Reviews for Red
FamishedNight chapter 13 . 4/6/2013
Awesome!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 5 . 3/28/2013
These reviews are no longer part of the deal (from The Review Game), so now I’m just gonna enjoy and not point out mistakes…*shrugs* sorry!

"I'm perfectly capable of refraining from burning down vampires," Blair protested. "I do have some self-control!" That line is just funny. I really started cackling over it, you know that evil hiccup like laugh? Yeah, that. And the whole “I didn’t blow him up,” I think the genre should include humor. I snorted at that one. Please let Blair go for a ‘thrill’ ride. It’ll do her some good. Loosen her up a bit. "So that's why we get so much of those suckers in Chicago. I should have killed him," she said.” I don’t think she was joking, which is why this made it so funny. There’s a lot of humor in this chapter compared to the other ones. You must’ve been in a humorous mood the day you wrote this. I love it!

I’m worried about Lena. Her being sick could actually be something else, couldn’t it? Someone did something to her because Lena and Blair are getting too close to the truth I’ll bet. Since Lena’s the only one that has successfully controlled Blair (as much as she can be controlled) they see her as a threat. I’m probably jumping to conclusions though. Great chapter!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 4 . 3/28/2013
I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I feel like the story started after the last chapter. The prologue and chapter one should be after chapter two, of course, that’s just a suggestion. Had I not agreed to give the reviews, I would have stopped reading it after the second chapter (chapter one) because Blair reminded me a little of Anita Blake.

It would have been my loss, because clearly, it’s better now, and I’m really starting to enjoy it as it goes on. The likability of characters only really happens in chapter two, so the reader (me) couldn’t understand why Blair was acting the way she was. Now I get it, but in the beginning, I was like ‘what a bitch…’ you know? Anyhow, one to the review:

I love that she has a lead foot. I have one too, plus I’m clumsy and spacey, add that all together and I do not go well with cars. So I gotta kick outta the fact that she speeds, but on a motorcycle? That’s extra dangerous!

“she stalked in direction of Messala's offices.” Should be: “she stalked in the direction of Messala's offices.”

If you need to clean, might as well pay someone to do it. I absolutely hate cleaning…there’s always some poor schmuck in my family that will come over to my house to clean for me, for real cheap.

“Mr Messala'…” you have it this way in more than one place, but “Mr” should be this: “Mr.”Also: “it was the one thing that they were more sensible to than humans” I think you may have meant ‘sensitive’instead of ‘sensible.’

This is the first time I enjoyed Blair being such a bitch. The vampire seemed unreasonably asshole-ish and I thing Blair handled the situation with excellence. I’m confused about her being psychic. When I think of ‘psychic’ I think of being able to see the future or predict something, but when I think of a person starting a fire in their hand without an accelerant I think ‘witch’? Are the terms interchangeable here?

Batista huh? Do you watch wrestling? Luscious – erm, I mean Lucius is gonna be the love interest, possibly? I mean if romance even is a subgenre. Are vampires particularly sensitive to powerful people? Is that why Batista shuddered? I ask because Lucius mentions that he’s only four centuries…lordy. You know it would really suck to live forever! Is it strange that I always feel bad for the immortal vampires in stories, good or bad?

"What owes me the pleasure of your visit?" Awkward question…typo?

“Messala sighed and run his hand through his head.” It should be:“…and ran his hand through his…” how do you suppose he’s gonna run a hand through his head? Is he a ghost too? I’m kidding, but head should be hair. I’m a hoot.

"Why would it?" she asked suspiciously.” Did you mean it like that? I think it should be: “Why would it be?”

“Most of the crimes of passion Blair had been confronted to until now involved vampires” This would sound better this way: “Most of the crimes of passion Blair had been confronted with, up to this point, involved…”

“you will not mind my asking you to dine with me in a near future…” So didn’t see that coming. *Wink, wink*

This chapter was much better! Even better than the last one and I’m really excited to see what happens. Off to the next chapter!
Faithless Juliet chapter 13 . 3/28/2013
OPENING: I liked the vulnerability that you gave Blair in these early moments because it humanized her a bit. I’m wondering if it might be better to actually show the reader what her thoughts about Messala are, rather than have her say: “stop thinking…” I think that would both open her up a bit more in terms of characterization and let the reader get a more definitive glimpse at what she’s thinking so that we can think it along with her.

