Reviews for Holy the Dark
Skullszeyes chapter 9 . 10/1/2013
My take on this, it's a bit choppy but I guess that's how you wanted to write it. So it's good, low on description but precise on the tone. I like how you're developing Eleanor, she seems very strong with a cold heart. Very interesting.

Good chapter. :)
Gosia89 chapter 13 . 10/1/2013
About clarity stuff, it's aways hard to maintain it from Jude's point of view. I got the part when Jude and the avian shaper were fighting, although I wasn't entirely sure if it's really happening (but I made the right guess).
As for the memories, I missed that part and failed to interepret the situation the way you described in the author note.
I guess it's bound to happen with the jerky, tangled narration. It's intriguing and mysterious, provides some unique, unforgettable reading experience, but fails to convey the clear description of the events that create the plot.

Now to the said plot and the wonderful characters.

I see that my suspicions turned out to be true - Jude managed to overcome the fear of running water and followed the gang after all. The man gives off a decadent feel.

Charlotte: I noticed that a word "shxtsack" must be her favorite component of English vocabulary - she used it a couple of times already. I came to terms with her using not so poetic words to chat with people, but perhaps she could use more diversity? Or "shxtsack" is a special word reserved for only one person, just like vamp-bait is reserved for Kit?

Action. It was present in this chapter, but I wasn't as drawn to it as in the previous chapters. I think you used this particular fight sequence one time too many - a character gets attacked by someone and struggles to survive during one chapter. I suppose you should avoid inserting similar fighting scenes next to each other. It would look better if there was, for example a back-to-back fight.
Persevera chapter 1 . 9/30/2013
I like the use of some of your language, which tags this as an other-worldly place (as if a war between ghosts and vampires didn't already signify that). Phrases like [I'm hunched fetal] are so unique that one knows the setting and people will be too. I particularly love this phrase. [His eyes are full deep browns.]- It tells more about the way he looks and also about the speaker than any comparison of eye color to another brown object.
I don't like how long the torture and persecution is stretched out. It's nearly unbearable. I feel for Kit and understand not just his suffering, but his shame at having betrayed himself because of the pain, but I think I would have gotten all of that with just a couple less paragraphs of the agony.
Tony Alford chapter 1 . 9/30/2013
This left me speechless. Your imagery is amazing and unique, its complimented with a dark almost poetic style that immerses you into the world. Specifically at the beginning with the section the first few sentences beginning with "They catch me and draw me human with a hex that rips and tears like nettles and barbs against my bone." That alone had me hooked.

The only place that i felt there was an issue (if any) was something I noticed in your transitions. Not necisarily in the transitions of paragraphs but of thoughts within the paragraphs. I only noticed it a few times and its kind of hard to describe. At times its like your style of writing becomes very connective, and by that I mean it delivers information via long thoughts (sentences.) At times I felt that underlying meaning of certain thoughts could be come lost in the imagery of everything going on, and at times make it slightly unclear what exactly is being described. The example I'll give is: "The muscles in my arms are raw and strained. But then I'm feeling the book's spine, where decorated threads run in paralleled lines..." For me its like there are about two different thoughts going on within this paragraph and for a brief second they become lost in each other. I'm not entirely sure if that made sense, but in the grand scheme of things I think its actually very minor.

My only other qualm comes at the very end of the chapter. With the things that come after: "I'm left in the dark." For me it seemed like you began to explore more things right after that but don't really give much to them. For me it starkly contrasts the flow of the imagery of the rest of the chapter. In its own way I feel it also hinders the closing of the chapter. I feel "I'm left in the dark," is a perfect closing to the thoughts and everything that is addressed in the chapter. The stuff that follows, seems to open up knew thoughts, which don't seem to be addressed adequately before the chapter's end.

Having said all that I really do love this chapter and everything about this chapter, in all honesty I feel it is damn near perfection.
Gosia89 chapter 12 . 9/30/2013
First of all, this chapter was much longer compared to the rest.

Now, the description in the first paragraph was really nice and I got the Jude-like feeling what reading it.

I also noticed that fashion plays an important role in your world, it's a detail which often gets neglected.

The descriptions of the city catch my attention - based on them I see a grim place, hostile and reeking of death. You surely know how to create dark, creepy setting for your story.

