This feedback is from my Northern California gifted 6th grade boy. He just received signed copies of the manuscript because he is the first to complete all 4 parts of The Saeshell Book of Time. I gave him some "hot off the pen" changes in part 1, basically the beginning of the MS4, deep characterization pass changes.
A very thought provoking book. I like some of the changes you made but others were a little bit confusing. For example, you state that Tova2 and Stefan love each other very much but in the beginning they argue a lot which makes it seem like they dislike each other. You should spread the griping out more so it looks more realistic but does not change our perception of their relationship. On page 86, after 6 of the quadruple diamonds, "errant peace of technology" should be "errant [piece] of technology." If you are to make a sequel, though, I, and a lot of others would prefer it if there was a bit more action. I also have a suggestion for the cover of the book when it comes out, Stefan on a medical couch with Tova2 linked to his, Paul7 in the distance shooting a lightning bolt, Sophistan1 in the corner, by his side a Seashell and Anashivalia reading from the book of time in the center. Thank you so much for a copy of the novel and if you know anyone who needs their manuscript read just give it to the library and I will take a look at it. Thank you.
[Anxiety... It is uncomfortable for me to make the changes I am making to the characters. A big publisher reviewed a copy (MS1), much earlier than what the Early Readers read (MS3), and told me that they wanted deeper characterization with the novel more character-centric. Digging deeper into the character's psyche exposes more of the character's quirks and flaws. Those quirks and flaws make the characters more memorable but exposing the flaws breaks the Utopian feel somewhat of the novel. The novel becomes a bit more gritty. That may actually appeal more to a YA audience but I am targeting the novel toward MG (middle school grades). MG kids have had less exposure to the conflicts of the world (such as a lover's triangle) and thus I might be breaking the characters for them. So now while I am modifying the novel, I am fearful of alienating the original readers that really liked the novel. I am plenty scared. ]