DIALOGUE: I liked how you showed Blair’s interactions with her father. It was a nice switch from how I’ve seen her interact with her mother, and I like the ease that they communicate with each other. I wonder though if a lot of the filler dialogue might be condensed or summarized. I feel like the main point of the conversation doesn’t get started until he mentions that he’s ‘seeing’ a vampire.

I noticed there was a lot of traffic for the word “fuck” I don’t mind it personally but I don’t remember ever hearing it mentioned so often in the story before, so it felt a bit odd.

PLOT: I was really intrigued by the back history that you supplied here. Both for Blair and the history of those like her. I don’t need more information, and I’m glad that you didn’t overload us with a lot of historical facts, but I am very intrigued by how far back this lineage of ‘powers’ go back and how long it’s been standardized in society. I hope that you develop this idea further in future chapters.

ENDING: I feel like the ending fell on a flat note, although I’m not confused about any plot holes as you question in your authors note, so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I feel like you could have made the ending more dramatic or endearing. I still want to read on, don’t get me wrong, I just feel like the natural rise and fall of a chapter wasn’t as present as it could have been. Keep up the good work.

Much love,
Juliet.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 3 . 3/28/2013
I officially like Blair now. I think her tolerance towards the old woman, Mrs. Gunlinger’s, who has over indulged in how she treats Blair is great. After I read that paragraph my dislike to unease changed to okay and then like. So that was a good bit of detail to put in. It also helps Blair become more relatable…not that she wasn’t before, in fact after I reread the chapters I found the reason I initially didn’t like her was because her attitude sounded a bit like mine.

Frankly, I’m surprised all she does is ‘smoke’ with her job. I’d have gone straight to the liquor…I’m also enjoying the fact that her relationship with her father is good enough that he can walk into her house without her being there. Aw! Her father cleans up for her. I hope we get to see him soon. It was good that you put in how frustrated she’s been the past couple of days, it makes her previous actions seem more warranted.

“He explained that he had come over and straightened a thing or two (which meant, as they both knew, that he had tidied up and cleaned everything), then proceeded to propose a dinner at Marcielli's on Saturday. Blair made a mental note to call him back.” I think the words in parenthesis don’t need to be in parenthesis. It feels like a side note that way, but if that’s how you intended it to be then keep it. Or you could try something like this: “He explained that he had come over and straightened a thing or two, which meant, as they both knew, that he had tidied up and cleaned everything. He then proceeded to propose a dinner at Marcielli's on Saturday.” Also perhaps you should consider italicizing ‘everything’ for emphasis. Just some suggestions…

Well, I don’t like Blair’s mother, but I think that was your intent. “Sleep eluded her those days.” Should it be: “Sleep eluded her these days.”

"Hello, Joshua. Trouble home?" should be ‘Trouble at home?’

Blair’s interactions with the people around her home have really made her a more relatable character. So she draws the truth even if she doesn’t know it? Is that her power? Interesting. A vampire named Lucius…yay! I’m excited to meet his character. Great chapter, in fact much better than the first chapters, this is the best one by far.
lookingwest chapter 11 . 3/28/2013
Character - I know you mentioned in a review reply I think that Messala wouldn't be a suspect because he is rich and already is well established but...I dunno - I mean, super villains and evil people are not always poor disenfranchised people...most often they're powerful and well connected and are in it to mess with the "system" - and the SIO is the system. To me - Messala seems just as much as a suspect as anyone because he has the means to mess with them, the connections, and I'm just always wary of the bourgeois I guess, which I think he kind of symbolizes in a way. Even though I think you've basically told me that he isn't the vampire they're after and that isn't the plot of the story (so I don't suspect him anymore, lol) - I find it odd that he at least was never suspected by any of the character or...I dunno, I just think its odd Blair trusts him so much? Just because he's rich and seems like such a nice well-established guy because of his leadership role, doesn't mean he's not corrupt or trying to bring down the system of police-force and rule. I mean, just even look at the newest Batman movie - the villain ended up being the nice woman who just wanted to fund ways to make the city environmentally friendly! I *was* wary - but I accept that he isn't the villain here and that she trusts him, so I will stop narrowing my eyes when he is mentioned, xD

