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Got a favorite storygame? Can't beat The Wal*Mart Game? If you're here to play storygames, this is the forum for you.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

19 days ago

Okies, time for another game! Anyone who hasn't read Three Hundred Thousand Tears yet, I definitely recommend checking it out. Here's the link to the last thread

So, @mizal @castorgreatpoetguy @ninjapitka @TurnipBandit @Bill_Ingersoll @Cricket @Serpent @ghost11

It's ninja's turn to choose a game for us all to read. As always, how long we all have to read it depends on the length of the game, but if anybody doesn't manage to read and review the game before the next book club starts, they can always go back and review it later. The topics are always open.

Also, if anybody else wants to join, just let me know and I'll add your name to the list of people I tag at the beginning of every thread. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book Four

19 days ago
After going through mizal's article, I settled on MadHattersDaughter's Edithe Zilonis. I briefly ran through it upon it's publishing and would like to read into it on a deeper level. I know Bill and Cricket already reviewed it, so I'm interested to see if you two notice anything differently upon a second read. Serpent did as well, but dead men tell no tales. I think a week should be enough time.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

19 days ago

Awesome! Another 6/8, so I guss I'll give a week or so for this story too. Great suggestion. Looks very promising. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book Four

19 days ago
Ooh! I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing/illustrating it!

CYS Book Club: Book Four

19 days ago

Now that MHD and I have officially submitted our stories in the best-of-2019 contest, my sense of fair play tells me I shouldn't add any further comments on Edithe Zilonis.

But I will say: good choice, as far the book club choice.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

18 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 8/28/2019 7:59:02 PM
All done! Couldn't get enough of it. Here's my review:

This was an extremely enjoyable game, and possible one of my favourite premises for a game on the site. I knew I was going to love it as soon as I read the synopsis. I love ghost stories and I love murder mysteries, so to see the two combined so well was a real treat!

There isn’t an awful lot negative I can think to say about this game. I suppose one thing that stood out to me is that the fact that, with half of the choices you made, the game then forced you to make the other choice… Which kind of made it feel more like a short story than a game. That said, that’s not really a bad thing. It was a really interesting story, and it grabbed my attention enough that I kept going back to see the brief parts of the story I’d missed out on.

There was only one major, major problem I had with this game, and it gave me a real fucking headache. Towards the end, there’s a whole bunch of sections where none of the speech uses quotation marks, ie;

Bob said, hi Andy, how’s it going?

I replied, great thanks, and you?

Bob said, fine and dandy!

This is just… Wrong. They’re having a conversation. I mean, it’s fine not to use quotations if you’re just giving a brief summary of what they’re saying like, “Bob thanked me,” or “Bob told me about a three hour wanking session he’d had the other night,” but in these instances, what they were saying was actual word for word dialogue. There should be speech marks, damn it!

Only other complaint I can think to make is that the maturity level feels a little low for me. You call this a PG? The game has bloody necrophilia in it… Kind of… Sort of… Not really… Either way, all the murder and shit should at least make it a PG 13.

Other than that… It was brilliant! The illustrations were gorgeous and I really think they added to the game a lot. The plain line art style matched the tone of the game perfectly. I really liked the main character, and thought it was interesting that he preferred the company of the dead to that of the living. I found him really complex and relatable.

Also, weird as it might be, by far my favourite part of the story was the brief part at the beginning where you get to learn a little about one of the Undertaker’s previous clients, and also the part at the end when you learn about the brief time they spent with the Undertaker before moving on. I restarted the game four times so that I could learn everything about all four of them. I just found it really touching, reading about the different ways in which these four completely different people had to come to terms with their death. Kind of makes me want to write a POV story with a ghost as the protagonist.

