|Reviews for Nochnayia Lubov|
| Punslinger chapter 26 . 10/8/2010
Another good, readable chapter. The only detail that bothers me is the way Nora allowed herself to become drunk and lose control of herself. A well trained and self-disciplined agent working undercover should be more cautious. But I suppose you have a good reason for her careless behavior.
| Narq chapter 26 . 10/8/2010
hm. You added quite a bit with the 'good boy' part but I think it suited well.
I was interested that Kolya would call her "ma'am" though. Sounded a bit funny and had to read it a couple of times to make it natural.
Wait...this is after Nora walked out on Kolya when he visited him. How come she's with him in the pub now?
Also, "How dare he suggest that she was trying to seduce him. If she was, she'd never be so stupid as to use her cleavage so blatantly." that doesn't make sense because it's ben a LONG time since we've sen her with the Tsar - chapter 13, the gambler to be exact.
A few contradictions that you can clear up easily :D (and you and I both know why).
| Michael Howard chapter 26 . 10/8/2010
"Do you know what it's like to want something so hard yet know it's completely out of your reach?"
Very enjoyable dialogue this time around and Nikolai's, um, 'friends' weren't as aggravatingly swarmy as in earlier chapters (I think I went to school with a few of them BTW 8-).
Very curious to see what comes of N's misguided albeit chivalric action here.
P. S. Add King Tide to the store of esoteric knowledge I've picked up from your stories!
| Michael Howard chapter 25 . 10/4/2010
Wonderful dialogue here. Your chapters are always short and yet somehow quite substantial at the same time. They are small windows through which the reader observes the nuances of human existence itself.
| Punslinger chapter 25 . 10/2/2010
I know very little about the Russian Orthodox religion, but your account of the Winter Palace's chapel and the priest's conduct seems very convincing. And your usual clever turn of phrase (e.g. "...the priest's eyebrows floated up...") helps brighten the narration. The relationship between Alexei and the priest seems so natural and intimate that you might give the latter a name to make readers feel more familiar with him.
| 3holmes chapter 25 . 10/2/2010
Please hurry and update this is the only story ive ever put on story alert. Get bck to nico and katya asap.
| Narq chapter 25 . 10/2/2010
"Love your enemy." - hehe, let's take it literally, mister!
Wait - does he know now already that he likes 'her'? (let's not spoil the plot) because I thought hte love your enemy wasn't intentional? Or was it?
oh, RE: Punslinger's "But even Dostoevsky and Tolstoy managed to hold our attention while we waited for them to tie up all of their loose ends." - take that as something good I reckon. He's comparing you to top writers! And THAT's GOOD!
| Tawny Owl chapter 14 . 9/30/2010
The chaise cradled a huddle of shawls, pencils, and books – That’s a nice image.
I don’t know what a Turkomen rug is. Maybe describe the particular colours or designs of it for silly people like me and have the mops snoring in a separate sentence. Just an idea, I’m off to google anyway.
The crackle of the gramophone is a lovely detail as well. Although I think you could make more of the Tsar’s appearance in this contented scene though. Have him block the light from the door way, or lift the gramophone needle. I know he does that later though as a way to bring us back from Switzerland, so maybe not. And maybe show the expression on his face before saying how he feels. Given the powerful almost vampiric idea of using her blood I know you could make it more powerful, and maybe a bit sinister, even though it’s clear that he does love her. Loves her and still hurts her: it’s an interesting conflict.
I’d like to see more of the thermal springs as well. The heat, or the smell, or the scenery even. The description of Chelyadin’s barely there eyebrows was good. Given the conversation is in the pool too there’s scope for the interactions of bodies with the water, and the sound of it too. It would make the encounter more tactile. And remind us where they are. Try shaking your head while swimming breast stroke, even lazily.
I did like the way that their country drew them together however, and how the boundaries of rank were sort of maintained through Chelyadin’s exit. It was subtle, but I still felt it and the way Alexei bursts in on him the next day.
Although the luncheon, as with the pool could do with more scenery. Like colours or objects on the table, back ground noise. Stuff to tie them into a location more. The details of themselves were enjoyable though. I especially liked Chelyadin’s flustered hands. The science was easy to follow too. Thank you for that.
You repeat shawls when Alexei is looking at his sister.
Oh, I’m loving the interaction between the siblings. And the way you describe Anastasia. I noticed you put up pictures. I’ll have to go an have a look.
The Tsar didn't answer, knowing she would ask for something he could not give. – and how does that make him feel?