That all being said - I think her justification in this chapter alone to go visit him was good, and I like how you went through Blair's throught process at the end of the chapter to bring us to that cliffhanger. I liked the chapter when she was with Messala last, so I'm looking forward to seeing their interaction again!

as long as their crime involved an human being. [typo]

Relationships - I liked seeing Blair's interactions with Sara and their relationship because I think it results in a nice characterization of Blair insofar as seeing how she acts with people that aren't just Lena, etc. We get a sense of her connections and the people she knows, and their own influences and how they regard her. I especially liked how Sara and Blair interacted with their argument and how the situation was left. I think this mirrors a lot of Blair's relationships - it seems without Lena she's causing/leaving a lot of people via storming off in anger. This foiled the prior chapter well in regards to that relationship she had with Josh.

Setting - I liked your attention to Sara's apartment and the details you give us regarding her background and why her apartment looks like it looks. I also liked the description of her computer space and everything. It gave a really good atmosphere for the chapter and I always like establishing shots like that! I also appreciated the moment of description with Blair on her bike, and how you gave context to her during her university years and what she might've looked and acted like. That was a good paragraph!

Plot - The plot in this chapter progressed I think, mostly towards the end when we get to see Blair trying to piece things together, and when we find out that there are at least twenty-seven vampires who might be the main suspect (none of them hired by Messala of course ;D, but he might know of them). That really bridges into Blair's ultimate decision to go see Messala well, and I thought having her balance the two possible plot outcomes worked well to show the reader the different possibilities too. I like that she went for the Messala plot! It was cool to get another glimpse into the life of vampires in your world, and how they operate (where they like to live), and how the SIO handles them when other human beings are involved. Looking forward to seeing what shenanigans Blair might stumble into now!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 2 . 3/28/2013
I’m still warming up to Blair, honestly had I not read the Anita Blake series I probably would’ve liked her instantly. I’m wary of her personality, however I do love her stubbornness with this case. She said she hadn’t known why they’d trusted her with this case, but now that she had it she wasn’t letting it go. If I was the victim, or someone I knew was the victim in a murder case I would want someone like her on that case. She’ll get an answer eventually, hence the whole ‘I’m warming up to her.’

"Mind if we seat?" Did you to have her ask the question that way? Maybe it should’ve been ‘Mind if we sit?’ I wasn’t sure, sometimes characters can speak strangely, but I thought I’d point it out.

I fully understand why Blair is irritated with David though. I can’t believe he had the gall to correct Lena as she was explaining the situation…what a jerk. I get that it’s his attitude, but gees. Why did Blair seem nicer to David, but was rude to someone she didn’t even know? …oh left over feelings, I suppose that answers some of my question, even if she did deny it by saying she would set fire to him given the chance. I may have also answered my previous question. It seems like, when she needs to be, she’s very schooled in her reactions to certain people. She knew what to expect from David so she prepped herself and kept a cool attitude. I definitely like her more and more.

I didn’t notice too many mistakes, clearly. You write wonderfully and the description is perfect given the subject. Had there been any more description in the prologue, it would have upped the rating I think, but you handled it well. Good chapter!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 1 . 3/28/2013
“The fact that this time the ones pulling rank on him were women barely older than his daughters enhanced the feeling.”

Why are men like that? If the person knows more then it shouldn’t matter. I’ve had a male rudely request to speak to another male…that other male didn’t know the answer and asked me for help. The gender and age shouldn’t matter as much as it does. The truth in this sentence is just astounding.

I didn’t enjoy Blair’s attitude towards the Meinhard though, but I can appreciate why she would have one. She probably has to deal with people like that frequently. I’m also a little worried Blair may end up like Anita Blake…here’s to hoping that’s not how her character turns out.

