|Reviews for Darkest Desires|
| Electrumquill chapter 1 . 5/20/2018
Jack is Elysia's nickname for him!
| sara chapter 1 . 5/19/2018
lol, I forgot to ask this in my earlier review: If his name is James Doherty, then why does the flashback refer to him as 'Jack'?
Story is great by the way! :DDDD
| sara chapter 1 . 5/18/2018
Nice, and very original... I like it! :))))
| Ink Lord chapter 1 . 12/22/2015
The one thing you have ample amounts of in this piece is tone, the rest flows out from the first line of the flashback to the end of the dance. As you can tell from the way I write, I don't like to be given much information up close, I like to glean it from what I've been given. Like how I'm pretty sure Jack knew about Elysia's crush on him from the start. More importantly, you barely described Elysia, but went into greatly described detail on what she wanted to look like. There are some things I want to question like how they got that much liquor or just how tough Elysia is. The first is a plot concern, but the second is something for me to ponder.
Bottom line? I want to know what happens next.
| metamodernmarx chapter 1 . 11/19/2014
Writing: Your prose is simple in style yet brutally honest. There are few long-winded phrases; most of the sentences are concise and to the point. Your language style is also fitting to the modern context - while people try to be short, they are unable to express ideas without adjectives and descriptions, and this is where you are; you come clear to the point with vivid but necessary descriptions. That I like very much.
Plot: I like your plot twist that was very effective, that was carried out very discreetly and unsuspectingly. The unreliable narrator comes strong here, as Elysia does not admit the truth but rather spreads bits and pieces everywhere without exposing her actions which she finds herself guilty of.
Character: Again, similar to the plot. The unreliable narrator is a fresh and interesting one, which few are able to master well enough.
Enjoyment: I like this very much. Your descriptions of love and jealously are genuinely real and relatable, and I found this piece a truthful reflection of many people in general. This piece lacks pretense as well as high-falutin language, which makes it an easy, moving and relatable story. :)
| Jmin.A chapter 1 . 10/27/2014
The concept of this story is quite interesting. Although, one thing confuses me, is Jack-James? Or are they two different people?
| HighPixelPriestess chapter 1 . 9/9/2014
Elysia agree's to the police woman she's there to testify about James, then the story is about Jack. Either that was a mistake, or Jack is James' nickname. You might need to make that clear :)
I liked Elysia's character, however unorthodox. She seemed like a troubled, believable young girl - wanting something she couldn't have to the point of obsession. Maybe it wasn't love, but she wanted Jack at any cost.
I did wonder how they managed to get so much alcohol at a school disco. Did they sneak it in? Was it provided? Was it allowed? It seems a bit unlikely that the school would provide it, so it leaves the question of why.
I liked how you turned the stereotypes around. Normally, it's the woman being date raped and that gets overdone quite frequently. It's refreshing to see something turned around.
| solidprecipitate chapter 1 . 8/29/2014
You did the flashback opening quite nicely - we are told what has happened but not the details, so there's some suspense and a hook there. The story is told through Elysia's recount, and there's a little of the sense of an unreliable narrator here: she seems reluctant to tell the truth and admit what she'd done, and as she struggles with revealing it we see her internal conflict and why she had done so.
Typically I'm wary of stories that contain rape, because the rape scenes may be written with too much detail and might even be presented in a glorified manner that somehow makes it seem okay, or it might be written in a way that makes it seems like what the rapist did was okay. However, I felt you handled the rape well, because while the wrongness of the act was never denied in the story, we are also able to understand why Elysia did it and feel kind of sorry for her. Overall pretty well-written and focused piece, nicely done!
| Timbo Slice chapter 1 . 8/26/2014
What I lied about this is that the roles were reversed as far as the "date rape" scenario goes with the female being standing up for her male friend who was the...rapee? lol in this situation and I thought that you gave them adequate characterization to get that point across with the girl being more of an assertive, tom boyish nature and jack more of the subservient, somewhat effeminate type, so that was pretty original.
The pacing I felt could use some refinement, like how the story opens in the police station and then goes off into flashbacks with no real semblance of setting the scene. The ending was unexpected for sure, and really brings to light some dubious social issues like gender equality, double standards, and male-female trust, and I hope you can give the story the polish it needs to tackle such weighty topics!
| AirHeartBabe chapter 1 . 8/9/2014
I am really liking the first chapter :)
| faerie-gumdrops chapter 1 . 8/9/2014
I like how you start us off in the police station – I’m immediately wondering what went on, while Elysia’s here instead of Jack, and all such fun things :D. I think it was also a really visual opening part (actually most of your writing is very visual – like you can see it in a move – very action-based rather than lots of internal angsting and stuff). It was really nice to get into, and I think set off this whole detective, mysterious sort of vibe. Anyhoo, yes, I think it definitely was a good hook to start us off sort of *after* all the action, because we know there must be a lot of plotty goodness to look forward to.
The creepy parts of Elysia were brought out really nicely – the part where she was trying to paint freckles on her face was really cute, but yeah, also a bit weird. But then kids do weird things (I know I did). And then Kate calls Elysia his ‘creepy friend’ and then – then *that* ending. I think your writing works really well with this kind of mystery – although we see all these things that Elysia does, we don’t really see *too* much of her internal thought process, so we don’t really get to see how odd she is, until yes, that ending. I like how that actually makes her quite scary and unpredictable, which obviously makes the plot all the more gripping.
