|Reviews for Palmetto Key|
| Steampunk9 3/11/11 . chapter 1
Hey, a review for this has been a long time coming!
Well I do feel that you've really upped your game here! A classic haunted house scenario in an unusual location not often used for horror- there is King's Duma Key, though I think that is a very different sort of horror story.
Turn of phrase throughout is very strong. My favourite parts are when the narrator describes other peoples' attention as a searchlight that misses her, and the first ghostly apparition in the steamroom scene. Very effective and creepy, I could almost see it happening. Overall, skillful use of the writers toolbox to evoke the various moods!
As for the plot, you genuinely caught me with the twist towards the end. Such a subtle transformation of the main character as she becomes 'possessed', I didn't notice. I was unsure what to make of the homophobic remarks, and it troubled me until things gradually became clear. Nicely done- no change in narration, just in attitude. A good case of 'show don't tell'- the character's personality and attitude changed, indicating that something was wrong, instead of just telling the reader flat out, or changing perspective to that of the demon (which would have been ok, though a lot cruder).
If I may offer a suggestion, I found some of the changes in the husband after the first time-jump ('The sun has gone down...) a bit 're already doing a great job of showing a terrible marriage in a realistic way, with the husband dominating and ignoring the wife. It's already creepy and a bit hard to take, as it should be. The sudden revelation that he also deals drugs and hosts sex parties is, to me, perhaps not necessary. I know it's indicating that the spirit is already starting to infect him, but I reckon a slightly more subtle approach might be interesting. Just a thought, and it's certainly not a big problem.
I loved the priest's reaction to the narrator's questions- it stops him from being a flat good or bad character- he's a priest who's bound to certain ideals even when he's not sure himself if they reflect reality, or what he knows to be true. It makes him a more complex character. And I liked the way the storm was building as the story reached it's climax, it gave the situation just the right amount of atmosphere.
Hopefully my feedback is useful! Looking forward to the next piece.