Reviews for Nochnayia Lubov
Narq chapter 41 . 2/6/2011
I just love how "ANGRY" Katya gets here. I wish we could see a bit of this anger later in the story, too!

he was no longer entirely solid, but some sort of jelly

- hehe, nice. I hope you're not talking from experience! XD

She looked back: she led a bare-backed horse.

- lol. does our Mare do anything? Like raise her head and look at Katya sadly, thinking ":sigh: men!" (haha, okay , okay, this isn't a cartoon!)
thewhimsicalbard chapter 41 . 2/6/2011
My first impression: this chapter was incredibly short.

Your story was, as always, edited well and written expressively. However, I found this chapter to be more than a little bit discordant in terms of theme.

Nikolai loses himself completely and gets stupid drunk, almost ruining his chances of getting to safety - after everything he and Katya have already been through, I find that a little bit unrealistic. I think that really hurts the strength of their relationship, which you have been very careful to reinforce many times throughout the story, as strange as the dynamics of the relationship itself may be. I think this chapter might be hurting the careful setup you've done so far, but I'll wait and see how you handle it in the future.

Capitalizing the word "Here" right in the middle of the chapter was a nice touch.

Now, here's the part that really bugs me - when did Katya's character suddenly become so confident that she was able to shed her fear, loathing, and hatred of the guards to the extent that she was able to become one of them, even for a short time? From what I've read in your story, being a soldier in Katya's mind is the lowest, most base form of living to which one can possibly fall. The soldiers killed her friends; she hates them. Yet, she seems so easily able to become one of them. That doesn't settle well with me. I don't know if you intended that to happen, but that is the way I saw it.

I'm worried about this chapter; it's very short, which means that every word, every sentence carries that much more weight. The things you've used here to move the plot forward (Katya's disguise, for example) have a lot of weight in terms of character development - and I'm not sure if you really want them to.

One way to fix this, I think, would be to add to the first two paragraphs describing Katya's internal state. You could also clear up some of the details surrounding why it becomes possible for her to don the uniform of a soldier later in the chapter, and maybe use this as an opportunity to show your readers what happens when Katya has time to brood. You know what I'm talking about?

Once again, let me impress upon you that you have a fantastic story written here, and that I could no sooner write something of this caliber than win a WCC with a poem ;) I can't wait to see more!

-thewhimsicalbard
Tawny Owl chapter 41 . 2/6/2011
OMG new chapter!

So, yes I'm cheating. I've read the others. I'll go back and review them while I'm waiting for number 42. And I can not wait to see the look on Chelyadin's face.

Anyway...

I liked the comment about the propoaganda films. It really made me imagine this blur of nonsensical information zipping past the train. And I also really enjoyed how, after Katya's almost defeatist start to the chapter, she then pulled it together and became the responsible adult.

I do really want to know what happened to get Kolya so drunk though. Or maybe he's imaging the look on Chelyadin's face as well?

I think the urgency of Katya trying to wake him up was brilliant. The way it zoomed by so quick without uneccessary description, and teh short sentences. A cup of stone cold tea rocked itself on the compartment's table. This went into his face. A slap followed soon after. Kolya blinked languidly. His muscles shivered. - That was great.

I loved the image of him falling into the road as well, even though Katya doesn't actually see it happen. This is the one place in teh chapter he gets called Nikolai, rather than Kolya though, which was a bit odd. Unless Katya is like my mother? She alwasy uses my full name when she's angry with me.

Loved teh idea of Katya pretending to be a ** guard as well. And that she's so good at it. And that it so clearly illustrtes the society they're in.

I think I'm a bit too in love with this story now. So don't expect me to be too useful in terms of concrit for a while. Sorry.
Tawny Owl chapter 38 . 2/5/2011
I love Katya's jealousy of the horses, and the way she resents the attention they still from her. The idea of her trying to sway about with her poorly feet is quite funny too.

Come on Katya, we all know you want to live really.

You mix the humour and the gentle emotions so well with the poignancy though. Jealous of that.

Her chest was strained to breaking. - but she's still so flat on the outside. It's like the doors, another habit she can't give up.

She mouthed words she couldn't voice though shuddering lips. - lovely image. I love the paragraph that follows too. Infact, pretty much love all of it until the end.