Anyway, to sum up… Absolutely loved it! ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book Four

18 days ago

Sounds a bit like Cormac McCarthy without the clout.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

18 days ago
I liked it, and the pictures were pretty and very nice.
I did not like the lack of real branching, but aside from that it was pretty great. My review has more comments on it too.
Necrophila4thewin.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

17 days ago
But only PG Necrophilia. ^_^

CYS Book Club: Book Four

17 days ago
I take what I can get.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

17 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 8/29/2019 7:56:34 PM
Here's the comment I posted:

After reading and reviewing a lot of the stories on the site, I’ve gotten to the point where I can tell by the first page the rating number I’m most likely going to end up on. Obviously the number changes depending on the actual story, but you can get a deep feel for the storygame’s quality by the opening page. I was blown away after reading the first page of this story. It’s intriguing, engaging, and visually appealing. Just by reading the first page, I knew this game was going to be a 6 or higher.

It’s hard not to comment on the beautiful images, so I’ll make this brief. They’re wonderful and invite a greater experience to the story. The style of the artwork is perfectly fitting to the story’s tone and characters. Simply put, they’re bitchin’.

To the actual writing itself. First person stories are always a nice surprise on the site. Second person POV can get mundane at times and can easily trap the author into starting every sentence with the same ol’ “you do this, you feel that”. The style and POV fits the story well, although I did take issue with some of the sentence structure. I’m not sure if MHD was going for a poetic flow, but there’s a ton of commas where they shouldn’t be. They appear so frequently that I came to the assumption it was done on purpose. Here’s an example: “It was unfortunate for everyone, because I just cleaned up a corpse and would not be getting paid, I assumed.” The dialogue punctuation is near perfect and that makes me think the extra commas were, in fact, purposely placed.

The tone of the story is very unique. I think I mentioned this in the Forums, but it slightly reminds me of Neil Gaiman. It’s creepy and yet light-hearted. We’re reading about dead people and romanticizing about them. Stuff that should be chilling, but the writing and images play to a fun story. It’s almost contradictory to explain, but a pleasant delight to read.

In my first paragraph, I mentioned knowing a story’s rating by the first page. I thought this would be a 6 or higher and I ended up giving it an 8. Obviously the lack of branching and meaningful choices hurts it a bit, but I enjoyed every other quality Edithe Zilonis provided.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

17 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 8/29/2019 9:51:19 PM

I'd like to join to force myself to read and review more stories. I've already Edithe Zilonis extensively and I can say without doubt that it was very good. MHD has a very bubbly touch in her writing that I thoroughly enjoyed, in addition to the obviously well-thought-out story. Anyway, here is the review I wrote when I read it.

 

This is a fantastic spin on the traditional murder mystery with magical and mystical elements woven into the narration in a manner so splendid that I never thought to question them at any point in the story. Because of the way the narration is presented, the protagonist speaking with the dead felt frighteningly natural; I never felt the need to have this strange ability explained to me. Which brings me to my next point, exposition. When dealing with fantastical abilities and events, over-explaining them often makes them lose a certain mysterious charm which in turn causes them to be tedious and boring. This is not the case here. Just enough information about the mystical and occult elements in the story is given to make me wonder and theorize about them thus making them interesting to me, and yet they are not laid bare in front of me so that I might lose interest on account of the mystery being explained to me as if I were a preschooler. 


The characters I found to be endearing and quite likeable, particularly the undertaker. The dedication and love he showed for his work, as well as the involvement and receptiveness he continually shows to his charges are quite enjoyable as a reader. Edithe comes out as a strong and determined young woman with a golden heart and a gentle soul, which is always good and welcome. The undertaker’s sister’s brief appearances are also worthy of note, and I personally quite liked the vengeful spirit/regretful estranged sibling character that she represents. 


This may not be a traditional CYOA, and as far as I could tell it has only two endings (though I may be wrong), with the various decisions you make along the way mainly dictating what information you received and how. This may sound like a complaint, but it most certainly isn’t. This kind of narration perhaps benefits much more out of having a more or less structured path. The author was clearly trying to tell a specific, concise tale and adding multiple paths and endings in an effort to make it more in line with the norm here would have likely caused the story and its intricacies to suffer as a result. 
I did feel that the story ended rather abruptly, with the realization about the murderer’s state of being, the confrontation with him and the actual ending all happening in quick succession. Personally, I would have liked to learn more about the murderer and his motives. Was he Edithe’s father? Why did he kill Edithe and the sister? 


