|Reviews for Loreley Island|
| Shampoo Suicide chapter 9 . 2/10
Setting: I got a really good feel of the island from the opening parts of this chapter. It's been established well already but the mention of the tourists and rifts between them and locals helped further visualize what kind of place these characters inhabit. I see it as a place full of beautiful scenery and old money that would be the sort of place people take aspirational vacations to.
Characters: I wonder about Clay, I really do. He seemed like an aloof rich guy from the beginning but I have to wonder if his dismissive attitude toward his friends' concerns is because of some otherworldly influence or simply if he's a dick, haha. But it's cool to think about. Hildy seems like the best of the bunch, and I appreciate Gwen's characterization as the feared/hated girl, which may seem over the top to some but they maybe have just never encountered a Gwen, lucky them!
Plot: I liked Hildy's musings on the differences between Alix and Stella and how it laid a seed of doubt about her strangeness, only to be further complicated by the resemblence between her and another old photo. I'm truly curious as to what's going on with her, completely convinced it's supernatural but still unsure of what's actually going on. It's quite cool.
Relationships: So obviously we have conflict with Clay and Stella, but I'm curious to see how Hildy and Clay end up at the end of this. As I mentioned it seems Hildy cares way more than Clay does and I wonder if one or both will end up hurt in the end as a result. Nicely done!
| Nesasio chapter 2 . 2/10
Opening: Again, this could use a little more showing rather than telling. The first line works for establishing the passage of time (obviously SOMETHING serious happened for him to be choking up sea water) but I think to really get across his shock you should have him slowly taking in his surroundings. I remember one time I slipped on some water and got knocked out for a second, and when I came to everything was a really slow 5-10 seconds of 'okay, this is where I am, this is what I'm feeling, what does this mean?' before I figured out what happened.
Scene: The conversation with Hildy and Gwen stood out to me as a bit rough. The characterization of Hildy in particular was wooden. He served simply as a way to further the dialogue, it seemed, and not as a person with solid motivations. Gwen's reactions were understandable considering what they've just stumbled upon, and I dislike Clay even more for how he handled her feelings (especially since he cared about them last chapter and now apparently couldn't care less). His nudity should have been re-mentioned earlier and/or with more weight.
Dialogue: One line in particular stood out to me: 'Her hair might have been wet.' It doesn't seem like a big deal but it's strange because it means Hildy either questions Clay's account of events (and why should he?) or it indicates Hildy also thinks there's something odd about Stella (ie on the off chance her hair wasn't wet, what did she do to Clay/what did Clay see?), which just seems to further the idea that she's something supernatural. Since all we know about Stella so far is that she's 'mysterious' this just feels heavy-handed to me.
Ending: Nice image at the end of this. I am a little confused how Clay got on the walkway because this transition feels very detached (like he is mentally detached from his body/passage of time and just suddenly is on the walkway), I think because you prioritize the setting over Clay's actions. But the image of Stella works as a way to show the story will continue to progress to a different level in the next chapter.
| Nesasio chapter 1 . 2/9
Opening: I would've liked a bit more showing here. Since this is the first time we get to see Clay as a person, it seems rushed having his introduction told entirely in narration. What kind of person is he like before he sees Stella? Can we hear some of Gwen's annoying chatter? What was this summer like compared to the city? Basically use some scenes to indirectly show Clay's personality.
Dialogue: Once Gwen got talking, I definitely understood what Clay was talking about in the opening. I think you do a nice job of showing their different personalities through dialogue, so the telling is unnecessary. It's natural and it moves the story forward, so that's a definite plus.
Relationships: I know this is going to sound like I'm fixated on this one character, haha, but I have to wonder why Clay and Gwen are together if he apparently can't stand her. He says (again, telling) that he knows she loves him but I don't see that shown in either of their actions. It seems like a relationship that has run its course and neither one is quite ready to admit it yet, but the narration and dialogue doesn't quite match up.