I’m not following this sentence, perhaps there was an extra word added? “Under it but on the exterior side, near the shoulder, someone had drawn a small stylized bird.”

Blair was being rude to Meinhard when he reprimanded her with the gloves. It was a perfectly reasonable observation, one that’s true for many crime scenes. It’s not like he knew that this one was different, he hadn’t been working on the other five cases. Someone should point it out to her so she can realize how rude she was.

I can’t imagine how Meinhard deals with cases like this. Or the females or that matter. I think Meinhard relating the girls’ age and the girl herself to one of his draughts really shines light into what it’s like to do that type of job. This was a great decision on your part. It definitely helped.

It’s also good that the atmosphere between the three agents has become less hostile as the chapter progresses. This was a decent chapter. You write well, so I didn’t see a lot of mistakes. The flow was easy enough to follow. The only issue I’m having is liking Blair right now, but towards the end of this chapter I feel I’m starting to warm up to her. It seemed like after they were done investigating the scene she was friendlier. I really thought Meinhard was going to be the rude one, but everything he’d done and said seemed applicable. Well, off to the next chapter.
Faithless Juliet chapter 12 . 3/27/2013
OPENING: I thought your opening was very strong, and the actions of Blair’s narration kept the pace moving throughout. I did find myself questioning the “two minutes before answering” aspect. It feels like a long time to just wait there, and Blair doesn’t seem like the patient type. You also mention “two minutes” again when Blair enters the elevator.

RELATIONSHIPS: There is something about this Messala that makes him fascinating to read. Even when he’s not doing anything or saying anything he is still interesting to behold. I think Blair feels the same way. I liked the undercurrent of their ‘friendship’ as a reader I could feel their energies moving toward each other.

PLOT: I loved how there was a lot of plot in this chapter, literally from the first paragraph onward. I feel like the last few chapters have been a bit sluggish and more character driven – not really a bad thing, just observations. I kind of wish you had gone into more detail about why Messala is so willing to help Blair out. It makes me wonder at how easy it was to enlist his help in all of this.

ENDING: Although I liked the Messala and Blair “touched” it did feel a bit sudden to me. I liked it, in that that those two have chemistry but at the same time it felt like it was coming out of left field for me. I think maybe have him approach her, bridge the gap with conversation a bit more. I’m not sure if his action was a good one or a bad one (kind of like Blair probably) but something about it felt unfinished. Can’t wait to read more. Keep up the good work.

Much love,
Juliet.
Complex Variable chapter 3 . 3/25/2013
Other (My Suggestions):

[a score of years ago] - - - Please, stop using this phrase. xD

[Mrs Gunlinger's. ] - - - You need to put a period after "Mrs"; you forget the period in several places, actually.

[would have fitted right] - - - "would have fit right"

[The living room in the daylight looked so different from the one she had been coming back those past weeks that she almost felt like she had entered the wrong flat. ] - - - Good job with the description, but, the sentence itself feels like a run-on; it's awkward and twisty. Fix it, please. :3

[She showered her in treats and homemade ] - - - "with" not "in".

[and stalked to the bay window.] - - - Odd use of the verb "stalked"; I think you could find a better way of saying what you're trying to say.

[lighted another cigarette] - - - there are several places where you said something along the lines of "lighted a cigarette"; I can't help but wish that it said "lit a cigarette"—it sounds better in my ears, for some reason.

[his answer was, somewhat muffled by his laughter.] - - - why not "he said, his answer somewhat muffled by his laughter." I think that flows better.

[There was no logic in it, and the obsessive logic of a serial killer even less.] - - - Awkwardly phrased. Maybe something like "There were few traces of any kind of rationality in the killings, let alone the obsessive logic that was the hallmark of a serial killer."

[There were over one hundred names, witnesses and relations of the victims for the most part.] - - - Why is "for the most part" there? It feels like an unnecessary appendix here; I would excise it.

[But there was a name that came three times which had no business being there.] - - - I think you cloud phrase this more smoothly.

Okay, so, first off—this is , by far, the best chapter of the story I've read so far. I would honestly consider making this the first chapter after the prologue, rather than the "Babylon Tower" chapter, it's just so much better.

