Date: April 20 2017 9:34 PM Title: Education
Penny is one of those girls that kinda flirts with you, but then later says that she isn't interested in you. The talk about walking with him to school, staring at the clouds, and then telling him to scoot toward him. Maybe I'm trying to find clues to put them together, but I sometimes mistake Penny's caring demeanor for Jack's romantic interest.
So Penny knows the story, and she even got a little mad that it happened to Jack. At least she shows her concern.
Parts of me wonder if Penny was turned on by what Cailtin did. Sure, we know Penny was shocked, but were some of the details at least a bit interesting to her?
I think when Jack goes back to school, not bad will happen, there will be a few nervous moments where Jack feels very scared.
I can't wait for the next chapter!
Date: April 20 2017 5:15 PM Title: Education
Last two chapters have been excellent. Not only did we get a bunch of cute Penny/Jack moments but we also had a bit of world building, especially in this chapter! And Jack FINALLY tells someone exactly what happened to him. Honestly it's a miracle to see him as composed as he's been considering what happened to him, a weaker man would be losing his mind!
Date: April 19 2017 4:34 PM Title: Expedition
Probably the first chapter not filled with drama. Makes me miss it a bit.
If I was Jack, let Penny walk in front so i can watch her all the way. At least, Jack is not desperate for Penny. Sometimes in stories like this, the Beta will fall down in front of the Alpha girl and let her fall on him and the Beta guy enjoys feeling her weight on him.
Jack should have ordered the glasses by phone so he could have gotten them sooner. It sounds like he visits this place often, so he should know how it operates.
Since they both are eating from the same sandwich, will Jack eat one end, and Penny the other, and their lips meet in the middle? Will Penny feed Jack like he is a child?
Also, I wonder why Penny chose this Beta school. Probably had something to do with their past.
I can't wait for the next chapter!
Date: April 04 2017 12:10 AM Title: Benefaction
Let me start by saying I wouldn't be writing a review if the story wasn't well written and compelling. Parts of it are good, other parts are great. The worldbuilding is solid, the power dynamics in society are interesting. The characters are consistent and have good moments of introspection.
That said, I have some criticism. The later chapters of this story lose the tension of the first half. I'm not saying Caitlin has to be looming around every corner but the aftermath of their confrontation has been filled with some friendly chats, a budding friendship (?) with Penny, family life, and introspection. For quite a few chapters nothing has happened to maintain the tension that the beginning of the story started and the confrontation with Caitlin escalated.
The relationship with Penny seems platonic (mostly because her attributes are not commented on in most scenes where she appears aside from allusions to her size) and while a friendly female protector would be great; I don't feel there is any real romantic tension between them- just a sort of vague awkwardness.
If Caitlin is not going to be an imminent threat there has to be tension in the story coming from somewhere else- and 'overcoming the psychological trauma' isn't serving that purpose because the trauma has no real stakes: Jack isn't suicidal. He hasn't shown signs of "snapping" or having some sort of complete breakdown he just... feels bad.
In summary: no matter how good your scene writing is, how well your characters are written, or how deep your worldbuilding goes - if a certain level of tension isn't maintained stories lose their appeal. If you're not going to maintain Caitlin as that tension my advice is find a way to heighten the tension in other aspects of Jack's life so that the stakes of each chapter rise from their current level of "I hope Penny texts me."
I hope this doesn't come off as too harsh. Thank you for writing.
This is a much-appreciated and honest review. In short - yes - there isn't an immediate source of tension sustaining the momentum at the moment, that will only return when Jack returns to school. For now, due to the slow/methodical pacing of the story, it's taking a while to guide Jack from Saturday afternoon/evening, when he was rescued, through to Tuesday morning, when he may well have to face Oakwood High once more. The 13 chapters from #5 through #18, which covered Jack's incarceration at Caitlin's place, covered around 24h of story time. The 8 chapters since have covered almost 48h, including a few revelations/flashbacks that have expanded upon things.
