Reviews for Whispers In The Dark
grayperiod chapter 11 . 8/27/2008
What an incredible story. It reminds me a lot of the story I'm writing. Ari is almost identical to my main characater. Please add the next chapter soon.
Justin Carlton chapter 11 . 7/24/2008
Sweet! I've been looking for the next installment...

"Ari rolled his eye." - just one of them?

"Ari adjusted himself on the saddle, gathering the reigns into one hand." - reins

"Ari flipped forward his reign..." - again, reins

I really, really liked the imagery at the end. Very beautifully done. The futile gesture from the emperor was almost chilling, even though I didn't really "see" it.

Nice work, bro - keep it up.
Teffie chapter 3 . 7/16/2008
I like the characters in this story so far. I also liked your description of the funeral and the sword-fathers. Very creative. There were several grammatical errors, though, mostly involving dialogue and punctuation.

Like this one:

"Ari took no effect from the jab.“Its the least I could do(,)” (h)e whispered back."

There are several like that scattered throughout the story.

“The old man must have lost his mind... may he live forever.”

Ahahahahah. Ari is the best.

It seems strange that Ari isn't upset about Deniel's death. But maybe that's just how he is.
Teffie chapter 2 . 7/15/2008
Once again, your imagery and descriptions are first-rate. I like the excitement you build in this chapter. The characters seem interesting too.

Your paragraphs are a little chunky. I would suggest spacing them out more.

Some of your sentences are confusing. I would add more commas or just make them shorter.

Grammar nitpicks:

“Welcome my Lords and Ladies!” (s)houted a thin man...

"Shouted" should be lower-case. I would make "lords" and "ladies" so as well,but I'm not sure what the grammatical rule is in this case.

"A short boo was interrupted by the surprisingly loud voice of the small man."

"Ari of the Bramsen House, a youth taking his journey through his second decade of life(,) sat next to a few other of his age."

"That's why I have to think that it's just me inventing things in my own head."

"The large rider rode around the circumference of the arena(,) his finely crafted blade held aloft..."

"“Kojo()” (c)ame the only word that the large man had spoken in days."

"For by the time the small man shouted, “Warriors, begin the battle!” The crowd(')s roar was near deafening."

This sentence is tricky, grammar-wise. I'm pretty sure "the" should be lower-case, and there needs to be a comma after the announcement. I'm not sure how to place it, though. I would revise the sentence.

"that this 'Kojo' could be played him."

"Could have played him"? Maybe?

"“Kojo.” (h)e said once again."

So far, Ari seems the most interesting to me. Maybe just because he's the funniest. I'm interested to see how the characters will come together.
Teffie chapter 1 . 7/15/2008
Great beginning. It's suspenseful and well-written. Your descriptions of the whispers were quite haunting. There were some grammar mistakes that I think have already been pointed out in some of your other reviews. I would suggest cleaning those up immediately. It will help you hook more readers.

I would also advise against using epithets like "raven-haired man." It's always easier to simply use the character's name, and it flows better. In this instance, I don't think you had mentioned the advisor's hair color before, so for a moment I wasn't sure who you were referring to.

The ending of this chapter is particularly powerful. I look forward to reading more.
Tawny Owl chapter 2 . 7/4/2008
‘Shouts of excitement rose to an unbelievably loud level, shouts from the thousands of men wanting to see blood, screams from women wanting to see something else’ – You’ve done it again, I do like the way you describe things like that. It’s a nice contrast to the quiet empty scene in the last chapter as well

I quite liked Ari’s self obsessed ramblings. The way he was completely absorbed with something other than the noise and fight that was going on in front of him.

Kojo cam across strongly in this, even though we never got to see from his point of view. I was not sorry to see the end of Gorgannan either.

‘that this 'Kojo' could be played him’ – should this be playing him?
Tawny Owl chapter 1 . 7/4/2008
It’s an interesting way to start. From the top with the implication that next we’re going to see what happens when the decision filters downwards.

Did get a bit confused who the advisor was talking to when he relayed the King’s commands. I thought there were only guards in the Great Hall?

I liked the way you described the situation in this. I think you had some very clever ways to describe things. ‘whispering suggestions that were commands disguised as soft opinions’ and ‘The whispers tread past the ruins that used to be his morals’ were good.
Justin Carlton chapter 10 . 6/20/2008
“Life getting too stressful ah? With all that gold and what not? Must be real hard up there in the Noble District.” - whatnot is one word; also, I love how her sarcasm goes right over Ari's head.

Kudos for not devoting an unnecessary sentence to pointing that out - like a lot of authors would do...

