|Reviews for The Bell Keeper: Clarice Chronicles|
| SalemXYZ 12/28/12 . chapter 7
Elaine's cute interlude really is cute lol
For prominent figures in the story, Hector and Tal didn't really get much of a chance for screentime, so it's only natural for them to be shown through flashbacks. Elaine had a happy and wholesome childhood, surrounded by loved ones who were easygoing and affectionate. Untroubled by their heavy burdens, the Rebels showed that they were just as playful as the CC trio, and the girl Kura would've grown into without that goal either. From the conversations shown in the first flashback, it's implied that Alainna joined Hector and Tal's presumably average-sized rebellion group, and then used her influence as the then Calatrava heiress to rally the Dogs. How she and Tal got together is still a mystery though lol But I can say that their deep bond is obvious from the way they acted around each other even with the … abuse going on. Alfonso is also given more character, showing that Elaine got her nibble tendency from her uncle.
On the other side of this happy coin is the the darkness of reality. Alfonso died in Hodous while Hector perished in the prologue. The second flashback is shown from the young civilian girl's point of view, rather than Kura's censored version due to her determination. The situation seems much direr because it's placed in contrast to a normal lifestyle, allowing readers to get a better picture of what it's like. The 10-yr-old is at a loss of what to do, not sure what her place is amongst an extended family whose members are all involved in the Rebellion one way or the other. Kura and Elaine's bond is clearer now, the unconditional sibling love will not fade in spite of the distance as they grow up. On a side note, the patriarch Alcazar doesn't seem to approve of his daughter's marriage to Tal. I have yet to see what the recurring 'stray' means, but I suspect it's the equivalent of a princess marrying a street boy?
The third flashback shows something I've been wanting to see, a classroom environment. Being a Canine, a supposedly higher social status second to felines, doesn't shield Elaine from the bullies. I can relate why she gradually just gives up on making friends after many failed attempts and lack of initiatives from her peers. She reminds me of the stereotypical social outcast with quiet demeanor and genius grades, which is believable since she spends most of her time practicing and learning. Ragnur's story is something that we can easily see in our modern world. Reading about his story makes me think as well, though if I write everything down here it'd be too much rambling lol In short, I can really relate to him. I definitely feel like a smarter person from my travels last year. Experiencing different cultures first hand rather than learning about them through media just can't compare. Irrelevant but I'm surprised to see a Hare. They seem to be rare in this story but I guess they're only rare on Riphaeus? Another irrelevant point: sphinx cats are creepy, though I heard they're the nicest breed of cats.
The last flashback gives us a glimpse of the Dog culture on Fenrisyr. They sound like your typical snobby nobles but at least the younger generation are friendlier. I'll have to see how the Wolves and Coyotes are like before saying anything more, but Kura has a lot of work ahead of her if she wants to unite Fenrisyr's three factions against Tyradum, and that's not counting the sub divisions in those three sides.
Overall, great interlude because everything just flows The present scenes connect with the memories really well, making the reader appreciate the deeper depth of the cute chapter title.
I look forward to Arc2 as well as the return to TBK.
Notable names and places: Alsailles (Calatrava Clan's city); Sidonia (Aragon Clan's city); Ragnur Dalquest (an important teacher and journeyman); Shira Krasami (a Reindeer, friend of Ragnur); Carlos Aragon (Malamute); Hideki Sakamoto (Akita); Renee Dobrezynski (Saint)
| K 12/24/12 . chapter 7
Congrats on your accomplishments thus far with all of your work! It's great to see TBK coming along, but it's really amazing to see CC's somewhat spinoff tale come to life in an equally amazing way! The continuation of delivering such detailed characterizations of every character in any story written by you all has never fallen short in quality, and it's great to see how see stories thrive over such a long time, too! With all the hardwork in planning, developing, and actually delivering chapter after chapter of original work, it is really inspiring to see such dedication and excitement towards such a project (but, more like "production" in this case as TBK is anything but a "small work" at this stage)! Keep up the great work ethic...because I'll continue to follow as long as you continue to write! Seriously, I have still read every single chapter even if I don't write a review.
