Hello! Sorry this took so long, I had to edit over 500 pages in less than ten days for a release so I didn't have much time to read before today, but here are the crtiques!
The compliment: Asides from what I mention regarding the introduction in the critique down below, I feel like this does not apply to the rest of the chapter. The pacing is great, your word choice is very evocative of everything that is being described, there are also a few good hooks that make us intrigued about the character's past and how he got to be in the situation he is in today.
The critique: Although it is very easy to visualise the character's actions in the introduction, less emphasis is put on the appearance of the room and the character himself. I would suggest adding a bit more description in between his actions, or starting off the phrases with a different word than 'he' as it can get a bit repetitive + it's more difficult to visualise the character doing certain things when we don't know what he looks like yet. (However, if you had intended for things to be read this way in order to keep us 'in the dark', then please disregard what I said before.) I can't find anything else to say, I feel like this first chapter was a pretty solid one overall, awesome work!
The compliment: Nothing to do with the writing, but I thought the chapter's title was nice as it adds a bit of intrigue even before someone has started reading. (e.g: why is he not a person?)
As for the chapter itself, I thought your descriptions were wonderful and that it was very easy to lose yourself in the world after a few paragraphs. Overall, great tone, you definitely know how to set the scene and introduce characters all the while building the world around them!
The critique: This might be just a personal opinion, but I feel like there are a bit too many characters introduced in the first chapter, which makes it slightly difficult to keep track of every detail because a reader will probably be more focused on trying to remember who is who instead of other details that may or may not be more important to the story. My suggestion is that if there isn't any need for these characters, you may want to cut one or two of them out, or blend them together to form a single character. Or, if they won't be reappearing later on, there might not be a need to name them at all. However, if you do want to distract the person who is reading from remembering other details aside from who is who in terms of characters, then this might actually be the way to go if, for instance, you're writing a mystery novel and you don't want someone to pick up on certain detail that might be noticeable if they weren't focusing on something else (like the new characters in this case). Amazing work and writing style though, I really loved your descriptions!!