With regard to his trauma having no real stakes - PTSD isn't merely feeling 'bad', and it's justifiable that the character requires time to recover, even if it doesn't progress the story forward at a brisk pace. I need Jack to recuperate; time with Penny is something he both craves and needs, and the story wouldn't really work if Caitlin was re-introduced when he's already so broken - he would simply capitulate at her merest whim, and that would be that. Essentially, this is the 'we can rebuild him' montage, in real-time, which Caitlin/drama-lovers may find boring, but Penny/gentle-lovers will find appealing.
The vague awkwardness is super deliberate btw. It's my fetish (I'm joking).
Date: March 28 2017 12:09 AM Title: Benefaction
Okay, Imagin8 has asked me to give my most brutal feedback. You don't like it? Sorry. Also, if you're a big fan of she-whose-name-should-not-be-said-by-anyone-with-an-ounce-of-decency, this review is not for you and you should probably read no further.
If you live in the real world and you've had to deal with the public, you've probably had some snotty ass come in and demand special treatment, all the while emitting an aire of superiority. Ah, you can almost taste the entitlement.
Well,that's every day...every minute in this world. That's what Imagin8 has shown us. Jack has grown up here and yet everyone of his friends has happily left him behind once they became alphas. We've seen no evidence that they are capable of loyalty or empathy....or character. None of his friends from childhood say hi in the hall. They don't make even the minimal effort to look out for their beta childhood friend. They are social climbing sociopaths (yes, I know, “anti social personality disorder” blah blah) more concerned with their status than things like friendship. I will be talking about Penny and Alex later.
I have to address some of the worst characters in the piece : Jack's parents. When I described them as dull, worthless creatures, just waiting for evolutionary forces to do them in Imagin8 said “Harsh” but I can find no better way to describe them. It has been made very clear: There. Are. No. Beta. Girls. None. Zip. When they decided to keep Jack a beta they said “Okay son. Outta the gene pool!” They did that to their own child. I mean what did they think was going to happen? Jack was going to get a mail order bride from Siberia? He was going to use their vast wealth to travel the 3rd world and meet someone special? What? And don't even try to give me some jazz about how maybe it happened after he was past the window. The window closes for boys and girls the same, if that were the case then there would be some beta girls around, slightly older than Jack and also as peers. No. His parents assigned him to a life of mediocrity, second class citizenship and loneliness, and there is no way that they did not know what they were doing.
Now, onto The Creature. You know of whom I speak. The giant psycho freak who thinks it's hilarious to ruin Jack's life. If you are a fan, well, that's your problem. My big issue with the character is she lives in a world without consequences. In a story attempting realism, she can do all this heinous shit and has no worries about any fallout. She has done this before and gotten away with it. Imagin8 clarified “as far as you know” but lets look at alternate scenarios. Okay, so there's a big freak who we know will kidnap and abuse a beta boy and there just happens to be a rumor about her kidnapping and abusing a beta boy that is completely untrue. Yeah....riiiight. Or she did deal with some punishment, there is after all a year of her life that seems to be missing. So lets say she had to go to some “Club Brat” sensitivity training crap and maybe she had to spend a year at a (GASP) private school of some sort. For those of you with no compass for this sort of thing: a punishment that does not result in changing behavior is not a punishment, it is an inconvenience.
We have seen The Creature getting everything handed to her. Her parents must be the worst things in the world....it's natural to love your child, but to allow a menace that bears your name to run rampant is just so defective that they probably don't even know how to blush. They are just one enabler of your favorite psycho.
For those of you looking for a human in there, sighting the tears scene, Jack summed it up: crocodile tears. Do you in your dumbest imaginings think that if Jack had revealed himself at that moment,she would've gone soft and let him go? You are not that stupid, and neither is Jack. She was crying out of selfishness. She wasn't getting her way. Any such tears that would not result in the character changing are by default croc o shit tears.
