Reviews for Nochnayia Lubov
Punslinger chapter 46 . 3/20/2011
One typo. "A different room to before..." Maybe "A different room than before.." would read better.

You describe Dima's emotional state very well. I'm not sure of his age, but some of his thinking seems too mature for a child.

"Any union must be sanctioned by the state and sanctified by the church." I wish you had made it clear that you meant marital unions. I first thought of labor unions.

That's an interesting, unexpected twist bringing Nora back to life. I won't know if I approve until I see how well you explain her survival and work her into continuing events. But it's hard to believe that the Tsar was taken by surprise by her reappearance, with an extensive intelligence network to keep him informed. And wouldn't Mogilev's protective jealousy have kept her away from his master?
NinaBinaBallerina chapter 46 . 3/20/2011
I like Nora and then I don't at the same time. I'm conflicted. Maybe that's the way you intended it. I like her for the Tsar, but not when she comes between the main characters... then I hate her haha. I'm happy you updated, can't wait for the next chapter!
thewhimsicalbard chapter 46 . 3/20/2011
Oh, Nora... I'm going to go with my first instinct and say that this is a bad idea. I'll try to explain why, though I'm not yet sure I can do it justice.

Recall when Katya heard the voices of her dead friends in the beginning chapter. The power of the dead to affect from beyond the grave is a poignant theme in your story. I think you would do well to try to bring that back in force. It's obvious that both Alexei and Nikolai struggle with Nora's ghost; how could you use that to bring the two of them together?

That wasn't quite so hard. I'll keep reading with a living Nora, but let it be known that I think she could do more work on your story when she's dead. I feel like the sheer number of characters in this story is large enough as it is, and bringing back Nora, a character who is already connected to so many others, could collapse this story under its own weight. And, as a fanboy, I would hate to see that :)

On a writing note, I loved the way you did the reunion between Nora and Alexei. His reaction was priceless. I'm absolutely screaming for a new chapter, so you've obviously done well.

/fanboy

-twb
thewhimsicalbard chapter 45 . 3/20/2011
I've been slacking... So, here's a review!

Keep Churchill. It helps reinforce Alexei's character outside of his relationships with the people inside the palace. It helps remind readers that, yes, the Tsar is in fact dealing with WWII in addition to the emotional stress that he's experiencing. I think it does good things for your story, though I found myself dozing off when I was reading that part, for some reason. Maybe you could do a little bit of editing for on the flow for that part. But, it might have been just me. Take it with a grain of salt :)

Alexei is a very inferent (apparently, this word doesn't exist, but I'm coining it right now, AND with twenty minutes of research to make sure I did it the right way) character. He sees everybody's emotions. He's the one character who I'm having trouble with, though. The level at which he empathizes with others doesn't dovetail so well with his often brutal actions. I'm only telling you to make you aware of it, if you aren't already.

Not a whole lot of action in this chapter, but you're still doing good. I'm excited to see Dima develop, assuming that was your plan with the whole letting him out with Dmitri and all.

Good chapter! I've got one more to read, so I'm going to get on that.

Your favorite fanboy,

-twb
Punslinger chapter 45 . 3/20/2011
I think this is a highly useful chapter and you shouldn't cut it. You portray Winston Churchill well. But I feel that when he enters the story it would be more impressive to use his full name, not "Mr. Churchill." It seems uncharacteristicly rude of him to smoke without first asking if his hoast had any ojections. As a skilled politician and diplomat, he would strictly observe protocol. So it might be a nice touch if he presented the box of cigars to the Tsar as a gift of state, then the latter graciously offered him one.

You present some good but vague indications of the world events raging outside of your story. Unfortunately, I can't think of any way you could make readers feel the terrible impact of Russia's suffering in WWII without adding scenes of battles and refugees that might double your word length.

I was surprised to learn that the Russian language doesn't have articles. So you might make the Tsar's English more colorful by having him speak without "a" and "the."
3H chapter 46 . 3/19/2011
Damn, I had a feeling... I'm practically speechless. She better not screw things up with Katya and Koyla later on.
Narq chapter 46 . 3/19/2011
He wondered if Sir knew where he was.

