|Reviews for Holy the Dark|
| Domus Vocis chapter 3 . 4/28/2014
This vocabulary of your OC's is weird. I'm not saying it's bad, but…weird. I don't know what to make of this Jude guy, but other than that he's very dark. For some reason, I find personalities like that really fascinating, and it makes me wonder if we'll see him again.
| AlysonSerenaStone chapter 21 . 4/28/2014
I love your way with words! You do an excellent job with diction and have an amazing style. I am also happy that Charlotte and Jude (mentioned) were in this chapter. I love this two! Great work!
| Domus Vocis chapter 2 . 4/28/2014
Technique: your technique in describing a fight is pretty effective . Because you have th story in 1st person, we feel what the OC feels, and the word choice is pretty good too. I especially like how you make Charlotte seem like she IS in pain through your diction use.
Setting: I'm kinda confused on where exactly this takes place. Is it in the past, present, or future? Is it in medieval times? Modern era? Maybe, I missed it or something in the first chapter or it'll be explained later, but some kind of clarity would be nice.
Diction: a I said before, you have a really good grasp on your word choices. Instead if using simple words you actually use more of a thesaurus, but in a good way. For example, I like how you wrote 'clenching pain' instead of just 'pain'. That's pretty good.
Witches: I kinda like how ou made them pretty intimidating. While they're not down-right scary, there is something that seems pretty threatening about them. I got nothing else to say here.
Keep on writing! :)
| deadaccount2019 chapter 21 . 4/27/2014
I know I'm repeating myself, but the weaving of the subplots continues to come together at a good rate. What I particularly liked this chapter is that subtler developments are more visible. Jude & Ellie's chapters gave the story a good shove, but this one works in a bit of a retroactive way by honing in on Kit's backstory, which was well prompted by Bardolph's chapter and gave greater merit to the relationship focus previously.
I was really surprised to find out that Kit is an omega. I mean, I gathered he was low on the totem pole given he's so far been best known for being a poet, and there's always been this little sense that Kit's relationship with Margot is what gave him some sort of standing within his pack, but I didn't expect him to be bottom of the barrel. Just goes to show how far he went and how much further he fell (poor guy :( ). Learning of his role in the war really added a darker edge to him as well. It's actually kind of nice to see that he was in some way party to something so terrible and makes me appreciate him a lot more as a rounded character.
Something I'm noticing about Charlotte is that you pretty well know the moment she's entering the scene. I can't recall a point where she didn't come crashing in with a couple good anger-fueled fucks. On the one hand it gets a wee bit repetitive, however it also works great because she can be introduced abruptly without having to clarify through narration that it's her. It was also good getting to see her vulnerability peek through without overtaking her, although it does beg a very, very good question: How does she know some of this shit? There are moments where she can feel a little like she's just along for the ride, but this moment here really hit home that there's a lot more to her than being a badass escort for lil' ol Kit and an object of obsession for Jude.
Ellie... In retrospect, the clues of her past were there, but I think I got so wrapped up in her fixation on Jude that it never really clued in. It definitely gives my sympathy for her a boost.
Jude... I don't get much feel from him on this chapter except, you know, he may very well have just heard his manhood insulted, so I'm eager to see what becomes of that little note, if anything.
The lighter use of poetics in Kit's chapters is turning out to be a consistent change from his first couple chapters, and I think it works well with the story. One thing I found myself wondering this chapter is if it's supposed to indicate a change outside of his being bound, like if he's gradually becoming less human and more shaper. Originally I had thought being bound was a bit of a psychological death sentence, but he seems to grow more lucid with each of his chapters.
