|Reviews for House of Horrors|
| beatrixlowe chapter 1 . 7/6/2015
I enjoyed this first chapter and I liked how you made the mood of the story so bleak. It complements the state of numbness Sayomi was in. The way you wrote about her state of mind was also convincing and realistic, without being overly dramatic. But I must say though, that I feel more could be done to engage the reader. Right now we only see how Sayomi had been holding back, but I feel that more can be expressed at the part where she broke down, or hinted throughout the chapter. Personally when I was reading about how she held back, I was expecting a great deal of inner turmoil in Sayomi, and "not fair" did not really show the degree of pain I thought she felt.
With that said though, I must admit I'm curious about Ren as he seems to harbour some feelings for Sayomi, or know certain things that she did not.
| LiVEWiRE360 chapter 1 . 8/24/2014
Its very dark and detailed. Of course, its a funeral so its dark. The first chapter gets pretty intense and sad. I like the way u write this and put details in everything they do. The characters are detailed as well. Good story! :)
| Ghost Divsion chapter 1 . 8/10/2014
For an opening chapter that was pretty intense. It's interesting to see an opening chapter begin with a funeral, so props on that. I like the detail put into the environment and characters. It really helps to breathe life into the story. The only problem I had was the lack of story progression, as this chapter told us little about future events. Overall a pretty good story.
| alltheeagles chapter 4 . 8/9/2014
For the RG EF
I understand how hard it is to write about the workings of a twisted mind, so I totally get it with the infrequent updating. You do an efficient job here explaining how Ren works, but have you thought about making it not so direct? ie just telling us about bits and pieces of his childhood in the perspective of a child. Would it heighten the horror effect to let the readers figure out for themselves what’s up with him?
The singing along to music move is cool! Haha, nice way of getting away with the offence of ‘no phones while driving’... NOT that I’m condoning it in any way whatsoever. Anyway, I like how the plot thickens with the mysterious female voice and the two new deaths. Again, I have the same suggestion of being less direct, as in instead of “to a point where they were unrecognizable”. Instead, why not ‘snatches of conversation... they were like charcoal, the man said so!... but how’d they know it was them then... DNA, stupid!...” and stuff like that.
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 4 . 8/9/2014
I enjoyed the opening; it was clearly set apart from the rest of the chapter due to tense and the format, which I think avoided confusion and bettered the flow of the story. What I also liked was the content itself, due to themes of disillusionment and abandonment leading to such a dark chain of events; I also felt that the simple narrative style made everything more grotesque.
I liked Ren's self-awareness in this chapter, like his admitting that he was handsome but only considering to pursue Akemi because she was interesting. I think this makes him creepier and fits in with his desire to control everything. It is truly terrifying how he manipulates everyone.
| Timbo Slice chapter 2 . 8/9/2014
What I really liked about his chapter was the insight into the mind of Ren, as he comes across as sadistically sociopathic yet in a clinical, clever way. Having the story from his perspective is such a nice touch after meeting him in the first chapter and seeing him from the inside as it makes the reader question what they read in the first chapter and keep the story unpredictable.
At the same time however, it seemed like the death of the main characters parents should have been the major plot point wih the bulk of the story revolving around the mysterious circumstances involving their deaths so I just think having the reveal so soon kind of takes away some of the intrigue and suspense (not to say that you don't have a trick up your sleeve!) especially since Ren detailed his plot in full and kind of rushes a plot point that could have been the attraction of the story.
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 3 . 7/21/2014
Review return :3 I took a while - sorry!
I liked the intro at the beginning; it felt very emotive, and I think it carried on ff this theme of emotional devastation and sorrow we've had in the previous chapters we had quite well. It's nice to learn how Sayomi reacted to the news. I felt terrible for her - poor girl, she's really lost everything. I felt worse for her when I realised how distant she and her brother Hiroshi were: he doesn't seem bad, but he seems aloof - maybe it's the age difference, or because he's so busy? Whatever it is, I hope he warms up a bit - Sayomi needs him, needs someone to help her get through with her sorrow.
I liked the plot revelations in this chapter, like the police being able to place those accidents as murder. I thought your reasons as to why were quite sound, and i liked how this set up the stage for more plot development. I find it a bit unfair, by the way, that Hiroshi gets so much to inherit while Sayomi gets less. But then it's a reflection of Japanese culture...
I really like how you continue incorporating Japanese culture so well into this story. I can only say that it's skillfully done and that it helps you set up a great atmosphere!
| Vladvonbounce chapter 2 . 7/15/2014
From the review game
I was surprised. I really liked this perspective. Dark and creepy and I think it draws you in a lot more than the previous chapter but also having the previous chapter makes it really clear just how oblivious she was to the fact her servant is killing people. It also leaves me wondering about why he is doing these things as he doesn't come across as being really cruel.
I also like the way you wrote about how he planned the accident with percentages, numbers and facts. Very dehumanizing would make it easier to accomplish and yet he also watched the accident itself. He is clearly a bit of a mastermind. I also like that he might develop feelings for her. That would be a good twist.
| Vladvonbounce chapter 1 . 7/13/2014
Nice first chapter. Your writing is really nicely detailed and I like the way you keep referring back to the environment, with it being raining. I also like the way she feels so distanced from everyone else at the funeral. From experience I know those same feelings so good work. I feel you could put in a little bit more information to engage the reader into the story. Something to draw the reader onto the next chapter a little bit. Maybe reveal some clue about how or why her parents were killed?
Return review from roadhouse
| Trishilish chapter 2 . 7/13/2014
Seeing Ren again, in his own perspective no less, wasn't really surprising, no. After Sayomi's reaction to him in chapter one and the way the prose kind of singled him out, I definitely expected him to show up in some way shape or form.
