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Mary Poppins 2019 (cash grab edition) review

So this is a weird one for me because I don’t usually review kids movies, I don’t usually watch kids movies. But Mary Poppins is a classic from my childhood so I felt I had to watch just to gauge how desperate and depraved the industry had gotten. I wanted to know how absolutely out of ideas they are and they didn’t disappoint. There isn’t a single new idea to be found.

Where to begin with this movie? How would I describe it in one word? Uninspired? Pointless? Flaccid? Cynical?

Ok that’s a lot of words.

I didn’t expect much from this but I expected to be pleasantly surprised since this is a weird franchise to bring back. So you know right off the bat the movie is back either because they have new exciting ideas or want to be more true to the books or they’re just desperate for cash and want to dig up an old movie to milk for nostalgia.

Imagine my shock that it’s the latter.

The first thing that shocked me was the fact it’s not a remake it’s trying to be a cannon sequel. I didn’t know whether to be mad or impressed by the chutzpah it took to do that. It’s like bringing out a sequel to the bible. You can’t even be mad, you’re just stunned someone would have the gaul to do that.

So I’m like ‘ok ok lets just see what happens’, then proceed to be bored for two hours as the movie is basically a shot for shot remake of the original but worse.
First off this movie just confuses me because Mary Poppins just shows up, but only specifically for this family and no one questions why and why she hasn’t aged more than just mentioning it off the cuff, seriously is she a vampire? Is she satan? With a different director this could have been a horror movie. A weird magical being comes down from the sky to be alone with this guys kids.

The casting is ok I guess, I mean Julie Andrews was practically perfect in every way and honestly Emily Blunt kinda comes off as a bitch. I don’t know how Julie Andrews did it but she was stern but never came off like she thought her shit didn’t stink.

Mentioning Julie Andrews is weird because the movie has a bunch of really weird and bad cameos, notably from Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep? Julie Walters is of course in every English kids film now for reasons. And I know Julie Andrews is still alive and they must have asked her to come back in a cameo but she had to have turned it down and I can see why. The Angela Lansbury cameo is weird because this movie did seem like it was ripping off Bedknobs and Broomsticks a lot which is my number one childhood movie and if they do a shitty cash grab remake of that I will burn disney down (in minecraft).

Because there’s this shitty singalong bit where they’re having a bath and they go under the sea for no particular plot reason, it’s just an excuse for a song and some cg. Whereas in Bedknobs they actually needed to go under the sea. It wasn’t an excuse to use the cgi budget.

Meryl Streep is the weirdest cameo because just why? What kids movies is she famous for? Sophie’s choice? It’s just a weird choice, I guess it’s just because of her singing in Momma mia maybe, I dunno. It just felt really out of place and her scene is just a crappy remake of the floating house scene in the original. And it was totally irrelevant to the plot.

Because they have a magical trip into the painting of this vase which is a crappy remake of the scene when they enter the chalk painting in the original. But then they chip the vase and have to get it fixed by Meryl Streep who can fix anything apparently. And the reason they need it fixed is because they need money or they’ll lose their house to the bank or whatever. So she fixes it but it turns out its not worth anything so everything up to that point in the movie is just a waste of time with shitty broadway musical interludes with the most forgettable songs ever.

The plot couldn’t be more basic; ‘Oh no evil white male bankers trying to steal my house, we need money to save the house’. I mean is there an older plot? I could think of like ten movies that did this better right off the bat.

My thing with this movie is it’s sort of trying to copy the appeal of Paddington, the thing with that though is Paddington had never been done on the big screen I don’t think. His re-imagining was necessary and the movies were fun. The stories were basic but the characters and jokes were good. They’re both enjoyable films. But I feel like this movie just exists to capitalise on that, it exists not because someone knew it needed to happen but because someone knew they needed a new boat.