Characters: Unlike your previous chapters, where your characters were little more than cardboard cutouts, there is a much stronger—and much nicer—sense of character in this chapter. I finally get to see who Blair is and what she is struggling against: society, her family, her own limitations, and—at the center of it all—this mysterious killer. Her interactions with Joshua were, in my opinion, especially poignant—they helped to emphasize Blair's fighting spirit—her desire to come out on top, in spite of everyone else. Also, it established the kind of peace that she's fighting for—for people like Joshua, so that everyone might have a good night's sleep, without fear of murderers and criminals. This chapter really gets Blair's character across to the reader, and so, I think it's imperative that you put it before "Babylon Tower"—you'll gain far more readers that way.

Setting/Description: Yet another reason I like this chapter; more so than any of the others I've read, it not only describes the setting, but—more importantly—it gives me a sense of the setting. You have your characters interacting with the setting, you have images and ideas of places and spaces and the events occurring within them made clear in this chapter. It really, really makes a difference. It's far more enjoyable of a read when I can visualize characters' interactions with their environment. The description of Mrs. Gunlinger on the veranda, or of Blair in her shower—those were wonderful. Including more descriptions and scene-painting like this both makes the setting more clear to your readers imagination, as well as enhances the overall aesthetic of the story. There's a lovely "sepia-tone" feel to this whole chapter—in my imagination, everything is painted in the warm hues of the late afternoon. It's quite lovely. You establish more than a setting here; you establish a MOOD—one of a peaceful community, yet, that this peace is not safe—Blair is worried and uneasy, not at home, even in her own home. That's a powerful mood, and you accomplish it wonderfully. :D

CV
Complex Variable chapter 2 . 3/24/2013
[On the outskirts there were people watching with] - - - I would do "On the outskirts, people watched with.."

Opening: Yay, a setting! xD The second sentence should be re-worked—maybe even split into two sentences. As is, it fails to exactly make the punch that it should. I think you progress to the typical "interview the knowledgeable person" phase of the detective's duty too quickly here, though; I'd like to see Blair percolating for a bit in the setting, before she finally gets down to business. Seeing dancers and odd-looking figures, passerby, contemplating the music—maybe even hearing some of the lyrics being sung (if any). Stuff like that—it helps to set the mood.

[she called over the bar.] - - - I don't think this is necessary.

[Jamie was a neutral – no psychic ability whatsoever, but a damn gift for making cocktails.] - - - Why not try "Jamie was a neutral— no psychic ability whatsoever. But, damn if he didn't have a gift for making cocktails." :D? (I think it's more potent, that way.)

[Blair had known him since high school and she had backed him when he had applied for barman position. ] - - - the "and" here isn't the best way to conjoin this sentence, IMO. Splitting it into two might help.

[her a lot of troubles. ] - - - "trouble"; singular, not plural.

Setting: Though, as I said, you finally have a setting—huzzah!—I still think you could do a LOT more insofar as it regards establishing the setting. This isn't our real world—it's different, with psychics and whatnot. Thus, you do not have the crutch that realistic fiction authors have of ignoring their setting because the readers all know what it is. Secondly, since this is a detective story, setting and—especially—the mood which the setting creates are essential. They give a broader, richer palette to the story, which is essential, given that detective stories are, in then end, contrived puzzles. You have the "Detective" element of your story down pat, now, you just need to add the "story" to it. Xo

Nice description of David at his desk. THAT, I could perfectly visualize! :D

[He motioned for them to go ahead and they took place in the leather chairs. Blair reveled in the sensation. God, she had missed those.] - - - xD I can relate to this.