The scent of her violet perfume surrounded him like trailing ivy – that’s lovely too.
And with extenuated sorrowful eyes gazing at him all the while, she played the slowest, most morbid song she could think of. – hehe. We have to take our revenge where we can, don’t we?
| Michael Howard chapter 24 . 9/27/2010
A wonderfully written chapter here with "But her anger was boiling, filling her with steam til she burst forth again" and "her voice still beautiful despite the tattered edges age gave it" being particular highlights.
| Punslinger chapter 24 . 9/25/2010
It's interesting to learn about Nora's Gypsy roots. But I fear that you may be in danger of leading us off into more-information-than-we-need-to-know territory until we lose sight of the story's original point. Or maybe you've decided to abandon that point and blaze new trails.
I don't mean to nitpick. Your writing is still a pleasure to read, and I know that Russian novels are notorious for their convoluted plots. But even Dostoevsky and Tolstoy managed to hold our attention while we waited for them to tie up all of their loose ends. I can't help worrying about the two prison camp escapee lovers languishing back there in the Urals. Or wherever you left them.
| Narq chapter 24 . 9/25/2010
glad to see your reviewers are starting to get onto the fact that Nora and Katyshuka are the same person :D
To make things even more clearer, "With a despairing look at the peeling ceiling, she started down" - maybe the "she" should be Nora, especially that no names are mentioned after this point and it would be good to at least have a name here.
"His eyes clung to her like a lost child." - nice, but I want to know how she feels - guilty?
"she rounded on him. "I don't care.." - Can we have more emotion with Nora here? What is she thinking exactly? Because it almost seems like she does like Kolya, and I'm pretty sure she thinks of him only as a tool to get what she wants. Does she feel guilty using him? There's a lot of scope to talk about here, I think.
Hm, last question. If they spilled onto the grey light of hte street, then how could Nora slam the door the the stiarwell? I think setting-wise, something might need to be done here.
| 3H chapter 24 . 9/25/2010
Okay do I have this right, Nora's pretending to be Ekaterina Marcovna? Or did I totally miss the mark?
| Tawny Owl chapter 13 . 9/19/2010
I've never noticed this before - and I think it's because in teh first part we were mostly in Katya's head - but with this chapter and the last one there's a real sence of the character's voice. Dima's chapter was so light and curious, but the short sentences and observations in this are very efficient. It gave me a good sense of what Nora was like before I even got off the third paragraph. That said though I had to read the first sentence once or twice to get it straight in my head. Maybe split Nora getting into the car off from the death cry of the propellers behind her. (Death cry was lovely description though.)
I liked the underying tension of the approaching meeting too. It was built up slowly but you could still feel it. Nice details, like the guard's pupils dilating too.
I enjoyed the contrast between the two worlds - it was almost like she'd come up through hades to get there. Mogilev's apperance seemed a bit sudden after all the waiting though. It felt like there should be footsteps first or something, given that it's quiet and she's been kept waiting for hours. Something to break the lethargy that sets in when you're left swinging your heels.
Loved teh description of teh finches beak! Thsi fairly fat man with this sly sharp thing peeping out. Scary.
The dialogue between tham gave more of a feeling to the politial situations you've described already. It gave it more of an emotional edge.
When you describe teh Tsar though maybe see if you could find a different word for man. Or a different way of describing it. You use it quite close togethe and it jolts a bit.
Yay, more physical description of Nikolai! I'm eating it up. Loved teh exchange with the Tsar too. Dangerous, like verbal chess that you're destined to lose either way.
And a very sinister ending. And I really enjoyed teh way you brought the blood types up earlier and then just explained it away with the 'heart on the sleeve' comment as though it was nothing. I'm really excited about where this is going now. It feels like teh plot has just started to thicken.
| firefly of hell chapter 23 . 9/18/2010
I'm studying Russia history, and I'm finally starting to understand the backdrop now. However, I was wondering if you could reference stuff going on outside of Russia at this time period?
Aside from that, I really like this tale within a tale technique, though I am a little confused. Are Katya and Ekaterina the same person? Could you clarify more of what happened that led up this point in the story?
| Michael Howard chapter 23 . 9/18/2010
Chelyadin and Nikolai sat on bench on the deserted platform...
sat on A bench
"watching them bow to each other like ballerinas in a chorus line."
"Her smile pushed fine wrinkles in her pale peach skin."
Missing a word there?
The scene with Nikolai and his mother was terrific, albeit bittersweet since we know what ultimately comes of their hopes for the future.