In any event, this is a very good story with excellent illustrations that really do a wonderful job of setting the tone for the entire story and conveying both the physical appearance and personality of the characters they describe. All in all, this is a fun and interesting story that everyone should take the time to read from start to finish. Several times, if possible. 

CYS Book Club: Book Four

13 days ago

Thank you all for taking the time to read/review Edithe Zilonis. I appreciate the lovely reviews and reactions good or absolutely revolted! I poured a lot of my heart into the writing and illustrations, and I was so delighted when the story was featured.

Here are a couple doodles of what the Undertaker might look like, depending on whether you imagined him/her as more masculine or feminine!

CYS Book Club: Book Four

13 days ago
... Is it weird that I never once noticed the Undertaker was gender neutral? I just assumed it was a guy. You'd think I'd have picked up on the lack of pronouns. :p

CYS Book Club: Book Four

13 days ago

I noticed the lack of pronouns too, but I just imagined the undertaker was a dude anyway since statistically there are more male necrophiliacs than female ones.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

12 days ago
I never noticed either. I also assumed it was male.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

12 days ago
It's a very entertaining story, MHD. I also imagined the Undertaker as male mostly because I tend to read myself into the main character unless strictly told "I'm" female.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

12 days ago

Glad to see we're still all adhering to the CYStian tradition of assuming gender around here.

CYS Book Club: Book Four

12 days ago
You guys assume your own gender? How sexist! >.<

CYS Book Club: Book Four

12 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 9/3/2019 4:35:34 PM

(Apologies for cutting this review so close. I've been a bit under the weather recently.)

So, I really did like this story. I had a few complaints about it but it was definitely a great read.

So my complaints basically amount to a few grammatical issues, something of a lack of meaningful choices, and the murder mystery aspect of it seemed a bit weak. But I wrote all of those complaints out in my review, so rehashing them here seems a bit unnecessary. However, if anyone would like me to go into more detail on it in this thread feel free to ask me.

So onto the positives. I absolutely adored Edithe. She was funny, stubborn, and had enough emotional range to feel like a real character. She also was a great contrast to the Undertaker, and I felt like the two of them made a great pair. I liked how even when she was ready to move on and accept her death, it was the Undertaker that was driven to find her murderer. It showed that despite his/her stoic demeanor he/she really did care a lot both about Edithe and about the people of Blackwood, despite the low opinion others hold of him. The Undertaker was also very well written. They were a fairly stoic individual, but they also clearly cared deeply for Edithe and all the deceased that come into their shop. I really enjoyed seeing their thought process and the deep feelings that they felt for the dead. And I mean that in a non creepy way.

(Also, I kept reading Edithe Zilonis' name as "Edi the Zilonis" and kept picturing her as an alien. I just thought that was a bit funny.)

There were some moments in the story that really made me think. Especially the talks about death and fate. It was all very interesting to read. I really liked the idea of the dead having to accept their fate before they could move on. I found it a bit interesting that people were given the option to basically choose whether they wanted to go back to Earth and haunt the world as a ghost, or go to Heaven. I'm still a bit unsure of what happens if the "Judges" decide you are supposed to go to Hell. Do you still get to choose to be a ghost or are you just sent to Hell? In the end I suppose it doesn't matter much but I found these questions and plot points to be very intriguing. 

I also really liked the illustrations. I feel like it's hard to write a review of this story without mentioning that. I didn't feel they were really necessary seeing as how you explained the appearances of the characters very well, but they did add to my enjoyment of the story. I looked forward to turning the page and seeing what you were going to show next. They were all very well done and I could tell you worked hard on them so great work on that. 

Overall I felt this was a very good story. I do think that this story might not be for everyone, but it doesn't have to be. You created a unique piece of work that was very enjoyable both to read and admire. I really hope to see more from you MadHattersDaughter, both in the form of artwork and stories. You really do have a lot of talent.