In this chapter, I really liked the overall flow...especially since flipping back and forth with flashbacks can be a bit much if not done too well, but it was very smooth here! I really like this quote, and how it relates to the rest of the story:
"Close friendship was something the young blonde did not have."
It's great to see how far Elaine has come...from struggling with friendships due to her social circumstance to being a big part of CC's triad. The dynamics between the three are really great too, and I love how each personality blends together to create a diverse relationship between the individuals. I love the mix between seriousness and humor...it's great to see how each character plays off of one another!
It will be really interesting to see any kind of reunion between Elaine and Kura, if they ever meet up anytime soon in this journey?! They've all grown so much throughout TBK...can't wait to see where things turn up in the near future for the cast! :D
Once again, great job everyone! Keep up the amazing work!
| unagi-sama 12/23/12 . chapter 7
I love this chapter! Elaine is so cute. She's just a puppy under that princessy lady cover. I love the interactions between Clarice and Mary too! 8D love triangle! Elaine has a few suitors already so those two will have to beat them off with sticks! I really want Nita and Elaine to meet for some reason.
CC is really awesome so far, but I miss TBK too. Happy holidays you three!
| jfmhill 12/15/12 . chapter 6
Awwh such a happy family c:
| SalemXYZ 12/12/12 . chapter 6
So we finally get to see Mariel's POV. It's good to see that she has a spunky, optimistic view of the world in spite of her jaded background, showing her to be a strong spirit beneath that scaredy-mouse cover. She knows the best way to enjoy the day is to try to see the good things. It's different than just blatantly ignoring the bad parts. She knows it's there, but she just chooses the livelier way of living. In this aspect, she's similar to Clarice. She's also great with kids, showing that she wants others to grow up happy in spite of her incomplete family.
More about Vertalis is revealed, hinting that its economy is similar to the Third World countries of our world. Peace must be hard to obtain there, and even if it is, it could be taken away any minute as implied with Yutsu's family. The normality of life (such as having a home to live in) has been taken for granted in most of the characters shown so far, and the hardships were only hinted through Clarice and Yutsu's scenes. Here, Mariel's line stands out to me 'so she felt so blessed to fall asleep on something so comfortable'. It really hits me because I could relate to that a little. I'm not ashamed to confess I miss my bed when I was still travelling lol The comfort of your home just can't be compared to either a high-end hotel or a sketchy roadside motel, so I can only speculate how Mariel must have felt since she and her relatives are on the move for years. The oppression in Vertalis is also implied to be far worse than anything we've seen to make her fear Felines so much. She's given them the benefit of doubt before but they still betrayed her trust. Hopefully, Clarice can fully remove that fear of betrayal.
lol I suspected Mariel was the Mouse Paddy dropped off, but I didn't expect her to have met the infamous Rio. Definitely didn't expect her plan to be meeting Rui either. She would've been an interesting addition to the TBK group in that case. For sure she and Kura wouldn't get along and they would probably fight over Nita. Anyways, because of that short paragraph, I've made a few comparisons. Mariel shares similarities with Kura, but unlike the latter she welcomes affection (Clarice not withstanding) and she enjoys being the one coddled, unlike Kura who wants to be seen as an adult. It doesn't seem like Mariel receives a lot of attention from her relatives, so Elaine's presence would be great for her. However, I also compare Mariel's personality to Rui's when Lana was still alive. They were both uncertain and seemingly frail on the surface, but circumstantial factors caused them to harden and become independent. The difference is that, obviously, the perspectives they chose. Rui is realistic in a jaded way while Mariel is the opposite.
I also didn't expect her to overcome her fear enough to defend Clarice, even though the latter knows of the attack. It shows that Mariel's fundamentally a good girl loyal to her friends, and more importantly it gives Clarice hope that she can really help people. It's heartwarming to see her fighting her fear to protect her Feline friend from a villainous one. Because of this, Clarice becomes even more attached to the Hamster than she already is. It's not hard to foresee a lasting friendship between the two adventurous comrades-in-arms.