The build up between Kit and Ephraim was great! I almost shivered when Ephraim asks who he spied on, and I could just imagine this young, raspy voice croaking the words like a raven. The dialogue, including the repition of Kit and trying (pretend trying?) to remember Kit's name just really punctuated the atmosphere and imagery and left me wanting soooo much more! The best part was not being sure if Ephraim was having moments of clarity, acting the whole time, or if anything would come of it, until he finally made his move. Excellent execution all around, even if ending on an anti-climatic note! :D
Random note: was the end of Ephraim's little thing a tip of the hat to Sica? Very nicely executed if so. :D
Cue the creepy french "Oh hoh hoh!" Kit gettin' all smooth and reassuring and shit for a moment there. I half-expected comfort snoo-snoo. Poetry is nice and all, but if Kit can pull it together in these circumstances for badass Char, then I can just imagine how much better he'd do with other women in a not so crazy world without the shaper handicap. It's a very short moment that gets cut off pretty abruptly with Char's worrying about Jude's disappearance, but honestly I think it sets the stage for a more intimate development between Char and Kit if you decide to go there (and the same can be said for Char and Jude, since not all of her fear seemed to be aimed at him directly).
WHOA! moment: Witch boys trained to please the ladies! This actually makes a lot of sense in a matriarchal society, so it was actually a very nice touch for establishing the role reversal in witch society. I love how Kit kind of balances out a bit of an appreciative tone with a bit of mocking as he expands on their society. It doesn't come across so much as a scathing thing as it does almost an interest or arrogance, like he thinks he would do well among them.
| IAmButAWindow chapter 7 . 4/26/2014
Charlotte is indeed a character. She exists. As you you. Smile. :)
Everyone's favorite uppity Window here with another review.
Characters: I gotta say, so far I haven't seen the witch prince be so coherent. Like...he's actually speaking in intelligible sentences. It's kind of odd to be honest. :D I almost expected him talk like he thinks, but that's not the way it goes I guess. Charlotte is probably the one that thinks the most like a human. Possibly because she's the only human in the bunch. XD I don't know. I gotta say I'm looking forward to the next Jude chapter. Wooo! :D
Relationships: Not much going down here yet. Except there is. I like how you put you Charlotte wants to not care if the shaper follows or not as she should hate him. Should. That doesn't mean she does though, and I'm sure she doesn't want to get jumped again. She wants company, but not that company, but better than being alone, but is it? :D Awesomeness going down there. I wonder how long it will take (if it ever happens) for the little rag tag team to start working together on a common goal. Or even to talk with some form of civility to each other.
Pace: The mini-fight scene was well done. Charlotte wasn't looking for a good portion of it, but I could definitely see it happening around her, even as she couldn't. You throw in dialog, descriptions, feelings, and emotions with flair. Honestly, none of it muddles together and I don't know how you do it so well. XD Teach me, master. Or at least feed me. I'm hungry. brb.
Enjoyment: Ok. I've returned with food. :D I would probably rank this as my number one favorite story that I'm reading. That's across more than one site that I try to promote bellmaker on. XD Your word choice, your characters, and the unconventional way you write is something that really catches a reader (or at least this one). As of yet, we're seven chapters in and I'm not quite sure where we're going. A bit of a downer, though it's because it takes five chapters just to introduce all your characters in the beginning. XD I kind of hope now that a group is together, we'll start seeing some movement. I have no doubt in your abilities as an author, or as a chef. Take solace in this.
Will review more soon. Play the game more often. I can review more. :D
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 20 . 4/25/2014
This review will be a bit on the short side - I've not had much time lately, and I'm feeling ill, but this was a nice update :3
I really like how you write Bardolph here: he’s clearly angry that he’s still being treated like dirt, but he’s showing some amount of defiance (like when he’s saying that he’s got a good nose and that you don’t need smarts to know how to survive). I like that, because it makes him very relatable and also gives us a good insight what it’s like to be a beta. As always, especially in this chapter, I feel like you really get group dynamics well down, showcasing how Carwin is an arsehole for always wanting to have everything :3.
So I like how you throw Margot into the mix: she complicates everything, doesn’t she? Carwin seems to want her, but is too afraid of her to mount her? I like that, because it shows that she’s a woman to not trifle with, and I think it shows how much of a leader Carwin isn’t maybe, after all.
I like the relationship between Margot and Bardolph here: it’s clear that Bardolph had feelings for Ester, even if he’s not quite aware of it? I like that he admitted to not loving Margot, though because it makes their relationship a very honest one. I also like that he’s aware that she’s only using him (for sex and comfort).
