|Reviews for Holy the Dark|
| AlysonSerenaStone chapter 18 . 3/6
You need to update this! This is too good for you to stop! I love how well rounded your characters are. My favourites are Jude and Charlotte. I really like the short, choppy sentences; it makes for great narration. I also like how you take the time to explore your characters. I would rather have well-developed characters than an action filled story. Action is good, but with dry characters, it doesn't work. I really do hope you update soon, though! Great work!
| AlysonSerenaStone chapter 8 . 3/5
I must say, you are are really good story. I normally don't read these kinds of stories, but there's just something about it that causes me to keep coming back. There is a haunting voice that makes this read story read very poetic. I am finding it a little difficult to keep all the characters straight, but I did expect that. Great work!
| alltheeagles chapter 10 . 3/4
For the RG EF
I like how in your world, the playing field is level since the shapers can also take away the magic of the witches. I'd thought at first that the witches were on top in terms of relative power and the shapers had seemed to be the literal underdogs.
It makes sense to me that the witches' magic is so much a part of them that they literally lose their identity or being (personhood? witchiness?) when they lose it. I don't know what the alpha gets out of 'having his way' with a drooling idiot, but on the other hand, it's consistent with their behaviour as pack creatures; mounting is a gesture of dominance. Now why did I suddenly think of a small dog humping a human leg?
And oh, I like the language as well (I always did like Bardolph's voice the most out of your narrators).
- not really keen ON moving
| AlysonSerenaStone chapter 7 . 3/4
You certainly have a way with words! I really enjoy your writing style and I love all the details you prove the reader with! Hats off to be able to switch characters' point-of-view without making it seen so difficult, even though we all know it is. Great work and I look forward to reading more!
| AlysonSerenaStone chapter 1 . 2/26
Wow! This was a really good opening chapter! I loved your syntax in this and your writing style really pulled me in! I do find this to be really well written and I can't wait to read more of it!
| AppleCinnamon chapter 18 . 1/31
I just noticed I missed this chapter, so you're going to take this review, and you're going to like it. Kapeesh? ;)
So, I don't know why I've taken so long to take notice of how you approach dialogue in Jude's perspective, but I have to say, I really like the style. I always denote different lengths of pauses for various punctuation, and somehow the colon and lack of normal dialogue tags really makes the transition between narrative and dialogue fluid. I want to say that Jude's perspective and interactions on this front feel like oil. Slick, unclean, and a settled swirl, if that makes any sense.
Great build up of tension throughout the chapter. There's been a lot of nervousness built up in regards to Charlotte's safety. So much so that when the magic snags Jude it was really startling, and the bit of confusion that's going on really helps to build up fear for him.
Jude just keeps becoming more and more of a tragic character. I like that the magic seems to anchor what little is left of him, but at the same time perhaps just as much to his plight as actually being a vampire does. The self-awareness definitely seems to do cause more spiritual pain than anything else, which I guess is one of the drawbacks of being someone as powerful as a witch prince. I want to hope that things will somehow work out, but more and more I'm beginning to think there won't be a happy ending for poor Jude.
Plot is /really/ moving along now, isn't it? I hadn't expected Ellie to find him so fast, but that's not a bad thing. The shift in plot pacing the past few chapters has actually been pretty good. The speedup with Ellie and the shapers, and then the slow down with Achi, Char and Jude really help to keep the story feeling like an "everything at once" convenience, but the timing of Ellie's appearance couldn't have been better. The weaving of each group's plotline has really helped establish a natural balance of pacing, and I think that it's a big part of why the story is staying so consistently exciting.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 17 . 1/13
I have to ask, is the correlations between insanity and poetics a deliberate theme? I'm finding the more stable a character feels,
I love that you chose more familiar territory for Charlotte to compare her surroundings to. At first I was thinking, "Why a microphone?" and then I remembered she was a rock star once and thought, "Actually, that's perfect for her!"
This chapter felt like it had a lot more attention to environmental detail and made it feel a bit third-person. It really seemed to slow down the first part of the chapter, but I wondered if this was one of Charlotte's ongoing trauma things.
