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Submerged Melanie Noell Bernard

Description

Nineteen-year-old Freja assumed being claustrophobic while living in a compact, fully-enclosed, underwater home was the worst that could happen to her. That is, until someone sabotages the food supply, murders her fellow citizens, and sends her anonymous messages suggesting more is to come.

NOTE: For new terminology, please reference the dictionary at the end of the novel. :)

Length

  • 80808 words
  • About 323 pages
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Swoon Index Ranking

  • Heat

    6

  • Tears

    4

  • Laughs

    4

  • Thrills

    7

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48 comments on "Submerged"

Jordan on April 8, 2018, 3:31 a.m. said:

Jordan


I loved how unique this storyline was! It kept me wanting to read more because of how fast paced it was. I think it's safe to say that Markus was my favourite. Freya was a cool character too but sometimes her first instinct to always use violence and impulsiveness really put me off her. In most scenes I thought this was fine, it's just part of her characterisation, but it really bothered me in the scene with Ava giving birth as Freya was told going into the room could put her friend in danger and she said "I don't care". It obviously shows how much she cares for her friends but for me it made me dislike her a little as she wasn't really thinking of her friend's best interests.

I think I would compare this to maybe the Divergent series? Both have headstrong female characters, trying to deal with a corrupt leadership system.

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Melanie Noell Bernard on April 9, 2018, 10:01 a.m. said:

Melanie Noell Bernard


Thank you for reading and leaving feedback, Jordan! :D I'm glad you enjoyed Submerged!

You are definitely not the first person to dislike Freja and that's a good thing. :) She wasn't intended to be a likable MC, but I'm glad you were able to find something in her that was admirable (she is very loyal to her friends.)

Thank you again for reading!

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Justmedaydreamer on April 6, 2018, 10:23 a.m. said:

Justmedaydreamer


Lots of thoughts about this one:
First of all, i really liked the world and the general concept.
However, there are some questions that werent really answered or seemd a bit illogical: Why can they only dive fpr 10 minutes? I mean, if you really have to repair somthing from the outside, this is extremely ineffective! I know, its probably to prevent somebody from finding other cloisters or survivors, but still...
How on earth does she survive running and sprinting! around with a bleeding wound? The way its described its quite deep and she loses lots of blood, so how can she even remain standing?
Messengers are the only way of delivering messages? Isnt that highly ineffective? I mean, cant they communicate through their screens on their wrists? And these spine ports? I dont know, they sound a bit impractial as well! Another though:
Dont they have video surveillance? Because every proper dystopian government has that, it simplifies things a lot. And these scanners are a bit easy to trick, arent they?
In general i had sometimes the feeling that the plot only continued because the protagonist does something incredibly stupid (again!!) and I would have liked it more, if the end would not have been that open, but thats a persional preference I suppose.
Which leads to the main issue I had: the character. She really annyoed me sometimes. In the end it got better, but in the middle I was sometimes just sitting there and suffering from the stupidity she radiated. Sorry for saying this, but...she never thinks before acting! Never! Or so it feels.

So, the style is nice, the idea is awesome, I just didnt like the main character and there were some questions left open... but maybe Ill get an answer here?

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Melanie Noell Bernard on April 6, 2018, 11:19 a.m. said:

Melanie Noell Bernard


Hi there! Thank you for reading Submerged and for leaving such a full comment! It's exciting to see how people react to my story (and to see where I can improve. :) )

Oh no. Did I use the word minutes?! *needs to check terminology AGAIN* But the masks are for short movements through the water. There are actually other breathing mechanisms for longer repair dives (but there wasn't really any necessity or place to add that information. Perhaps I will think about doing so to limit confusion.) And just to clarify things: there is no harm in finding other cloisters. I even stated that cloister leaders sometimes visit other cloisters using podds so the 10-minute thing is not intended to be a deterrent. Just different devices have different purposes. :)

And the wound wasn't intended to sound that deep! Eep! It was supposed to be a slow trickle just because of her muscle movement, but not because she was excessively bleeding.

I would also like to point out (and have since made edits regarding this fact) that this is not supposed to be your typical dystopian Earthean society where they have all the wifi and internet and surveillance technology. While it is humanity in this version, I have made final decisions regarding book two, which have altered this society to take place on a different planet and make these people non-human. As such, their tech is different than what we expect. Also, some answers will be given in book 2 to explain the easiness of tricking the scanners. ;) I know that one was SUPER easy, but there is a reason behind it. I'm very excited you caught this!

I'm sorry to hear you felt Freja was stupid. I had not intended this and have not heard this from other readers. Rash, impulsive, and selfish, absolutely! That's how she is supposed to be and she wasn't really intended to be a likable character (oops!), but I could understand how her decision to act before thinking could come off as being less than intelligent.

I have heard that the ending was a bit too open-ended so I plan to take a look at that in my next edit and see how I can offer more answers to readers to minimize this issue. I do want to have a satisfying ending at the very least. :D

Thank you again! This has given me some things to think about.