It’s not a bad movie, it’s just not good enough to exist. It just ok, and just being ok doesn’t warrant a remake or a reboot or a direct sequel. If you’re going to dig up the corpse of a classic you better make that shit shine and they didn’t, everything about it is just bog standard and lazy and by the numbers which is just frustrating. It’s cynicism leaps off the screen and when you see through the bright light you see the rotting corpse of the original movie being puppetted around on stage by greedy soulless blood sucking producers who have no tact and no respect for a classic movie and would probably dig up their mothers to pluck out her gold fillings.

The movie as a whole from the songs and the acting and the accents feels like a school play or a broadway adaptation of the movie, it doesn’t feel cannon to it’s own world. It feels cheap, it feels like an imitation of the original and it stinks. It’s like they tried to cargo cult the original movie, the name is there, the settings and the music but the spirit and the magic that made the movie what it was just isn’t.
I mean they replace Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep character with this schlubby guy who’s a ‘Lamplighter’, oh bro that’s so creative, that’s nothing like a chimney sweep. And of course there’s a part where all the lamplighters dance like the chimney sweep scene but less good. I don’t know if I can’t like anything anymore but I remember liking the dancing in the original and the dancing and songs just sort washed over my face without really registering in this movie.

Don’t waste your time on it and show your kids the original movie, because it still has the same magic this movie totally fails to recapture.

Last warning hollywood/disney; Stay away from this angry gymcel manbabies childhood!
If you come for the goonies or bedknobs and broomsticks all bets are off! (In roblox)

 

Resident Evil 2 Remake – Review

Yeah it’s good.

Fin.

No ok yeah after Spiderman ps4 sucked (despite making tons of cash) and Red dead 2 was the biggest snorefest I’ve ever had the misfortune of wasting my time on (despite making boatloads of cash) I really thought this game would be the threefer and suck also. Or at least just be disappointing.

I was sort of let down and wary after I heard they were ditching the fixed camera, because I loved the resident evil one remake, it’s probably one of the most perfect survival horror games ever made. It added really great stuff and just polished this amazing, iconic game.

So when I heard the remake of 2 wasn’t following suit I was a little bit put off. But I’m pleased to say I was totally wrong. I really loved the re-imagine gameplay, it’s really fun an addictive (I’m saying this after having played it through four times back to back on hardcore and I could happily sit down to another round right now). I thought the shooting would be too easy because of the resident evil 4 style camera but they add elements where its fun but still challenging.

Some of the biggest criticisms I’ve seen are the balancing. Because to make it harder to balance the better controls, head shots aren’t an instant kill anymore some zombies just wont go down. I must have used ten pistol shots at least half to the head the guy still gets back up, it’s insane. But at the same time, it’s thrilling, this is how it should be in a zombie apocalypse, zombies are supposed to be bullet sponges, if they weren’t it wouldn’t be scary. Also the fact that they’re so detailed and their animations are so good there actually aren’t that many in the game so if you could down them with a single head shot or even a single acid round it would be way too easy and not scary at all.

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I love the game, I love the balancing and I love love love it when you get that perfect head shot and their head blows up haha.

The first thing that struck me though in the demo that got me so hyped was the facial capture and the acting talent. It’s just so refreshing to have this game look so good and be done so well. It’s almost a draw back in some ways because it’s such a lonely game at times you want more character interaction and more human elements. It’s a game split in half so a lot of the time you feel like it can be too short and we don’t get enough character drama.
I know these games aren’t really known for that but I think it really needed that with the step up in visuals and animation. I feel like they really did try to do that but were limited by the source material.
Because if you really think about it resy games aren’t that complicated (aside from the convoluted plots). Shoot zombies, solve puzzles, survive.

The only real criticism I have of the game is it left me wanting more. I finished the game and I immediately wanted more. And I hear there’s going to be free dlc although I’ll believe that when I see it since I had to shell out £2.50 to get the original soundtrack, which was so fucking worth it haha.

