|Reviews for Loreley Island|
| faerie-gumdrops chapter 15 . 8/30
Crap, really sorry this took so long! I kind of took a break from fictionpress for a bit (eternal doubt/confidence issues with writing and stuff), but I’m trying to get back on track now, and I’m totally looking forward to coming back to the world of Loreley island :D. I love how even though I’ve been away, it’s so easy to come back to this and still understand what’s going on, despite all the mysterious stuff you’ve got going on. You’ve got such a great talent for beautiful imagery and clear storytelling – I love how you manage to combine the two to such effect.
AND WOW THAT WAS SOME SEX SCENE. So many gorgeous lines and pictures going on. I love how strange and intense you made it, and how you touched on loads of supernatural-y backstory. The silver letters stuff was so interesting – sort of like a magical sex wedding (although um far more beautiful and amazingly written!). Really tender too somehow – like the caressing of Stella’s stomach and stuff. I wonder whether the names thing will be important – like I know that names can be important in certain mythologies and stuff, like there’s loads of power behind them. I do sort of hope things all work out well for these guys – I totally love Stella :D
Awesome contrast between parts. Most amazing sex scene ever, then...gravel. Sexy sexy gravel. Dude that gate. So creepy. Wonderful job with setting the scene though, such a perfect level of detail to get creepy intimidating building just right :D.
Great parallel between Stella/Clay and Gwen/Anthony, the whole sparks and floating and stuff. Just what is going on, and is Anthony up to something? As usual, I am itching to find out ALL THE THINGS. This story is so full of brilliant hooks to keep readers trapped forever and every (muhahaha). Even people like me who are thoroughly lame with fictionpress.
| Homely8 chapter 15 . 8/19
Hey there! Took me a while to read, but here I am xD
I really enjoyed the plot of this story. There was so much mystery surrounding Stella, and I loved the detective work that Hildy and Gwen got into. It really made me wonder the entire time what's up with Stella. The detail you put into the history of Stella's family and their connection with other families on the island was a really strong point for me, as well.
My favourite character is Hildy, simply because I feel he is the most sensible of the bunch. I like Gwen, too. I wasn't a big fan of her at first, assuming that her only purpose would be to serve drama, but I'm glad that she wasn't just that. I kinda like her snarky attitude. :P As for Clay, I'll be honest, I don't like him all that much. It has nothing to do with your writing, it's just his infatuation with Stella annoyed me a lot. I'm getting that she has him under some kind of spell, but still. I just found him annoying. xD that's just a personal opinion though!
Stella is a good character, too. Like I said earlier, there's so much mystery surrounding her that really made me want to know more as I was reading.
The setting is something I really enjoyed right away. The island is sort of a reclusive society, with a lot of dark history (particularly surrounding the castle), which makes the setting itself a really good place to set a story. I had a strong, realistic image in my head of the island. :)
I thought you did really well with the dialogue between characters. Everything felt natural, and I enjoyed how you really showed the relationships between the characters with their words, rather than explaining things right off the bat. An example of what I mean is how in the first chapter, when Clay goes to Stella, Gwen is freaking out about it, and we know that she has a thing for him, but you didn't explain right away that they had actually had a physical relationship in the past until later in the story, where we get to see things from Gwen's perspective. Because of Clay's initial attitude, I was surprised to find out that they had been together in the past, which made me sympathize a lot more with Gwen's character!
Overall, really awesome story. I enjoyed it a lot :)
| Chiscribe chapter 15 . 8/15
First off I gotta say what an INTENSE sex scene between Clay and stella! Even without the supernatural current running pervasively throughout the scene you did a marvelous job of conveying their love and passion for each other, and it was all highlighted by the brilliantly intricate descriptions of light and sounds and shadows and just everything! Reading it reminded me of some sort of shared psychedelic trip they were experiencing together as one, it was very sensual and tasteful and just well done!
I also loved the pact they made with each other as it was such a trippy yet beautiful way of showing their love for each other. This chapter felt like a sort of "coming out" for Stella as it confirms what we as the readers have suspected this whole time: Stella is a witch, a powerful one at that whose abilities seem to transcend time and space, and she's not the only one, as Anthony demonstrated with his other worldly ability. I liked that he presented his power in a more "scientific" approach to Gwen, nice contrast to the overtly supernatural elements prevelant in the story.
