

    I do think the thing about playing hide and seek is weird, but if you're committed to it, have her just jump in without thinking (like most high schoolers would do if they had a chance to do something stupid and childish) instead of thinking it over. If kids like that took even one second to actually THINK about playing hide and seek in a science lab, they wouldn't bother doing it at all. 

    Couple of technical issues: It's "would have", never "would of". The line about excitement dancing in her fingertips is kind of weird, I'm not sure what you're talking about--I would probably change that. Also, I don't think you have to change anything on this, but just as general advice, in a story like this, no one really cares what the characters look like or what their eye color is. The writer will usually save it for later on or else leave it out entirely if it isn't important. 

    Keep up the good work! I'll keep reading and be sure to make a note of anything else I find. 

    PS: Posting your copyright is unnecessary. All of these stories are automatically protected by US copyright law, and no one's buying that you actually registered the copyright under the name A. Nonymous (are you married to that by the way? Because come on, you can't publish a book under that name, and no one cares what your name is). I used to do that too, but again, pointless, and again, nobody cares. Just letting you know. 

    January 18, 2015 | Catherine Rose Hillin