It made me wish Resident Evil 2 was a bigger better game to work from. I wanted more, I loved the lab section and I wished it had been bigger and more expansive live the police station. The sewer section is the best sewer section in a game ever. Dark, dank, disgusting and foreboding, it was great. It was like being in hell for me haha.

Another criticism I see is turning Mr X into a radial enemy. Because in the original he just appears for short section but in this when he appears he’s just there in the police station constantly looking for you and it’s pretty fucking terrifying and it adds an urgency into the game immediately and the relief when you finally slip him is great.

Would I recommend this game? Hell yes and I recommend playing it on hardcore, because that’s the way it was meant to be played. You have the original saving method using ink ribbons and your ammo is limited as hell and it feels intense. Standard was way too easy and you have so much ammo by the end of the game it’s a joke. So if you want the genuine resident evil experience play it on hardcore, otherwise the game just gets and you have like a million shotgun and pistol or grenades and you annihilate everything. Hardcore is how it’s supposed to be.

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I loved both the campaigns but my favourite was definitely Clare’s because I liked her weapon set better and playing as Sherri was a nice change of pace, whereas playing as Ada in Leon’s campaign was just annoying.

Clare just gets the best guns. With Leon you get his pistol which is ok and you can upgrade it but it’s not that accurate or powerful. Clare starts off with this cap gun revolver but later you find this beast of an automatic that has a laser sight and an extended mag. So it just shits on Leon’s pistol. More accurate, more powerful, better fire rate.
He gets a shotgun which is fun and looks great but for some reason it’s useless against lickers but decent against zombies. It takes like four headshots to killa licker. Clare’s grenade launcher kills them with like one shot. It’s not so good against zombies but it’s like an instant stagger against bosses.

Leon then gets a desert eagle which is a good magnum, probably the most powerful in the game and he can make ammo for it which Clare can’t do, she can’t craft magnum ammo.
But Clare gets an smg instead which is way better for bosses imo. Leon’s magnum packs a punch but so many of the bosses are about hitting critical points and the amount of damage is negligible and I found it’s way easier to bullseye those spots with a rapid fire weapon over a big desert eagle which is pretty accurate but you can still miss. The smg is almost always on point.

Also Clare gets a magnum as well so Clare actually gets an extra gun than Leon but she can’t craft ammo for it.
resident-evil-2-5

Their final weapons are a toss up because she gets this electric gun which is pretty good and he gets a flamethrower which is really useful against the enemies later in the game but for some reason it’s useless against bosses. So again I have to side with Clare’s weapons, they’re just more useful and versatile and fun.
Although that shotgun is fun, it just didn’t pack that much of a punch.

Sorry got a bit spurgy about the guns there haha. But yeah, really enjoyed it, in fact I want to get back on it now haha. I really hope they remake resident evil 3 next, that would be amazing considering how well they did with this game.

Overall I think the game is limited by the original, I think a lot of people me included are suffering from nostalgia goggles and the original game really doesn’t give you that much to work with. It wasn’t as good as we remember. The story is light and kind of dumb, characters are eh. And the game just feels wanting for a modern title. But regardless I enjoyed it, it was a fun romp. But is it the best thing since sliced bread, not really, overall it was good, not amazing, but worth a buy for sure. Compared to all the shit that’s come out recently it really is a cut above.

Yeah go out and buy it.

See you…

 

What Lies Beyond Smoke by Ben Burns

 Not really much I can say about it, kind of just went over my eyes. Its basically a really drawn out creepy pasta and thus I think it’s pretty diluted. But at the same time the story is sort of ethereal and just dropped into our laps without any real ceremony, boom dead sister, boom cigarettes summon a magic cheesy anime slenderman. It’s not so much a story as just a bunch of stuff happening in quick succession.

