Genre: Science Fiction
(Thank you for your patience! I have been busy lately and I apologize for the wait!)
I absolutely love the cover; it is very attention-grasping and it fits the story perfectly. I was excited to review your story because of it!
I don't entirely understand how the title "gateway" is related to your story (yet), but I'm sure that it is mentioned as I continue to read further into the story.
The setting of the story is very clearly depicted and the background information is beautifully woven in throughout the story. The setting of the story is very unique and the storyline is original. You did an excellent job of explaining the planet, the species that inhabit it, the people, etc. In other words, the world that the story is based in is extremely elaborate and well thought-out! It is clear that you spent lots of time planning your story and developing it so thoroughly.
I did not find any overused words, and your explanations are extremely clear and through. Each of the explanations are nicely strung together and they make the story flow very smoothly.
Your grammar is spectacular overall, and the mistakes mentioned below are the only ones that I noticed:
Chapter 2: "Especially sense most were human and would act like I was some sort of bestial dragon." Here, the word "sense" should be replaced with "since." The word "since" means "because of," whereas "sense" refers to the senses.
Chapter 2: "I practically hopped my way across the lawn and almost ran into an adult skeefer. When they turned and looked at me I had to try hard not to leap back in shock. Their eyes were gold. Most skeefer eyes were bright yellow, but theirs were a shimmering, metallic color." Here, you refer to a single skeefer as "they." I understand that in the story, each character clarifies the pronoun that he/she goes by, so it seems that you intended to use the word "they" in order to avoid using an incorrect pronoun. However, the word "they" should only be used when referring to multiple people, and it is very confusing to the audience when you refer to a single character as "they." If a character is unsure of which pronoun the person goes by, I suggest you refer to the unknown person as "he/she" rather than "they."
One section in Chapter 1 was a bit confusing, as the timeline seemed somewhat off. You mentioned that Vakria was hundreds of kilometers from Summer's apartment, but when the taxi driver picked Summer up, the driver said that they were only two hours from Vakria. I would assume that a city that is hundreds of kilometers away would take longer to arrive in. Was the taxi especially fast or is Vakria actually closer than the descriptions suggest?
I also don't entirely understand Summer's experience with bullies. Of course, there are bullies everywhere, but the amount of bullying in the story seems excessive, and it becomes more unrealistic every time that it is mentioned. Also, why do the bullies all go after Summer? Why are they so aggressive towards her? If it is just because she's different, I feel that it would be more realistic to have a couple of straightforward bullies and more rumors spreading behind her back rather than so much bullying straight to her face.
You could clarify what a skeefer is exactly, and how they are intermingled with humans. Originally, I imagined a skeefer to be more of a pet, but it is mentioned in Chapter 1 that they are students with Summer. I didn't entirely understand how this worked. However, as I continued to read, it seems that maybe this is what you were going for considering that it is mentioned how humans look down on skeefers. Perhaps you could clarify a bit more in the first chapter how they live similarly to humans and are also quite intelligent.
I didn't find any sections that seemed to drag on or that were particularly boring. I thought that the story overall moved at a very consistent and interesting pace.
The characters are very nicely developed and thoroughly described. There are no abrupt sections of explanation, but their appearances and personalities are rather strung throughout the story, making it very easy to read and follow.
Summer is a very relatable character, and she is quite likable. Her awkward encounters are something that everybody has had experience with, so it is entertaining to read about these situations from somebody else's viewpoint. I also find it quite interesting how Summer doesn't like to talk about herself. Does she have a past that she wants to keep hidden or does she truly believe that others talk about themselves too much? I'm excited to find this out!
I also enjoy how the story is written from both a human's viewpoint and a skeefer's. This gives the audience some insight on both species and it allows them to understand them much more clearly than they would otherwise.
Overall, the story is spectacularly written and very detailed! The characters are very detailed and unique, and they are all likable in different ways. I am excited to continue reading!
*Analysis is based on the first 5 chapters