Reviews for Dances with Monsters
backseat compromises chapter 1 . 10/9/2010
Love your descriptions in the chapter - the imagery is wonderful. I like how you Elsie was portrayed and her feelings were very believable and I find the man who turned her into a vampire very interesting. Hope you'll update this soon!
Endfall chapter 1 . 10/3/2010
Well, you certainly got the mentality of a predator down instantly. Really, great job. I'm adding this to my favorites. Your writing is quite lucid, and you expressed more than enough for me to get a very good mental feel of what was going on.

You also nailed Elise's mentality. The revulsion of becoming something hated and feared, juxtaposed with her previous human self, the internal conflict of deeply set instincts against everything she once was, still feels herself to be.

I apologize for such a positive review, as you indicated a desire to get something mercilessly negative, but honestly, I enjoyed reading it, and what errors exist, if any are subjective, and as such I couldn't finger them, having not been irked by them.

I'm looking forwards to what follows.
B. J. Winters chapter 1 . 9/29/2010
Opening: I have to admit that the first line is rather blunt: "You're a vampire now." While I liked that the characters were introduced quickly and there wasn’t too much backstory I was left (even 10 words later) with the lingering question of “why”. Why is she a vampire – where did she really come from – why was she chose – and frankly why should I care. I struggled for empathy in the opening feeling rather dropped into the scene. To be more effective I need to understand how she got to the cave. You hint about her family – was she taken? That unanswered question made the entire piece difficult for me to relate to.

Dialogue: The phrasing is rather blunt. Perhaps it's meant to be that way to show the singlemindedness of the vampire. But "You're panting." Doesn’t tell me much - particularly since you repeat it in the next paragraph in description making it repetitive. I think a richer dialogue exchange would add depth to the piece.

Example: "Shall we hunt?" – what’s her response? She acts, but doesn’t speak. Again, I’m left with the question of why she falls in line when a moment ago she was rather distressed by the turn of events. She seemed to be rather distraught if not angry with the vampire – but now they are together. Without her dialogue I’m at a loss to understand why. The rain made it all better? Really?

Scene setting, phrasing, flow: I liked some of the descriptions, finding them appropriate to the genre: 1) lurching realization 2) suddenness of a startled deer. In particular I liked: she heard a rustling not-quite-sound that was different than the rustling very-much-sounds of nature.

Other: I was a bit confused by the background of the next victim. Was she a whore or just homeless? They are not the same thing and yet the descriptions seem to leave the reader wondering and even offer some contradiction. Is she “filth” or “pathetic”. I think the reader might empathize more if you juxtaposed an innocent victim rather than someone who is disadvantaged.

I liked how you used sound and smell – even taste. I would have liked to see more ‘pain’. For example, she wakes up and notices a change in her ability to see – but we never see or feel the bite mark. As the next victim is devoured, again I don’t sense physical discomfort of the victim. I think amplifying this aspect could darken the piece.

Good luck.