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Justmedaydreamer on April 6, 2018, noon said:

Justmedaydreamer


Thank you for these answers! They certainly clarify these things. About the ending:
I do like most of it the way it is now, I would just wish to know what’s happening to Markus and Franzi. Doesn’t have to be much, just a short scene where we know how they are. About the technology: yep, it’s definitely different and I liked that and was just surprised that these elements aren’t there. I’m looking forward to seeing more of it!
I do like books with not-so-likeable characters... Freja just isn’t my favourite...but I liked her at the end! And I’m quite sure that she’s pretty intelligent, but she didn’t really show it (IMO).
Anyway, thank you for replying and answering all my questions! The story sounds even better now!

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Jordan on April 3, 2018, 7:14 a.m. said:

Jordan


I'm really interested in this so far! Getting straight into the action is always the way to go with me. One thing that confused me though was the Father's title, I thought at first it was actually Freja's father, maybe clear up early that it's a title?

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Melanie Noell Bernard on April 3, 2018, 8:25 a.m. said:

Melanie Noell Bernard


Hello Jordan! Thank you so much for your comment. A few other readers have said the same thing so I will definitely take this recommendation under advisement. :) I hope you enjoy the rest of Submerged. Can't wait to hear your final thoughts.

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dragonprincess86 on March 11, 2018, 6:22 p.m. said:

dragonprincess86


It was definitely interesting throughout. A few recurrent typos were annoying. Like the use of the term spin port. Shouldn't it be spine port since it's linked to the spinal column. Also with the blood transfusion, a transfusion can go into any vein that's undamaged and big enough for the IV to fit. The real thing to worry about here is that since Freyja is not only untrained, but also weak, she's likely to blow through the vein instead of actually accessing it. Infection from lack of cleaning the sight first is another possible problem, though a more distant one. I found it irritating that the story cut out right when the tension was highest leaving no resolution. Other than these issues, it was a really enjoyable read.

It's not really like anything else I've read.

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Melanie Noell Bernard on March 12, 2018, 10:01 a.m. said:

Melanie Noell Bernard


Hello! Thank you for reading my story! You sure did finish fast. Haha! And thank you for all your comments. I like hearing very detailed responses from readers because it lets me know what is working and what is not. :) And, if you don't mind, I'd like to respond to each point you raised.

It actually is supposed to be spin port. I have been informed that there are a few typos where I say 'spine port,' so I apologize for that. I definitely intend to edit out all of those, and I thank you for reminding me of it.

As to the blood transfusion, I am sorry to say that neither I nor Freja have ever been properly trained in inserting a needle. As such, she would be unaware of all the problems that could occur when doing so, and it is very possible that she did make a mistake (minor or major) while attempting to save Markus' life. But that won't be found out until book two. ;)

I am a bit disappointed that you did not like the ending, though, and I would like to understand better why this is. Was it because we didn't find out what happened to Markus? Or is there another unanswered question that made the story feel unresolved?

Thank you again for reading and I do hope you can help me improve my story!

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dragonprincess86 on March 12, 2018, 11:42 a.m. said:

dragonprincess86


Hi, sorry if I came off overly critical in any part of my review, that was not my intent. I did wonder if spin port was intended since it was so prevalent, and since it is, I am curious about the reason behind it. I have been through medical training, though it was a while ago, and I figured you may not have known much about IVs which is why I mentioned it. Depending on the person, finding a vein can be easy or difficult. For instance, my husband's veins are so big that I could probably access them blindfolded with ease. But other veins can be tiny or buried deep. Some veins appear close to the surface despite their actual depth, so feeling the vein is more accurate than looking for it. When learning to access a vein, some people are naturals. So it's possible that Freja had a natural talent for it that she was unaware of. It's also possible that she got lucky. For book 2, I would suggest you research IV complications because there are several ways that things could have gone wrong. Unless she is lucky here because it is entirely possible and depending on where you want to go with the story that kind of complication could just be an unnecessary distraction from what's important to your story.

With the ending, it is more of a personal preference. I understand that in a series you need to leave questions open to keep readers reading. But I personally feel that a story, series or not, is better ended with at least some resolution. So in this case, I would have liked it better if at least one of the major questions was answered. Whether or not Markus survives (and what exactly happened to him) wouldn't be practical to answer without extending or changing a lot since the blood transfusion with take time to show results. Unless the synthetic stuff has more advantages over real blood than avoiding compatibility issues. Or unless he died, which would be depressing and make for a worse ending. I think that maybe you could have extended the ending scene, telling us who spoke to Freja. Was it her Aunt Katja? Or someone else? Is this a source of more immediate danger? Or possibly a potential ally that could still ultimately be an enemy in the future? Mainly, I want to feel as though Freja gained something at the end, rather than just losing everything. For instance, in the first Hunger Games book, Katniss won the games and some small measure of security, even as she realizes the world is worse than she thought. Either way, there's nothing actually wrong with your ending, it's just my own preference. I hope my long-winded response has been helpful.

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