Characters: I'm not going to lie, this one is entirely my own bias: I started out feeling sympathetic toward Clay for the bad relationship he's in but over the course of the chapter he exhibited several behaviors I find unappealing for a male lead. The way he talks about women objectifies them (specifically the way he thinks about how he can 'have' any of the women there if he wants to), reduces unappealing ones to an aggressively negative group ('Gwen and her lieutenants'; this example also confused me for his obvious distaste for Gwen yet again) and the possessive way he talks to Stella (acting like she owed him contact over the last few years when it's not clear if they even had a solid relationship in high school) is also a bit alarming. Basically I started out thinking 'oh, he is in a bad situation, I'd love to see him get out of it' and ended up more along the lines of 'well no wonder'. But again, this is just my personal opinion.
| lookingwest chapter 6 . 2/9
Ending - Glad at the ending that you gave us that bit recalling who Anthony was, because my eyes kind of skipped down to that name a few paragraphs before he said it and I was like "I don't remember this person, crap, I bet I'm supposed to..." so thanks for that nod, haha. Makes me wonder what this Anthony guy is up to - imo he's so obviously there because Gwen and Clay were there - otherwise this party seems a strange choice for him based on coincidence. I remember Stella being at the party with someone so I look forward to seeing what might be revealed through this re-emerged character. Also - I like how at the end you split the friends into three different mini-plots, where Clay's probably going to sniff out Stella, Hildy's planning to send him some damning photos, and Gwen now has Anthony to deal with. Nice branching - keeping the reader engaged, for sure!
Relationship - Ah, I really love love what you did with Gwen and Clay in this chapter. I think you did an excellent job characterizing their relationship and bringing context / background to it. Especially in regards to the two of them having grown up together. I left this chapter feeling much more sympathetic towards Gwen and like I understood her a lot better / she offers up more dimension. She has some great lines here and I believe she's pretty clever - the line about how she might've actually read into Clay's love for her, and confronting how she'd been wrong, and then later the line about friends telling friends what to believe when she's talking to Clay. Her relationship with Clay has now become more complex - I actually don't think she should stay friends with him right now. They need time apart, and it was totally lousy for Clay to play that card when you know he's also there to just "use" her to find out more information about Stella. Ugh. I'm Team Gwen. Clay is not cutting it for me as far as being a likable character (which is good though because I think it keeps him complex and in an interesting zone in regards to morality and good/badness).
Writing - Small thing, I dunno about the "bold" technique to emphasis the "what is she" lines regarding Stella. I think italics could've had the same emphasis - or you could amp up the speaker tags, but in all honest dialogue is all about setting up the tone of the conversation through things like scene and context and characterization - when these things come together, you don't have to emphasis certain things in dialogue like that because say, the italics would already clue us in to the tone inflection change, plus, the context provides us with how "bold" the claim would be anyway. The reactions of the characters build that shock of revelation, if that makes sense. That's the same principle behind using only "said" for speaker tags. Really small note on that though, and also just a preference / opinion sort of thing, but I couldn't help myself, haha. In regards to that actual dialogue though, I did like that Gwen comes out and finally says what Hildy is thinking! Totally a bold claim for sure - but when you've got the photo evidence to back it up like Hildy does (I'm assuming) it probably sounds less crazy! I can't wait to see if she's really a vampire, or something else...
Enjoyment - This chapter provided me with another level of enjoyment in regards to this story! I really appreciate getting Gwen's perspective on things and I think it really helped characterize Clay more, which was a major point of enjoyment. I also like how we keep finding out more and more about Stella in each of these chapters, but the amount she's been in this story is very small. It really lines up with the themes of rumors and heresay and how they can shape a person. It's interesting that we do meet her in the first chapter so we can make our own judgements, but since then, here characterization has largely been based on other characters' assumptions of her and her family. We know a lot of her background, for instance! I totally made the Hildy guess about her immortality though, and I can't wait to find out if we're right or not, haha. It's so peculiar though seeing as they grew up in school with her - I mean, if you look like a teenager you certainly can't be in grade school (but that might be another detail I've forgotten / missed - if she "moved" into their school district at any specific time a la Edward Cullen style or not). Btw, thanks for answering my last detail question in a review reply, I appreciate it! Good to know about Clay's family, apologies for forgetting. Sometimes when I'm reading like 10 stories at once in the midst of grading student essays a few details slip from my mind like that - I'm trying to be better about fessing up to it so I can keep giving good feedback in stories as I progress through chapters :)
Thanks for the read mb!