"...playing and singing on en elevated wooden platform. They were plenty loud, though even their elevation their music was drowned out by the people below them." - in the first sentence, you meant "an"; in the second, I think you have a few extra words, or are missing several to complete the thought. I understand what you were getting at, though.

"The two odd pair turned another corner..." - "two" is unnecessary

Quick - if painful - thinking there at the end. I like how you're tying the characters together, although I'm still a little unclear on how the mental images work. Last time he saw them, Ari was sleeping, wasn't he?

Oh, and no need to apologize. I'm just glad you like the story so far. The thing I'm most curious about, though, is the characters - whether or not they're real, whether their interactions seem realistic, etc. The reviews don't have to be lengthy to be helpful, you know?

Anyway, great writing. I've got you on "alert" for sure now, so I'll check back in when Ch. 11 goes up.

God bless, bro.
Justin Carlton chapter 9 . 6/19/2008
Sorry I missed your updates - I thought I had you on "alert", but alas, I did not.

"Ari's life was out of his hands. But he supposed it didn't matter, Rhiannon seemed to be doing a great job." - I like the wording, and I get what you're saying, but the thought isn't really complete.

"His father was jumping on the band wagon..." - bandwagon

"Ari had to restrain himself from sighing. The cheese strategy had not worked." - seriously, very amusing and well-worded

Ari is a great character with which to work. He definitely stands apart from the rest, and Rhia complements him very well. I like the direction this is moving.
Esther Jade chapter 1 . 6/19/2008
You have some really strong descriptions in here. I particularly liked the two sentences you ended with.

I thought you set the scene well in this short, opening chapter. You conveyed the context and two characters with clarity, though I think you may have had a little too much detail about the hall.

One thing that bothered me was the advisor's announcement at the end. Maybe it's a rite or something but I found it slightly comical to imagine him saying this formal passage to an empty room. It broke the mood for me.

Minor points:

“The time is now..” Came the whispered words into the old Emperor's ears. - The first letter of "came" needs to be lower-case.

The whispers tread past the ruins that used to be his morals, his convictions, they had long ago crumbled at the relentless attacks of the whispers. - The third comma is creating a comma splice. It needs to be either a semi-colon or a full stop.

The softly spoken words reverberated across his core, they shook him. - Again, the comma is creating a comma splice. I would suggest cutting the second part of the sentence. I think it would make the first half stronger.

commands disguised as soft opinions - I'm not sure about "soft" as a word choice here.

Like it's master - That "it's" should be an "its".

minstrels cheering up the place - I don't think "cheering up" is an appropriate word choice here. It seems to have a very different register to the rest of the writing.

Now the large stone room was vacant its many plush and brightly colored furnishings. - This sentence doesn't make sense. It feels like two fragments shoved between a pair of full stops.

It was near dark in the throne room, besides a few guards it was just the Emperor and his advisor taking up the once grand hall. - The comma is again creating a comma splice. Also, you've already used "once" in this paragraph.

raising to his full height. - Typo. I think you mean "rising".
MaDMaS22 chapter 1 . 6/19/2008
The Little things:

"The whispers 'tread' past the ruins that used to be his morals,"

Watch your tense.

-

"whispering suggestions,
A-wolf-called-Skya chapter 2 . 6/19/2008
"The circle city was so vast. At its center lie* the..."

*Lay

I was spotting a lot of errors in this so far and so took a peek at your bio to see if you might mention any revisions in the future. I'm glad to know you will be doing so eventually! I'm having a hard time writing them down, so I just decided tonight. There is something off every few sentences, which is common. They're easy to spot, so I'll just stick to pointing out the less obvious.

By the way, while I bring up your bio page... my story isn't one of the many vampire stories riddling this site either. BUT I can always make an exception... -evil grin- But I agree. They need some sort of filtering device to get through all of the ones littering FP. Its become a popular genre of late. It used to be magic schools a few years ago.

The first five paragraphs left me fairly confused. When you read back you'll likely see what I mean.

"I wish to know all my competitors' names..." Opponents'?

“Very well, Kojo, you have fought well today. It is a privilege to fight against me.. I wish you well"

Maybe, "It is a priviledge to fight opposite you" instead. it makes more sense after the "you have fought well today".

"His deep voice brought a puzzled look from the champion, though the crowd chanting his name soon brought him to shrug it off, he was wrapped up in the crowds will, he could only smile..."

What? I lost what you were trying to say.