Jude was entertaining as usual. I really thimk he should take his medication ;-)

Now to the serious issue - relationship between Kit and Charlotte. I have a suspicion that they are somehow going to end as a couple and I can't quite imagine that. So far Charlotte is capable and dominant, she's the man. Kit, on the other hand, is somewhat whimpy compared to her and is far more delicate, as expected of a poet. The two of them are contrasting characters and I suppose I could imagine something bloom between them if they were the opposite genders (Charlotte a guy and Kit a babe).
Their interactions were natural yet odd - I kept having the impression that while talking with Kit, Charlotte was playing a role of an adult and Kit was a helpless child. But, I really like how Charlotte keeps calling him a vamp-bait. So far the relationship between Charlotte and Kit resembles that of a Bruce Willis-like bodyguard (Charlotte) and a young victim of gang wars (Kit).

As for Charlotte's behavior, it seems to be quite understandable.
Gosia89 chapter 11 . 9/30/2013
This chapter's pacing was considerably slower than the rest. My suspicions confirmed when I read the Author Note - it'a a calm before storm, right? Anyway, the chapter wasn't bad, it gave some insight into Kit's character. So far he had been shown only as a victim and during the action scenes he was almost invisible. It's good that you're taking the time to let the readers see the other facets of his character.

The brief scene with Charlotte was nice - I especially liked: "so long, partner", it sounded cool and somewhat western-like.

As for your questions, the chapter isn't too boring. Maybe if it was longer it would be, but with the current lenght it's okay.

Frankly, I was surprised that Kit and Charlotte just parted like this and I felt like exclaiming: "what the...", but fortunately the dream-team seems to gather once again. I'm curious what trouble await them.
freddyburn chapter 15 . 9/30/2013
Overall, this is a great chapter. This may sound like I am repeating myself (because I think I said it for Jude) but Bardolph, as a person, is getting to know himself and getting to understand himself better, which helps the reader to get to know him as a character. Excellent work overall. I am liking Bardolph more and more as a character whenever I read one of his chapter.

I also like the description of shaper society, It was interesting and insightful, and helped in character development, because we now see more of how things are ordered and how it dictates the actions and reaction of the characters.

Overall, an excellent chapter and an interesting character.
Gosia89 chapter 10 . 9/30/2013
Somehow I like when the wolves receive their "screen-time". Their simple view of life is great - kill and screw, that's the motto.

The scene at the beginning, when Carwin got the ultimate praise, was fine and very dog-like. The way everyone was cheering for Carwin and was happy because of his happiness differed from the way humans act. Usually people only pretend to be glad because of someone else's success. Some of them are hones, but most is jealous. I really liked that it was different with the wolves, even though Baradolph could have legit reasons to envy Carvin or dislike him.

The part with the witch guy was brutal and gross, but depicted the animalistic, cruel side of the wolves perfectly. I also noticed that Carwin seems to hump everything that has some holes. With this guy around even woodpeckers' homes aren't safe.

As for the last part, it was too romantic to turn out good. Margot and Baradolph seem to have a genuine emotional bond, I can see a potential for tender romance here. However, the testosterone-filled enemy of love (Carvin) may cause both of them a great deal of suffering and I'm afraid it might happen.
Gosia89 chapter 9 . 9/30/2013
Gosh, and I thought that Jude was messed up. Suddenly Mr. vampire-witch seems like a very reasonable person who thinks clearly.

I have to admit that you did very well with the narration from Eleanor's perspective in this chapter, far better than I expected. You managed to maintain the jerky, chaotic construction of sentences and paragraphs while converying the content at the same time. I was surprised that I actually understood what Eleanor was thinking about in this chapter - maybe not all of her twisted thoughts were crystal clear to me, but I grasped most of them.

As a character Eleanor seems like a deranged, dangrerous woman, I suspect that she'll be the one to stirr most of the trouble in your story. Evil queen, seems right.

About the plot, I pity the boy. I suspect that part of the ritual might be actually quite enjoyable for him, but I think that there won't be usual happy ending. And the witches two-year "training" sounds kinky.
Gosia89 chapter 8 . 9/30/2013
As I expected, the chapter from Jude's perspective was like an acid trip (from what I've heard). The narration was still confusing, but much clearer than in the first chapter featuring him.

As for your questions, I didn't quite catch that it was Charlotte he had a crush on, I thought that it was some random girl and I only vaguely suspected that it may be Charlotte since Jude was recalling his teenage crush in that particular moment.

About the second question, I got that, mainly because I remembered the trick with bridge together with garlic, stakes and holy water.