| lookingwest chapter 5 . 2/8
Plot - What is Hildy up to? I really love the plot technique you used here where we didn't see the ending result of his meeting with Gwen's aunt, so we don't know what he knows. All we do know is that there's this hint that Stella might be immortal. I was wondering that before, but since there was a baby thrown in the mix, it made me wonder if maybe she had been born and not immortal. I can't wait to untangle her past. So many questions! The fact that Clay recognizes her with his father is chilling. Though it almost made me wonder like omg what if she was his real mom? Haha. I very very much doubt that is the truth or things would take a bizarre weird turn, but it just prompts me to want to know what her deal is even more! Every chapter, you tease, ahgh! Must find out!
Setting - I really liked the opening frame description of him buffing the sailboat and the smell of the buffer wax he's using in relation to Stella. That provided a great segue into him thinking about what just happened between them, and the floating detail. I also liked the explanation of Preston's clientle and the use of "Truman Compote"-types, haha. It painted a good atmosphere for the place with an allusion and not actually descriptions. The focus on the Castle in the distance was a nice touch!
Character - Yaay, Gwen again. Looking forward to seeing what a chapter from her perspective might be like. The detail of the minor characters in this story so far do a good job adding to the prestige of the island, like these guys hosting the high school party she's at. Stella and Clay continue to push boundaries on who is good or evil or what's going on and I love that about both of them. Stella, judging by the last chapter, seems to have good intentions, but whatever supe powers or pull she might have could be too much for her to handle. Clay is either under her spell or not under her spell - in a literal sense - and I like how he's starting to calculate everything in terms of Stella and how he could learn more. Hildy telling him to play it cool was a nice moment between the two of them - I like how that stops Clay from actually going to the Castle and instead turning his attention to Gwen. You're doing a great job with suspense!
Ending - The ending of this chapter really reminds me that everyone on this island is filthy rich. In that regard this story is sort of unrelatable for me - I almost wish that Clay weren't so young and well off and not facing any conflict because of it. Everything in his life seems to be so perfect - for everyone, actually, besides just this one facet of romance that he's struggling with. Maybe I'm just aware because paying rent this week was tight, lol. I'm kind of sitting here like, "Ahh that would be the life, to be able to order the expensive mixed drink instead of the beer..." I can't wait to see what might inhibit his good fortunes in the future, or if anything ever will. I'm guessing Stella might - but even she's well off - she lives in a Castle, even if it doesn't have modern luxury. Something tells me she's loaded in a Cullen-like way. Sometimes I have this feeling like I'm at Gatsby's party but there's no Nick, ya know? (This line of thought was all prompted by him jumping into his father's convertible, haha). Oh question I might've missed - is Clay's dad dead? Or well, passed away? We might've heard that before but I was just wondering - it's obvious he can't just ask his dad about Stella's family... this might've just been something I accidentally forgot from the first 2-ish chapters (please remind me if he is dead!) Foreshadow on the ending lines though, ahh - Clay's SO obsessive! I like that we end with that - Clay yet again using Gwen. I think he's by far the most anti-heroish person in this story. So far he seems so selfish and it raises the question about whose fault it is - his own, or if he's been put under some strange curse and it's actually Stella's magic!
| Whirlymerle chapter 2 . 2/6
Hi from the RG EF!