Characters: I don't care for them. That's a HUGE problem. I admit, I'm a bit biased—I'm not interested in the detective genre, at all—however, this does not change the fact that, so far, your characters are very, very distant from your audience. The most "intimate" moment in this chapter was the discussion of Lena's emotional manipulations of Blair for the sake of keeping her temper—and thus, her fires—under control. The fact is that, so far—other than that—I have seen little, if any mention or discussion of the conflicts and struggles in which your characters are engaged. Why is this case important to Blair? Why should I, the reader, care about her in the slightest? How is she not just another faceless, super-powered detective? What does she want for herself? What are her goals? What are her fears? What are her hopes and dreams? So far, I see no indication of any of these, and as such, Blair—as well as every other character of yours—comes across as a piece of psychic cardboard. No matter how brilliant or twist-ridden your plot might be, it is utterly meaningless if the characters are without depth. Make this a STORY, not a lifeless puzzle. :C

Plot: This feels like only half of a chapter; you could take more time developing the interactions between Blair & Lena and David. Likewise, just ending the chapter without a follow-up confrontation feels too sudden; it's not, IMO, a place where the story naturally comes to a cadence. I would recommend extending this chapter to include whatever confrontation is going to follow between Blair/Lena and the Babylon Tower—them sneaking in, stealing the footage, or whatever. Make this chapter GO somewhere, rather than just ending it, you know? :3

CV
Complex Variable chapter 1 . 3/24/2013
Opening/Style: This is an odd opening. Hawkins is supposed to be the main character, right? Starting a scene from the point-of-view of a character other than the MC is fine, but, doing so in a scene that where the MC is present is, I think, a different matter. You're trying to establish a sense of conflict within the law-enforcement system—the investigator's opposition to the SIO, etc. However, I feel that having the chapter from Meinhard's perspective reduces the effectiveness with which you establish said conflict.

I think it would be much more effective if you put the opening—if you put this whole chapter, in fact—Hawkins' perspective, rather than Meinhard. If you're just doing this to be able to insert your (rather well-written :D) descriptions of what Hawkins and Feidel look like, then, I think you're going about it the wrong way; the way I see it, it's not worth the trade-off of framing the chapter in Meinhard's POV. Also, coupled with the writing issue (described below), it means that the reader is condemned to Meinhard's rather banal narrative perspective. Showing Hawkins' perspective (or, going the Sherlock Holmes road, and narrating from Feidel's—the partner's—perspective) would be more effective at establishing Meinhard's reactions to the scene. To me, Meinhard feels more like the sort of character one would watch the hero react against (usually from the hero's perspective), rather than a character through whom the reader would watch the hero. Does that make any sense? x3

Writing: there are a lot of awkward sentences here; places where you're beating round and round the metaphorical Mulberry bush—adding a word or two here and there—but without actually adding any meaning or depth to the prose. Sometimes, it's just by an extra word or two, but it makes a big difference. In my opinion, I would recommend against using any more words than an idea or object or message deems to be necessary. Some things—like descriptions—require more words to convey them, others—like characterizations—can usually be more pithy.

Examples of some of the more "awkward" sentences and phrases that I noticed:

[Carlman Meinhard had been an investigator for a score of years now, but the frustration of having his case snatched from him by the Second Investigation Office had never eased.] - - - "for a score of years" sounds weird; also, everything from the "but" onward feels unnecessarily long-winded.

[The fact that this time the ones pulling rank on him were women barely older than his daughters enhanced the feeling.] - - - "The fact that this time the ones pulling rank on him" feels like a tongue twister; likewise, "enhanced the feeling" doesn't seem very definite, added on at the end of the sentence, as it is.

[because they always had it somewhat easier than the others.] - - - This just feels off, you know.

[Her nose was too large, too.] - - - I would get rid of the second "too".

[At best, she qualified for pleasant, but Meinhard suspected that, if a man formed feelings for this woman, it was more on grounds of her personality than her looks.] - - - I would consider making this into two sentences. Also, once again, you can probably find a more succinct and potent way of saying this idea.

[There was something in the way she looked at him that suggested she knew of his hypocrisy.] - - -Once again, this feels ramble. x3

[pentagram… Almost ] - - - either you need to add one more period after the ellipsis, or, your need to make that "A" lower-case.
[They looked ridiculous, Meinhard decided] - - - I would do "Meinhard decided that they looked ridiculous." I think that, phrased that way, the sentence packs more punch, :3

[Digust filled him.] - - - Why not try "He shuddered at the thought." :D?
- - - - - -
[She differed from the other woman like the sun from the moon.] - - -Oooh, pretty description. :D
[murderer's racist against psychics."] - - - "prejudiced" would work better than "racist".
[Her head was turned to the right, but the way the hair sprawled suggested the killer had wanted to create a symmetry, which the laws of physic had prevented.] - - - Nice description!