The sex scene was very hot, I like how you put in so much emotion and just the right amount of detail into it. I felt that it made everything more sensual and also worked in terms of further showcasing how this relationship all about them making each other feel better emotionally and sexually.
| AlysonSerenaStone chapter 20 . 4/25/2014
I must say the there is not a chapter in this that I haven't liked. I am seeing a lot of elements into this that I don't see in a lot of other fictionpress stories. While I do like cliche, this is something different. I am like how creative this story is. Great work!
| IAmButAWindow chapter 6 . 4/24/2014
Holy the Dark. Holy the Dark. I'm a Window. :)
Everyone's favorite devastated Window here with another review.
Writing: As always, your writing is superb. You don't follow any conventions, and take your own path, and it really helps. I'm not just reading a regular story. I'm reading a West story. There are those authors that you read their work, and even if you didn't see the author on the cover page, you could tell. You've got that. That's amazing. Good on ya. Have a cookie.
Plot: You question in the ending bit whether I can see them running into each other again. Well, honestly, I could. It wouldn't be too far fetched for me to believe that Charlotte ran outside and encountered some vampires fairly soon after leaving the building that would keep her occupied for a while. Then it's only a matter of time until the Shaper picks himself up and runs down the same path. That may have been a question intended for MUCH earlier audiences than me, but I thought I'd answer it all the same. :)
Characters: Achitophel. Is he famous even among humans? How does Charlotte know who he is? I gotta say, he's beginning to sound a lot like the Witches in his thoughts. It sounds a little different stylistically than when I saw him in the first chapter. Also, I can understand repeating the 'not dead, but alive' thing, but I think you did it ONCE to many. That's just one Window's opinion though. (: Either way, Charlotte is understandably untrusting, and the shaper is...naked. XD I never realized that, though I guess it makes sense. Ha!
Enjoyment: Well, I gotta say, out of all the stories I review in the games, this is probably one of my favorites. I enjoy getting to come back and look into these characters that are so far away from the norm that it's awesome. :D You do an awesome job, and while I'm not quite yet sure where you're heading, I'm excited at the thought of delving deeper into the world you've made here. Seriously. It's awesome. Have another cookie.
| deadaccount2019 chapter 20 . 4/24/2014
Although it isn't punchy, the opening paragraph does a good job bringing the reader back into the internal conflict of the pack. It helped establish uncertainty with what would happen this chapter (would they finally reach their destination, would the conflict slow them to the point that someone or something else catches up, would they fall apart from their own conflict, etc?) and really made me want to see just where the chapter was going to go.
I remember thinking that Bardolph was more low-key in the previous chapter, and I'm glad to see that this has carried over. It definitely is keeping him consistent in how he behaves and thinks in different situations. This chapter was also the first time where I really got a sense of how out of place Bardolph is. Sure, he's crass like Carwin and many of the other shapers, but even among his own type he's somewhat of an outcast. You also timed the introduction of how beaten down he's feeling perfectly. I can see this playing very nicely into potential plot twists.
I love the retrospective exploration of Esther and Bardolph's relationship. By the time Bardolph realizes how much he misses her, I was ready to cry. In all the craziness, they seemed to have had the most down-to-earth relationship presented so far in the story. It also makes me feel a lot more sorry for Bardolph, not only because he lost Esther, but also the realization that Margot's been using him from the start. I kind of get the whole seeking solace and comfort thing, but it just feels like there's more feelings on Bardolph's part than Margot's. It also reaffirms that with everything going on, something so good can still be found in the world, even if it's short-lived, and gives the story a touch of bittersweet hope.
I have to admit, I'm beginning to think it will be the internal conflict that destroys the pack. Whether Carwin's inadvertently sabotaged them with the injury, or Bardolph simply turns on them, I can't say, but things definitely feel like they're about to go really bad. Outside of that, this chapter felt like it didn't accomplish as much plot progression as recent chapters have, but I was glad that you brought in the witches' scent to act as a link to the overall plot.
