Alyson Reynolds in her critique of the first draft of this story writes:
This is a fantastic tale which follows the traditional quest archetype, but with an original twist.
Cade and Lori, the two protagonists, both show real character development, and by the closure of the book, they have both learned the importance of trust. Trust seems to me to be your main theme.
You use original descriptions and have created a very convincing fantasy world. A sense of fun also skips through the pages which I found very appealing.
Your dialogue was very natural, and you used it well to reveal much about the speakers.
Wairimu is a great character and his dialogue added a further dimension to his character. Also love Dame Grey. You write fabulous villains.
Bb and Serval were also really likable characters. I was sad when Bb left and was hoping he would come back in, but can understand why he didn’t. I’ll just hope Cade sees another cloud soon as a sign!
(The original title and the names in italics have been changed to their present form).
Had it not been for Alyson’s belief in this story, I might not have spent hundreds of hours of writing and rewriting. The challenge was to retain that spontaneity and freedom of my first draft while enlarging the field of vision.
Other readers asked questions that led me to many hours of research that made the characters and setting more real to me. I loved learning about flying cars, the colours of the spectrum, the history of horses, of pirates and the Lorelais, the aurora Australis and of course the Noongar culture and language. The landscape was already within my soul. It was my childhood and the imaginative world lived with my family, shared stories and physical freedom to roam in the swamps and bushland of southwest of Western Australia.