[Clay’s voice was brittle] I really like the word choice of “brittle” here. I thought it was particularly fitting given the fact that he almost drowned. Along with his annoyance at Hildy, I think the adjective was apt.
Wow, Clay’s insensitivity is really getting on my nerves. Like when he rounds up on Hildy and says “What’s her fucking number,” in my head, I’m just thinking, “shut the f-ck up.” It’s not often that I feel strongly about a character, whether they’re “good” or “bad,” so kudos for that. I like that you give a sort of sympathetic peek into his background by talking about his parents divorce.
I like how every time Stella makes an appearance, the scene itself becomes totally bewitching. I like your word choice of “shimmering” and “swaying.” It gives her an ethereal, impermanent feel. It’s not insidious or anything, and I like that because the audience can’t quite be certain whether she’s good or bad. But I think the details surrounding scenes involving her provides a big clue about how Clay’s attraction to her isn’t quite natural (I think!), and I like that very much.
| Jalux chapter 12 . 2/5
The investigation Hildy is running is very interesting, it brings a bit of a detective element into the story and really shows Hildy is definitely clever and perceptive. I get the feeling Nate is going to play a big role? Anyways I think it was cool how you showed Hildy would keep this quiet so the people could avoid the police. Nice piece of characterization there.
Hm you touched on the connection between Clay and Stella's family didn't you before? This is definitely interesting, it'd be kinda ironic I suppose if the wine led to her finding out about that? It's an interesting cliff hanger if nothing else. Wait Gwen traveled through time or something? I'm a little baffled but this is an interesting development. I don't recall anything that might have aged her but yeah look this has me interested haha.
| Jalux chapter 11 . 2/4
This chapter was quick for me, part of it is because everything was a damn cliffhanger haha. I mean you start with Clay (but not us) seeing what he dived into the ocean for and then you also leave the discovery of Gwen's phone on the pier as a mystery. It really makes this chapter feel tense and keeps you constantly mulling things over which is a great improvement in terms of pacing. I felt the previous chapters were getting a little slow but this one is very solid. The place they ended up is certainly interesting and as always it's nice to see their relationship developing. However I really do want to know what became of Gwen, cheek cliffhanger!
| lookingwest chapter 4 . 2/4
Pacing of this story moves pretty quick considering it's only been a day or so from the events of Ch. 1 - though we haven't stopped moving along since that time, so it's interesting to see how time is tracked with the two different situations (Gwen/Hildy and Stella/Clay). This chapter felt particularly quickly paced, maybe because they have no trouble contacting and setting up a meeting time with Gwen's aunt, and then by the end she's already spilling the dirt on Stella's family - it all feels like it was gained perhaps a little too easily, without obstacle? But I also recognize it's nice to push the plot along.
Clay's got some good friends here, and I'm really liking that Gwen is still involved with the story because this is the first chapter where I've felt she's sort of coming out of that stereotypical shell of the ex-girlfriend-who-may-have-deserved-it-anyway (from Clay's narrative perspective in the opening chapter). At the same time, she still largely serves as a device. A device to push Clay off on Stella in the opening with her attitude (not her choice) and then now a device to get more information about Stella (not her choice). Though by the end of this chapter, it's nice because I feel like she finally gets a bit invested when she hears that the men attached to this mysterious family usually die. That was the implication, right? The point where there's a mention about her almost about to break into tears shows she's still invested and perhaps willing to investigate further!
I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but once again, my only real constructive crit is just taking into account more of the setting in a richer way. Yeah, we know the landmarks of the island by now, especially the Castle, but as far as the island itself or even the scene-by-scene stuff, I think we can always use more. I would've liked to have seen some subtle "showing" of characterization when it came to Gwen's aunt via her house and what the insides might look like. If she IS the historical society, as Gwen jokes, then I can only imagine that even just where they were having tea might be specifically decorated in some way. I'm assuming at the ending here she's about to take them into a different room that might have more historical value / points to it - but still, even the teacups they're using would've been interesting to get a little detail from imo, rather than just 'cup' - unless it wasn't even a teacup but just a regular plastic cup. Same with the wicker chairs - faded floral cushions, nice detail there, but what about maybe the smell of the room from Hildy's perspective? Weird? Any other decorations on the walls? I'm sure you already get my point so I'll shut up now, haha.