I enjoyed this alot, bless them.
Tawny Owl chapter 37 . 2/5/2011
But hell can be heaven for some. - Oh yeah.

Loving the domestic image of this, and her almost teasing him. Although if she's that hungry she wouldn't have fallen asleep so fast. I really liked the idea of her being able to feel the smile through the furs, but I oculdn't quite work out who's perspective we were in. I thought Katya's at first, and then got a bit lost.

Loved the fat conversation to. I can't think of a single other situation that conversation coul dbe had between a man and a woman and not result in tears.

Sure she can't have a baby? because of the harsh treatment in the camp? Sorry, I've forgotten if you told us another reason.

Face shrunk in sadness! Kolya the puppy is back.

The sight of another living thing, so large, so close, struck Katya into momentary muteness - That's such a good observation. It really drove home how isolated they've been.

her curl back into her shell like a snail burned. - brillinat description. And it's a great way of showing that she still thinks of him as a soldier, even though he probably no longer looks like one.

Infact Kolya's frustration at her was almost funny. It reminded me of the bit in Shawshank Redemption when Red still has to ask to go to the bathroom. It wa that kind of funny/sadness.

Hi Leni - I love how you slip them in and make them interact with the surroundins, even though we know they'r eonly in Katya's head.
Tawny Owl chapter 36 . 1/31/2011
Ok, I've been looking forward to this. And I promise I'm going to review it properly, rather than the half arsed splurges I gave you last time. Sorry about that, I was a bit carried away.

I like that the first sentence brings us straight back. Given how long it's been though I think there is some scope for breaking up the sentance and making the initial tender moment last longer. That might just be me though. I wanted to bask in it a bit longer.

her breathing - should that be breath?

A deep breath filled his chest and emptied it of the last dregs of the past - Loved this. I could feel him exhaling. It must have been emotionally draining for him too and it seems right that he's then all manly and goes to find something physical to do. I would have thought it would be more of an effort for him to get out there though, and when he did I bet the wood would take a pounding.

They would live. - Nice!

Marshmallow feet! brilliant image. Especially with the sticky legs.

the pit of her belly distinctly covetous - I love this! It's such an original way of saying it. The way you describe teh fire too, it's perfect and effortless. I love how you do that.

The cold crushing the cabin was lovely too - and in contrast with being meltingly warm.

fire-starters - this felt awkward. Maybe kindling? It's a personal thing though.

His past loomed large as the fire-shadows climbing the walls, - beautiful.

Brilliant ending. And ominous too. It makes his relationship with the current Katya more fragile, like it would dissolve if he found the Nora/katya again.
Tawny Owl chapter 35 . 1/29/2011
Ok, last one. I'm going to save part 3 for later, having finally got there.

Beautiful atmospheric start. Never seen a clock ticking used so well before.

He nodded, looking a thousand years old. Beautifully bleak description.

Man, got to hate those Tuesday afternoons. The office and a gentleman comment made me laugh, but i couldn't help thinking of it as just a little bit anachronistic. (is that how you spell it? will check later, too busy reading)

Oh,and it was really sad that Pasha came to keep him company and then got split up again. That was very mean of you. Nice poignant ending though. Kudos for that.
Tawny Owl chapter 34 . 1/29/2011
wow, huge time jump. But starting with Hitler being dead made us know that right off. So that helped set the scene. It's also made me apprectiate how much Kolya must have gone through when we first see him. I've never really appreciated that he survived a whole war before.

Oh, is that really how Stalin died? I really wish I could remember more of my A-level history while reading this. I like the fact that Alexei was there to see it being all aloff and regal. Like a comic book super villan almost, but in a good way.
Tawny Owl chapter 33 . 1/29/2011
It seems very cruel that Nikolai doesn't find out that Nora isn't who he thinks she is. It make sme feel even more sympathy for him becasue although he ha sthe lie of Katya being happy to keep him warm, it is still a lie.

Dima's reaction to Valeryia was so sweet. Oh, I don't wnat him to go back - especially if teh Tsar has dismissed Chelyadin. There will be no one to look after him now.

Nikolai being taken away did pass very quickly, and I'm not sure if it needed more reaction from him, or whether the abruptness of it added to the power. Hmm.