I know I say "I loved" alot, but I really do. In this case, it's the build up to revealing whose home they're in. At first I was thinking it was just a comforting reminiscent moment with the record player, and then she finds her band's album and all I could think was "Huh... Interesting..." And then the tickets slid out. Didn't need to go beyond that to figure out it belonged to Jude, and suddenly the witch references made total sense. XD I guess it's less a build up and more of a mild slap in the face, which was pretty fun and full of tension.
Aaaand once again I'm scared for Char. (I mean, who wouldn't be realizing her creepy stalker non-boyfriend led her into his home? XD )
Slow as the chapter was, I'm glad that you got into why the shaper is following them and nothing's really been done about him. This was something I've been scratching my head on for a few chapters, and looking back there are definitely some pretty good hints as to the why, so keeping it obscured until Achi explains it the Charlotte was a good move in pacing the details surrounding that.
Like I said before, I've never really had reason to question Charlotte's motivations. Achi's really the only one who is for sure not interested in taking her out, so even if she does have a grudge against shapers, allies are going to outweigh personal vendettas for the time being. I think having her consider shooting Achi was actually a good way to demonstrate that their little alliance is more out of necessity than choice.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 16 . 1/13
1) Achi & Char? Working together has always felt pretty natural to me. The whole enemy of my enemy thing, and then add to it the little unintentional bonding moment over both having lost a family is some way. There's also the whole "vamp bait" thing. Not too many of those lying (or walking) around, so I imagine Char would want to keep him around for as long as possible for that purpose. XD Admittedly I thought she felt a little more affectionate toward him this chapter, but again, trauma makes people do crazy shit, so it doesn't seem out of the realm of believability.
2) Vampires? Really, the only thing that ever bothered me about the vampires was the running water thing, but that's more of a general bias against a traditional piece of lore than anything to do with the story itself.
3) Jude? Aw, hell no! No sparkly gay-... Ahem. No vampires a la Stephanie Meyer to be seen anywhere here. Like I said before, Jude has a bit of a Spike thing going on, although it hasn't been as pronounced the past few chapters. I really enjoy him and his crazy, on top of the gradual building of lucidity (or what appears to be lucidity, anyway. XD ) He's definitely creepy, in both the good and bad ways. Good in that he's well-written, bad in that he really does give me the willies at times. He's also had some pretty endearing moments (I still find the memory of the concert kind of cute). I also loved how he toyed with Charlotte this chapter. At moments it felt almost little boyish, adding another layer of creepy to him. And very interesting twist on his feels for Char. Kinda went Awww when he apologized...
Okay, I'm going to sum up because Jude's getting long in this review. XD Jude is batshit crazy, and has so many layers that I can't help not loving him.
4) Plot? Since chapter 14 (maybe even 10), the plots are definitely starting to move toward one another. Elaenor's set out to find Jude, Bardolph and the other shapers are pushing forward, and Achi, Char and Jude are kind of running around, trying to get by but also being pushed toward everyone else. The plot progression is definitely accelerating, but you're pacing it quite well.
Non-questiony stuff. I love that you touch on the right to die, specifically being taken from it. Admittedly, this is a topic that's always kind of fascinated me, and it was really unexpected to see it be touched on, particularly with Jude. I thought you did a good job of keeping it neutral, but thought-provoking.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 15 . 1/12
I loved getting to know more about shaper society. Intriguing speculations on the avian families. It makes sense that they would have a superiority complex, especially given that they can fly. I mean, there aren't a whole lot who can look down on you if you can fly, plus, if this society acknowledges some form or another of angels, well, that gives them all the more reason to be the pretentious cousins.
Bardolph seems a little different this chapter. Not quite as crass or devil-may-care. He had little moments that were more reminiscent to his previous chapters (angry being Carwin's buttmonkey, or his thoughts on Margot), but he seems more lowkey this chapter. I kind of want to be disappointed at the difference, but at the same time it's also nice getting to know him beyond him being a smartass.
Finding the pack was a sobering moment. I felt really bad for the beta even though I didn't know her, and then very heavy when Bardolph finds Esther. What really cinched it, though, was when the beta started calling to Bardolph for help. I don't know why, but I started tearing up at that point. I think the only thing that could really be done to improve that moment would be to end it at "bubbling blood." The final sentence in that scene, imo, detracted from the punch that "bubbling blood" had, and overall I think the end would be much stronger if the reader is left to draw their own conclusions.