A little bit of Clarice's background is revealed, showing how fond she is of her mother Clare. A different objective that's more personal than inheriting Kura's dreams is also revealed here. With the way the information is presented, I want to say Rocor is Clarice's father, though he could just be someone who impacted her life and had no direct relation to her. Either way Rocor was enough of a reason for her to leave her family and travel around her country until she eventually wandered to Kaltrea, meeting Kura which reignited her goal of changing the world. Maybe it's been mentioned already but how long has she been traveling? This small episode at Onean is like a preview of her untold stories as a lonesome vagabond. It'd be interesting to see flashbacks of her days in the Tyradum, which in spite of the numerous mentions and its importance, is still a mystery to the readers.
She also doesn't seem like a big fan of the royal family, as expected from a Feline citizen opposing her country's way of running things. As implied before, Princess Yasmine sounds like one of the few good Lioness so far not counting Clarice, because she's actually doing good for the people no matter what race they are. The one brief paragraph also brings question the reliability of these newspaper reports. I think it's in TBK but the details of the Invasion in Fenrisyr, as told to Riphaen citizens like Rui, are different than the actual events. So we'll see how much power the media really holds.
Like Clarice said, Elaine looks to be the mother type for sure with her caring nature, and the fact she's not as rowdy as the other two lol She's still Tal's daughter though so I can see her joining the two in their games eventually. With that said, she's still awkward when it comes to intimate bonding as opposed to how smooth she was at interacting with strangers and acquaintances. I'm with Clarice, because I wonder why Elaine's not popular at her school. There's definitely more to it than just being a Canine amongst Felines.
I can see that the books she brought will refer to their actual journey. Maybe the story of Rocor and Hendrick talks about the relationship between the Avians and the Samarian reptiles. The use of a journal reminds me of Spectre but seeing the atmosphere in CC so far, it probably won't be used in a similar way lol
I'd expected Bob to be a Feline, but it's still a pleasant surprise to see Clarice helping Mariel battle her fear, and the latter actually succeeding. I was half waiting for the change in travel plan as well because of the map, but I'm still excited to see that is the case. The trio might go to Kazan and ultimately Rainwall. I wonder if TBK and CC will merge at some point.
Overall, great end to CC's Arc I, I'll look forward to the interlude with the cute title lol
Notable names: Rocor the Undying and Hendrick the Valiant (characters from a book); Princess Yasmine (7th, manages orphanages), Princess Roxanna (10th, youngest, Tyr's favorite), Prince Diarmuid (2nd, womanizer), Prince Sadat (5th, alleged homosexual), Prince Cassander (deceased)
| unagi-sama 12/11/12 . chapter 6
Great chapter! I love the part where Mary shared the snacks with the kids even though she treasures the food Elaine's packed for her. The part with Elaine snuggling up to Clarice is very cute too (and tempting 8D) and I find Clarice and Mariel's interactions hilarious XD The Hamster is just so cute so I understand why Clarice's so attached to her. Clarice's sentimental, nostalgic side is adorable, I'd do the same as Elaine did by petting that cute kitty XD I can't wait to read more of their adventure! Cat Dog Mouse oh yes!
| K 12/5/12 . chapter 5
Ah man, Clarice...so very cheeky.
But beyond her humor, she really does have such a great spirit, and I love what you guys did with her during the "bullying" section. Being a feline, it's assumed that she would partake in that particular role, but she continues to defy the rules that society has set despite the possible consequences-of being an outcast! I love it! I love how she sticks up for what's right (such a great role model and overall moral for the TBK world, as we (the readers) have all seen the horrors that discrimination has lead to.
But there's so much that hasn't been told about Clarice's background...why is she so troubled by something that seems to have happened in the past? She's extremely noble and persistent in leading the path of righteousness, but what exactly has inspired her to do so (besides her early meeting with Kura)? I'll be curious to find out...she's quite the character, and it'll be great to see the three dimensional sides to her emotions and being, since we see a lot of her "jokester."