The chapters are pretty short and they’re fairly easy to read, if a little mechanical in their delivery. It reads almost like a journal because it’s very matter of fact and even when he’s talking about falling down the stairs it sounds like he’s describing tying his shoes. some spelling and grammar errors but that’s pretty irrelevant when it comes to inkitt, 99% of people don’t have the professional editors to pick over their work.

It’s not bad, just kind of middle of the road, I don’t know how old you are but it seems like something a teen would write and if that’s the case it’s a solid effort, it has the makings of something fairly interesting. It kind of reminded me of like death note or silent hill. I don’t know if that was your intention or if you’ve seen that show or played that game but it might be worth checking them out because they could have the elements you’re missing to really nail the atmosphere down.

What Lies Beyond Smoke by Ben Burns

 

Hitman – An Autopsy

Ok so I bought this game as a digital copy because it was on sale, so it was like twenty quid for the whole lot and I felt like doing a review just for my own gratification. Just to sort of get my thoughts on it straight, put them to paper to just be rid of them.

So I’m a massive fan of the Hitman series, played every game and watched all two of the films and I was actually disappointed that it didn’t turn into a franchise or get any sequels. I liked the Timothy Olymphant movie and I felt it had some potential but honestly I just like it because I like the series. The reboot was awfully lackluster.

Honestly there really was only three decent Hitman games, the first one I played was Hitman 2 which was amazing and got me hooked on the series. Contracts is like the best of Hitman remaking some of the levels from the first game and Blood Money took it to the next level with the accident kills and the newspaper reviews. The first game is sort of a trashy mess of good ideas and shitty movie references. It’s fun but it doesn’t really come together in any coherent way and it’s terribly dated. Absolution is a tone deaf paint by numbers hitman sequel which gets close but doesn’t hit the mark and then there’s this.

Hitman as it’s calling itself is probably the most limp-wristed reboot of a franchise I’ve ever seen. It’s going for this whole like mystery tv show feel with it’s episodic levels and little photo realistic cutscenes supposed to pull you in but in all honest the storyline of hitman has never been the draw of the game. I mean having a story in a hitman game is kind of difficult because he’s just an assassin with not a lot of connection to the people he’s killing because that would defeat the purpose of hiring an assassin.

So all the story is peripheral and kept sort of in the shadows, out of the way of the game. I like that it didn’t try to retcon his backstory but I also hate that this is a reboot at all. I mean I get what they’re going for and it would have been amazing if it had worked out. Basically a playable Hitman Tv show. Pretty much sounds like the most awesome thing imaginable but it’s just not there.

I mean the game failed outright and the creative team as far as I’ve heard have been liquidated and there probably won’t be a season 2. Which is another big problem with the ending because there is no satisfying conclusion because it’s being handled like a tv show and not a movie. All the while people expect to get a full package and all they get is what feels like an unfinished mess. They were going for this slow boil that had no pay off.

I totally get the vision here, it’s a brilliant idea, it’s just been executed poorly, the marketing and delivery have tanked it.

Now on to the game itself because all this stuff aside I could have looked passed it if the game was half decent but it isn’t. I don’t quite know how to put it into words but this isn’t hitman, it looks like hitman, it sounds like hitman but it’s not hitman.

I like the look, I love the visuals, some of the locations are gorgeous and multi-levelled and great fun to explore, the combat is on point if you feel like a good rampage and the Ai is decent.

The gameplay is ok, standard chameleon murder dress up social stealth with some bloody violence.

My main problem with it is the difficulty level.

It’s too fucking easy.

I’m used to a somewhat brutal level of trial and error difficulty when it comes to hitman, to having limited saves and trying to figure out someone’s pattern and how to get them when they’re vulnerable. The game is essentially about watching people and learning their weaknesses and exploiting them to lethal effect. But this game takes all the fun out of it by just outright telling you what to do.
Gone is the fun of discovery and the accomplishment of out of the box thinking when it comes to finding innovative solutions to kill someone because the game will just set a fucking way point to go to. “Hey here’s the thing you need to kill the guy, now go here and kill the guy”.