Lets revisit the subject of zero consequences. Suppose she did have a punishment for her last foray into Psychoville. Say it was severe. It was so severe she would never want to go through it again. What does that imply? Well, here she is doing it again. How could she avoid the consequences of her actions? Well, the only witness is Jack. The solution is get rid of the witness. In this world, it seems nobody is going to care about a dead beta boy, found in an empty field after a few months. They could have found him sooner, but who's going to bother to join a search party for some beta? Not a lot from where I'm standing. Ah but, you counter, she had here friends over. Wouldn't they be witnesses? Uh huh, sure. The word you're searching for is accomplice. It would never go to court, but imagine if it did. imagine The Creature's expensive lawyer at cross exam, “So you saw Jack? What were you doing with Jack? Throwing him around? I see. Did things get out of hand? Did you hurt him? Why should we believe that a girl from a good family would do something like this when you've been seen being cruel to him yourself. When Jack left (The Creature's) home of his own free will, did you follow him? Did you want to have more “fun” at his expense? Did things get out of hand then too?” Yeah, truth and the lives of betas are so valuable to Alphas.
Now, I have to feel a little set up for some Amber is worse scenario. Whatever Amber might do to Jack, that will do not-one-thing to make The Creature worthwhile. Nothing. Infact, if Amber does get ahold of Jack and get her pound of hell, it will tie directly to The Creature's actions. She has dangled Jack as a perfect victim right before her equally despicable friend. So when the even worse thing gets her shot at Jack you might get a lesson in relativism. Don't fall for it.
Okay, you say, you're being a little hard on all the Alphas. What about Alex and Penny? Let's look at Alex. So far she has shown some incredible character by....telling a lie and making a phone call. Wow, my new hero. What exactly is she risking? Unpopularity? Ohhhh. She has taken no risk and has done the minimum to sooth her tiny conscience, I'm sure somebody’s impressed. Not me.
And then, there's Penny. I love Penny, but there is no way she redeems all the jerk alphas. And for those of you who Imagin8 say's find her “boring as shit,” you really are lacking in insight. It takes incredible courage and character to be the only nice person in a world of assholes. You might have a hard time understanding this, but good manners and compassion mark you a target when the scum around you don't even understand the concepts. If you find that kind of substance boring, you need friends.
The real note here is that Imagin8 has created a world where almost everybody is a villain. Most through apathy, I'll admit, but I feel I'm being truthful. And it cannot be denied that Imagin8 has given us a work that is also truthful and compelling. I'm sure some of the audience is skipping to the “good parts.” If that's you, you probably are not the sort to read reviews, so I won't worry about you. But if you are reading this, you are doing yourself a disservice. The dialogue is real and revealing about the characters. The plot and story are compelling and pull you from scene to scene. Even Jack's moments of introspection are worthwhile and hold your attention. Even though I've been making the point that Jack and Penny live in a toxic world, that doesn't make them any less worthy of your praise and attention. Infact, it makes them more worthy. They are, for all purposes, alone. The few good people in a world dripping with evil,they are our guides and our heroes.
On the subject of Jack. Yes, he's a bit of a victim. Sure, but look at the way he held out against The Creature. If someone with that much integrity is so torn down, it only shows how completely screwed up the world is. Now you might think that I'm having it both ways. But I'm really saying the work is good and the world is bad. And no that is not a contradiction. I feel that most people are basically good, but these are not people, they are alphas. And they have made a world of crap and they are too stupid, spoiled and selfish to realize that.
A moment of speculation on the next chapter. I agree that Penny is acting odd. But I don't see her in the creature's camp. I think that Alex has summoned up enough courage to (gasp) make another phone call. She's told Penny that the creature is taking some action. Penny is there it protect Jack. It won't help Jack's self image, that she's not there for his company, but to protect him. Keep in mind his reaction the last time she stepped in to protect him physically. He called her a monster, and she has internalized that. She is a sensitive soul and has no desire to hear that again so she's playing it close to the vest. Now, I will admit, I'm a bit tired of the “useless good giantess.” So often, we've seen the nice one just get shoved out of the way when the bad one wants our hero. I don't think that is what is about to happen. We've gotten hints that there's more to Penny than “nice.” Remember how she handled the weights? Remember how she used to “play karate.”
I think The Creature is about to learn the difference between a bully and a fighter.
I think The Creature is about to meet The Monster.
At least I hope so. I hope there's some very painful consequences coming up for her.