I also love her interaction with Nel after saving her from the bullies. It's great to see the two different races interacting so closely because it shows the small changes that Clarice has impacted just by her small actions thus far.
Sorry for the late reply...but finals are almost over and I'll be (hopefully) getting around to creating a fun TBK fanart piece...Keep up the great work! :D
| SalemXYZ 11/26/12 . chapter 5
We're back to another light-hearted chapter of CC. Seeing that the next one will focus on Mariel and reveal more about her, I'll just talk about Clarice and Elaine.
I probably mentioned this before but I'll say it again. I like how the general set-up of CC is different and more down to earth than TBK. CC concentrates on smaller-scale events, and so it's able to really focus on the characters themselves without sacrificing time for the grander plot. Even though Clarice and Elaine are still new to us, as this is still arc1, they're three-dimensional and solid as the leads of CC.
The part-time jobs are unexpected and seemingly uneventful at first glance, but there are deep messages in each one. Like Clarice said, it's a small ripple they've caused here at Onean, but it's still a ripple. "Responding to hate with hate only begets more hate. She learned that long ago" It'll be interesting to see how long Clarice can keep up this philosophy even when she faced much more stubborn extremists.
For Elaine, she's able to reach people through the pastries she happily baked, as if the purity of her good will is imbued in the food. Food is magic in a way. I can also relate to her patience when dealing with rude, difficult customers. Sometimes politeness just doesn't work, so it's admirable how she's able to stand her ground. Hopefully she can reveal more of exactly what she's learned in the Academy because in spite of her ordinary background as a civilian, she's in fact of rare upbringing in this story's group of main cast, being the only character revealed to have gone through formal schooling so far.
Clarice seems to be the unfortunate target of this reverse racism, but I can't say I'm surprised because the folks probably never met a non-discriminating Feline their entire lives, especially with cats like Sandy around. Thanks for naming a character that, by the way lol unless it was decided during you guys' plotting long ago. Clarice also seems to have a turbulent childhood in spite of being a Feline. It could be either because of her mixed blood, or something to do with her parents' deviating allegiance? Perhaps it's because Onean is a smaller town that the Felines there were reluctant to fight against a kin, but I'm sure it's different elsewhere seeing Sandy's attitude. While it surprised me that Clarice slapped the Wildcat, it's also justified and I'm glad to see some stern side to the brunette's usually easy going personality.
Irrelevant but I actually never heard of 'bosom presser' before so my reaction was the same as Clarice's lol
This is shorter than my usual ramblings but it's a chapter that the reader just sits back to enjoy it unfold. I look forward Dr5.
Notable things: surprisingly no new place names in this chapter
| jfmhill 11/25/12 . chapter 5
Oh and I'm gonna guess Hammy's more afraid of clarice at night cuz thats when cats hunt
| unagi-sama 11/24/12 . chapter 5
I love the craziness in CC, especially making fun of poor Elaine 8D joking joking. I like how Clarice and Elaine are helping Kura by going through the people. Small scale operations are more successful. Like Clarice said, a little bit at a time. Elaine can probably tame, I mean appeal to people with the yummy food she makes. Nel is adorable so I'm glad Clarice slapped that girl! Those who bully kids really deserve to be slapped. They're the ones who need to be taught their places.
I'm guessing the next chapter will show us Mariel's job. I can't wait to see how she puts those tools on her concept art to work XD
| jfmhill 10/9/12 . chapter 4
Fufufu nice comeback Elaine c:
| SalemXYZ 10/9/12 . chapter 4
So, the last CC chapter we return to TBK? I have to say I'll miss the adventuresque atmosphere but I can't wait to go back to TBK either.
