|Reviews for Dust and Shadows|
| HellPup 4/11/13 . chapter 4
Omg, I think I love you! This is so amazing and well written and u kept them in character with the language they use, and it reminds me so much of Thor and Loki!
Issa is a bit of a jerk lol, but both of their characters and personalities are both well thought out and suit each other.
I really hope you plan on continuing this? I couldn't sleep last night because I couldn't stop reading haha, it was so good! :3
| Nesasio 12/27/12 . chapter 1
"...but I'll admit…" His hair—coal black and straight as a dagger's blade—hung loose, but kempt and tidy, just long enough to reach past his shoulders, "…of all those I presumed to suspect…" There, at last, he turned, and his eyes met Kaleth's dead on, frigidly sharp as they were acute and attentive, "…you were not very high on my list."
-I'm not sure on the technical aspects of this but the punctuation interjecting the descriptions here seems odd, particularly the first transition using a comma before 'of all' since the description doesn't provide a proper lead-in to the dialogue. Punctuation isn't my thing, though. This section actually drew me for the descriptions themselves; they seem really out of place here. While the second description sort of worked for me in that Issavan's eye/body language would be important for Kaleth to notice in this situation, the first description felt like a quieter moment that did not belong at all in the tense scene. It's passive and affectionate and gives no reason for why Kaleth would be interested in these details at this particular moment.
"Funny," Issa said, without sounding as though he thought it was,...
-Nothing technically wrong with this bit but by this point we're perhaps 3 quarters of a page into the story and Kaleth's observations/the narration have already presented Issavan's actions in this contradictory way 4 times. Kaleth observes such and such thing BUT in reality he's pretty sure that's not how it is. Okay. So just observe what's actually there; you've done it before. I point this out because normally I like this technique for throwing off the reader's perceptions but it keeps happening so it makes me feel like Kaleth is an unreliable narrator, and I don't think that's the intention since in all other aspects he seems fairly sure of his actions and assessments. Granted it's still early in the story so I could be wrong on that but it was bugging me a little.
Writing: This isn't usually something I pay much attention to, and perhaps it's just because this is one of my first times diving into your writing, but I found some of your word choices strange. I don't think anything was wrong, exactly, but certain things don't quite add up to me. As I mentioned above, the narration (I refer to Kaleth's perspective since it is fixed on him even though it's 3rd person) paints a patchwork perspective sometimes that I found kind of hard to get into. Not only does Kaleth contradict his own observations quite frequently, his comparisons in descriptions are all over the place. "Like a beached fish struggling to gain its bearings" and "like lightning scattered among dark clouds" imply a very natural perspective, "like ink spilled on snow" and "the wet bristles of a paintbrush" are more industrialized though still not anchored in any particular setting or genre, and "like a glass of water peppered with glass shavings" confused me outright. Since at this point I know almost nothing about Kaleth's upbringing, the society, the setting, etc, these details should help me figure some of those things out but they lead me a half-dozen different directions.
Other: I'm confused by the casual bandying-about of 'incest' in the description and stuff here. I agree with Issavan that they aren't actually brothers so you'd think that would be a huge relief for Kaleth, haha. In that respect, I'm confused why Issavan is so comfortable with the knowledge of their mutual (I assume; I'm still a little unsure which reactions are real or not o.O) attraction when they were effectively raised the same way and should have similar values. I also wonder how long it has been since they learned this; it seems fresh in Kaleth's memory but at the same time the sexual tension is so strong that he must have been in denial for ages before he found out and that again makes me wonder why he wasn't relieved to find out it wouldn't actually be incest to act on his attraction. I'm sorry I have so many questions. XD That leads me to...
Plot/Pace/Techniques: The cold-open was a nice way to start the chapter but at a certain point I started being led to far too many questions and not enough answers. As I touched on above, by the end of this chapter I'm still unsure on the sort of setting here. I tend toward pre-industrial revolution type tech with the weaponry, but that gives me centuries to try and fit this scene into. We have implications of a manhunt, accusations of witchcraft, foundlings and taboos but I can't gauge which of these things are most upsetting to Kaleth's upbringing and what he is personally sacrificing or presenting here in going to retrieve Issavan. I fully trust that all these things will be expanded upon in later chapters, because they seem to be presented in a way that promises future run-ins with the plotline. However, it's always good to keep in mind that for pretty much every action cold open in a tv show, the action scene will be followed by a flashback or exposition to clue the audience in on what they've missed. In this case, I don't think it ever reached that point after the opening tension of Kaleth finding Issavan.