I kind of like the image of Alexei as this almost cranky Mrs Haversham type character in a wheel chair though. It's sort of not his fault becuase he's a product of the system that he was born into, and the weight of his disease, but on the other hand I kind of think he's..I was going to say not a very nice person, but there are nice parts to him too. Just a person I guess, but he I still quite like seeing him all intropsective and unhappy becasue he did bring alot of it on himself.
Tawny Owl chapter 32 . 1/29/2011
I really enjoy how you describe Nora's red dress. There's a couple of moments when it's so good I kind of forget everything else and just want a dres slike that.

When her blood starts flowing it feels a bit sudden though. She'd react to teh needle being put in?

Loved the pace of this though and the way you describe Nora's confusion, the way she goes from being the centre to a hazy blur on the edges.

I'm not really sorry that she's been sent off on a suicide mission either. She was a wel drawn character but I never really felt like cheering for her like I do with some of the others. It does kind of suck that Mogliev wins though. It would have been nice to see more of his smugness through Nora's confusion though. I bet the guy is going to be having a quiet celbrationnow he's finally gother out of his hair.
Tawny Owl chapter 31 . 1/29/2011
Shouldn't Alexei know that Nikolai is in the palace? didn't he see them enter?

The pace of teh first part of this chapter was really good, but I think you need more dialogue tags as it was a bit confusing who was speaking sometimes. And you use 'he' quite a lot and it's unclear whether it's Alexei or Mogliev.

The move into the restricted area of the palace could do with some fleshing out as well. Something to show that we are in Dima's room and then leaving it again maybe? I wasn't entirely sure how far they travelled.

Oh, Dima clutching Kolya's leg was a lovely image. And Nora's conflict was well shown, warning Kolya, but catching the tsar.
Tawny Owl chapter 30 . 1/29/2011
Loved the image of the red dress in the snow. And the fact that Nora has got tarted up for her moment of triumph. She's more of a girl than I suspected. And i know that it's not going to end well, and that's making me want to read all the quicker, which is a pain!

The change of perspective from Nora to Alexei was a bit sudden, but I loved the image of thsi avenging white angel hanging over everything.

The end with teh repitition of 'it's my family' was lovely too.
Tawny Owl chapter 29 . 1/29/2011
Oh, I felt for Alexei in this - the miles of corridors was an image that struck, and it kind of made him look trapped in the moddle of them as well. It made me realise that perhaps he is as trapped as his sister. He can go out, but not without pain.

Nice to have a Russian take on Hitler as well. You don't get that in history lessons here very much.

I an feel all the tensions bubbling to teh surface as well, and I think it's very skillful how you keep them all going with gentle reminders (like Chelyadin's reaction to the tsar saying he has noone to inherit his titles).

Curious who the Rom uncle is.

And the phone ringing was a powerful note to end on.
Tawny Owl chapter 28 . 1/29/2011
Oh, the contraste between Alexei and his sister and Kolya nad his family was lovely. I think you're very good at doing that, or perhaps I've just started noticing them a bit more.

Even with Kolya's saddness over not being allowed to go to the ball it still had a warmth to it that was more open than the previous chapter which was colder, more carefully controlled.

Cliff hanger too. Must read on...
Tawny Owl chapter 27 . 1/29/2011
Ok, don't feel obliged to return these or anything. I just really, really want to get up to part 3 now that you've started posting it. Seriously, It's hard wok not to just abandon thsi and skip ahead.

I like Alexei's logic about not involving Chelyadin, it makes sense to keep it from him, you know, it you're a autocrat used to having your own way. I can see he's being kind, without really understanding why Chelyadin is going to be really pissed if he ever finds out.

I don't know! I loved that response, and I love Dima in all of this. I want to take him home with me. And the amputationof teh photograph was so much more powerful than torn. I could learn from that.

Where is Chelyadin? Would he really arrive that promptly in such a massive palace?

Dima fighting back was almost comical, more so, in a an inappropriate way because Alexei couldn't fight back. I liked the idea of the kid beating up the tsar of Russia. The comedy of 'no one touches teh Tsar being the first and foremost' made me laugh as well.

It made the stuff taht followed between Dima and Chelyadin sadder.
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