I even imagine a triumphant Penny holding The Creature down and telling Jack “Go ahead, give her a good kick in the teeth. In fact, just keep kicking til your leg gets tired. I'll bet you can kick her nose right off.” In an attempt to allow Jack to get some back.
Keep up the great work Other 8 and happy writing.
Date: March 24 2017 3:32 PM Title: Benefaction
Everyone hold up! Penny is acting super strange. Let's not get too excited that she is back and happens to suspiciously want to stay with Jack. Something is not right.
I sense that Caitlin has somehow intervened with Penny going to Jack's house. Remember when Jack hid in the teddy bear and Cailtin flipped out trying to find him, tore up her room and even brought her friend to help find him? Yeah, Cailtin is persistent on keeping Jack.
My point is, where is Cailtin now? Why hasn't she struck back and catch Jack again. We know how desperate she wants to feel Jack at her mercy and all this time without Cailtin makes me wonder if Caitlin has come up with a strategy to get Jack back.
Also, Penny is trembling, stuttering in her speech, and even Jack can sense it. Penny is unsure what to do and I suspect Cailtin put her up to the task of being her spy. Penny knows that she shouldn't help Cailtin and she should leave Jack's house, but then, I bet Caitlin poppped back in her memory and Penny decided to stay.
In addition, as Jack was starting to question Penny's uneasiness like she was holding back, Penny decided to distract Jack by staying with him. Penny doesn't want Jack to suspect anything so staying with him makes Jack makes him relax and feeling comfortable which is exactly what Cailtin wants as she sends Penny in to lure in her prize.
Furthermore, Penny only does what she can to help and then she leaves becuase she doesn't want to stay very connected to Jack becuase of how this society views alphas and betas. For Penny to decide to spend quality time with Jack is not only new, it's deceptive and poor Jack is falling into a trap.
I can't wait for the next chapter!
Date: March 23 2017 6:19 PM Title: Abduction
Hoping jack get outtal this and back to Penny...She's nice.
Intriging world so far.
Review #200!!! BWOOP BWOOP BWOOP!!! AIRHORN FRENZY!!!
But yeah. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed this story, especially PixL8Ed, who swooped in to take the 200th review like a hawk when I said I would 'make a fuss' of whoever got it. BWOOPS 4 LIFE.
Date: March 23 2017 5:32 PM Title: Benefaction
Nice! I'm glad we're getting more Penny and that she geniunely seems to care for Jack, at least as a friend. I'm actually hoping we get a bit of backstory on Caitlin or at least a perspective shift to see how she's doing right now. Anyway, great stuff, I hope you update again soon!
Date: March 23 2017 3:22 PM Title: Benefaction
First off; welcome back! :-)
I was so delighted to see two new chapters, I tore right through them. I agree that his "detective work" in the last chapter seems like some kind of retroactive masochism. What professional psychiatrists might call "Stockholm Syndrome." But, now that Penny has finally escaped her apparently clingy parents, maybe some quality time with her will help Jack to emotionally recover a lot faster.
Date: March 22 2017 6:26 PM Title: Observation
This was so close to April that I thought this was going to be an April fools joke. (You should do one.)
But, I'm glad this was another quality chapter that had so much detail that we can discuss for hours.
Jack's deception of his parents is so true! While I wasn't that creative to warm myself up to make my body that hot, I would do a fake cough, or pretend to be asleep and trick my parents here and there. Good times.
I feel for Jack waiting for Penny's message. I once met a girl that I didn't express my love to, but I had her number and we would talk and soon, she didn't respond anymore. When a holiday came around, I would say "Happy (holiday)" and she still didn't respond. All these questions formed in my head, did she get a new phone, lost my number, didn't want to start a conversation, or what.
Penny has 1 pic on social media. That makes meeting her in person more special becuase or how little she is portrayed online. For Caitlin, her online page deceives everyone by thinking she is a super fun girl. And she probably is, but not for Jack. What he saw online contradicted what he faced with her in person.
It's 7, and it's too late for a message? Wow, people text me up to midnight.
That shower must have felt good. Wash away the pain, the dirt and the filth that his body has gone through. He can cleanse his body of that experience and start living a new chapter of his life.
