Reviews for Courting Survival: a story of Tudor England
cerebral1 chapter 13 . 8/18/2011
Wow, that was a hot little scene! Well described, and just the right amount of description. It's sad her first kiss was from that other man, but Edward certainly made up for it!Only little thing; who said "goddamn inn"? I can see Edward saying it, but not Katherine. Just a little hazy at that spot.I also liked the soldier scene. Everything is well illustrated so that the reader can see the chapter unfold in their head. Great job!
STARLIGHT2267 chapter 17 . 8/18/2011
i love it
sarahburry chapter 7 . 8/18/2011
Katherine pretty much hates edward... but is it bad I'm loving it? Yay for fights!

And I totally understand all her emotion. It's really great, it's getting awesomely dramatic.
sarahburry chapter 5 . 8/18/2011
I think Jane was totally a victim. Not a whore!

"Elisabeth promised to tell me the truth about Jane when I was old enough, William promised to raise me as his own daughter, and now you promised to take me from my home to a place where I cannot possibly be happy!"

I think this could be my favourite quote so far, not only is it showing girl power, but it really for some reason reminds me of the screenplay of tim burtons alice in wonderland? Yeah, random, but still.

I feel like even the language you're using to narrate the story matches with the time, which is brilliant.
sarahburry chapter 4 . 8/18/2011
You have been remarkable with keeping up the historical accuracy. It's always good to know when an author does research into the character and his/her world.

I loved the part where you said "They were kind, but she could not shake the feeling that something was amiss." It definitely lets the almost paranoia seep into the reader, so they're on edge and now waiting for a twist.
sarahburry chapter 3 . 8/18/2011
Good for her. Loved the accent at the end, I totally was reading that in my head just like it was supposed to sound. I love seeing strong woman in books, and the "four years later" jump wasn't too much so she was at a completely different confusing place in her life. It flowed well and your adjectives are marvelous.
sarahburry chapter 2 . 8/18/2011
Chase scene equals intense suspense. Make me thirsty for more!

The part in italics though was a wee bit confusing, but I think that I managed to understand it. I'm happy there are lots more chapters coming, because I really want to see her evolve.
cerebral1 chapter 12 . 8/18/2011
Oooo, I loved this chapter! The almost-rape scene was described really, really well, as was Katherine and Edward's escape. You write action beautifully. I'm looking forward to reading more. Only suggestions: proofread a bit more before uploading. Other than that, awesome job :D
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 3 . 8/17/2011
That's one hell of a thing to tell a poor young woman, and whole thing about Kat's parents not really being her biological parents. And the profession of her mother. However, through all the depressing undertones, and regardless of the hardships she's going to endure after learning this information, I still find it refreshing that Katherine's current caretakers have cared about her so much. It's only too often I read stories about evil step parents, so this is a nice break from the norm.

Damn, and there's the whole thing about her having to get married. Sometimes I forget how things were back then, considering people would get married at such a young age. I'd hate to be in that position... most especially the ones where you have no choice on who you're going to wed. Makes me thankful I live in this time period.

That being said, I think you do a great job in keeping the integrity/tone of the time period consistent throughout the story. Great job with that.

I noticed a couple typos/corrections:

[that it made it easy to forget sewage filled street on the opposite side of Galingale.]

Edit: Missing a 'the' between 'forget' and 'sewage'.

[and my father[,] being a preacher[,] offered her food and lodging despite our own poverty.]

Edit: I think you want to enclose the 'being a preacher' in commas.

[How could she say these things to me?]

Style: I would suggest separating this sentence and the next one following into its own paragraph and italicizing it since it appears to be something Katherine is thinking to herself.

[Minutes later he sun was blazing down hot on Katherine's back as she walked uncertainly down the long street.]

Edit: he should be the.
Katalina Tomas chapter 2 . 8/16/2011
This is the third time I've tried to review this, but every time I had to get off the computer. -.- So... onto the review.

Katherine seems mature for an eleven year old, to not be fooled by her parents' excuses. However, I as I read further, she still retains the curiosity of a girl. I like how your descriptions and hints here and there lead me to believe that. Phrases like "a loud screech echoed from the rotting wooden structure" and "the hair adorning her arms" really add to the effect your writing has on me. Good job with that! :)

I also like the way you gradually reveal things about the story, like the significance of Katherine's birthday. It's much more effective then coming right out and saying it.

Love the suspense. Hate the way you left me hanging. :( Hehehe... anyways, great chapter!