Let's see. Lots of dialogue in this chapter, and I didn't have any problem with any moments of tension or flow. I was a little surprised, perhaps, like I mentioned in the first part of this review, that Hildy's questions were not meant with more resistance. But that could be because we don't have a really great idea of what Gwen's aunt is like just yet - but she seems to be someone who contrary to the last person he asked, doesn't mind gossiping. This would all be a little funny if Stella actually were *not* a Supe of some sort, but since she is I think the investigation is one you can get away with, for sure. Anyway, I think Gwen's got some natural dialogue that I liked. There was maybe one word "interwebs" that gave me a bit of pause since I don't normally hear someone referring to looking online as that unless they're kind of joking - but then re-looking at that line maybe that's the tone so it fits!
Overall, another good chapter imo, and the story is coming along quickly. I'm really looking forward to discovering this mystery of Stella along with Clay, Hildy, and Gwen! I wonder if they can make it in time to SAVE CLAY, ahh!
| Jalux chapter 10 . 2/3
I think the scene where Clay asks about Stella's grandfather and finds out the truth is well done although a little cliched. It shows a better and more mature side to him that really doesn't show as much in his interactions with Gwen and Hildy. You do a fine job of developing their relationship in this chapter, it's slow but I think it has to be done. We do have a good grasp on Clay and Stella as individuals but no so much on their friendship. The pacing is solid enough, I think it gets the information across without becoming a slog to read which can often occur with these set up chapters.
Interesting cliff hanger at the end, looking forward to reading more.
| lookingwest chapter 3 . 2/2
So what I like most about this chapter is that I feel as though Stella is at war with herself here. She's got some sort of internal conflict going on and she isn't directly an antagonistic force. I thought this story so far might go either way - like she might end up the villain Siren or something. But I really like that we see here that she really isn't - she seems to care about Clay's well being. I mean, I hope so by her actions of resisting his cues to bed her, haha. I feel like she was also attracted to him in those moments because of the background we get from Hildy earlier in the chapter, and her strength to pull away from him and leave really characterizes her. I liked that a lot.
Also, super liked the little detail about her floating. That was kinda cool. It really makes me wonder what she is specifically - or what's going on with her family in the Supernatural sense. It's clear there's something going on - I mean, they even live in a place called the Castle, and I'm glad that there's some investigation by Hildy earlier on in the chapter to foreshadow even more this mystery that surrounds Stella. It was also interesting / a good plot connection / background context to find out that Stella probably has her eye on Clay and that's why she might've been at that party. I can't wait to find out more about her family or what's really going on between her and Clay!
This lifestyle of the rich calls for a unique setting I haven't actually seen before in any piece. I mean, I'm sure it's out there in the Romance section plenty, but specifically for me, I haven't read anything set in a place like this. In some ways it could become a little tiresome to read about the privileged, especially privileged young people - but I look forward to some conflicts that might try them where they might not have been tried before. Especially Clay. Even Hildy. His concern feels a little trivial for some reason right now, like I wish I could glean the full extent of his worry - or why he thinks that his friend is in danger. But that mystery is also something that keeps the reader reading!