I'm intrigued by him though, and what did surprise me were the circumstances of Sayomi's parents' deaths, and that Ren caused them. I'm a tad disappointed that Ren basically told us the entire mystery behind their deaths, there isn't anything else for us to learn about it, really. Other than motive, but it seems to me that the motive is simply that Ren is sadistic.
I'm excited that we get the serial killers (I'm pretty sure your referring to Ren in your summary) POV in all this. I'm wondering if he'll morph into an anti-hero, and I'm curious to see what role Sayomi will play. I like how his mind works so far, he's very cool and calculated, very serial killer-esque.
My only recommendation for you is to be careful when your overlaying perspectives of the same scene. It worked here to give us a description of our dear Sayomi, but I've seen writers essentially rewrite an entire chapter in another perspective. And unless anything new/important is revealed, it gets really boring, really quick. When done right, it can be enlightening. It's just a thin line is all.
Happy writing to you! I'm excited to see what you do with these two.
| alltheeagles chapter 3 . 7/13/2014
For the RG EF
I think your portrayal of Sayomi’s state of mind is very realistic, and I like that it isn’t over-dramatic as in ‘she was drowning in a sea of sadness’ or something over the top like that. In fact, I like your narrative style in general – it’s clean and efficient and lays down the plot clearly. I expect you’ll be exploring the psychological aspects in Ren’s POV, so this could become a game of cat and mouse between Ren and the police; not sure what part Sayomi will play yet. Anyway, interest level is still high. Good job.
| Jalux chapter 1 . 7/13/2014
Opening: The start is generally quite good, there's definitely a feeling of "I think I know what's going on but not quite" and I think that makes for quite a strong hook. Also it's a good way to set the pace/mood for the rest of the chapter with the funeral at the start since we know we're basically going to be getting insight into the MC's thoughts and the aftermath from her loss so I thought that was pretty clever.
Ending: I was iffy on this, on the one hand the emotion was definitely there and some of the descriptive language here was quite well done but I can't help but feel parts of it were melodramatic especially when she screams into the pillow. I don't think that's an impossible reaction perse but I think it could be changed around a little. I think something simpler like "Why?!" would have a similar but more concise effect.
Dialogue: The characters are speaking in Japanese so the san and chan plus things like Ojou-sama are really nice additions to get that culture across and to remind us the reader that they are speaking Japanese. In general dialogue (apart from one line) felt really well-written and realistic. Especially the lawyer's conversation with her which included both his condolences as well as the business side of things.
Writing: I really like the writing here, especially how you set the scene and the descriptive writing used. It means I always have a good idea of what is happening and where it's happening which makes for a very complete package. That being said I think the pacing is hurt a little at times because of this, you go into too much detail occasionally and certain sentences feel a little out of place and unnecessary.
| alltheeagles chapter 2 . 7/12/2014
For the RG EF
I hadn't paid Ren much attention in the previous chapter, so initially, it was indeed a surprise to get this perspective. But once I got over that, I think this development makes sense. I like your take on the mind of a psychopath so far, though I think you could have gone even further with the cold-blooded calculations and planning stuff. The question now is whether Ren is indeed a psycho or has he another reason for wishing harm upon his employer's family. I like also the protectiveness of the butler/steward towards the young lady. I think he suspects Ren, and if Ren starts to think the same way, then I predict unhappy things for the poor old guy. Good job so far!
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 2 . 7/11/2014
I should have known there was something fishy about Ren XDDD. Hmm, I really like this chapter - for several reasons, but the most predominant being one that Ren is one creepy, fantastically manipulative and slick bastard. I like how he's sort of proud and intelligent/observant, but doesn't mind getting his hands dirty/doing menial labour but instead brushes it off as another new experience. That's admirable and makes him even deadlier since you know he's not ever going to be comfortable, but really do everything in his power to continue observing just how damage he can wreak. I like that too, this cold aspect of his character: how he's not emotional, but doing everything for the sake of fulfililng his curiosity. It's creepy how he uses his smarts and intelligence to satisfy his dark urges. That's especially notable in the scene where he muses over the accident that he caused - I loved how you went into detail there, proving that it was more than carefully planned.
I'm really wondering how the next chapter will develop - because we've already got lovely hints of his being obsessed with the mistress and wondering about why Hasegawa is being suddenly so overprotective of him.
| Infected Beliefs chapter 1 . 7/10/2014
RG EF Rule 10
I don't know if you are actually Japanese, have been to Japan, or just watch a lot of anime, but your replication of Japanese culture and language structure is spot on. The emphasis on duty (both for Sayomi and her servants), the degree of respect paid, and just your descriptions of peoples reactions as a whole really helped me feel like I was reading an anime, rather than feeling like I am reading an English story told by a anime fan (which is usually the case on this site). The only thing which I was mildly skeptical about was the presence of the Buddhist monk at the funeral, as in all of the books on Buddhism I have read (a stupid amount) I have never seen mention of a monk filling the role of a priest after a death. Buddhists tend to have a very different outlook on death than western society. On the other hand, I really don't know what role modern Buddhism plays in Japan as a predominantly Buddhist country, so who am I to say.
Your prose was very strong, though you do tend to over describe at points. For instance: [["needless to say, a gloomy air circled the place morosely."]] Just seems like one adjective too many. There are many other instances of this which irked me but this one stood out most of all. The morosely is more or less redundant as you already told us that it had a gloomy air.
Anyway, overall it was a positive read for me and I think you are leagues ahead of most novice writers. Props to you!