Hey, it turns out that third time is the charm!

~Katalina
cerebral1 chapter 11 . 8/15/2011
Ok, so I notice some typos in the first quarter of this chapter; small stuff, but readers notice those things. Also, I really like your description of the wind and approaching storm. I did notice that later on in that paragraph and the next, a lot of your sentences begin with She... "She walked" "She looked" "She sped" "She reached" "She unfastened." Different sentence structure, such as beginning with ing words, or adjectives, or interrupters, would add variety. Hopefully that's constructive. Oh, I love Richard's and Edward's conversation. "Do you have a stake in her?" Ha! I love innuendoes; I think they add a lot of humor to a story and a : always capitalize "I", the rain began to "Pour", not "poor", and "ammo" is not a word back then, so you can't use it in narration. Ditto with the word "vent."

Oh, I do love the conversation between Edward and Katherine! Spicy and sweet; a good combo. For the ending line, my vote is for the word "desire" instead of bliss. Just a suggestion. I am now feeling a connection between the two in this story; good job!
Katalina Tomas chapter 1 . 8/15/2011
"Wickedness ruled the air that night." This has to be the greatest line of the chapter. It was very well placed and hooked me immediately. If I was hesitant about reading this, I'm not anymore. Good job with that!

Oh dear. Her father... hurt her mother? Gahh. And her mother was... seeing someone else? Oh. That explains things. He beat her. (Sorry, I'm reading this as I review. I'm going through the first few chapters as I type this.) Great imagery. I could just picture the scene...

Oh God. He's not going to kill her, is he? ...He did. The suspense is one other thing I love about this. The freaking suspense. It's dragged out as you describe every detail of it.

I'd make the point of views clearer though. it was slightly confusing to switch from Alice's POV to her father's. However, that's the only flaw I have with this.

Great start! I look forward to reading more. And I will read more, as I find time, and drop you a review every couple of chapters to let you know I'm reading.

~Katalina
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 2 . 8/15/2011
Once again, I think you have a powerful opening situation. The mystery of what she's trying to find really pulled me in, making me also quickly start wondering what indeed she's trying to find. When I realized it was her birthday, I started wondering what her parents could have gotten her. The fact Kat loves to read at such a young age is an interesting characteristic.

I enjoyed the dialogue of the stall merchant, specially how you wrote his accent into the dialogue. It really brought his character to life with such a simple gesture, and I think it was a nice touch. It shows me how the people of lower classes spoke in that time and age. Also, the conversation near the beginning of the chapter tells me a lot about Kat's parents through their tones. It sounds like her parents get along rather well, but also have their disagreements.

The chase scene near the end was interesting. I'm beginning to wonder who indeed it was trying to hurt them, and part of me is thinking it might have something to do with the prologue. But then again, I don't see why Hugh would want to attack Kat's family. Hmmm... I'm sure the following chapters will answer my questions.

I thought the pace of this chapter was very consistent throughout, because everything did a great job in keeping my attention, pulling me into the story. Your imagery is also very nice, and I like the casual tone your narrative sometimes adopts while telling the story - it feels almost like someone is sitting in front of me, recounting everything.

The only thing I can think of for you to possible improve upon would maybe be the chase scene near the end. I think if you slowed down a bit and explained a little more of what's happening it'll make it somewhat less confusing. For a moment I didn't realize Kat's hand had been run over until I re-read that paragraph. For example, this paragraph: "Reflecting on his reaction to them," I think would do a bit better if you chopped the longer sentences up into shorter, more concise sentences in order to help with the flow. It also tends to make things a little clearer.

Great first chapter, I really enjoyed it. Going back and reading the beginning of this is really helping me gain a better understanding for the later chapters I've already read.

Here are some typos:

[She'd tiptoed down the hall that led to her bedchamber as silently as mouse.]

Edit: Mission an 'a' between 'as' and 'mouse'.

[She reached the door of her room, and grasped the circular knob in her palm.]

Edit: Remove the comma.

[she entered through, and bumped into something large and made of wood.]

Edit: Remove the comma.

[her cheek as she was fastening an earring sitting while sitting at her vanity.]

Edit: Remove the first 'sitting'.

[a bobble he had given her many a year ago in place ]

Edit: Bobble should be bauble.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 8/15/2011
I'm a huge fan of the opening line to the prologue. I think it addresses the situation perfectly, and it really sent a shiver running down my spine.

