|Reviews for By Shadows Beckoning|
| Serativale 5/28/12 . chapter 17
This review remains, touched with darkness.
"By Shadow's Beckoning" is a romance snatched away from the reluctant and demonic jaws of conflict. As a romance, this story contains a familiar theme: love between unlikely people. However, as the story progresses, this theme focuses on a phenomena that ultimately defined this story. The greatest strength of this story is its theme, especially the 'phenomena' aspect: the love that attracts unlikely people to be together draws its power from, well, what makes people, people. To be more clear, this story contains the traditional scale of good and evil, a scale formulated by the traditional view of good and evil. However, the actors at the opposing ends are drawn to meet at the middle. They meet not because opposites attract. In fact, it is because they are opposites that they repel each other. No, what attracts them is the force at the center, the nature of humanity. It is this humanity that shone brightest, for it was brighter than the red moon that governed this world of angels, demons, vampires, and witches.
The story begins first, as short glimpse of 'slice-of-life' action, and second, as a mystery. At first glance, the first chapter offered nothing more than a dark introduction into the life of the main character, Eliana. However (after I thought about it), this short piece offered a deeper message than just a simple introduction. Eliana's nightly life was revealed along with a part of her character. She was a woman trapped by her own blood and forced into a never ending cycle highlighted by this quote:
"Cold. Cold was forgiveness, and cold was heaven."
The mystery begins as the second character enters the second chapter. His presence and role has become a trigger to most events of the story as the story is driven by his mission to slay the demon. Without him, there would (almost) be no story. His very existence disrupts the fragile flow of life in the area, hinted at here: "It could not be disguised though, the beauty of one called holy, even behind a human face, and those who had not noticed him before, quickly noticed him now." Also, in this chapter, the core of this man's character is revealed: He is an angel, with has the power to turn human, (with it have the same feelings as a human) sent by the one, or by those, who send(s) angels. However, another important detail, which is masterfully played into the plot, is revealed: "He bore no memory of his own beginning, no image of the god who had sent him forth onto common mortal soil, or even any real grasp of the heavens he'd left behind."
In just these two chapters, the story is already clearly laid out. A demon(ironically hunted) and an angel(the hunter) are both chastised by this entity of humanity. Again, I must stress the importance of this humanity because it is the main driving point for all, yes all, of the characters'(the important ones anyway) actions.
The rest of the story consists of the natural progression of the plot along with a careful addition of details to add depth and backstory. One of my enjoyments concerning this story was its inclusion of details to create the backstory. The backstory wasn't created or the sake of backstories. No, the backstory was implied. I just love how dense and compact this story was as those qualities completely made up for its length. The implied backstories created the depth of the characters(well the important ones). Overall, the story was an enjoyable read. The rest of this review will cover the more specific parts, and, for the sake of not spoiling the story, will be a vague message to the author.
Chapter Six: I absolutely love chapter six. It touched my heart as much as it touched my brain. It was filled with such emotional irony that I was moved with sweet sorrow as much as Eliana was moved with complete helplessness(at that moment). I found it quite brilliant how they were both fragile, in more than just one way. I found it to be the most moving part of the story and this is the chapter that I will remember.
Amilee: Favorite character. I found it ironic how she is the character that is given the most freedom and yet she is the character that "gives the most".
The shadow thing: You know what I mean. I was disappointed that it did not play larger role in the story, if it played a role at all. If it was taken out, I believe nothing would change.
When I wrote "well the important ones", I was referring to that guy, no not the vampire. That guy. I'm unsure the he had any real impact on the story. I can discuss my issues with him privately, if you want.
My favorite quote: "I am Sent"(Chapter 11) - I saw what you did there. Bravo.
Killer or not killer: In one part you wrote that Eliana never killed anyone. However, in another part it was revealed that former angels fell before. Was there something I missed? Please clarify that for me.
Again, I found it so enjoyable that I read it all in one night. Sorry for taking so long with this review. Applause. Great story.
| katmama 8/17/11 . chapter 17
Wow. This is powerful writing. These characters are so utterly believable. I am simply amazed and humbled by this story.
| ReaderJustA 8/9/11 . chapter 17
Not bad, not bad at all. Mildly predictable but I guess that's one of the things that made it good. Thank you for the enjoyable reading.
| Serativale 5/28/11 . chapter 3
I'm unsure on my critique regarding the scene with the farmer. Eliana clearly doesn't love him to the point where she doesn't really care about him. She only stays because of her own sense of morality. Still, I'm annoyed at how it's very one-sided. It's her view, it's her blatant ignorant attitude, it's her frustration... and yet it ends on a sympathetic note on her part. (Which was: "What had she been thinking, that enough time with the man would make her fall in love with him? On to her twenty-first year, and she'd never yet to feel that way about anybody. Maybe she was just too much of a demon to feel something anywhere near that pure".) Seriously, this passage wanted me to sympathize her in an indirect way, but I just can't.
| Serativale 5/28/11 . chapter 2
This chapter is very solid. I like the transition of scenery from the town to the manor. The town or village provided a nice scene for the angel(?) to enter. It's good that the angel has a struggle within his humans. The ending was nicely done. I shall read on.
| FamishedNight 5/19/11 . chapter 17
Awesome! Update soon!
| Stephanie M. Moore 5/11/11 . chapter 17
Hmm... Very interesting story here.
