Give in to the Feeling

Even in sparkling Jazz Age Chicago, spirits can trick you into believing they’re men

When Susie comes to Jazz Age America, she knows her life will change. Back in China, spirits mingle in the mists of the rice fields and trick humans into believing they’re men so to steal their soul, and the expectations of a daughter are unimportant and ignore. Here in Chicago, Simon gives her the carefree life of the New American Woman, the freedom to dress daringly and do things once only reserved for men--drinking, smoking and dancing with strangers. It’s an exciting life and she considers the loyalty Simon demands of her a small price to pay.

Until she meets Blood.

Blood lets Susie speak her mind and listen to her heart. He commits himself to her and asks nothing in return. Through his eyes, Susie begins to see her loyalty to Simon as the bars around her “freedom”. But she knows Simon will never let her go.

Here in Chicago spirits can mingle in the smoke and jazz of speakeasies and trick humans into believing they’re men. They can still steal their soul. And if Susie doesn’t see the spirit behind the mask of the men fighting for her, she might lose much more than her freedom.



Historical Fantasy

Critic Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 7

The cover design is compelling, evoking one of the key themes -- the freedom of 'jazz-age' America, though there are not paranormal elements represented.

Book Blurb Score: 7

The blurb mentions key themes and alludes to more backstory than is given in the narrative.

Formatting Score: 10

There are no formatting issues.

Grammar & Spelling Score: 7

I didn't find any misspelt words, however, there were many redundant words used or words used incorrectly. Examples:

"now wrapped around her like a warm protection"

"stopped in among the tables'

"seldom smiled to her"

"a choking need to move tightened up his throat"

"she startled"


Plot & Structure Score: 6

The plot, though intriguing, is thin. The conflict comes from Susie falling for a handsome stranger whose life is then threatened by her lover and protector. There is little backstory, and the characters lack motivation for their actions, for example, why is Blood, the handsome stranger, in the Speakeasy? It is hinted at, but never explained, that Susie, Simon, Blood and Michael are all from the world of the paranormal but there is no exposition of this world.

Character Development Score: 5

There is very little character development.

Originality Score: 7

Spirits from the mysterious world of the exotic East somehow manifest and meet in the bright, modern world of a Chicago speakeasy. 

Pacing Score: 6

The pace is slow, there is too much repetition and not enough action

Use of Language Score: 6

The language is overly descriptive, repetitive and often clunky. For example:

"And then a fan of light. No, a different wing spreading in front of her, cutting through the darkness. Like a fan of light filtering through the clouds."

"The words stabbed into her mind and tattered her whole body."


Overall Readability Score: 6

There is an interesting premise to this story which invites the reader in but then doesn't lead anywhere. More exploration of the characters' motivations and less clunky description would make this novella more interesting.

This book received a critic's score of 67 out of 100 possible points.

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