Dude, such an awesome story, please keep it coming!
| Electrumwriter chapter 12 . 8/14
Opening: One thing I always appreciated about Loreley Island (and I’ve been acquainted with it for a year now) is that there is a considerable range in the types of prose used. So this time, the beginning is matter of fact and a contrast to Stella’s scenes. The scene forms a decent hook – we do wonder what Gwen’s misadventures are likely to have been since she disappeared in a puff of burnt electrics – always an ominous sign in this world.
Character: I’m guessing Nate is taking a recreational drug in the way the idle rich do rather than in the way of desperate people who try to numb the pain of existence? England has come round full circle to the 18th century standard in the latter respect. I get the impression Hildy’s reluctance to call the police has to do with his mum’s warnings that they would use him as a scapegoat, though I think there is a part of him that genuinely enjoys the intrigue with supernatural forces. That he is proven right about the supernatural may give him a dark sort of reflected glamour in the end. The fact that he turns out to be right does cast this chapter in a different light retrospectively. On first reading, he might well seem unbalanced, mistaking that poor old lady with dementia for Gwen. Now however, he comes across as an insightful foe of evil supernatural beings (although he still seems highly strung). As for Stella, on first reading there was also ambivalence maintained. On first reading, her enlightening Clay about seahorses could have been an attempt by a gothy girl to seem to stand out, or it could have had sinister overtones…
Honestly, that Clay. He’s joking about Hildy’s suspicions now, all that humour about having equine anatomy, but I wonder if he’ll still be laughing in the end.
Relationships: As I have mentioned, throughout you have maintained some ambivalence regarding Stella’s true intentions. It’s a loaded statement she makes when he wants to kiss her: “What if we can’t stop?” Is she concerned for his safety around her, but is too into him to give him adequate warning, or does she simply want a chance to devour the oysters first and save Clay for dessert? It certainly sounds like Anthony was concerned for the safety of young men around Stella. From Nate’s account, he did not want Will to risk himself.
Hildy’s relationship to Clay is the other really significant one in the story. It evidently drives him to obsess over the Clay/Stella drama. I personally think that he has some sort of interest in Clay himself, but I like that it is left up to the reader to interpret.
Techniques: As mentioned above, I like the way that different prose styles are used in different sections. The mundane setting in the opening works for Hildy’s detective work before he starts to lose it and it contrasts with the uncanny overtones of Stella and Clay’s section. I especially like the touch about the seahorses. It’s piqued my curiosity. Is male pregnancy possible around creatures such as Stella? Hmm…
At the very end of the chapter, I have also always liked the way Hildy jumps to conclusions because the old lady has Gwen’s eyes (perhaps they are distant relatives of some kind). Good technique and it fits what we know about Hildy. He is more observant than the average young man.
| Electrumwriter chapter 14 . 7/26
I like the opening description of the sunset. Your descriptive style is often a lot like a painting.
I did wonder on first reading whether the supernatural beings had anything to do with the storm, although on each reading of this paragraph, Anthony’s watch got my attention much better. A luminous coin size disc in elaborately woven silver? You know how to push all my buttons.
Good touch with the Gwen slant – she manages to be negative about everything, so Anthony’s eyes become ‘ridiculously’ vivid. She wouldn’t be envious of a handsome man would she?
The aura of static electricity he creates is just like Stella’s. However, it had already come across as more than just coincidence that he and Stella have this same effect.
I would have called Gwen a minx as well. I don’t know if that shows I’ve got old and fat! Gwen should enjoy being smug about other people aging while she still can. If Hildy’s estimation of her tanning is correct, then she will look like death by the time she’s forty.
I should add that when I see a ring referred to, I immediately want to know its metal and whether there are any precious stones set into it. But for most readers, just referring to a ring will be fine.
I’m intrigued by what task Gwen really has in store. Anthony can’t really expect to enjoy her company unless he is just really really lusty and has no interest in personality. This is a plot line I haven’t been able to guess the ending of.
Now for Clay’s episode:
Beautiful descriptions of the weird sensations Clay feels and then of the sea as well. Stella has a nicer way about her than Aurora ever did, but everything she says must be scrutinised for ambivalence. “I won’t let you go” is ambivalent.
I like the touches about Stella’s eyes flaring and the notion of the radio sounds being distorted into unearthly shrieks. In fact, the whole scene evokes chaos and sensory confusion. The scene is my favourite in this chapter.
As you do, I will pick a choice quote: “Right below the surface the energy undulated, a ghostly residual glow.”
It’s ominous that Hildy has found a story of a Loreley Islander who died at sea exactly fifty years previously. Loreley Island is set a year in the future, isn’t it?
I know very little of the US Coast Guard, but I like the Coast Guard character. It sounds like a fantastic concept as well. He seems very down to Earth.
Hildy must come across as a bit impractical, but I suppose he would come across a lot worse if he tried to explain how he had discovered supernatural entities.
| pumadelic chapter 3 . 7/23
I find Hildy engaging: he is sort of dandyish and down to earth at the same time. I liked the spiky internal monologue about the cigarette and how it will help him concentrate on saving Clay.
The style in this chapter is quite taut and colloquial. My favourite section here is the conversation between Hildy and Marcia. Her accent is conveyed with subtlety and it feel quite natural that she would be the conveyer of information about the Wyldevilles, although you do bother do explain how she is in the know. There is just enough detail the straw trilby, the mojitos - to put across the leisure lifestyle of this milieu.
Clay is something of a stereotyped dream boy, with his greek statue proportions and gilded hair. It occurs to me that the name is a great touch because Clay is malleable.
You once again suggest that Stella has special powers by hinting that she almost hypnotised Hildy into inviting her to the party. That thin rim of gold around the 'inhumanly' bright irises, Then you have her wildly flowing hair and Clay confused as to whether she is on tiptoe - the girl floats! She can also project her voice.
I would still like there to be still more of a strangeness about Stella and perhaps more fear mingled with Clay's desire. It is nice that his eyes change colour from red to silver when she arrives.
You are consistant with the metaphors of electricity and fire for Stella's effect on Clay. These are familiar metaphors for sexual attraction so I would have liked again something a bit more off the wall.
One issue I have is whether Clay is used to getting what he wants sexually and a bit blase about it all? Is this intensity of desire out of character for him and therefore revealing of Stella's supernatural powers. Hildy hints at this. I also have to confess something very British and eccentric - the word 'ass' completely ruins sex scenes for me because I always think of a donkey and want to laugh. Which is not your fault, obviously.
The backstory about the Wyldeville's is revealing a history of seductive, cold women. Hildy is genuinely worried about Clay. It isn't entirely clear in this chapter whether Hildy just feels competitive with Clay at times or whether he himself has a slight attraction to him. Stella seems to be under a compulsion herself - she can't be gone for long - and showing genuine concern for Clay by showing up at his door.
As I've suggested, you are very consistent with Clay and Stella but I don't feel very gripped by them. Hildy has come alive for me more for some reason and I want to find out more about him.
We have a rendezvous at a specific time and place. There's a smitten man, a siren and a mysterious and evil family. Plus a friend looking out for the smitten man. Anything could happen.
| pumadelic chapter 2 . 7/11
I like the conversational opener. Hildy is a grounding and commonsensical and sympathetic voice in this situation. Gwen is still petulant but her anger is understandable. Stella has just abandoned Clay in the water - or so it seems - but he still wants her number. A fatal attraction for sure.
This chapter is nicely paced. We have the aftermath of the fevered swim, the conversation which is expositional but very natural, and Clay alone at home, in a turblulent state of irresistable desire. I found all the ellipses in the section where Clay is fantasising a bit distracting. I wonder again if you could make his arousal seems even more supernaturally induced. For me, what worked towards that was this terrific description of his eyes:
'The light grey burst in the centre of his brown rimmed irises was barely visible: his pupils were seriously dilated. The white parts of his eyeballs were filled with tiny red threads.'
Clay's fantasy of sailing with Stella is detailed enough but not terribly imaginative - he is actually a pretty straightforward guy which is why he may be utterly and quite literally out of his depth in this situation. Unfortunately I don't find him that involving as a character so far but maybe that will change.
I liked the terseness of the exchanges between Clay and Hildy and Gwen's infuriated profanities on the answerphone are poignant and amusing at the same time.
We get enough information to move the story along but not too much. There is some backstory about Clay's parents and details about the somewhat retro lifestyle of Stella's clan. The details of the castle and the yacht back this up nicely. It certainly seems less than coincidental that Stella materialises on Clay's doorstep, especially as she doesn't even bother with the bell or knocking.
An effective cliffhanger and atmospherically written.
| Electrumwriter chapter 13 . 7/6
Opening: Clay is in character as your likeable jerk, stating really baldly that Stella’s dad died. As her dad died before she was born we don’t of course know yet whether she is the same being as her antecedents or if she was actually his biological daughter. Just taking her words as they are, she sounds sweet and open; “I love being here, with you.” As always with your writing, the prose and especially your descriptive style is a towering strength.
Take this description : “scalloped clouds covering the dome of the sky deepened from pink to magenta.” Also the wine being compared to liquid gold excites me – you know how I am inclined.
Character: It is striking just how shallow Clay is. The rational basis for his fascination with Stella seems to be about her being beautiful strange. That he loves her is about her physical attractiveness and her supernatural effect. If one compares him to other jerks, then he is a jerk who would not have spared Kristin a thought, although he would have fawned over Emily. In that same passage, Stella does still sound as if she is a normal girl whom Clay and Hildy have built up to be something fantastical. The way she admits that she’s a virgin and says that she dreamed that Clay said that he loved her could make us think she is simply a naïve young girl.
Honestly, that Hildy. Really getting himself worked up, actually supposing the lady with Alzheimer’s was Gwen. He was beginning to seem like the lady in Turning of the Screw, specifically as it hadn’t yet been clear at this point whether Stella really was supernatural. I wonder what Gwen would have made of his blunder? Probably met it with a shower of expletives. She comes across as a lot more shallow, even than Clay is, thinking of nothing but getting back at him. Some handbag… I wonder if she is right though and that Hildy actually fancies Clay for himself.
I was amused by Wendy’s exasperation. Being a carer must certainly be stressful.
Techniques: My favourite techniques would be the precious stone and metal imagery around Stella, how her irises gleam and how her skin is pearlescent and how the wine is like liquid gold. Hildy’s POV forms an unfortunate contrast as he makes the sky bruised and the clouds into tumours. Either the stress really has unbalanced him or he has been afflicted with a spell of sorts.
Enjoyment: As I mentioned above, I’ve always admired the Stella episodes. Their prose is something I’s gaze at, like a painting. All in all, I do like that Stella is a supernatural creature who could come across quite convincingly as a nice girl. I appreciated the twist with Hildy’s imagination running rampant and imagining a drained Gwen. I’m quite interested now in seeing what will happen with Gwen and Anthony. Will it be exactly the same kind of story as Stella and Clay or are Stella and Anthony analogous to black widow spiders and only the female specimens are dangerous?
| Shampoo Suicide chapter 15 . 7/5
Hey, re: questions concerning Gwen, I got that she wasn't going to do anything like that with him! I meant more so her declaration at the end of chapter 13, sorry if that was unclear.
Opening strong with some great descriptions and imagery, which I like. I love that it's so plainly stated this time too, whereas in previous sections when supernatural things happened it felt a bit more like reading it as it was happening to confused/possibly hallucinating Clay. The dialogue as he's realizing this is for real is great too. I was a bit baffled, in an intrigued way, at Clay's reaction during this scene, why he's not more taken aback/turned off. It has to be some sort of magic happening to him, right? The weird bonding ceremony thing almost aids that theory, like she needs him for something.
Ahhhh, the entire bit with Gwen and Anthony is great. I love her questioning nature throughout the scene, it differs so from Clay's attitude throughout, really, the whole thing haha. It's quite the place to end, wondering what's happening/going to happen to her. I'm very excited to find out. I like too that it leaves questions about what she's experiencing rather than just an abrupt cliffhanger for the sake of it. Like, I need to know if she's ill from sea or if he's doped her up with magic or something else. Gah!
I loved the writing in this bit a lot, because it highlights how well you can do both the more complex stylistic touches and the simple sort of clean and minimal writing like in the part with Gwen/Hildy's scene. It's really great stuff!
| Ventracere chapter 5 . 7/5
Characters: oh, oh, we're back to Clay's POV. I'm not too excited about that, but I understand why it's necessary. Something I liked about this was how now we see that Clay is still pretty aware of his surroundings despite being enchanted by Stella. I think this is a bit of a change from the previous chapters, but it's a welcome one.
Opening: I liked the way you described the smells and the environment on the boat. It's interesting that the boat smells like citrus, haha. I would have thought it would smell like salt-water/fish, but it's a nice difference. It's also a very specific smell, and coupled with the descriptions makes it easy to imagine being on the boat with Clay and Stella.
Scene: I'm glad that Stella wasn't around and in her place was Hildy. I'm a little wary for Hildy that Clay feels so afraid/suspicious around him. But in a way, Hildy is getting through to him. It's also interesting that Clay is picking up on the weirdness of how Hildy is acting around him. I feel like had Stella been around, he might not have picked up on it, since she would have had his complete attention. Even though he isn't as star-struck as when Stella is around, I like the way you presented how Clay gets incredibly testy when Stella is insulted. He's not listening to reason and that's apparent when he tells Hildy goodbye.
Ending: I'm surprised that Clay suddenly turns to Gwen for information. It's a nice change from what he's been like. But I'm glad that he decided to at least ask Hildy or Gwen for information. It's also good to see that Hildy's attempt to show him that there is something wrong. That said I'm slightly disappointed that his mind swivelled straight back to the girl - but that's another hook. I want to see him un-enchanted within the next chapter. But the last line promises or suggests rather that he will get a new perspective on Stella, even though it's likely going to be a more extreme view from Gwen.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 4 . 7/5
I think this chapter was the most real for Gwen. I liked her here, since while she was still dramatic, it wasn't overly so that we get hit in the head repeatedly with her anger. While we're on Gwen, she's more subdued in this chapter, whether that's due to her hangover, or if it's due to the idea that it isn't from Clay's point of view. Clay casts a more negative view on Gwen and I'm willing to admit it's probably because of Stella. Hildy's POV is actually a lot easier to swallow since we aren't seeing it through Clay's rose tinted glasses that's dare I say, corrupted? by Stella's presence.
"Miranda's voice warbled with alarm" - loved the use of warbled, It's not a word we see all that often, haha.
okay, so this chapter's pacing was a little bit slower than the rest, but I think I like it by far, the most. It pushes the plot further even without Clay's presence. Again, without Chase's rose tinted view, it's a lot easier to swallow. The chapter was also more enjoyable because now we're getting closer and closer as to just what makes Stella who she is. And not going to lie, I'm interested as to why Thierry Marchand passed away before Stella was born. Miranda's definitely got something right when it comes to that it has something to do with the women on the island.
thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 3 . 7/4
The flow of the opening of the chapter was a little rough in the beginning. Perhaps intersperse a couple more longer sentences amid the shorter ones. I like that we get to see Hildy's perspective for a little bit here. It gives us a bit of background on 1) who Clay's friends are 2) What motives Stella has. Though, I feel like even Hildy has wool pulled over his eyes.
"he was certain she was hot for Clay and probably had been since the first moment she saw him in the halls of St. Andrews" - Okay, so maybe there isn't a supernatural pull after all? But then you go ahead and mention Clay does the same thing to girls at the prep school as well. I'm so confused, hahah.
oh, I like Maria because she's pulls everything back into perspective and focuses the story a bit. So far we've got a love struck Clay and a questioning Hildy, but no one who can really see through Stella. Maria can. She's an interesting maid, and definitely serves as the guiding figure. What she says is true, warning Hildy off of Stella. There's something off with Stella, and I'm so grateful that she thinks it's important to warn Hildy off.
What. the heck? I'm not Clay's biggest fan, but I can understand why he's so enamored with Stella. Though, I like how you have Stella losing her cool as well. She's not unflappable as opposed to what the previous chapters have suggested, and I'm glad, because that ensures she isn't undescructable. I want to see her as a good character, really. But there's just something off about her that I don't like. It might have something to do with how Clay doesn't question anything Stella's doing, haha.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 2 . 7/2
This story reminds me of your other piece, Queen of the Dawn, a bit actually. Anyyway, onto the review!
As much as I don't like Gwen's character (which I'll get to in a minute), I feel like the way Clay treats her is despicable. Which, is something that you get across easily, and I enjoyed that. You make it clear right from the get go that this isn't how Clay should be acting through the supporting characters like Hildy. It doesn't take much reaching in order to understand that there is something incredibly wrong here.
Another thing that I guess I liked was how your characters can make a surge of emotion come through. Gwen, is the prime example. She's annoying - and if she was someone I knew in real life, I'd probably start running. She's controlling? But the way she "flips out" at Clay is understandable. He's not treating her right. At the same time, I think you're toeing the line between realistic and unrealistic for Gwen. She seems a bit like a drawn up easy-to-hate character, someone who is supposed to be hated. I think it's just me and how her lines and dialogue grate at my nerves. She has reason to be angry, but at the same time, I feel she was a bit overdramatic - though that is probably your point.
Last thing, again, I liked how you made Stella Clay's one and only preoccupation. He can't get her out of his mind. She's at the forefront and he's even more entranced than he was previously. It's clear he's not in his right mind. I like how that itself raises questions and pushes the reader to think, what /is/ Stella? Is she part something? From the previous chapter and the opening of this chapter (Clay nearly drowning), I want to say she's taking the part of a Siren, but only time will tell, yeah? haha
Thanks for the read.
| Draven-uk chapter 15 . 7/1
Brilliant! The raw passion and fiery power of Clay and Stella's union was gorgeously written. So much striking imagery. Your descriptions flash, crackle and burst off of the screen as they are being read, just like the energy that surrounds and penetrates Clay and Stella in their intimacy. Powerful and beautiful stuff! More clues as to Stella's (and Anthony's) true nature are revealed. I wonder what they really are.
Wonderful stuff. As always.
| Shampoo Suicide chapter 14 . 7/1
Okay, first off I love how easily I can get into this. I didn't even need a refresher to recall what had happened in the previous chapter, up to the ending even, which means you've got something really strong here I think in terms of characters and situations. Memorability should not be discounted at all, I think!
I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I've decided I love Gwen, haha. From the last chapter, when she instantly falls for hunky Anthony and decided to revenge screw him to soothe her hurt feelings over Clay and hatred/bitterness toward Stella: fantastic stuff. I really like that you make what seemed like a kind of irredeemable bitch stereotype character into someone we can still be interested in and maybe even concerned about. Like, it's troubling to me that her immediate thought was to sleep with the guy for all the previously mentioned reasons (though description wise, which was fantastic, he does sound like a babe), and it's curious that I'm worried for her when at the beginning, before you deftly semi-turned her character around through the use of her humor and her obvious care for her friends, she just seemed like a throwaway catty girl. Throwaway isn't the best word there, but hopefully that makes sense.
Anthony's character presents some new interesting questions. It kind of makes it clearer they're some weird time spanning bunch of people. Is it vampires? I don't know much about supernatural creatures, but I know vampires are immortal and all. If it's not I'm even more intrigued because I'd love to know what made them immortal in this way. There's been a lot bandied about about her true essence, most especially by Hildy, and I'm excited to find out once and for all what's really up with Stella and her kin!
I love the paragraph after the Gwen/Anthony scene so much, the bit that begins Light, energy, pulsated. It was a really fantastic way to describe the sensation of what was going on without getting too plainly expository (or whatever a more appropriate word may be). The whole scene was full of fantastic description, I noticed, which is kind of a hallmark of the Stella and Clay scenes because something huge always happens but also, I think, because everything feels extra vivid when he's with her so your gorgeous descriptions really add to that feeling and enhance the mood of the scenes for the reader-kind of put us in the technicolor haze Clay must be feeling.
I almost wish there were more for Hildy to do in this story than worry about Clay, because it's clear he's a pretty good guy and excellent friend. Clay kind of doesn't deserve him at this point but it's also obvious Clay is swept up in all this so maybe there's some other anchoring to their friendship typically besides Hildy worrying about him nonstop. It'd be cool to see that, but I'm unsure how you'd work that in naturally. But again, I like how he can provide touchstones to the backstory through his suspicion and worry, so that's always good to see.
Will review 15 very soon! Loved this!