"The champion hadn't thought that the big man could be playing him, he hadn't even entertained the chance that this 'Kojo' could be a better warrior than he, hadn't even come close to thinking that this other man would win. All that changed a split second before the huge hammer planted itself into his helm, a sickening pound and a crack happened all at once, sending his lifeless body plummeting to the ground. The bright sharp sword fell to the ground, the sand hopped onto it, hoping to cover its shame of such an easy defeat."

Even rough, this is a promising paragraph. Polished up, it'll achieve a great effect paired with everything else so far.

I will definitely read more later!

Good writing,

-Rachel.
A-wolf-called-Skya chapter 1 . 6/19/2008
Catchy first three sentences! Hooked me there. I'll be reading on to see what else happens.

There were some errors I noticed, that threw your flow off. I really liked your flow.

"The whispers tread past the ruins that used to be his morals, his convictions, they had long ago crumbled at the relentless attacks of the whispers. The softly spoken words reverberated across his core, they shook him."

Maybe something like:

"The whispers tread past the ruins that used to be his morals, his convictions, that had long ago crumbled from their relentless attacks. The soft-spoken words reverberated through his core and shook him."

I really like Azyra's name! Its unique and different from so many on this site. Have you noticed how many have similar sounds? Its intriguing how that works.

"Rising", not, "Raising"...unless you meant "Razing" or "Raving". (In first sentence of last paragraph)

There are other awkward sentences, but they are much like the one I quoted above.

All in all, a good start to a story! Is this "far land" they talk of to the east, by any chance?

I'm curious. I'll read further and try to post another review before I sleep tonight.

Good writing,

-Rachel.

P.S. It would be much appreciated if you could read and review my new story, "Time of the Gates". All critism and comments are much sought after! I'm always trying to improve on it.
B. J. Winters chapter 9 . 6/18/2008
I’m reading your last chapter out of context, so I’ll reserve some judgments on plot/flow, etc. Overall this was enjoyable.

Opening: Could be stronger. You repeat the intent in a series of sentences. I’d combine the first two paragraphs and simplify. Invite the reader to keep reading rather than just stating facts. I did like the description of the setting, it was clear and I could visualize. However, you introduce the characters over and over in the same fashion. Telling the reader who sits at the table, and then perhaps using dialogue to draw them forward might flow better – right now its very dry, a bit like a laundry list of who’s/who vs. moving the plot forward in the way I suspect you’d like. Since you have dialogue later – I’d pepper the descriptions in there rather than stating them up front.

Characters: I enjoyed Ari. Particularly the part about “humor, and knowing humor”. I immediately got an impression and you held that on through the chapter with good consistency.

Writing/Flow: I’d like to see more action verb. You use a great deal of passive voice when you don’t have to.

Example: They had had to go shopping for him. Now he was dressed finely, in pretty combinations of light blue and white with a gold trim. He looked dignified and quite important. He had insisted they buy him something simpler, but Rhiannon quite forcefully insisted he look nice. As a sign of good will, or maybe a sign of vengeance on Rhiannon, Ari had bought him some plainer garb when she was not around. Ari also had to buy him weapons. Ari had put in an order for a custom war hammer;(his weapon of choice) with a spear tip at the bottom of the haft, as per Kojo's request {every sentence has “had”. The tense matches, but it’s not as exciting as it could be. Here you could mention they shopped for him, and package the results using active verbs}

Ending: I’d like more foreshadowing on what’s going to happen next. You last few sentences don’t make me want to turn the page. Perhaps a bit more drama?

Grammar stuff:

The servants were not accustomed to this amount of people, it had been a while since they had a party much more than the Lord Peldric and a few of his friends or family. {semi-colon}

The servants were not accustomed to this amount of people, it had been a while since they had a party much more than the Lord Peldric and a few of his friends or family. {semi colon or period}

Ari nodded simply, stuffing a piece of cheese into his mouth. Hoping that if his mouth was full no one else would talk to him. {second part is a fragment – combine}

Lower rank, but all of reasonable wealth. Probably hoping to make a fortune in the 'far land'. {fragments – choppy flow}

The question came from Connall. Which brought a condescending look from Ari to the red haired man. {second is a fragment}

They punctured his heart, they literally threw him to his back. {is there a typo here? And another comma joining two independent causes – its either a semi colon or a period}

Dairin walked up the stairs back into his parents manor. {parent’s}
Justin Carlton chapter 8 . 6/13/2008
"'I need your focking help over here!'" - did you mean to spell it that way?

"He then fell back in line with th rest of the guards." - the

Nice. So the dream was a vision, and Ari was seeing it? Great writing, seriously - this story has huge potential, and it's very original.

Love it - can't wait for the next installment.
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