Perhaps the only thing I could care more for in this chapter is the sense of setting regarding details - a little more showing, perhaps. Like the taste of Stella's lips - a little more oomph in the sensory detail when Clay is touching her. A few more literary devices, perhaps - rather than just the automatic "I put my hands here and here and here" - I wouldn't shirk on the descriptive language when it comes to his physical experiences with her. It draws him back in and it's what's becoming his Center and Light right now as a character, so it could still serve to well up with some balanced descriptors. Overall though, I think I like this chapter the best so far! Can't wait to find out what happens, thanks for the read mb!
| GossamerSilverglow chapter 12 . 2/1
RG: Multi-Chap – Easy Fix [Post #1223] 4 of 4:
I don’t have a clue what Stella is or her family. My guesses have all just been real ‘I don’t know’ guesses. Not even a clue, like I said. Honestly, it’s a two way street for me. Nice that you’ve managed to keep it from me for this many chapters, but I want an answer. Hopefully you won’t let it drag on too long because after a while it could get irritating. Right now though, it’s fine. Stella sucks people’s life-force and takes on their age so she can live longer? Or maybe it’s Anthony! Holy cow, I did not see that one coming. I’m having Charmed flashbacks here. Great twist! Update soon.
| GossamerSilverglow chapter 11 . 2/1
RG: Multi-Chap – Easy Fix [Post #1223] 3 of 4:
The romance in that first section was drippy and perfect, even if it was one sided. I haven’t forgotten Gwen, but as I said since it seems like Stella and Clay are meant to be together... I do hope nothing bad has happened to Gwen all the same. Man if I didn’t already have a craving for lobster, I definitely do now. There’s not much to say with this chapter. The ending was great. Clay is smooth. I’ll give him that. I think he’s being smooth with someone his previous life already ‘smoothed over’ but it’s clearly working for her. Am I right about anything so far? Great chapter!
| GossamerSilverglow chapter 10 . 2/1
RG: Multi-Chap – Easy Fix [Post #1223] 2 of 4:
I don’t recall Clay and Gwen being lovers. I thought she was into him and he was just keeping his options open... I guess that could mean they were lovers. Okay. I’m sort of up-to-date on that front. Bad Clay. If her grandfather died I’m guessing she’s not the immortal vampire type that’s so well known. Unless it just has something to do with the women in the family... then I’d be thinking succubus or something.
I enjoyed the sail and the sea hawk capturing the fish. It set the atmosphere of the scene in this chapter. All the boat terms slowed down the pace, for me at least, a little, but on the plus side it shows the work you put into even the smallest details of this piece.
There’s a connection between Clay and Stella and William Kidd and Mercy Sands. She wouldn’t happen to be Mercy Sands would she? Is Clay and some of the men in his family line the reincarnation of William Kidd? That would be awesome – and since they’re meant to be (if that’s the case) I can forgive Clay for the way he treated Gwen (even if she is/was a bitch). Now I think she might be a mermaid or siren. I hope that information is coming soon at least.
| GossamerSilverglow chapter 9 . 2/1
RG: Multi-Chap – Easy Fix [Post #1223] 1 of 4:
The little bit of history about the old families on the island having less than stellar relationships was good. I get that Clay is freaked about Stella being ‘something else’ but he doesn’t get to be all “I know you disapprove of me and Stella because of Gwen” at least not yet I don’t think. He did lead her on. I still think he needs to tread lightly and not be so put out because he was in the wrong more than anything.
Why do I have a feeling Gwen’s disappearance is related to Stella somehow? I’m afraid it’s been a long time since I read the other chapters so I don’t remember if you went into detail about her disappearance, but my feelers are tingling. Stella did something didn’t she? I think it’s great that Clay has finally caught on about Stella’s ‘something else’ vibe, but something odd I noticed was that Hildy didn’t seem surprised about it. Did he not believe Clay, did he think Clay was over exaggerating, or does Hildy already know? Kind of like you foreshadowed that Gwen already knew? Just speculating.
Clay is being such a jerk and I hope he ends up regretting that little thought! Though I don’t want Gwen to be dead (even though I remember her as kind of a bitchy character). I still think Clay is severely in the wrong. I don’t know. I guess there’s only so long a person can walk on eggshells around someone. Maybe he is at his limit. Yeah. He think he has enough life force to give until he doesn’t. Nice chapter!