Reviews for Nochnayia Lubov
Punslinger chapter 20 . 8/28/2010
The tender scene between the royal brother and sister was done with appealing sensitivity. The rest of the chapter is up to your usual high standards, but seems somewhat digressive. After so much time and descriptive wanderings, the reader may lose interest in your original story-the romance between Nikolai and his prisoner/escapee. Maybe you could interspace chapters from the two timelines to keep us better informed.
Narq chapter 20 . 8/28/2010
It had been far from unpleasant, the touch of a stranger; a gift he rarely received.

- ooh, I like this. There is foreshadowing here... :D

she's not that dangerous: I'm sure you'd better her if it came to a fight."/The Tsar's smile was unreturned.

- oops, Mr Tsar, your Mogilev actually lost to Nora in a fight. Now the poor guy is trying to hide a part of his face and let's guess why! XD

hand at the revolver at his waist "This is-"

- hand at the revolver at his waist."This is-"

"I am nothing to do with that tainted family-"

- I have? And who is this woman? I'm a bit confused what the Tsar did to her?

Ooh... Bitch seems to be quite a strong word for a tsar to use. It doesn't fit him some how, especially considering the tender, loving way he treated Anastasia and the respectful way he treats Nora.

Also, is there a reaction to that? her reaction, that is?

Also, when he tells Mogilve to get her out of here, does she do anything? She kinda of disappears a bit. I'd think Mogilev would have to haul her bodily away or something.

But I lOVE LOVE LOVE the REALITY of the tsar. I love him. I hate him. I don't know if he's the bad guy or the good guy, and it's wonderful!

Narq.
lookingwest chapter 12 . 8/27/2010
Well that was certainly an ominous ending! I liked this direction, this is all new again, and it's cool that you're expanding your original idea. I keep wondering how this is going to all relate back to Katya, but in the meantime I'm really interested in all these different characters. Dima is new right? Pretty sure, haha. I got this sense of Puppet in this, in the way that at first I thought you were describing some sort of mental institution, but then I realized it's most like an orphanage situation. I remember learning about the orphanages in my class, but not much. It feels like almost a hopeless situation, and the foreshadow of something bad about to happen is underlying in this chapter-or at least, it feels like it to me. The whole part with the blood taking was intriguing, and I honestly have no clue what's going to happen from this point to poor Dima, it's kind of bad and ominous when someone who doesn't have any family ties is just taken by the state-it almost had a concentration camp-like feel. A weird, scary, experiment one, at least.

My favorite paragraph was when you described the barking, and likened the visitors to it. The metaphor was so wonderfully shaped, I just followed and loved every moment. I also liked the description of Boris and the idea of trying to compete in something though you know you'll never win. Thought the content wasn't very inspiring or optimistic, the style in which it was written was just...always top-notch!
Adrenalin chapter 2 . 8/26/2010
Yeah~

Confrontation with the other prisoners! There are really interesting dynamics here. I don't envy Katya's situation, she's caught between Scylla and Charybdis there. She doesn't want to do it and she knows everyone else in the camp will hate her for doing this, but on the other side her bunkhouse's mates need her to do it.

The conflict with Eleni felt more violent that the fight with Olga previously, probably because Katya shares more with Eleni. I felt sorry for Katya: when she tries to get out of this situation, the guilt she feels forces her to continue in spite of everything else.

And let's not forget the officer. She really has no way to get out of this.

I was a little surprised that his apparition didn't brought a stronger reaction amongst the women. Obviously Katya would recognize him, but I don't think the others know his face, do they?

The last exchange between the two of them was sad. It was obvious that she had troubles concentrating, and that she wished he would not remember to tell her about the next day...
Adrenalin chapter 1 . 8/26/2010
Love the opening sentence. It tells so much with so little words, the fact that the characters are starved, that Katya has to sacrifice herself, that she doesn't want to, etc...

[That would give her the courage to do this.[...] Though her soul wept and fell into an eternal abyss at the thought of what she'd have to do].

It sounds repetitive. Maybe you should get rid of the second 'to do'?

The side story of Olaf was a great way to show the harshness of the camp, and to which extent Katya's eagerness for the smallest bit of softness goes.

The officer's stalling made him sort of cute, in a strange way. I can't say I approve of what he does, using a prisonner to satisfy his needs, even if Katya's the one who instigated him. But he seems so pitiful that I can't really hate him. I wonder how he ended up in Siberia (I wonder how Katya ended up there too). And he gave her something to eat, that earned him some points :)

I would like to point out one thing though: after having been starved for so long, Katya would be really ill after eating such rich foods. She would probably vomit soon after having finished her meal, and it might hurt her liver too.

