At first glance the site appears to be rather plain, and the top header gives it an anime type appearance that initially turned me off a little. When I read the subtitle, "Violence, revenge, and other family values" I was even more skeptical.
But the opening lines told me that this novel was better written than I had expected:
"She watches me from across the table, her eyes pained, tired. They weren’t always so. When we first met, her eyes were full of joy and light.
I fidget with the handle of my cup and look past her—past, where it’s safe. I can’t meet her gaze any more. There’s too much there, now—too much I can’t bear."
Though the story seems to begin in the middle, with a sudden jerk, from there it smooths off. Throughout Poirier's prose is strong with hard edges that fit exactly with the story's theme. The dark imagery and descriptions inject the story with a sort of tension that is sure to bring some readers back for more.
Navigation through the novel was slightly difficult. The chapters are broken up into numerous small sections, and it is easier to navigate from chapter to chapter than it is to find the next section in the chapter that you are currently reading.
Overall, "Winter Rain" isn't my type of fiction, but I respect Chris Poirier for his developing yet professional writing voice.
Chris Poirier also runs a Web Fiction Guide designed to list and review other online web novels. If you are looking to read online then this is your portal to start at, with detailed editorial reviews and a list of regularly updated online novels.
The website design is very clean and professional, and the lack of distracting ads is admirable. Its evident that Web Fiction Guide is a community of people who love writing and reading each other's work. If you have an online novel, then you too can submit to gain more traffic and readers.