Anyways, first Elaine POV is different than I expected but in a good way. I'd thought it'd be more formal and sombre toned, not just because of what happened but because of the way she was portrayed by both Kura and Clarice. Pleasantly, here we see Elaine with a much more positive and rather child-like viewpoint of the world around her. As mature and lady-like as she usually is, she is also quite the awkward girl who doesn't seem to know, or at least not used to, banter with a friend. She tries to adapt though, since she seems to enjoy trying out new things… which is a potential ammunition for Clarice to tease her later. At least, the brunette is able to bring out the Husky's puppy side hidden beneath that 'princess' mask.
However, it also seems like Clarice only sees Elaine as a girly lady who needs someone to cater, or should have someone to protect her in spite of the duel they had, that the blonde could probably hold her own if the situation calls for it. It's shown when Elaine was unable to sleep well the previous night due to her excitement, but Clarice thinks it must be because of the ground and how the blonde is unused to sleeping outside, which is true to an extent. This might cause a problem later on if Elaine wants to be independent and prove herself to Clarice…and might get into trouble. I see the the blonde having the potential to be just as reckless as Kura and Clarice.
On the other hand, Elaine only sees the Feline as a jokester who's always upbeat even with the experiences and goals she had shared with the Husky. In a way, Elaine has already placed Clarice as a leader, a pillar to lean against if she needs direction. It's to be expected, since the Feline is an experienced traveler while she's just starting out. However, it'd be interesting to see if this situation would reverse somehow, that she gets to be Clarice's pillar for support later on.
Elaine bringing Kura's present along also provides a good plot point later on. The toy is basically acting as 'Kura' on this CC journey. Elaine would talk to it for sure, and maybe Clarice would later on too, if she ever feels lost. The blonde's choice for camping/traveling gear is also very peculiar, though they will all be good topic providers, or just ammunition for Clarice to tease her. Since the books are explained a little, I see they will serve as important plot points in the future too. The Book of poems will provide history lessons on the recurring 'Golden Ages', while the other two titles already foreshadow the future twists waiting for the cast. The most interesting item is, of course, the journal in which she will scribble drabbles of their journey. This reflects on the CC titles as well as the Foreword. i don't have enough information to ramble yet, so I'll keep this in mind for now.
Now onto Clarice and Mariel. lol, a hamster…just lol Unless she's anything like Yutsu who far exceeds one's expectation of a harmless bunny, Mariel is pretty much a fodder, disadvantaged by this carnivore-dominated world. I foresee her as a dynamic character as well, not only because of the expressions on her concept art but because of the way she acts when she isn't so seized up in terror. Unlike Nita, who remains still cheerful in spite of her abduction, Mariel is the first character we'll be able to see just how much damage the Tyradum oppression had done to the lesser people, for the lack of better words. It also intrigues me because Mariel said she came from Zylo, where Nita had worked for awhile. Is the Hamster a former slave? She seems to have too much spunk to be one, unless she wasn't captured for long and this would also explain her terror of Felines. I remember Paddy mention dropping off a Mouse, so this could be Mariel who could have gotten captured at Zylo until she somehow escaped to where she is now.
I also like how Mariel doesn't immediately take a liking to Clarice. She represents the very thing the brunette wants to overcome, to right the wrongs her brethren had inflicted upon the other species. As well-traveled as the Feline is, she's bound to have run into less than peaceful situation concerning her race. This reverse-racism will be interesting to read in elaborated segments. The small flashback already implies that Clarice was beaten up for crimes she did not commit, if those were even crimes in the first place. Through her interactions with the Hamster, we might be able to see how Clarice really is beneath her jokester mask - a weary individual who just wants to help her country by helping others.
Also, I see a lot of references to myths and fables, which are quite enjoyable along with the friendly first segment of this chapter. Also, this is random but this line "She was certain that she had a calling, an inexplicable tug that told her that she belonged elsewhere instead of her sheltered life." made me think of Call of the Wild for some reason lol
Overall, great chapter and I highly look forward to Book2.
Notables things: Ran Gerisyr (Elaine's grandmother), Vendetta by George Poplar and Raindrops by Iris Cypress (books Elaine brought), the Lady of the Lake, High Queen of Lemuria, Guardian of the Highlands (important figures from the Golden Ages)
| unagi-sama 10/7/12 . chapter 4
I've been meaning to write a better feedback once I've seen this chapter XD An overall opinion of CC so far.