It’s such pathetic hand holding I haven’t experienced since games like COD. It’s pathetic, it’s patronising their core fans by trying to appeal to this type of casual gamer who doesn’t like challenge or frankly doesn’t like thinking. It may have well have just been a tv show where the player chooses the method of kill for all the imput the player has.

And I know the usual response would be ‘Well why don’t you try a higher difficulty?’ Well yeah I would if you didn’t have to unlock the harder difficulty. And what does the harder difficulty even do? Does it change all the methods of killing, does it change the characters habits and traits, is it a whole new game to the one you just played? No it just moves some items around and it adds more guards.

I honestly wish I could just wash my brain of this game and turn all the hints off and just play it straight, there really should have been a mode for hard core hitman fans where you could turn off all hints. Because they just ruin the game.

I mean you’re walking a tightrope here, this game is such a niche. It appeals to a very small demographic of people that like methodical puzzle based controlled mayhem stealth but you also want to branch out and attract these COD yahoos and casuals. It’s just not going to happen, you have to pick one and by not doing that you’ve alienated both. The hardcore hitman fans who are into this type of stealth game think it’s patronising and easy and boring and the COD players think it’s boring without enough guns and explosions.

I don’t hate this game, I did have some fun playing it but this game is a disgrace to Hitman, it’s babies first hitman. Boring and safe, the only risks taken were in it’s marketing and distribution and that was also a colossal failure.

I’m let down by it, honestly even being a fan I wasn’t that hyped by it because it didn’t look like anything special coming after Absolution. All I can say is Square Enix have done something no one thought possible, they’ve killed the Hitman. RIP Agent 47, hopefully they’ll let you stay dead.

 

Review for “Rigorous MORT” by Author Zak Standridge

Straight off the bat I’m feeling tarantino, a little guy ritchie in my head too. You have a quick and self aware hook at the start and then it leads off into this funny tarantino style conversation akin to the one in reservoir dogs about Like a virgin, It works really well. Honestly though I don’t see why you couldn’t just turn it into a novel, I mean the screenplay works fine but it wouldn’t take too much effort to turn it into a novel. It has a nice flow. The characters are interesting and you splice the scenes together really seamlessly.
I don’t know when you wrote it but I was reading the part when they’re talking about ghostbusters two wishing they were talking about the new ghostbusters haha. Also I don’t get the hate for ghostbusters two haha.
I’m not gonna say the story is some masterpiece but with Tarantino style stories, it’s more about the characters and the style. He’s not trying to tell this epic story. I think you have the characters and the atmosphere down pat.

Overall, I think it’s fun and cool and has a nice vibe, not too pretentious. Well written quirky characters. Doesn’t take itself too seriously, a lot of fun all round I’d say.

Rigorous Mort

Review for “We Were Swans” by Author GJ Freeman

Very nice package.

Great hook at the start, the blurb, the mini blurb, the chapter titles, the title of the story. It’s a very neat well presented package, it makes a very good first impression. I like the way the stories unravelling, short snippets of information, we’re getting it just as the main character gets it. You don’t dwell too long on his grief which I like, a lot of stories like this lay it on way too thick at the start when you’d more than likely be too in shock to feel grief at that point. It wouldn’t be totally real at that point. I liked the case, sort of a take on the Venibles murder but with a twist. The prologue makes you think there’s more too it as well the fact it seems open and shut from the start. Obviously there’s some kind of mystery unravelling and it does pull you in, makes you want to know more. Which is exactly what it should be doing. The writing style is very confident, not trying to hard, flows well, very relaxed. The only criticisms I have are that you have these big block paragraphs, just huge blocks of texts. It would be a lot easier to read if you broke them up a little. Other than that I can’t fault it, it’s a solid story.

We were swans

Mr Robot season 2 review… kinda

Ok so I’m doing the thing, you know I didn’t watch the season, not the whole season and the ony reason I’m writing this is because I hated it because if I liked it there wouldn’t be a review. The reason being everything I liked about it was just the fightclub stuff because I loved the book and tolerated the movie haha. So I couldn’t really say anything new about it and now looking back at the first season from the perspective of the second season I see what I liked about it was its potential and as you can guess from me even writing this review, that potential was wasted.

So here goes, enough preamble nonsense haha. Erm what can I say? I guess I should start with season one maybe squeeze in a short review for that since I couldn’t be bothered to do that since I didn’t feel strongly enough the first time. The first season was good, it was kind of like a mix of dexter and fight club, two things I really really like as you may be able to tell by the name of my fucking blog haha.
You have this crazed main character, unreliable narrator, uniquely gifted, it even started with him using his evil powers for the good of catching a peado, just like the first episode/book of dexter. Although Dexter’s solution was more final, obviously. The main character of Mr Robot just calls the police haha.

I liked the first season, it was unpredictable in its predictability. Because the whole imaginary friend thing got old as soon as fight club trotted it out and now its the most obvious twists since a man in a drag. So having it as the twist was almost fresh by the sheer fact of its ripeness in pop-culture.
All together the first season flowed well, it was edgy and fun and hip, a little too ‘progressive’ if you ask me. A little occupy wallstreet nonsense snuck in but all together it stayed on the straight and narrow as far as politics were concerned which I liked. I don’t want to be watching a show I like and then have some ham fisted agenda shoved down my throat when I’m eating porridge.

But I think what intrigued me most of all when I finished season one was that there was a season two, because it seems pretty wrapped up by season one. He wins essentially, starts his little revolution, gets his revenge etc and it peaked my interest that they had more to show me so I actually saved this show for later, chewing on some black sails and that other one, the one with the nazis.

I finally started watching season two and I’m struck by how little is going on, its so slow its barely alive. The action, what little there is of it is nearly pointless, put there for shock value alone. The story, what story? Elliot is mental, we got that, E corp is evil, we got that, that swedish guy’s wife is nuts, we well and truly got that. Other than that there’s nothing going on, its just retreading ground. Languishing on Elliot’s schizophrenia and then it turns more into a teens edgy art project than an actual tv show.
I think the problem is entirely that they let Sam Esmail write and direct every episode, this man obviously lives on a steady diet of his own farts and thought his pretentious ass could carry a season on its own and boy was he wrong. This show has gone from being pretentious to full on building a tree house in its own ass.

There’s just zero substance, its all just pretentious garbage but the funnies part is the emperor’s new clothes quality it creates in people because I was looking at the reviews and needless to say everyone on rotten tomatoes is falling over themselves to give it the highest rating possibly ‘Genius’ ‘Outstanding’. These brown nosers are so afraid of being accused of not getting this guys teen edgy art project they’ll just bend over but. And there is a big but, there’s a divide on the amazon review section, very little in the way of middle ground. Lots of idiots falling over themselves to tell people ‘they get it’, they’re one of the special people that sees Esmails vision. On the other hand there’s a huge subsection of people calling it out for the utter mundane dross it actually is.

And whats more they all say the same thing as me ‘I loved the first season but…’. So these aren’t just butt hurt assholes who wanted to hate it, they like me wanted to love season two, I saved it to watch later I had such high hopes for it. But the story isn’t there, the characters aren’t there, nothings happening and the characters are just getting irritating. That blonde girl, she was just annoying in season one now she’s full blown ass cancer and they added this female fbi agent who’s whole character seems to be fapping to smut chatrooms and is just generally mary sued in every regard.

I gave this show a chance, I watched til about five episodes in and then I started checking review to see if anyone agreed with me or it picked up later. I didn’t want to waste anymore of my time if it just carried on going nowhere. And apparently the whole season is just filler essentially so I was like ‘nah’. And what’s more Esmail is doing the same thing, writing and directing the next season too. I’m amazed its getting a third season, can this ship sail on pretentiousness alone, I guess we’ll see.