Now my impressions of all the characters in this one and the previous chapter, that is of the three of them. Charlotte is the weakest one during this encounter. Jude overshadows her and when she opens her mouth, usually she only swears, so her words don't have much meaning. Jude is odd, his behavior bizarre, but his presence is strong and he will be remembered. Kit is very quitet all the time, but I felt some sympathy towards him - he seems like the only normal person in radius of miles.

It seems Jude will be left behind (or will her overcome the vampire thing with bridges?). Anyway I cheer for Kit and Charlotte to get out of the vampire infested city and maybe reach the place where my favorites are - the wolves.
Gosia89 chapter 7 . 9/30/2013
The scece of the vampire attack was excellent (and I'm not trying to pamper you). It was very dynamic and graphic, I could almost see the vampires as though I was watching a movie. Charlotte's reactions and thoughs were also without flaws - it was natural and believable.

The vampires seemed like terrifying opponents, Charlotte's fear reached me and I was really creeped out by those bloodsuckers. It was great how Jude joined the action, but here I have one complaint (yes, I do my best to have them). While Charlotte is struggling to survive, the narration takes time to explain Jude's background. I thought it sounded rather unnatural in the middle of a fight sequence. It was as though you hit pause to explain who exacly is Jude and then resumed the action. Perhaps the explanation of Jude's identity could be done somewhere after the struggle. Besides, you dropped enough hints for readers to guess that the witch-vampire is no one else but Jude. But, the explanation itself was interesting and seemed to be logical.

Now to the most amusing part of the chapter - encounter with Jude. My first impression of him, much like that of Charlotte, was clouded by his clothes, namely pipe jeans. It's really unsettling that another symbolic garnment appears. Maybe sometime later I could tell you a couple of jokes with pipe jeans for I know many. But, enough distractions, I'll get to the point. Putting the unmanly clothing aside, Jude is a cool and funny character - I got the impression as though he's smoking pot a lot. Seriously, is that cigarette in his mouth really a cigarette? Somehow I doubt it. Anyway, his short (sadly) dialogue parts were priceless and I look forward to seeing more of this character.

It was interesting to fing out that Charlotte was the owner of the book which the whiches found in Chapter 1.
Gosia89 chapter 6 . 9/30/2013
The narration in this chapter seems to be slightly less fluent than in the previous one - I suspect it's becuse there isn't that much dialogue. But, the scenes of fighting (from A. perspective it would be more like flailing helplessly) were quite dynamic - you have a pat on the shoulder from me.

After the first sentence I already felt pity for A. - he seemed like such a poor guy. The part till he met Charlotte was very well-written (the rest too, but let's focus on this one for now, shall we?), it perfectly portrayed a helpless, broken man. A. was walking like in a zombie-like state and I thought that it was a very realistic reaction.

I voiced my dislike towards Charlotte before, but I smiled when A. heard all those cursewords and I instantly knew who he was going to meet in a second.

Overall there was a lot of action in this chapter, which I liked a lot. The characters were interacting nicely with each other - it was refreshing to read about a poor, weak male and a strong woman, who's his saviour, although it makes A. seem a bad man material in my eyes. But, maybe I'll get a nice surprise and A. will display his hidden courage and fight with his brain.

Now the characters. I thing I wrote enough about A. - poor him, it's pityful to be such a weak guy to have a girl save him. But, he is natural in his behavior, which could make readers relate to him. In his crappy situation most of the Earth's population would feel and behave just the way he did.

Charlotte still seems too vulgar for my taste, but in this chapter it was rather funny. The way she dominated poor A. was very entertaining.

About your questions:
1. In my opinion it's quite believeable for Charlotte and A. to end together at the end of this chapter (as a team, not as a couple). Both of them are in a desperate, life-threathening situation right now. It's logical that together their chances of survival would be better and hardships tend to keep people together even if they're enemies - it's a common motive for two enemies to join forces to defeat a common threat (or to save their lives from some imprending danger).
2. I guess it would be too much of a coincidence if A and Charlotte split up only to run into each other in the future. It would look suspiciously convenient. I'd have them stick together for some time.

Ugh, overall I liked your story in spite of that I kept complaining (I call that being honest and sharing my opinion). The plot is slowly developing and the characters got introduced. The witches introduced some chaos into your story, but it could be viewed as an advantage as well as different narration styles. Actually, I'm curious about what will happen to Charlotte and A., how will their paths cross with the other characters.
Gosia89 chapter 5 . 9/30/2013
Now that was the best chapter I've read yet.