Setting: There is none. Xo I don't know about other readers/writers, but, for me, I can't stand it when a story gives little, if any, impression of the setting. Yours, unfortunately, is such a story—at least, in this chapter. Beyond simply not describing anything, you don't even give a single piece of information about where this is. Is it an apartment? Is it in a parking lot? Is it in a subway? Is the floor wooden, dirt, concrete, asphalt? Nothing. This maddens me, honestly. I can't get a picture in which to place the characters, and that is an infuriating feeling. It makes it hard for a reader to get immersed in your story if you don't provide a vehicle for them to immerse themselves in—especially if you also don't provide any descriptions of the setting! *Grumble Grumble*

CV
lookingwest chapter 10 . 3/20/2013
Oh geesh, I said I couldn't remember the head vampire's game in this story in my last review and it's in the summary, pfft, lol. Silly me.

Anyway!

Vampires weren't even supposed to retain any psychic ability they might have had during their human life, it was the whole point of some changes! ["some changes" at the end of the sentence feels vague or odd to me. Like the whole point of what changes? Just changes as a vampire? Like - more specifically, the whole point of becoming a vampire is to not retain anything they possessed during their human life?]

"Raaaaah!" she cried, grabbing the glass and sending it to join the bottle of wine. [The dialogue here feels a little cheesy given the context of her situation - it kind of feels like something that maybe the Hulk would have dialogue for, but I think maybe instead here you could just simply narrate that she let out a thick cry of screamed frustration and it might get the same kind of effect as the dialogue you already have, but perhaps be a bit less cheesy about it. /these are my opinions, though, and this especially is just a nit-pick situation.]

Overall with this chapter, I don't feel like the actual writing itself is as strong as previous chapters. Sometimes the sentences got repetitive in the content they were talking about, or just receptive in the way the clauses were set up (ending on the same word for two clauses) ex:

...but he was still holding his decision on it, and Blair kept nursing a small hope that maybe she would be able to keep working on it.

another example:

The teenager had definitively gotten way better than her now, and she was exhausted way before him.

So, hopefully that kind of gives you somewhat of an idea of what I'm poking at as far as the writing. I mean, overall this wasn't a bad chapter, but I've seen your editing/style skills a lot better than what I see here.

I feel like we haven't seen Joshua in awhile... I've been reading this story (I feel like) over a span of several years, so I didn't quite have an entire hold on who he is. The line when he says "Grandma" - I wasn't sure who that was directed to (if his grandma was inside and stuff, and then who Cath was). Other than that, I did pick up on the other things about him, I just feel like we haven't seen him in a really long while. I suppose that's justified though, as the plot thickens within the last few chapters. It's probably a good thing you brought him back in now, I'm just wondering how important his character is, or if he's just kind of here for Blair to play basketball with when she needs to let off steam and Lena isn't around. I like the way you characterize him though, and I also liked the way you used him to provide more detailed background on the process of finding those with "gifts" and how that comes about concerning Levels, etc. It's godo to see that world building still happening by ch. 10.

I find it interesting that Blair isn't suspecting Messala as being a vampire responsible for Lena's abilities failing. She obviously doesn't trust him - so why not cast a wider net and start getting suspicious? When they parted, I didn't get the sense that Blair was won over by him, and by her reaction with Joshua in this chapter and the way their conversation ended, I also got the vibe that she doesn't like him very much. This development intrigues me. We'll have to see what exchanges might happen between her and Messala when/if they see one another next.