Now that I mention it, I think the entire prologue was very nicely handled. Normally it's difficult to pull off a prologue, considering there are some limitations a prologue must meet to fit the characteristics of a prologue and not merely be a wrongly named first chapter, but I think you nailed it. This takes place before the rest of the story, and addresses something that impacts the plot later on down the line; both things a prologue should do.

I really like the scene where Alice's father descends on her mother. Their dialogue is extremely interesting, and it reveals to me that she's cheating on him with a man that loves her, giving her a temporary escape from the grasp of her present husband. Showing us this through their argument was a good choice and I thought it was very well executed. It's always better to reveal plot twists/devices through a characters actions/dialogue, letting the reader piece things together, so great job with that.

The paragraph describing Hugh's body covered with his wife's blood was very nice. The imagery you used was great, and the personification, especially this line in particular: "The blood of his victim clung to him like sweat to a well-exercised body." had me grinning. I'm a huge fan of that sentence, and I always appreciate seeing a writer describe gore in such an elegant, beautiful way.

The only suggestion I can make is about Alice's reaction to her mother's murder. Now, I know she runs away to go see her brother, and that's completely understandable/believable but I feel her reaction is a bit too apathetic. I think if you added some more about her being distraught, maybe crying or panicking while she's leaving the room, it'll help build her character a bit more and make her more memorable. As it stands, I think Hugh is the most powerfully addressed character in this prologue. If you give Alice some more attention, I think it will create a nice tension between their two characters and help the reader sympathize with her more. Right now I find myself caught up in the thrill of the murder from her father's POV... but then again, I get easily pulled into that sort of stuff.

I noticed a couple typos:

[She hear shouts coming from her parent's chambers but was hesitant to approach.]

Edit: Hear should be heard.

[then I wouldnt have any qualms about killing them both!"]

Edit: Wouldnt should be wouldn't.

[She couldn't manage to suppress a violent shiver run down her spine,]

Edit: Run should be running.

[Alice forced herself to stand and go back to her brother Edward.]

Edit: Missing a comma before Edward.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 16 . 8/15/2011
Reading through this chapter, I can see there is a lot of telling going on, most especially when Edward is thinking back on his time of fighting and the death of his sister. I would normally suggest showing this to the reader, perhaps have Edward day dream about it and write about it as if it's happening again, plunging the reader right into the middle of what's happened, but that would probably end up being an entire chapter all on its own. Usually, revisited past crucial events helps a reader sympathize more with the character it involves, or the situations themselves. Going through and stating an entire back story, telling it as a series of chronological events, tampers a bit with a reader's attention - at least it did to mine. But maybe it's just because I have a terrible attention span.

I do like how Kat explains her worries and troubles to Talia. It both allows us to see how the recent events have effected her, and reminds us what indeed has happened. The fact she can only find enough comfort to tell her troubles to a horse shows us how lonely Kat sometimes is. However, when she recalls the way Edward kissed her, I thought she enjoyed it... so I was a bit confused when she thought back on it with spite. Considering you've been editing this, it's very possible you've changed it since I read that chapter, so don't pay attention to that comment if you have.

I really enjoy the paragraph where Edward is thinking back on the kiss he shared with Kat. From the way he feels, wanting more than just a kiss, it shows what kind of man he can turn into when passion is in his veins. I like his thought of love being for fools; I think this edge of his personality will make his interactions with Kat all the more interesting. Now I find myself wondering if he'd be willing to con her into sleeping with him, considering she's harboring feelings for him. But then again, Edward seems like a decent man so, for Kat's sake, I can only hope he wouldn't betray her like that.

I highly enjoyed the last half of this chapter, especially the imagery surrounding them as they ride their horses through the mist. I've noticed throughout this story that you do a very good job of setting the scene, most especially when in regards to images of nature. I think this chapter is one of the most powerful in this respect, because I can just picture in my mind Edward riding next to Kat, watching her through the mist and thinking about all the things he'd love to do to her.

I hope that didn't sound too pervy.

I liked the ending to this chapter. While I wouldn't say it was a cliff-hanger, I think it does a great job in creating suspense for the reader to want to continue. The way Edward talks so curtly to Kat also addresses the new tension between them.

I noticed a few typos:

[He was always so damn cocky, and full of himself.]

Edit: Take out the comma before and.

["I know, I know Rich.]

Edit: Need a comma before Rich.

[It could earn him a good some of money,]

Edit: Some should be sum.
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