The narration was extremely clear compared to all previous chapters, especially the ones featuring the witches. Reading through this chapter was a pure pleasure, nothing was keeping me from focusing on the contents of the text. The dialogues were well-written.

Baradolph. Finally I found the one character I am beginning to like. The way he views things and people around him, his analphabetism - he's simply likeable.

Baradolph's narration is the best one in the story so far, even though it's vulgar in some places. Despite the sexual theme and a certain amount of brutality, the narration in the beginning of the chapter was priceless. The style was witty and some of the comparisons were really great. It was also a fine way to show the dynamisc between the pack members.

With an exception of the first chapter, this one contained a right amount of information and helped me find out what is going on in the world. I complained in the last review about not giving readers the info, but I take it back - the explanation of the witches' struggle for power looks natural in this chapter.
Gosia89 chapter 4 . 9/30/2013
Now I can definitely tell that the witches in your world have some problems with their heads. Eleanor seemed to me like a criminal, who went mad because her mind couldn't take the burden of a crime and some traumatic experiances - that's the impression I get.

The characters. Actually, I find it difficult to make up my mind about the last two individuals. The plot parts with Kit and Charlotte were pretty clear, but the chapters which feature whiches are intriguing yet messed up. It's hard to discern what really happened and, honestly, I can figure out the plot mostly basing on the summary and your author notes.

Now about the author notes. I noticed that you explain a lot of what's going on in the chapters there. As helpful as it is, considering the fact that some chapters have their unique style, you should find a way to include all that information in the chapters. Without doing it and without the author notes I would be in the dark about the plot.

The plot. It seems that there is a struggle for power in the witches' ranks. I'm an intrigue-loving person, so I'm waiting patiently for the conclusion.

I think I get your concept with the races - so far each character was a member of a different race (Jude is now a vampire, right?). The idea is interesting and I wonder what would happen if their fates get tied together.

I also spotted one thing I liked - the style of narration is different depending on the characters. Eleanor's part consisted of short sentences, the narration was jerky, seemed nervous.
Sombrette chapter 6 . 9/29/2013
I really liked the beginning of this chapter most. I remember you were wanting to know if you conveyed Charlotte's shock in the jail to come off like...well shock lol and I think you do but I also think the way you show Achitophel's (I'm totally able to spell his name now without searching for it in the chapter ;p) the way he came off in the beginning of this chapter seemed very believable to what he'd just seen happen. And the way you described what Jude was doing:

[I see the witch-turned-vampire crouched in the gut-splattered corner outside of his cell, lapping blood from his own arm. His eyes won't leave me, and neither will his magic.] - I thought that was a very cool description and really helped me visualize that scene. It also does a good job at showing just how animalistic Jude is. And I guess because Achitophel can feel Jude's magic, and how its acting, he felt comfortable enough to leave his cell with Jude just sitting there loose like that. Which makes me wonder 'why' Jude's magic is keeping him at bay, I think its interesting how it controls him that way. What with how it made him throw the keys at Achitophel.

Anyway, for your questions, I thought that Achitophel stumbling upon Charlotte in the ally seemed realistic as well as them sort of being forced together to survive. It makes sense that they would since I'm assuming the time between Charlotte leaving the jail and Achitophel leaving is short. I also think it will be interesting since she seems to have a pretty deep hate for Shapers and he's a shaper so...I'm interested to see how that works out and if she can get over her hate. I think it would probably be more difficult if he was just as headstrong as she is, but since he doesn't really come off that way to me maybe it will help.

I also really feel like he's the most relatable character you have so far. the situation he's in and how emotional he's being comes off very realistic, with his battle of being afraid to die, but wanting it at the same time because he seems so done with everything that's happening to him that death seems like a better alternative. He has a hopelessness about him that I think comes off very clear to the reader. So I liked that. I think its also cool how you are showing the language barrier between Achitophel and Charlotte, and how he struggles a bit with his 'Angle' speech. And I wonder how Charlotte knows who he is, or who he was before the war. So yeah, I liked this chapter, I also liked the clarity of it since Achitophel's narration comes off more clear than the others to me. And I'm curious to see where things will lead now that two of the characters have come together. Very nice :)

Being random - [Vampires dancing in the dark, twirling mad.] - This line gave me a very funny visual, dunno why ;)
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