Overall, I really like your characters, the story is great, the setting very original, but I felt it was a bit rushed. I would have liked seeing Katya's going back to her bunkhouse and the reaction of her mates when they realized she was empty handed, for example. I'm also not totally convinced by the last paragraph. I'm not sure it's necessary.
Punslinger chapter 19 . 8/17/2010
Good chapter, though overlong. You described the fight between Nora and Mogilev well, but it seems unlikely that a Chief of Security would not have bodyguards nearby. I know you are trying to make him a vile, unsympahetic character, but such people don't rise to the top without self-control and the clever routhlessness to make others do their fighing. That's how Stalin remained in power so long.

Just one typo: "...she that was just from the adrenalin rush..."
Michael Howard chapter 19 . 8/17/2010
"What have to tell me of our curious young cat?" the Tsar asked, reading over the dictated letter.

What have YOU to tell me...

"True, she felt a little giddy, but she that was just from the adrenalin rush of playing the game, playing a servant off against his master, plying their tricks with her own."

Take out that second 'she'

"I think I can be fairly persuasive," she smoothed the rumples from her jacket, "but there, some people are not easily persuaded."

Replace 'there' with 'then' maybe

Not an admirable person in sight anywhere but the sparring, verbal and otherwise, presented here still made for fascinating reading. And the background for your opening chapters is starting to fall into place.

Well done.
Narq chapter 19 . 8/16/2010
Her inner smile grew somewhat smug.

-ooh~ like a cat!

and then this kind of jarrs when the Tsar takes about Kolya as a cat. Oh well.

"How very lonely that must be," she murmured, gazing nonchalantly straight ahead, like she was lounging at the beach rather than being restrained by the head of security .

- so very good! but no space before the full stop!

She stopped. Useless. Her eyes blazed. Used-up. Her face became deathly calm.

- ooh~ :shiver: Does our Nora have a lover somewhere, some time ago?

she jerked her knee up between his legs.

- OUCH!

Using his ears as handles, she twisted his head on his neck

- wanna laugh at this, I can so see it happening! (though you don't really need the neck because where else would hte head be?)

woot! Go Nora!

Narq.
Michael Howard chapter 18 . 8/10/2010
"The room had a very high ceiling; there was a bed, and a window, though it was set too high for to see from, even when he jumped."

The second part of that sentence reads a little rough.

"Dima practicsed being extra quiet and good."

practiced

"So Dima sat very silent, and very still, til nurse finally finally left."

Forgot to capitalize Nurse this time, and there should be a comma between finally one and two.

But please don't let the extra nitpicky comments in this review, or the delay in responding because of some traveling on my part, make you think I wasn't glad to see this story get updated.

I already like your alternate history work better than anything I've read from Harry Turtledove because you actually include intriguing, nuanced characters!
Tawny Owl chapter 10 . 8/7/2010
I’m still impressed by how much research you’ve done into all the politics and history. It’s really interesting. It would be nice to have some scenery though. I think to give an idea of the sort of status that Valeriya is living in. The disgrace and the bad back make me think it’s sort of retired grandeur, but I’m not sure. And I was curious that she served her own lunch when there were servants around. Or is that a custom thing?

. A young man recently given the run of Russia's great cities and a large purse with which to entertain himself does not trouble himself with the minutiae of land titles. – I love this and the minutiae, far from seeming out of place just adds to the almost mocking tone of the sentence. No, mocking’s not quite right because it feels more affectionate than that. Satirical maybe?

The carriage clock ticked discreetly on the mantelpiece, diplomatically filling the silence so awkwardness could not enter. – bloody lovely.

And I like how his mother teases him. It shows there is real affection there, even if it is carefully displayed.

and will find some salon whose piano needs tormenting?" - haha

His mother reached over the lace tablecloth and squeezed his arm. "Kolyenko, sitting with your Mama: you are sweet boy." You are a sweet boy or you are sweet, boy?

Her father's welcome had been as swift and warm as her husband's rejection had been instant and icy – interesting. I want to meet this venerable old grandpa who will welcome a bastard grandson into his household.

Her cheek kissed the tablecloth absently, her emerald bracelet trailed in the last pond of sauce in her bowl. Oh, such a delicate swoon. That’s really well described, it feels so genteel.

So, I understand most of the names, but why is Kolya his diminutive. Is it something to do with his surname? Or is that not right?

Oh, adn I met this guy on Thursday who was really into his Classical russian Literture, and thanks to you I could have a discussion on gulags and know vaguely waht I was talking about! He mentioned a book too - a day in the life of ivan denisovich - have you ever come across it before?
AvidWriter-92 chapter 9 . 8/6/2010
I really liked this chapter, and loved how you made everything historically accurate, but still elaborated on Russia's past and culture! :) I loved the part about the dance/ball, and also really liked how you described the court. I wasn't expecting Alexei to kill Gorodin, (since I don't know much about Russian history. :P) but I thought that it was a neat and unexpected twist to the story, whether it really happened, or not.