Stakes are really starting to go up the last few chapters, and this one is no different. I loved the action sequence, especially with Bardolph losing it, even if only momentarily. I also loved that you used it to connect the present with Bardolph's past. I'm surprised that he would have gone so long without some sort of episode, but at the same time he just found a potential mate defiled and slaughtered, so it also makes sense. Also, sneaky little push to build some sympathy for Carwin. I'm amazed he didn't take Bardolph's head off, tbh.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 14 . 1/11
Yep... Elaenor and Jude are definitely in different leagues of crazy. I'm not quite clear on whether the blood is solely the boy's, or if it's Ellie's as well... I'm not sure I want to know, because it could be really... cringe-worthy if she is including her own blood in the drink for Jude, but at the same time the twistedness of it works great with Ellie's mentality and the overall mood of the piece.
Oooooooooooooooh... Ellie's /pissed/. Who the woman is that holds Jude remains a mystery, but seeing as Charlotte and Margot are the only other ones who so far play a big role in things, I'm definite afraid for them. Particularly Charlotte, who may now have two targets on her back. Creepy, stalker non-boyfriend, and his creepy, possessive/jealous sister.
This part introduced an interesting look into their society. It definitely has a men-overthrowing-women element at the moment, which is kind of refreshing since it's usually the other way around, but at the same time it keeps the whole subjugation of women somewhat relevant for the reader.
Oh... And I just remembered Jude tapped into the shaper's memory, so that totally explains what Cordelia saw. This is actually creating a very neat sort of drama within the story, actually. I think working it in with the elements of other genres really makes the whole thing family thing a lot more interesting to take in. I'm still scared for Char of course, because at this point she's the only woman around Jude, but I'm excited to see how it's going to play out!
One thing I'm liking about Ellie this chapter is that she's become more proactive. Up to this point she had sort of a sit-back-and-scheme thing going on, so it's awesome to see her finally taking action, both in spiting Maxwell, and going after Jude.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 13 . 1/11
I'm a bit all over the place with the review, so let me know if something doesn't make sense. :)
I love the way Jude describes the shaper at the start. Even though he doesn't give anything specific, I had this image of a vulture-like person in the back of my mind. I think maybe that's one of the things I love about Jude's narrative. He states what's going on, but it seems as he grows more lucid, the descriptions grown more ambiguous, so the feel for his crazy is never really lost.
And awww! Jude's being all chivalric. Even with Char going off on a tangent, I just wanted to squee because it's just such an adorable moment! I do have to admit, though, that I'm scared for her. Elaenor's fixation is creepy enough. I can only imagine what Jude's must be like, being a messed up hybrid and all.
I have to ask, is the sorta-rhyme when the shaper comes back around (rattle/battle) intentional? When I read this song, I could almost hear it like a lyrics, rather than a poetic thought.
I believe I had this problem on a previous chapter (although I can't remember if it was with Jude), but I found the action at some points moved so quickly that although it was vivid, I had trouble really absorbing it the first time around. It's definitely good technique for an action sequence and conveying the immediacy of the action, but I found it sometimes also makes it a bit too easy to disconnect from Jude. Maybe that was the intention (which is totally cool if it is), but just in case I thought I'd mention it.
Q time! Yes, it was clear they were fighting. :D
I was a bit hazy on the blood drinking part. Jude was pretty clear, but the shaper I had to stop and think about for a moment.
With the memories thing, when I first read the sunshine thing, I'd almost wondered if the shaper was an angel or something. The sunshine/stars thing made a lot more sense when it got into the arms of a lover (which was a big part of what gave away the memory thing, since I don't recall him actually having mentioned a lover). I'm wondering if this is another stepping stone in his pscyhe healing. :)
| Elena K chapter 5 . 1/10
I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but there is no other thing like your openings. Each chapter, the very first sentence just grabs you by the collar and all its successors simply refuse to let go until the final line. Even if the plot was nothing of note (which it isn't), the solemn way that you tell of it all would have had me begging for more. Enchanting characters as well. Those short, intermittent sentences that you insert are just bliss. For making all the personages believable, their thoughts and inner world - enjoyable in its grim nature.
You have a brilliant piece of work here. Keep it up or your fans (myself included) will have to hunt you down. Seriously. Admirable things you do with words.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 12 . 1/9
So... I am so glad that I was not eating when I read the opening to this chapter. It's every bit as crass as I expect from Charlotte, but hoooooo boy, the imagery... I just did not need it. Excellent work!
Apparently the shock has not worn off yet, though. I'd been wondering about this the previous chapter, because Charlotte had seemed a little more lucid, but this chapter she seems to have swung back into it (makes total sense, btw). She also seems to be a bit more poetic at times this chapter. It kind of threw me off when I got to the paragraph about the dark being a hood, but I really enjoyed it. It seems like the poetics increase when she falls deeper into maddened/shocked ramblings.
And then Achi gets through to her... Love it! :D Lashing out when her thoughts are interrupted seems very much inline with her characterization, and I love that the first thing she does is call him vamp bait. Well, I shouldn't say lashing out. More, I think you've built up to a very believable point of self-destruction in Charlotte, and it's looking more and more like Achi has become a sort of tie to sanity for her. I love how you created this odd, unwanted bond between them through their own experiences of loss. It still feels pretty natural, especially since Charlotte is reluctant toward it.
And yes, I feel like she's gone beyond her archetype. She's an asskicker with a very realistic case of PTSD, and quite frankly I wouldn't expect her to just be back to herself like nothing happened. Normally a person isn't expected to show signs of improvement for at least several months, and given all the shit she's been through and how she's handling it all, I actually find she's a much more sympathetic character than most others where the angst elements are concerned.
As for bats... Bats are mammals. Humans are mammals... And it's fantasy, so who the heck cares? :D All kidding aside, though, I didn't think anything was odd about the bat thing.
The tension throughout the chapter covers so many grounds, and I really enjoyed it. And then Jude showing up and being all cute and shit with "Bang! Bang!" just really makes the reader beg before because there's this twisted little part that's going "Awww!" and then another little part that's all, "Oh, shit! What now?"
Sorry for all the cussing this round... I think Charlotte may be rubbing off on me... :-/
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 18 . 1/9
Despite the fact that I'm scared of the EF lately, and how *active* it gets sometimes, I finally came to finish this. I didn't want to. I don't know when you'll update D: (but oh well, there are your other works to check out :P). Yeah, okay, I'm not submitting this for the EF, but I feel bad for this low quality review ;_;
So I re-read this twice, because I just wanted to capture every word, every clever little repetition of Jude’s and every uncanny metaphor he uses. I also want to experience that particular rhythm you use when you write Jude’s POV. And seriously - how do you write so well? I could say ‘I like’ the writing, but I actually am just impressed and enthralled with it – not only because it’s intricate and actually has me going back to re-read a chapter, but because it’s so creative and also inspires me to write my own shorter pieces again. You know, I always determine a good writer by how inspirational they are: a good writer always makes me want to hone my craft, just so I can create the same magic you weave here.
And I love how you write Jude's utter madness: the lines, the various voices in his head, and the way he just views this world in his peculiar way of his. I think it shows strongly in this chapter that he’s one cracked being; there’s a part of him that still seems somewhat sane, but another that is definitely all vampire, and I wonder just how long he’ll be able to keep battling with himself like this. Haha, ignore me here – I’m beyond tired.
I’m intrigued too by the loss of memories in this chapter – it’s kind of tragic that they wound up in Jude’s childhood home. I … just loved how you described that paragraph where Jude describes that he can’t remember anything noteworthy, that his memories seem distant and odd. Non-telling. I also was touched when he asked Charlotte to call him ‘Jude’.
And then comes the description of the attack. Lovely stuff; I love how the writing grows quicker and more fast-paced here, and how the mood really shifts to desperate and confused. The short sentences are incredibly effective.
I don't know - the ending of this chapter is so cruel. It's begging for an update XD.
| alltheeagles chapter 9 . 1/9
For the RG, EF
I like how you show us how the black craft is actually done rather than glossing it over as some kind of flow of power or whatever. It makes the act personal and clearly deliberate, not an instinctive reaction, which some of the magic use sometimes appears to be. Sometimes with some of the characters it feels like they're not really in control of their own magic, but I think that is mostly deliberate on your part.
Eleanor's voice seems to be becoming as choppy as her brother's, particularly in the beginning. But still, she's essentially grammatical, so I wonder about "I slight smile" and "His blood spread the snow" - although they make sense in their own way too.