Enjoyment: I like what you have introduced here so far. The brotherly relationship, though strained, is still apparent here and I always like that in a story. The action was balanced well with dialogue and description, and overall it's tightly edited. Certain aspects of the narration kept me from fully suspending disbelief and left me perplexed, but overall I think this was a good start to the story. You've set the scene, made some plot promises, and led into the next chapter. Overall, an effective chapter one.
| Small Wings Flying 12/4/12 . chapter 3
[As he blinked, slowly bringing the world into focus, a sea of deep, purple-blue sky came into view above him. ] - I say you don't need the "as" there; it takes just that little bit longer to bring in the idea of your sentence and the things that go on in it. On the other hand [sea of deep, purple-blue sky] - really nice contrast there.
["I drugged you," Issavan said. "It was not poison. If it were, you would be dead, or certainly sick, and neither of those means contribute to the ends I wish to accomplish."] - that's my favourite sentence, probably because i'm a pharmacology major and that is so totally pharmacology...in a sense. Interesting debates as to the definition of a "drug". Food's a bit of a fickle thing when it comes to defining a substance as a "drug" - so pharmacologists would avoid that when it comes to edible things like mushrooms and herbs are even more fickle...but I'm getting totally overexcited and off topic. :) But that is definitely down my alley and now I'm having trouble reading the rest. *ahem - goes to read rest* BTW, what was the stuff Kaleth things "poisoned" him? I don't recall you mentioning it.
I really like the way you've played with time in this chapter; nicely spread out. Giving pause where pause is due to really highlight things.
| yjdtuylfik nk 10/22/12 . chapter 4
omg why am i still reading thi?
daf;kvgjna;fdekb'nbj aer/lkgmj 'alkfgnm' a'alkmjfg k'ldf'gvs'd 'lkgrhb
dsfg. knfa;;;gh'aojrtga' a' 'sjfghkfn das'/gjfjk'aoeirfjg 'alkf'
gtpoki rthgshn;kjf;akihbdfreg ar;efkgn;kaerfgn;kjnfg;aerfg'r j a'lerkgjn 'aloea'o lf;s,g'alekfr g'aoe '
look you broked my brain!
| ok 10/22/12 . chapter 3
so i figured out what will make this thing actually worth reading. INSEST! so have the bro and sis get together and have an orgy wuth their parents and maybe aunta and unkles and this will be so much more readable. Also throw in some same sex sex and really amp this story up!
| guh 10/22/12 . chapter 2
no one talks like this. seriously, why am i still readign this crap that has nothing to do with anyhting there is no point to any of this not even enjoment.
| dfkjvgn 10/22/12 . chapter 1
you need some real names not these made up crappy ones. and like some more sex.
and something like more realistic likr SEX WITH 4 BROS.
| FiggThe3rd 10/11/12 . chapter 4
Loved this chapter! :D
Please write and update soon!
| Faithless Juliet 10/10/12 . chapter 4
I really love Issa. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that before, but I think it needs to be noted what an awesome character he is. I love how he’s touch and badass one minute and then vulnerable putty in Kaleth’s hands the next. As a character you’ve already given him a lot of depth, which makes him all the more interesting to read.
Although I’m totally okay with the incest – it’s honestly not that big of a deal – I do feel like perhaps more of an inner monologue could be utilized to tell the reader if they are guilty or okay with their decision to fondle each other. I think they way you’ve written it doesn’t suggest any since of guilt and really they’re just acting on long pent up emotions/aggression, but because it’s a touchy subject for most people I wonder if something more could be utilized to help the reader through this.
| Faithless Juliet 10/10/12 . chapter 3
“Night bugs chirped.” – maybe something other than ‘chirped’ when I think of a bug they don’t usually chirp, that’s more of a bird thing. Maybe whined: “Night bugs whined…”
OPENING: I liked how even though Issa and Kaleth were technically ‘fighting’ they were more like flirting. I don’t know if it’s a male driven testosterone thing but I feel like men are much more physical than a male/woman relationship (not always, but mostly) I liked the undercurrent that you showed with this.