The world you guys created is more than just harsh facets of reality and trying to make a living. It's also a world with magical qualities, not just from the 'animal traits' the people has but because of the magic and unexplored regions you've hinted here and there. So far in TBK we've seen a more down-to earth side of Drasgard, controlled by authority and science, something that might change with Book2 but I'll have to see won't I 8D? Here in CC, even though everything's been 'following the rules', it also has a fairytale quality such as the Wisteria scene, the duel in the cloverfields, and now you have a Hamster by the campfire! The dynamic of the witty cat, the amiable dog and cautious mouse will sure be fun to read about as they get exposed to more of the world.
Clarice is similar to Kura in many ways, but she definitely stands out with her charismatic, social and teasing demeanor. She wants to help Kura's goal by going for the internal healing, to change the people's thinking. I'd love to see her fight for real in the future, or any other situation that would allow her to show off the skills and knowledge she's accumulated through her traveling. Her past is also very interesting, because not only is she a lynx, which is a faction that supported the rebellion, she is also a lioness.
Elaine is very devoted to Kura but quite lost because she doesn't know how to help her childhood friend. Even though she's been mentioned for a long time, we don't completely know her past yet because of her connections to the higher ups in Fenrisyr. In fact, there must be so much to tell about Tal and Ala, especially how they managed to get married and have a sweet little pup like Elaine. I'd also love to see her fight against a real villain later on.
Mariel is only introduced this chapter so I can't say much yet. Her past makes me very curious though, because as a Hamster she must've been treated badly like she implied. Her fear of Clarice is borderline phobia, to freeze up like that, so I'd love to see how they get along later on, especially without Elaine as a mediator. She mostly seems like a harmless kid though, unlike Elaine with her connections and Clarice with a goal. I just see her as someone who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Who knows? Maybe she's searching for someone because she was going to Kaltrea? There are too many possibilities XD
I think that's all I have to say for now until I read more of CC. Keep up the great work! :)
| K 10/7/12 . chapter 4
"well, I suppose I might even write drabbles about our lively journey..."
Haha, I see what you did there...nice.
Clarice loves to tease the hell out of Elaine, I can honestly see that backfiring on her one of these days if she steps way too over the line, but she's quite the fun jokester. She seems to be getting pretty close to Elaine in such a short period of time which really reflects her easy-going personality. Also, Clarice seems like the kind of person to sacrifice her own life for the sake of others..(.or at least severe injury)...it'll be great to see where you guys take these two since they belong on two opposing sides according to society (that could cause some trouble if they venture somewhere they shouldn't be, right?)...nice work!
I also like how Clarice backs off from Mariel after she freaks her out...she could easily (with her aggressive style) continue to convince her that she won't harm her, but I like how you make her ease off...it really makes her a more three dimensional character with a variety of feelings and emotions.
The following quote helps explain what I was referring to (and I'm glad to see this continue to lead the characters' motives):
"The terrified expression quickly formed a block of chilly guilt in the pit of her stomach, for it looked so similar to the way many other non-Felines viewed her kind. The thought quickly tamed the roguish grin on her face as it painfully reminded her of how she had been judged so unfairly and cruelly for looking like the many others who have done heinous crimes."
Great update! It's really nice to see how far you all have come with your storytelling skills, and it's amazing to see how your work has turned out after (what seems to me to be) a long period of planning, editing, and whatnot. If I happen to go the route of interactive entertainment/new media and pursue a career in it, then I'll definitely be hitting you guys up and recommending you all for prospective future work. :D Keep it up!
| jfmhill 9/25/12 . chapter 3
I think being called a ruffian i the night s a complement :3
What is the cheese thing?! I gotta know!
Will Sir Cloverfield get the Princess?
The suspense will probably kill me but don't worry I'll be sure to become a zombie as soon as you put a new chapter up c: