|Reviews for Holy the Dark|
| Epic Myth chapter 7 . 10/9/2013
I wanted to read one more chapter, Jude's chapter, but I think I am getting tired. But this story has kept me awake, especially as it got closer to the ending when Jude started to talk, I found that really, really interesting! I am still slightly mystified by how magic works in this world of yours, by the way. It's definitely different than the usual. It's more lively and it seems to do more damage than good automatically. I feel like magic is this watery force, or aura, that is just shoved off at a specific direction and starts hooking or webbing and burning, based on the previous chapters. And then here, Jude's magic is completely different. He doesn't hurt them with it, but he easily turns all the vampires into ash and all the Witches into disemboweled meat sacks.
I really like your approach to vampires too. That part where they literally rip at their own flesh and laugh as they heal is very haunting. These aren't your run-in-a-mill blood-sucking bastards, with all the suave and glimmer we have seen in the past few years. No-no, these things are ruthless and animalistic, as they ought to be. I am also starting to understand your world better, the city seems to be held by the vampires at night (obviously) and it is mostly ran by the witches.
Now, as for Charlotte herself, from Achitophel's chapter to this, I still like her and I think I will continue to lover her for every little bite and spunk she has. She has a bite to her but Jude bites back even more... singing her song even. Based on your notes down there, I guess you are showing through the story how they might know themselves instead of further details. I can get that much from it and it's pretty cool job.
Now their a trio! Yay! By the way, I am imagining at this point you are keeping in mind of their injuries. Yeah, that does suck huh. They need some time to heal up... Achi and Char I mean, Jude's fine. He's cool.
| Epic Myth chapter 6 . 10/9/2013
One, Achi and Char ending up together in the middle of the night full of vampires doesn't strike me as unrealistic. I mean, some people can have reasons to help another, but as I see it, it is natural for two people to come together when a force greater than them is encroaching. That and they are a group of one female and one male, so instinctively, he could have been drawn to her even though she's a mean human woman... because she's a woman. But, generally, we all know they'll stick to the I don't know why, but I am just with you just because.
Anyway, I really like this chapter and I am excited to read the next because so far, Char and Bar are my favorite characters to read about. I like Charlotte's sass and tough attitude and she can fight to boot. If you don't know it, I love tough chicks, especially tough chicks well-written in a story.
On another note, the action is good, especially the part where Achitophel socked the vampire with the key and he still holds it for whatever reason. Maybe it is a talisman to him, a mental barrier or wall helping to protect his psyche from being stuck in his in-between shape... that and he saw a blood-bath.
What I am curious about is how everybody knows Achitophel so well? He must be one hell of a poet... or one hell of a poetic lover. Anyway, I hope these two make it out somehow, I really like the idea of them being together in spite of their conflicting sides. That and Charlotte's last statement seems fated... irony is a kick to the cahoot.
| Guy who may like dragons chapter 4 . 10/8/2013
I messed up that last review, let me start from where my computer decided to click post and correct my last word into some nonsense. My favorite part was, oddly enough, when raise or lie changed into razor wire, since it portrayed how his (?) mind would change every word. (This is still for chapter 3.)
| Guy who may like dragons chapter 3 . 10/8/2013
In the start I was really confused until I realized he (?) was hearing voices. After that it became a bit more easy to understand. I find this appealing since I generally like stories that won't hand you the information on a silver platter. Am I right if I assume that Jude is the half-witch/half-vampire from previous chapters? Regarding his (?) humanity; I actually felt that it was ever present in the form of his mother's memory.
For some reason the part where "Raise or lie", misform
| Guy who may like dragons chapter 2 . 10/8/2013
This chapter was captivating from the start; mainly since I myself play in a band and playing on a big stage with a responsive crowd is something most musicians want. During the intro of Charlotte I found several things that made me chuckle i.e. "The only honest witch is a dead witch.", which made her a character with an interesting line of thoughts. If Im going to be picky about smaller details; you used couples instead of coupled in the first sentence of the second paragraph after the line break; I also found some additional typos i.e. they instead of the. The pace in the later part of the chapter was pretty good, and gave the action a smooth, but also a creepy feel.
| Guy who may like dragons chapter 1 . 10/8/2013
I must say that I like your portrayal of the environment and Kits feelings, you really understand how horror struck he is. Although sometimes I got a bit confused i.e. "The leader leans...", where does he lean? Over the protagonist? All in all, it seems like a pretty appealing story.
| snaggled chapter 2 . 10/8/2013
Right from the get go I love Charlotte. She makes an interesting contrast to the narrator from the previous chapter, and her language and style of narrating is noticeably distinctive and extremely entertaining. The snatches of her back story we get at the start immediately catches the reader's attention, and she seems like a really believable and badass character, to say the least. I love reading about how she sees people, and her sarcastic attitude never seems out of place or cocky, which a lot of writers seem to find trouble with.
Everything is also beautifully paced and timed, especially the fight between Charlotte and the witches before they bring her into the cells.
I do feel like a bit of extra detail and padding is missing from the office scene, but that may simply be because it is at the midpoint of the chapter, where an extra hook or slice of detail is needed to make sure your reader's attention is still fully gripped.
I'm also not too sure about this vampire character, as he seems a tad...too powerful and stoic/mad. Although obviously I'll reserve judgement until I've read more about him, and I highly doubt he'll stray into mary-sue territory, there's just something about extremely dangerous and powerful characters, especially hybrids of two powerful species, in writing which makes me weary, and I'd keep an eye on him to make sure he has enough weaknesses and interest to balance him out.
"screams as his magic spills into vibrating panic" is one of those sentences that doesn't quite make sense.
"leave me choking with vision that starts to..." I think there should be a comma between "choking" and "with"?
"he moves vamparic in smooth control that uses supernatural force toppling gravity" again, only seems to half make sense. It feels like certain important words have been chopped
out. "his moves are Vamparic. With smooth control..."? or something similar. Unless it's something to do with his magic which I'm not quite understanding. Either way, that sentence is confusing.
Looking forward to reading more!
| Whirlymerle chapter 3 . 10/7/2013
[I am nightmare incarnate, and I want my dead mother.] You know what was really scary about this statement, other than Jude saying outright that he’s nightmare incarnate, is him saying that he wants his dead mother. There’s something so little kid-ish about wanting one’s mother that juxtaposed with the fact that she’s dead and Jude knows it, just makes it all the more chilling.
Writing wise, I like how you twist some familiar/well known phrases, like “nightmare incarnate” (are normal vampires still referred to as carnivore incarnate? I think I remember that from an earlier chapter), “something violent this way comes” instead of “something wicked…” and the like. It gives Jude this *off* feeling, something recognizable but different, which corresponded nicely with the fact that he’s a half witch half vampire.
[against bars trapping a summer moon] Really cool image! I like this lots.
So, while I totally enjoyed the alliteration and other cool literary techniques you have going on in this piece, I‘m also glad that this chapter is as short as it is because I did have to give this a second read. I don’t think that’s a bad thing; I think that’s just part of the tradeoff for poetry prose, which I totally loved. I found the reading enjoyable both times; the prose drew me in.
Ope, just read your Author’s Note. Looks like we’re in agreement about the chapter length, haha.
What I was really curious about was the flashback to the fire scene with Jude’s sister. The entire chapter consisted of him going on about his mother that the sudden interlude involving his sister took me by surprise. It was really sweet, and was a nice intermission from the chaos—in fact, thinking back, it’s probably one of the most lucid parts of the chapter, which made sense because it was probably from a time when Jude had humanity and some sense of inner peace (relative to now). So yeah, it left me wondering if there’s some sort of connection between Jude’s mother and his sister, other than the fact that they’re both female and related to him.
Towards the end, I wouldn’t have minded a little more clarity with regards to what Kit was doing. I think, seeing this already introduced character made me want to cling on to who I know, except that probably wasn’t a realistic expectation, considering we’re still in Jude’s head. I guess I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated to see Kit, a familiar character, described in this new and different and way, haha. What I think I took away from the end was that Jude’s magic, which hasn’t been cooperating with him ever since he turned into a vampire, somehow protected Kit by giving Kit the keys, thus preventing Jude from feeding on him? But then what? Is Kit just standing there the whole time while Jude thinks about how his magic fears him, or does the chapter practically end after Kit says, “You threw them in here,” and the rest of Jude’s thoughts occur in the span of a second?
But yeah, I'd like more of Jude and his narration style. :)
| Alias Blue chapter 2 . 10/7/2013
Opening: You describe Charlotte's past in a really visual way that sets up her character immediately. It's also concise - it's not an info dump. even though describing her past is the opening chapter - it doesn't even seem slow or odd to begin this way. Somehow you've made it feel natural.
Here are just a few phrases that I thought could be tweaked. A little repetitive.
" spin under spin lights"
"Uptown used to have all the best clubs and richest locations; Uptown was well off" - cut second uptown.
"dead and as good as dead. They'd probably want me dead"
like this line: The only honest witch is a dead witch. Really shows Charlotte's prejudice and how she deals with everything.
"halfway up the block trying to scry for me with a crystal and a map of the city" - I like this, but it made the witches sound a little unintelligent if they're only halfway up the block (though I don't know exactly how far that is). I imagined their magic to be able to scout her if she's close enough to see them.
"They huddle around the dead bodies". I like that despite the witches being cast as the antagonist, I got a real sense of communal mourning here that made me feel for them.
"opposite the shaper" - this confused me - I can't quite picture the layout.
I think you convey Achitphel's character well through 3rd person - I like this view of him from outside and it's realistic with how damaged and dirty he would be right now. The intro to Jude is very interesting - kind of mad and yet his stoicism hints at something more.
Your description of the magic is excellent. I loved 'like spiderwebs'. It's all so textural and none of it is repetitive description even though you're having to mention it a lot. I've also noticed that Jude's magic and Bad-haircut's magic is described very differently and reflects their characters well through it. e.g. spiderwebs is more gentle and in the later fight scene is controlled, whereas Bad-haircut's is described as very violent and rash. " feel his magic snaking behind my ear, curling like a worm." Love it!
"with bad-haircut in the lead." - I think this would be better capitalised 'Bad-haircut'.
"dozen witch men all watch us pass." - how do they react?
"because I'm too shocked to move" - this sounds a little awkward and over-explanatory. And she's just been acting well on adrenaline - why has she suddenly stopped?
Ending: I think Charlotte's slowness really conveyed her shock well at the end. I didn't have a problem with this at all. I think you should cut the earlier reference to shock, which didn't seem to fit.
| Vladvonbounce chapter 17 . 10/7/2013
but only Lara had a witch mark - I am not sure about the implications of this? What does it mean?
hunching ducked to scour below the sink-? just ducking?
The smell makes me mouth water and I moan when I bite into it.- my
I felt it was a bit weird the way she just pulls her gun out here. Then again they are all a bit mentally unstable.
I wouldn't worry about a lack of action. Every chapter has been pretty jam packed. I liked again getting some more background history. It was quite nifty the way you eventually realise that they are in Jude's old house when she finds the old records. that was very sweet.
I think Charlotte's reasoning seemed sound, that Achitophel isn't like the other shapers which is pretty accurate especially with the witch ring. But I don't think at this point of the story she would still be considering killing him.
Nice to finally get a name for the avian shaper guy. :) I definitely don't think you need to shave down any information. As one of the more sane characters it helps a lot to just re establish what is going on I think.
| Gosia89 chapter 17 . 10/6/2013
You update quite fast. Great...
I liked the reference to Chalottes's singing carrer in the first paragraph - nice one.
The opening of the chapter, the part where Charlotte was inspecing her surroundings, was full of great descrition. It wasn't action, not much of a plot, but the way you were combining the words captured me. I guess you had to have a spurt of inspirtation ;-)
I'm beginning to enjoy the interactions between Charlotte and Kit more. The part when the girl wanted to shoot the fox made me hold my breath for w while even though I kne she has no guts to murder the poor guy in cold blood. The conversation between the two was good too - the dialogue made sense and looked fairly natural.
Now gimme cool stuff! Just kidding. Charlotte's motivations... thumbs up with this for in this chapter Charlotte seemed to me as a likeable character, it was the first time. A sneak peak into some of her past was great and the reasons for not killing the poor guy were absolutely in order.
Overall, no action, but you did well with Charlotte's character development.
| Argentum Vir chapter 8 . 10/6/2013
Yo, Nox here again.
Comprehension wise, I understood that Jude had a crush on Charlotte. You made it pretty clear. I missed part of the Jude ramble that said he was afraid of running water, but it's there, plain as day. I believe you've got a decent shade of understanding here. Not confusing like chapter three Jude, but still Jude.
As for what I really like, Jude is easy to read past my first experience. There are some minor nuances of magic I have yet to get. Like "suck in smoke". Does that mean breathe? Or, "snakes rattle", "itchy blood", etc. It would be really nice if you'd create a sort of addendum at the end of the first really magic intimate chapter to explain some of this stuff. You know, since I don't feel like explaining in prose it would be conducive to your style.
| Encore19 chapter 3 . 10/6/2013
I've read two of your chapters before so I'm fairly sure I know what's happening. It may have been a while since I've read Chapter two though, but I think Jude is the both vampire and witch character mentioned from before. I read your comment thingy below saying how you intended it to be chaotic. I did like the disorder because it made this character unique compared to your others (Charlotte is still my favourite). The poetic lines is also something I enjoyed. But did the chaotic style inhibit my enjoyment while reading? Hmm. I think it really depends on who's reading, it's probably an opinion thing. My answer would be, a little, because sometimes I was unsure of what was happening from all the chaos. That could be because I haven't read Chapter two in a while though. Just so you know: 'My sister's laugh is light and young and it doesn't know death or fear, not yet, and I laugh too— Soaked and spread in corpses of dead blood I laugh too.' I loved this part, might be the most powerful part of your chapter for me.
| harrisonmarks chapter 17 . 10/6/2013
I won't shoot you- I don't mind the odd chapter without the gut-wrenching action. I love the chapter. Recently, all your characters seem to be going through "transformation," in that, I am getting to know them better. I loved the interaction between Charlotte and Achitophel. Really shows how their situation is making them bond. Keep up the good work
| freddyburn chapter 17 . 10/6/2013
Found it helpful yes. I think Charlotte is finding her place in this world, and she is starting to see that she does have thing in common with her "enemies," so her reasons for not killing Achitophel do feel possible and not out of character for her, to me at least. Considering everything thats happening in the world, I feel she found good reasons, reasons that suited her at the time, that made sense to her, due to the pain she felt at loosing her friends. I took it that she didn't kill Achitophel because she didn't want the guilt or memory of another death on her hands, so she looked at things at a different angle, that she wouldn't have to kill her "enemy" because her other "enemy" would do it for her.
I also like the evolution of her character. From strong, sassy butt kicker, too butt kicker with a soul.