When Blair walks in and thinks that Lena could be dying - I didn't know how serious she was because she didn't seem that worried about it or panicking, she just kind of picks up the phone and calls and then goes to the hospital, but I didn't sense any anger or fear in her beyond a bit of her dialogue over the phone. I think we could get more emotion from that scene with Blair, especially because she's such an emotional person - having Lena dying and having to drive her to the hospital for an emergency might warrant some real panic and even fear on her part. I think essentially I do get the sense that she's somewhat angry by her speaker tags but, eh, it came off as more annoyed to me. It just doesn't feel like the pacing speeds up at all, and I think it might need to. I wanted to see a little more panic.

The ending really pushes the plot into another realm with Lena clean out of the game. I really like the way you explain the medical aspect of these abilities though, because I thought that was really realistic. I also think the explanation of why they need to put her in a coma made sense, so good job with that aspect of what's happening to her. We'll have to see who the vampire is - I'm wondering if this might push Blair over the edge and have her to rogue to find this douchebucket! Things are getting exciting. I look forward to more!
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 8 . 3/20/2013
[She had woken at six, drenched in sweat and febrile] I would just say "feverish" here. Again, I don't think 'febrile' is the type of vocabulary that your main audience is going to be familiar with. (Also, sorry for calling this a "romance" novel in the last review - I don't know if you'd find that offensive or not but I didn't mean it in a bad way, and I do notice that you don't have romance anywhere in your genre tags. It still feels, to me, to be some degree of a romance simply because of the amount of time spent dealing with Blair's potential romantic interests, Blair/Lucius in particular.)

Despite what you say at the end of this chapter about Blair not being agreeable, I actually felt quite sympathetic to Blair this chapter. Somebody has to play the bad cop, it's what she's good at, she was working and being professional (even if in this case it involved riling someone up) and then things didn't go according to plan and it was a terrifying experience, which I would totally expect under the circumstances. Watching her break down like that is something we haven't seen from her yet, and it was very...humanizing? I feel like for once she wasn't this raging ball of bluster - finally she was vulnerable, and that's a great way to get the reader's to be able to relate to her and feel for her.

I think the insight into the stages of her falling apart - calling out and eventually crying for her father - are also good for feeding us details about her past and who she is under all her armor.

I think you built up to that scene well, too. The progression of rising action up to and during Blair's firey melt-down was smooth and easy to follow with building excitement along the way because somewhere in the back of our minds we (the readers) had to know something was going to mess up with Lena so out of sorts.

I'm really curious to find out more about what exactly is effecting Lena and how this is going to impact Blair. Without an anchor, things must be that much more volatile for her and it will be interesting to see where the plot progresses from here on all fronts.

Definitely enjoyed this chapter. Nicely handled. :)

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 5 . 3/20/2013
Ffffff-

So, the chapter numbering system confused me, and it had been a bit since I last read this, so when I saw that "chapter four" was the last one I reviewed, I went straight to the chapter titled "chapter five" completely forgetting that the prologue threw the numbers off. :l Ignore me. I'll just review this now.

[Messala said insouciantly.] Believe it or not, I have a pretty decent vocabulary, to the point where I have had readers multiple times in the past making comments saying they needed to look up certain words and I was thinking to myself, "Seriously? Doesn't everyone know that word?" But here, you got me. Insouciantly? What...is this...? XD It's a pretty word (and I can guess its meaning in context), but is it really necessary in this case? Because I have a feeling that a large portion of the audience that goes out to buy vampire romance novels is *not* going to be familiar with it.

Really love this passage: [Messala's admiration was plain, but there was no awe in it. The thrill, all of it would be for the thrill, because he was the sort that courted danger. He was used to power; he would never try to master her, because he had no use for her.] Elegantly put and precise, while very interesting at the same time. Makes Lucius all the more a point of interest.

[The tests at Officer School had proved] Eh? What's the notation number for?

["She's in no fit state for work. We'll see later."] We'll see *you later?

The scene where that random vampire took an interest in Lena intrigued me, though by the time we get to the end, I'm concerned as well as curious. I can't help but wonder if her abrupt sickness is partially his fault in some way, and it makes me worried for Lena.

I also liked the part where you mention that Blair can start a fire underwater. Got to admit, that's pretty damn impressive - and creative to boot. I think it would be terrifying to have that much destructive power at my fingertips, especially with such a fragile balance of control over it.

- Moonstar
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