CHARACTERS: I mentioned undercurrent before and I think that’s a perfect word to describe this pair. It’s not what they say or what they do, it’s what they don’t say, and what they don’t do so the other will not know that they *want* to do it. The character study on that alone is very fascinating.
PACE: Overall I really liked what I’ve read so far, and the pace is good. You do tend to go on and on about certain things that don’t necessarily need to have so much time spent on them, especially during conversations. But I feel like in this story it’s not a major issue. The chapters seem shorter than TCATT and easier to read and keep up with.
PLOT: Being that we’re on chapter three I kind of feel like a stronger plot needs to be initiated. We have the hunt/seduction but really not much else at this point, and it makes me worry because I’m not sure how long you can keep that up, or if this will end up being a very short story, which I hope it’s not. I think the idea here is very strong, and I like the confinement of these two characters in such a claustrophobic setting (not small, just isolated) and how they interact with each other on that level. Can’t wait to read chapter four.
| Faithless Juliet 10/10/12 . chapter 2
I really like the emotional buildup in this chapter. I mentioned before that the hunt was a great symbol for the seduction that was happening under the surface and I think the same case is true here. I like how Issa and Kaleth are testing each other’s limits, even though they’re brothers and have known each other most of their lives I think *this* aspect of their relationship is new to them and they are still testing the waters.
I also liked how you ended with a cliffhanger, every once and while you do this (although I’d say it’s not your norm) where you leave the reader with this amazing cliffhanger that makes them want to read on. It’s not a bad thing to *not* end that way; it’s just not the style you most often utilize. Your work is very character driven, and things unfold as they need to. Keep up the good work.
| Faithless Juliet 10/5/12 . chapter 1
You shouldn’t regret it, why should you? I believe that a writer should never sensor themselves, nothing good can come of it. Tell the story!
I do think that the narration was subtle, much more subtle than TCATT, which for an opening I liked because it gave me time to really get into the story and keeping it condensed between two characters also made it feel more intimate.
I also liked how you used the metaphor of the hunt (what they’re actually doing) and mirrored it with the seduction that is also going on. I kind of wish you had made them real blood brothers, and not just “blood” brothers, but I’m okay with incest (Oren and Aurelia…) so it doesn’t bother me. I think it’s the least taboo of all other taboos. Keep up the good work.
| Small Wings Flying 9/24/12 . chapter 2
I don't like the way you began this chapter because there's no framework set about the dialogue. While I can tell, thanks to the previous chapter, which character is which, there's nothing really grounding a context into place so it doesn't feel like a remotely stable beginning if you understand what I mean.
I really like the idea of the trail though; there's something rather deep in the beautifully painted picture, and somehow using sunshine yellow further reinforces that. The quicksand at the end was a clever and subtle contrast to the flower near the middle and the unspoken sun, and I really like how you've got a playful chase underneath much darker undertones.
Again, some of your descriptions are a little jarring due to the use of commas. Especially for the first half it would have worked far better smooth-flowing. And perhaps use character names a little more often; it was a little confusing up till the end of the dream sequence.
| Small Wings Flying 9/21/12 . chapter 1
It seems to me you're overusing commas and dashes here, and sometimes they've got spaces around them and sometimes not. Either way, I find they disrupt the flow.
I thought adopted brothers would not be incest because they're not blood related? Depends on the law really, but if we're talking magic, you could claim your laws are blood related. Just a thought...but youve brought the complication of breastfeeding into it. Time for me to leave that as marriage laws get confusing there too. :)
I love Issavan's character because he's...he's...oh, I can't even describe him. His dialogue, even if somewhat disturbingly open in places, just pulled me in. Poor Kaleth just took a back-seat - you really made this character shine through and stand out of the page. i could have been watching him in a movie or something. Seriously, he was amazing. On the creepy side - definitely not someone I want looking at me like that - but amazing.
So amazing actually that it distracted me from the actual content. Oh well, I'll have to reread I guess...
| Lannie 8/23/12 . chapter 3
why won't you update?!i agree with whoever it was that said Kaleth is Issa has a lot more potential if only he'd stop being so secretive and mysterious.