| Ready-To-Begin chapter 3 . 4/19/2014
That is indeed creepy if you really do that. Jude frightens me so of course I will have to keep reading more about him. It's neat to see the interactions (a bit) of the characters from their point of view, it's definitely more personal. I like how his magic has its own identity in this. It's kind of odd, but I can almost picture I different person. Jude's probably just going crazy... or well, he already is crazy. This is probably all the same kingdom and Gaia was the Queen(?) Sorry, I got a little lost there, maybe I should reread to really figure out what was being betrayed in this chapter. I feel like that was Achitophel at the end/middle coming in the of the summary, I wonder how they all end up in the cell together. I was sure the girl ran away last chapter. You are very good at nailing all of the personalities of your characters in the opening chapters for this. It's easy to get a feel every chapter and I am looking forward to the next ones! Other than that, I think I will reread this so I understand a bit better and congratulate you on another job well done.
| Ventracere chapter 1 . 4/15/2014
"His cigarette ashes to the floor" I think there is a word missing here, but I'm not sure? Ashes sounds like a way that something dissipates into dust particles even though it's not a verb. That's actually would be a pretty unique way of describing the cigarette the more I think about it.
Your rhetoric. Oh my god.
Okay let's take this piece by piece. Your imagery is, by far, the strongest here. You open up with "they hex me human" at first I thought this was a mistake, but when I read it over and over again, it kind of brings out the shapelessness (shape...) of the speaker. In a sense, you bring out the idea that he isn't really there. He's physically in pain, but in the beginning I felt like he was disoriented, a little out of place from what they're doing to him. It's only later when they're forcing him to read, to speak in his native language, the torture that I feel like he's really taking in what is happening to him.
"They're all men with bright eyes and humming magic, the kind of magic that kicks you in the teeth when you're down. I blink, wishing I were dead." - that's the detachedness I'm referring to. He's not completely under the pain and suffering just yet, he's more or less taking in what is surrounding him before everything else begins to register.
"I agree with him, tears leaking from my swollen lids" - Here I think is where you have him feeling the suffering. You introduce that much earlier, but this was actually the line that stood out. I'm not sure why, but it did. More or less i guess I'm thinking it's a mark of how far gone he is. He's reduced to begging - which I'll get to in a minute - telling them to stop. He's well aware that they're "[taunting his] goddess" and his people, but the pain is too much, and he needs to give in.
Repetition, that was also strong. You don't over do it or overly focus on one point. The speaker's pitiful begging was cemented by the repetition and your style of writing. Everything flowed from one to the next. "Please let me die" the speaker is essentially reduced to an animal. He's caged, he's got no where to go. Somehow, your sentence structure mirror's his distress. They're short and medium length for the most part, like the speaker can't keep his thoughts straight for too long. He's fixating on the pain, he's going no where else to think, to defend himself.
| Ready-To-Begin chapter 2 . 4/15/2014
That's something new as well it seems. I don't know too many stories that switch first person point of view, I'm excited.
The characters in this story are so well developed. Along with the places and scene to scene movements. It's very easy to get lost in this story for a good while. This kind of reminds me of being human with all the 21st century (I think) time period yet still talk of the supernatural. This makes me wonder what's going on in these places right now. Where is everyone else? Why are the supernatural creatures so vile? I really liked the action scene with her fighting with all she's got against the witches.
There's this one sentence where it's a bit odd because “and” is repeated twice back to back. I'm guessing it's deliberate to show the state she is in, but it just seems kind of odd. I guess it works though...
“The sensation of being watched couples with the magic and and it takes every part of me not to make any sudden movements.”
I liked the way that your descriptions of witches and how they live is so different than what I always have imagined them. They seem like some fascist society here. I really like this character she's a tough one to go all through this and still make unthoughtful jokes. That made me laugh a bit. The descriptions of the interrogation room are great, it's as if I'm watching it play out in front of me (and I do love crime shows). That man's sick.
I've got to wonder what you were thinking about when you wrote this? It must of took miles of creativity to fuel something this good.
I've got to know who's in that cell? (I feel like I kind of do, but I'm slow at putting the pieces together so large fragments right now)
That's gruesome and cruel, I can't decide if she did the right thing or not? What have you done to my brain? (I should probably of not read this at 3:22am)
I'm just stuck on: Why didn't he hurt her crossed with Who was that man?
| cybersheep chapter 6 . 4/13/2014
Your first line I think does a lovely job of immediately drawing us back to all the happy-happy fun-fun that lil Kit’s going through. Obviously, a lot’s happened since we were last with his POV, and even since Charlotte’s chapter, but I think you allowed us to settle back nicely. And all his poor pain – I like ‘pain carves while I think’. Also, I like how you’ve managed to sort of put a recap it ‘when that human woman left me locked away’ without clunking anything up with exposition. So yes, as impressed as ever by your lovely skills, Potter :).