- just wondering, does he wonder where sir IS?

Dima heard the Tsar saying, "There, I think you have your answer, Shvybs. He's not a stray for you to pick up. He already has a home."

- AW~

whether she was a demon sent to haunt him, or an angel returned from the dead

- nice nice nice!

Unprepared, the Tsar spun around, wrenching screams from his abused joints. The gun fell from his trembling hands into the open drawer and disappeared.

- alright, from this I'm going to assume that the Tsar was unprepared for the speed in which Nora arrived at his chamber/office, so he was surprised and the gun fell from his hands. Yes? :D

Narq.
Michael Howard chapter 45 . 3/17/2011
"Churchill's bulldog bottom lip pouted at little further as his jaw tensed."

A little further

"The Tsar's moustache twitched, but it was unclear if this as a smile or a twitch of disagreement."

Slightly redundant with twitched and twitch so close together. Perhaps the latter could be changed to hint or gesture.

This may not be your (sorry, can't resist) finest hour, but I see no reason to delete the entire chapter.

It serves a number of purposes, not the least of which is to build up reader suspense about what's still come with Katya and Nikolai 8-)
Guest chapter 45 . 3/14/2011
Don't know much about Churchill, but in times of war it must be normal for men of his status traveling about. Anyways, I am glad to see Alexei flouder in his guilt, as well as reaching out to Chelyadin. But he irritated me when he told Chelyadin he has neglected his work. It was a short chapter, but the piece that hit home for me was Dima. I've seen a child act this way, like a little zombie, like all the life is suckede out of him and he doesn't understand the word fun. Almost as if he thinks his life isn't worth living. It hurts to see a child be so dejected.
Tawny Owl chapter 45 . 3/13/2011
First off, I was stupidly excited by seeing Churchill in this, especially doing something as undignified as heaving himself up a staircase! That must be my latent patriotism rearing its head.

The allusion to the frescos recently being restored was good too - it hinted at Alexei being very much back and comfortable in his home.

I was suprised by the hand shake. But the fact that you discribed it more as a token gesture, quickly terminated made a lot of sense.

Ok, so Hitler is dead, but the war with Germany is still going on? Do I have that right?

"I daresay I am a man of facts, but every man's actions must be guided by his morality." - That felt like a very Churchillian answer.

we both know what must be done... must be done."

That too. Even in my head it has that gruff, plodding determination to it. Even though he always seemed to speak so slowly you wouldn't want to fight back. I always think he sounded a bit like an approaching siege engine. So well done for capturing him for me so well.

Oh,a nd Dima is still in the palace, so we must have jumped back in time a bit?

He walked slowly down the opulent hallway, and saw nothing of it.

That's nice, it implies thathe cares - and not just because Dima is a donor. The acknowledgement of his anger now being useless shows an appealing maturity as well. If that makes any sense what so ever?

Just read your author's note. It wasn't long enough to get boring, and I liked seeing Churchill, but unless we need to know what's going on in the outside world then you might not need it? Or be able to filter stuff from the wider world in elsewhere?
Narq chapter 45 . 3/13/2011
'm pleased with the way you are adding chapters to tie up all of the plot's loose ends

- urgh, loose ends? adding chapters? Wait till he continues reading. This isn't adding chapters OR tying up loose ends. This is STILL THE STORY!

I'm not sure whether cut or not.

I like churchill and I like the conversation but it is potentially uncessary.

not helpful. I know.
Punslinger chapter 44 . 3/9/2011
It's hard to accept Tsar Alexei's guilty conscience over Nora's death when I recall how he calmly and remoselessly murdered a man for having "bad blood." Of course, he may have been secretly in love with Nora, but you didn't make that clear.

Your descriptive sentences reflect your usual high standards with: "The skies of Poland snarled with dog fights and the bodies of men and machines rained down." But not:

"Inescapably, the day bled into the darkness of night." And how did we go abruptly from the Tsar working late at night to the end of the next day?