I was wondering when Jack said he was looking for online videos, if maybe he found like a Caitlin sex-tape or soemthing. Hear me out. What if Caitlin was recording her scene with Jack on her bed and uploaded it secretly and Jack somehow stumbles on it. The video hurts Jack and the comments are even worse. Jack reads about people wishing to be in Jack's position and the worst part is Cailtin responding that she can have sessions with them and Jack is scared thinking that Caitlin is going to bring them to hell and those people won't be as lucky as they think they will be. (Plot twist maybe?)
The last few paragraphs have stumped me. What are you hinting at with this Caitlin is a year older stuff? I know some other readers might understand and get this hint, but I really want to figure it out. Intriguing.
I can't wait for the next chapter!
Hey TomSpeedy, thanks for the review!
Just a couple of clarifications:
Penny doesn't have a mobile phone or a computer, she can only send a message by going to the library, which she probably can't do late on a Sunday.
It was a bath, not a shower, but essentially the same sort of cleansing, washing away of stuff kinda process.
The last bit is to do with when he guessed her password on the tablet back when he was trapped in her room. She's might be older than everyone thinks she is, which could be an important plot point... or not. Who knows?!
In terms of the sexy video idea, it's something I've had on the back burner since I started writing this story, the idea may come into play during the scope of GH-X2, but I won't say how, when or why!
Date: January 15 2017 2:23 PM Title: Introspection
(Reposting this on the latest chapter!)
I LOVE your story and the way you write!
This might be a weird request but would you be down for writing an alternate custom story where Amber gets her hands on a new little plaything?
(Of course I'm willing to pay $$$ for this!)
Hey cxwaves, thank you for the kind words - I'm stoked you like the story so much!
I'm not a requests guy I'm afraid, I barely get around to updating my own story (or working on my own artwork) as it is, let alone commissioned work. I do *hugely* appreciate your show of faith in my abilities; it means I'm doing something right (I think), but unfortunately I must refuse the offer. That being said, feel free to contact me to explain what you like, your ideas, etc, if you're comfortable doing so without the guarantee of me actually doing anything - there is a chance I might get inspired and work it into GH-X2 or something similar down the line. Giantess City is a good place to throw me a message, just look for the member 'Imagin8' (obvz).
Date: January 15 2017 7:15 AM Title: Introspection
I admit, I second what "mullac" said in the previous review. I also enjoyed the Caitlin chapters because I liked the parts where Caitlin basically used him. Not exactly the parts where she hurt him, but the parts that became sexual. I know for Jack it was awful, but reading about it seems to interest me, and it feels kinda sexy.
I also liked the Penny chapters. She was nice, and is that girl that every guy wants to meet. I like her as a friend, but I like Caitlin for her desire for pleasure. That's the difference for me, and why I like both Alpha girls.
For this chapter, now that is a great backstory. It is sad, becuase in most stories, usually the kid is given the opportunity in the end. This story doesn't follow that tradition and it just leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Not exactly a happy ending.
It's like those poor parents who want their kid to stay with their family, but the kid gets an offer to study in some famous school far away from home.
It's also like in Star Wars when Luke wants to join his friends, but his uncle wants him to help out for the harvest. But since Luke's folks died, Luke got his adventure. Now imagine if his folks were alive...
Poor Jack, he enjoyed Penny at the same height. His dreams even are affected by ptsd. Even people in his dream grew. Now that's a nightmare.
I can't wait for the next chapter!
The Caitlin chapters are 100% the masturbatory fantasy fuel - I'm not shocked to hear they're many peoples' favourite! Jack himself found them sexy too despite his fear, sexy *and* deeply traumatic...
Caitlin and Penny are like two sides of my GTS 'coin', as I've explained in a few reviews here. It's interesting for me because in writing this story I've explored the two aspects of my fantasies side-by-side and juxtaposed them in one narrative. Sometimes I think 'if Caitlin was a bit gentler, she'd be perfect', other times I think 'if Penny was a bit stronger, she'd be perfect'. As this story slowly evolves, you should see some of this being explored.
The premise of Jack being stuck at a smaller size is integral to his mindset, it looks bleak... but, he's young and pessimistic, there is still time.