- The first 20 or so pages were good. Not great, but they flowed, the world made a certain kind of sense and a few lines jumped out as being more than decent.
- The bathroom sink that was an AI and sex-starved stole the show. It turned out to be my favourite character and some of the stuff struck me as funny even 7 years later. That being said, the humour is at odds with the more dystopic aspects of the rest of the story.
- The combat scenes were all badly done. And there were many of them. Entire combat scenes shouldn't have existed at all as it ended up feeling too easy.
- The psychic kid, while fun, was poorly thought out and too trope-y. To be fair, I was aware of that at the time and figured I'd fix it in a second draft.
- The Whispering/Psychic Dragon sections were sci-fi. In that they would make sense after one read the novel at least twice and bordered on incoherent otherwise.
There are other issues, most relating to the setting and that it wasn't developed enough at all. I had about two notes on setting, and 4-5 on characters, the latter in surprising detail including presumed 'growth' during the novel and info on the core of their personalities, even for characters who barely show up. And a lot of them do that, or appear in the novel for seemingly no reason, their motives entirely unexplained to the reader.
On the plus side, the Buddhism parallels with the one main character were fun, though too obvious in some spots, and the idea that the nearly-immortal Rich people were all businesses whose stock values fluctuated depending on what they did was a fun, fun idea that I barely did anything with. Much like the introduction of the bathroom sink, I pretty much tossed too many sci-fi concepts it and the entire thing fell apart. Haven't finished re-reading the draft, so shall have to see if the ending was quite as bad as I thought it when I was done.
“You don’t look good,” Olen said as he came in. The boy was sitting on the couch and watching a holo vid.
“You’re a telepath. That should be fucking obvious,” Stephen snarled. “I need a bath.”
“I need sex!” the sink screamed.
Stephen walked into the bathroom. “Shut. Up. Now. I’ve had people try and kill me. I’ve shat my pants. I had two religions declare me their messiah as I left the remains of a city block. I had five people try and kill me on the way over because I wasn’t carrying some weapon the size of a giant dick. I’m not in the mood!”
“For sex? That’s the perfect mood for sex,” the sink said. “I like it when humans get violent. Then I can be broken and upgraded.”
Stephen turned the water on for the bath. “Have sex with the telepath then.”
“Oh no!” the sink filled the bathroom with a strobe light. “I’d never do that. He could infect me with some horrible neurosis.”
“I’ll infect you with a dissassembler then,” Stephen snarled.
“Well.” The sink retreated back into the wall. “There’s no need for that kind of talk! I bet you’re a virgin, aren’t you? No one else would begin a relationship threatening to atomize their partner!”