As for grammar: "Mogilev frowned. "He knew who the Tsar was referring to, and it was obvious he didn't approve." I'm surprised your Beta didn't change that to: "He knew to whom the Tsar referred, and he didn't approve." And mere disapproval is a gross understatement, considering how much Mogilev hated Nora. He would have been delighted by her death.

However, I'm pleased with the way you are adding chapters to tie up all of the plot's loose ends.
Michael Howard chapter 44 . 3/8/2011
Nice bit of sibling interaction offered here, along with some enjoyable new glimpses at your alternate future, er, alternate past universe.

Keep them coming, please.
lookingwest chapter 21 . 3/7/2011
"You promise Kolya is ok?"

-Edit: "okay" should be spelled out if you're using the slang of it, otherwise it needs to be capitalized to OK

Bah, I'm with Tawny on this one that I feel so bothered by being so behind in this story, XD. I'm even further now, I feel god awful, considering how much I love it. But anyway, I like that you've taken the focus from our characters in the beginning and at this point had us really focusing in and getting to know the Tsar. Like I've said before, this alternative history is just the cat's pajamas, XD. I love the way we got to learn more here, and the mention of Anastasia was very cool. I remember we saw her briefly in an earlier chapter and this just dug back up those images and everything.

Alright, so I also enjoy how your characterizing Dima, his bit with the Tsar was quite scary because I think you've characterized Alexei in a way that kind of makes him a wild card to me when it comes to stressful emotional moments, and I feared for Dima as soon as he stormed into the room. I thought it was a pretty headstrong moment for him when he didn't even waste time with saying hello, too. He just kind of went right into "I have a question for you", and that to me also indicated a bit of not only a lack of propriety in feeling like he should treat Dima in any special way, but also a lack in dealing with children, XD. I'm really nervous to find out what Alexei thought about Dima's answer though-I didn't think that was exactly clear since we switched into focus on Chelyadin, but that's not a bad thing-it makes me want to read on and figure out what Alexei's next move is going to be and how he interpreted things!

Speaking of which, I think you did an excellent job with the transitions between scenes in this chapter, each one worked with wonderful cohesiveness! This story is by far the most challenging story I've ever had to review because I just love everything you're doing with it and never have any substantial criticism. I always feel like I miss something, as well... I'm definitely more of a character-oriented person and writer, and I don't mind that the plot itself, especially to get back around to Katya and the beginning part of this novel, is taking awhile. I like the way you're spending time on everyone, and you've got so many different multiple plot lines that the plot only continues to thicken as the characters relationships do. I'm not put off by that in the least, I think ti's excellent and it's delving us deeper and deeper into these characters.

Alexei continues to be quite complex. I liked learning a bit more about Chel and then his whole moment of control there with Dima and Alexei, this who chapter really pivoted on him and his reaction, and there was great care there. I felt sorry for Dima because of the whole blood thing...among many other problems, like being an orphan and being victim to these royal games of survival and ploy, but I thought that led up to the last line of dialogue and reflection quite nicely. It really grounded Dima's character in relation to Alexei', as almost acting as a foil to his younger self-the one that most of us have all heard the most about and learned about in school. There's a huge sense of vunaribility still peeking on the surface with everyone and it's lovely.

Also enjoyed the pictures at the end! Cool to see that! It's really awesome that you also get actual pictures of your characters too, XD. Gotta love historical novels! I like the ones you chose, especially for Alexei!
AndItMovesUsAll chapter 44 . 3/7/2011
This is so a brilliant,beautiful story! And its definately one of the higher quality pieces ive ever read on here! This has been an emotional read and i really felt connected to both of them, they're extremely real characters, as is the country you paint. I have to admit i know nothing about Russia, so it was definately an interesting, informative read. And the way you split it into three parts is absolute genius! Its a true reminder that the way a person views something, can be completely different to to the way it actually is- it was amazing to then see Nicholai's life before and really get to know him as a person. It made you that much more into the story, especially with the repetition of the fist chapters in the third part, its not something ive seen before but it made you see everything in a new light and you could pay attention to detail.

LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! I really cannot wait until the next update!
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