I also loved how you connected Nikolai in there, as well, sort of at the last minute. :P Wants me to read the next chapter, but I am too tired at the moment. :P

Great chapter, sophie! I think it's the best one yet! :D

~Avid, via Gossip. Repaying review. 3/3. :D
AvidWriter-92 chapter 8 . 8/6/2010
Ooh! I totally wasn't expecting this at all. :P Its a very interesting twist to the Katya/Nikolai story. I'm interested to see how this turns out, and how it interweaves with their story. :)

The descriptions were fantastic! :D I loved how you described the palace and the scenery surrounding the boy.

I do have a question, though. Is he like a ghost, or is he a real person? Because I had the notion that he was a ghost, for some reason... :P

But the interaction between the woman and the boy seems too familar, but then again, the boy's thoughts make it seem otherwise.

I am a bit confused by this, as you can tell. xP

I didn't find any grammar things, so kudos to you and Narq!

Avid, via Gossip. Repaying review, 2/3. :D
AvidWriter-92 chapter 7 . 8/6/2010
Hey, sophie. :D

Great job on this chapter, as usual. :D What I liked most about this chapter is the fact that Nikolai and Katya are very different on how they view life. Nikolai keeps trying to bring life back into Katya, and to try to make her want to continue living, but she just can't. He doesn't understand that, but I think that it's a good thing, because you've developed your characters very well, and I think it shows. Katya can't really explain why she doesn't want to live, and Nikolai has never been in her situation, so he can't understand that at all, I think.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. Lol.

I loved the descriptions about Katya wanting to drown in the snow, and how she's finally happy, and isn't feeling guilty about being with Nikolai, because she thinks she's going to die. I really hope that she doesn't!

But I have a feeling that this might not turn out so well! :'(

No!

:P

Wonderful chapter, and I'm looking forward to getting to learn a bit more about Nikolai's past. :D

~Avid, via Gossip. Repaying reviews... 1/3. :D
lookingwest chapter 11 . 8/6/2010
The Tsar went on.

-Style Edit: "The Tsar continued."

Ahh, Sophie, another wonderful chapter! This never ceases to pull me right into the story. I'm so glad that his grandfather seems to be okay. I mean, that was a great idea to get Nikolai to the Palace and give the reader a chance to see the nobility. I liked the conversations that ensued too, the dialogue was wonderful. The Tsar acted just like I expected him to and you made it very convincing. Nikolai becomes more and more developed as the chapters continue, and I think I'm liking him more and more. I'm still frightened for Katya though, he treated her pretty badly for awhile and I don't know if he can ever redeem himself. I like how your characters have their faults and they stick to them.

I liked how you used the setting in this chapter to create tension and plot development. When he was first trapped in that room I thought for sure he was going to get it when the Tsar realized he was eavesdropping, and then, even worse, when he got lost in those corridors! I was so nervous he would get caught by the Tsar and would be punished or something. I was so relieved his grandfather found him first, XD. That boy, Dimitri, was very creepy. Definitely gave me the feeling of "The Shining" and the creepy girls in the hallway, haha. I feel so bad though, what kind of experiment is going on? D: And also, did you take that aspect from history? Were they really conducting experiments on orphans? I'd never heard that before, but I know you gather a lot from the past with your inspirations, so it struck me I should ask, XD.

Overall wonderful read! I get so into the world you've created, and it's so historically pleasing for me, I believe every scene you set up!
lookingwest chapter 10 . 8/6/2010
However today, he'd left the fold of his fun-seeking friends.

-Style Edit: "Today, however, he'd left the fold..."

"The past,' Nikolai answered...

-Edit: needs a double quotation after "past"

Valeriya went on.

-Style Edit: "Valeriya continued."

Oh wow, loved this chapter-but what else is new? I'm excited that we finally get to see what all that detail about the ball and Valeriya was about in concerns to Nikolai. I had a feeling it had to do with him but you had me really wondering how it would connect. Glad to see it done so smoothly!

I really liked the character of Valeriya, actually. I wasn't sure that I would after such a big opening, but in this chapter I definitley sympathized with her. I think it's because Nikolai also looks at his mother in a very kind light, and like she said, that's sweet. It was nice to see them sitting down to dinner together and everything. I thought you kept track of the dinner, the utensils and the meal itself, really well too. You mentioned it throughout the narrative and visually gave a great image of that bowl and the soup, especially on Valeriya's end up to that fainting about the letter.

Overall, really loved this chapter! I have a bad feeling about Kolya's grandfather, but I suppose we'll get to see some of his character develop further due to this sort of shock. I also thought it was interesting that you introed with him wondering how his mother could have loved a common man, and he later loves Katya. Eek, must know what happens!
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