Honestly, I’m just let down, I loved the show, the cast, the writing, the art direction and now they let Esmail off the leash its just completely gone off the rails and every move it makes shows me more and more that he kind of blew his load with season one and there really isn’t much more to show.

So I wont be watching anymore and I wont even bother with season three but you know as lonely losers like me are prone to say; ‘There are plenty more shows in the sea’ haha.

See you…

 

To Dream by Catherine Kopf – Review

If I was into YA fiction and 1984 wasn't one of my favourite books I'd think this was really original but since I'm not and it is, I have to say it's a little cliche'.
I mean the writing style is fine, the story works, the first chapter is nice, it flows well and it has somewhat of a hook, a thread of main plot to drive the story. On paper it's good, it's a little stream of consciousness, like it doesn't seem well rooted, it seems like one minute she's here and then she's there like she blacked out and there isn't a lot of description. The first person narrative is quite restrictive for a story like this but maybe that's what you're going for, so I can't outright say it doesn't work, I'll say it just doesn't work me. 
I'll be the first to say YA fiction makes me cringe to my core and the idea of a YA take on 1984 in line with something like hunger games or something is probably the worst thing I can imagine. I'm obviously not the intended audience but I can see what someone else who maybe hasn't read 1984 would see in it. 

So in summation, it's good but it's not my cup of my tea by a long stretch.

If you wanna check out the actual story head on over to inkitt to read it for free.

To Dream

The Butcher of Barclay’s Hollow by Nick R B Tingley – A review

Well written but underwhelming.

I first chapter just didn’t really grab me. I moan about this constantly on inkitt. People just plonk a first chapter down and then move on to the next one, but the first chapter is really the most important. It’s like a summary of everything to follow. It has to be linked to the overall plot somehow and it’s the first step into this greater world, so stuff, a significant amount of stuff needs to happen or if it’s even very little it has to be pretty powerful. I mean what really happens in the first chapter? A butcher saves a little girl from being maimed and then gets criticized by passers-by. And although I expect their distaste for him to be a theme I doubt it ties to the main plot at all. So really this incident is irrelevant as a starting point.
I get you probably want to ease into it and I usually like pieces like this and reading this encouraged me to get out my copy of Hound of the Baskervilles. And even in that, a flowery period piece published over a hundred years ago the first chapter gets to the point. They’re not talking about the Hound but they’re talking around it, building up to it. but it’s clear that its building to something and then the next chapter is called ‘The curse of the Baskervilles’. We have none of that here, it’s just one scene with no foreshadowing or hints of an overarching plot at all.
I think this entire chapter could have served better as just a flashback or a story relayed by the girl at a later date and you could have started further on in the story to start at a more relevant point. Giving the main character a little more mystery. You hinted vaguely at a tragedy backstory, so I expect he had a wife and child that died and thus builds a connection with the little girl over the course of the book. As it stands now it’s sort of throw away.
It’s well written, I like the period style although there are some typos and errors. It needs a good proof read because these obviously slipped through spellcheck. I have to say I cringed at some of it because it just seems like it’s trying too hard to be period even in the non-diegetic stuff and it’s kind of unnecessary when it could be done better. When I read a modern period piece I expect to be hit in the face with the research involved rather than just flowery language and period accents. I want to be shown more than I’m told. It was easier for Conan-Doyle because he was obviously immersed in it. But it’s not really an excuse, what in this story really justifies a period setting? You could take that entire chapter and just change the carriage to a car and it would be no different.
Overall, it’s very serviceable if a little cliché, I save my harshest criticism for the work I think has potential. I like the title, I like the premise, the style is good but frankly your first chapter is boring. The skill is there but the hook is not.
I hoped this helped, I wish you the best of luck with it.

The Butcher of Barclay’s Hollow

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