I agree with one of your previous reviewers that this story is written very artfully. You have a very careful writing style that is very refined, in my opinion.
You portray Eliana's conflicted emotions with wonderful intensity, and I believe that her dual nature was the best part of this story. There was such emotion during the battle scenes when we, the readers, were clued in on her struggle, but the angel continued to try to destroy her... very heartbreaking.
I also enjoyed Amilee's plot line- her relationship with Annel and the near-vampire (an explanation of a "near-vampire" would have been nice, too) was an interesting aside to Eliana's struggle.
On that note, I must admit that I'm still a little confused about Eliana's past, and I think it would be interesting to have seen a little more development and illumination regarding how everything came to be. Who was Eliana's mother? How did she come to consort with a demon? Why is Annel so guilty about everything? How is that Eliana's parents are still roaming the world? You offer us snippets of their pasts, but you do not ever sufficiently close the subject.
What's the end of the story with Gormor?
I'm not going to lie- I never really connected to Sent/the angel. He just has this other-worldly disconnect that makes it hard to connect with him as a character. I do like the way you introduce him to pain, and I think small things like that could "humanize" him. I think developing his "fallen" status further could make him a more interesting character.
I thought you had a unique plot, though, and you did a good job with creating an arc for your plot. I wouldn't mind seeing some more romantic tension in this story (or just more tension in general.) I really kept waiting for some major demon to appear (her father, or the imp's master.) Nothing came of it, though.
You also have some wonderful one-liners in here. You have a beautiful way of shaping phrases and sentences. All in all, I was very impressed by the story and its high quality, despite the lack of reviews. This story is certainly better than your average Fictionpress upload, and I hope that the lack of reviews does not discourage you from posting.
Congratulations on a great story.
| A.P. Gregory 5/2/11 . chapter 1
I was pleasantly surprised by this story. It's of a higher quality then i normally find on this site. Your character is intriguing and you have some really sharp, visceral prose. I'd like to see you lengthen your chapters a bit because I found that this one did not really have enough for me to really hold onto or give me an idea of what your story is about, an important thing in an opening chapter.
All in all, I really enjoyed this and you've got me hooked. Can't wait to read more.
| K. T. Scelor 4/21/11 . chapter 1
I also liked the artsy feel of the chapter. Although, at some points, I felt that the chapter became a little too abstract-so much so that I'd have to re-read parts, especially this sentence: "A wrenching, twisting, a moment of pain and disorientation, and the creature that emerged into the moonlight was nothing more than human."
At first I thought the first sentence referred to someone/something that was going to create problems, and then I realized it wasn't, and I had to go over it several times to figure it out. After a couple times of reading the sentence, though, I liked the style.
From this chapter, I could tell that the character was going to be having an internal conflict concerning herself and where she came from. I think you provided a good, succinct way of introducing her past as well: dead mother (and possibly her not too great father,) and she was raised by her provide a good introduction to the character as a whole.
The artsy feel in combination with succinct overviews is something that I really enjoyed. Overall, good job.
| Serativale 4/20/11 . chapter 1
What I love about the beginning paragraphs is how you beautifully drew the character, already showing the characteristics in a few sentences. My favorite line in the opening, “Cold. Cold was forgiveness, and cold was heaven”. The intensity of Eliana's feelings about her situation was very powerful to me. It was powerful in an artful sense, and that line coupled with your opening drew me in the story.
That same line is my favorite line in the chapter. Added with everything else, that line made appreciate the character early on in the story. “'I cannot deny that I am his daughter,' She mused, slowly casting her eyes down, to the tracks in the earth, made by her own feet, 'Nor that his darkness echoes within me. And somehow, I cannot even hate him, for I know better than any what he is'”. Eliana is already wise early on because of the sympathy(that's what I believe) for her father. She bears her burden like a curse she knows she must endure. She doesn't hate what she become, but she comes to accept it. I want to pity her, but I believe she is beyond the need for pity, and that's what I really like about her.
Based on the summary(and I read ahead without reviewing), I'm guessing Eliana would end up with the hunter, but feel free to surprise me. I'll get to reviewing the other chapters later.
But all in all... impressive. I like it.