The scene with the vampires was lovely. I liked all the tension you built up before it – all the screeching, and how Kit seems totally at the mercy of the world. Poor guy doesn’t even have any clothes on, bless him. All he’s got is those keys. OH DAWW. I usually get confused in fight scenes, but this one was really clear, I think. Also, I really love how you portray your vampires – I thought the hive-mind idea was really cool. They’re totally inhuman, and all the scarier for it. I suppose that the fact that we know both characters will survive, just because of the way you structure your story, may have caused some sense of jeopardy to be lost a little, but I think the relationship / character-development pay-off at the end there was satisfying enough for the fight to really work. Um, regarding your question at the end, I didn’t think anything was unbelievable while I was reading, but I guess it’s a little odd that Charlotte’s still so close? But it didn’t affect my enjoyment or anything, and I never would have noticed had you not brought it up.
Okay, I almost never comment on this, because it will just be blab. BUT HAVE SOME GUSHY BLAB. I really like how you showed the language barrier here, and how you used it to further separate your cultures. I sort of forgot that Kit and Charlotte are going to have different first tongues, but you made the dialogue just awkward enough to make that perfectly clear – ‘do die’ etc. I like how Charlotte talks too – she’s fun, but also freaking tough. You can tell that she’s been shaped by the life she’s had to live recently. Also, I love how their words weren’t cheap in this – they didn’t babble on and on because they’ve got more important things to do (like, um, surviving).
I seriously sympathise like mad for Kit throughout this. I love how he’s constantly repeating ‘let me die’, ‘I’m going to die’ etc. You can tell he’s confused, because although he’s begging for death, the idea of it still frightens him (although, yeah, death by vampires doesn’t sound like it would be very pretty). I liked that he chose not to outrun Charlotte – given that she’s the first person he’s really had a conversation with in a year, I thought that was totally understandable. In all honestly, if I was in his situation, I’d probably just hug her and never let her go. Um. She would probably stab me in the neck. I love Charlotte too, as ever – the line about the Shapers being man-whores was lovely, because I think in Bardolph’s chapter, all the sex sort of made sense from his perspective. Seeing this specific aspect from Charlotte’s outlines the differences between your characters and their attitudes really nicely.
| Ready-To-Begin chapter 1 . 4/11/2014
I'm almost ready to favorite this, but that wouldn't be right as I have only read one chapter of this amazing story. The hook was good and easy to understand. I kind of wonder why the groups have been at war for so long. I also wonder why the king would jail his own people.
Readers can probably feel for the main character as he has just lost everything and is set to rot in jail, and probably escape hopeful, everyone loves a good dark horse or underdog story. I can see why it was nominated I've never even heard of anything, as one, like this story. The imagery in this paints a grim and destructive picture. It really feeds my mind to think of an imaginary language and kingdom. I can't find anything wrong with or to work on in this. The cliff hanger is nice because it gives a bit of an edge to the reader so he or she would have one main question to think of before reading the next chapter. I don't think the main character will die, but it makes me think that just maybe he will. Or become a vampire too. I can't see why anyone who likes fantasy wouldn't be hooked on this story. Great job.
| tstul006 chapter 4 . 4/11/2014
It's been a while since I've reviewed for you. RG EF
Okay so you've got a thing with these short choppy sentences. I know it's a preference thing but I find it confusing. I had to reread a few times simply because I would keep getting lost in the choppy.
Anyway now on to the niceties. I so didn't expect Jude to be her brother but I'm happy about it. I'm also glad that there is a likable witch. I loved the way you flipped it on the men as well. I mean not that I condone men being less the women anymore than I would condone a woman being less than a man, but it's a refreshing perspective from the usual 'keep the woman down' thing that tends to happen. I'm really interested to know what happens next so hopefully I'll catch you again sooner this time.