I like the thing you have with Elysia and Jack, and how it’s not entirely obvious what’s going on there. Like why did Jack agree to practice kissing with her? Is he completely oblivious to the fact that Elysia likes him, or is he aware of it? Does he like her liking him? And how come he dated other girls, and they never did try to get together. It’s fun that we sort of see this all through Elysia’s eyes because while it’s clear that she does like him, Jack is such a little mystery. Heh, maybe he can’t stand her and he hangs out with her to be nice. It’s also cool that Elysia is sort of Jack’s protector, telling him he’ll protect him and all. It’s an interesting relationship to really get your teeth into.
I liked how you were able to tell quite a lot in this chapter – how we essentially got to see three different time periods – the cutesy of the kiddy watering can incident, the school disco, and the police interview. You’ve juggled the three really well, I think – how you managed to just touch on say the police and the kiddy-ness, while still giving us a strong impression of the *point* of these scenes. And your writing is very clear and easy to read – no overt floweriness or anything. Just good clean writing.
Just randomly noticed this! You have ‘Jack had always been her best friend and the love of her life. They had been friends ever since nursery school.’ – the second sentence I think sort of contradicts the ‘always’ of the first? Maybe just cut the first sentence? But ha, this is just being pedantic :)
| m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 8/9/2014
RG Depth #4,332
Well, I really think this is quite an original piece. I like the role reversals and unattractive attributes you give your main character Elysia. So, in this Depth review I will be discussing the following topics: opening, plot, character, and writing/techniques/style.
So, in sequence, here are my thoughts:
I like the title but I wonder if it's just a bit of overkill:
I mean, aren't all nightmares a twist? It's just that the whole thing is called 'Darkest Desires'. We know we're in for some evil fun, so perhaps, just a suggestion, but let up on the distorted horror of it all. Again, this is no big, just an impression. Maybe try something a bit more neutral, or mysterious… :)
I think the opening really works well. I like that we know instantly something really bad has happened because you start things off in a police station with Elysia being asked to confess:
"Her heart pounded as she stared back defiantly into the policewoman's hard, stern eyes. Karen switched on a voice recorder." This gets your plot off to a running start and it also give us a lot of ideas about your main character Elysia. She's being interviewed by a cop about a rape case. She is no sweet little girl next door. That's apparent from the start. Like it. :)
This relates to the opening and the plot but mostly (in my mind) to character. Elysia's obsession with Jack runs very deep. Rarely do you see a female character with this type of almost Nabokovian incestuous fixation (thinking of "Ada" FYI). Very unique:
"Jack had always been her best friend and the love of her life."
This sentence needs some help though I feel:
"They had been friends ever since nursery school, when she had crept up to him as he played at the water trough and he had grinned cheekily and poured the contents of a toy watering can over her head." Just split it up. I like how you are showing us the formative bonding experience instead of simply telling us how they bonded. Good work. :D
I really like this trip into Elysia's head:
"Was he aware exactly how beautiful he was?" Throughout this you do a good job of showing the world how Elysia sees it. You don't give any information she wouldn't be aware of. I think this consistency really helps build your readers' belief in the world you are creating and the validity of your characters.
Very interesting character development here:
"She had once tried to make her cheeks rosy and to apply freckles to her face using makeup, but the result had been laughably bad." This shows how unstable and unrealistic and possibly delusional Elysia is.
"Obviously her skin tone would not suit her having red hair either."
Perhaps use this as an opportunity to give us some information as to what Elysia looks like. You mention her skin tone, why not let us know more. You don't have to use clichés btw. Try some original color descriptions. I'm sure you can come up with something unique and cool. :)
Like how you build up and foreshadow the violence here:
"but she had sworn to herself that she must bring justice to anyone who wronged her friend."
Really like the way this scene begins:
""I just wish I knew how to kiss Kate, so that I won't make an eejit out of myself," Jack had said, shaking his head." I think you do a good job here portraying Jack as a believable, relatable guy. We get the sense instantly that Elysia is delusional about him, in part because he acts so normal here. Like it.
"Well what are you worried about? Don't you have a technique?" Elysia had inquired."
I don't particularly like words like 'inquired'. They pull us out of the story IMO. Yeah, we got it. You know a synonym for 'asked'. It sounds clinical and overly formal I feel. Just use 'ask' or 'said' or better yet, cut the line entirely. Do you really need a dialogue tag there?
Really like this:
""Of course I have me technique," he mumbled, his cheeks flushing that exquisite shade of rosy pink that only he was capable of." Very good character description here.
Again, here I'd lose the tag as well:
""But what? If your technique is good, then you are sure to impress her, but how will you do it?" *Elysia had urged.*"
I'd like to see you expand this. It seems rather sudden:
"Kate and Jack had had a stormy breakup and he didn't feel quite strong enough to seek out a new girlfriend yet." Give us a scene that Elysia witnessed maybe?
Really like too:
"Suddenly Jack tugged her arm: "feel sick," he managed, "could be something in the drink." The sound of the disco almost drowned his voice out." Very nice, very visceral description. It's also quick and believable and furthers the flow of plot.
"Why couldn't she suck off every freckle, if she felt like it?" Nice. ;)
Ha ha funny:
"She could show him how she felt, not tell him."
"She demolished his pants and then jumped on him." What does 'demolished' mean here? I think this last part could use some work. I like the passion and lack of control you are showing but the language seems a bit rushed and imprecise.
So, the only other thing I think you could work on would be the integration with the intro. I think if you were to interweave dialogue back and forth between Elysia's memories and what's happening with the investigator in the interrogation room it would be very interesting. It would also keep your readers tied to the plot. Just another suggestion. :)
| Ventracere chapter 1 . 8/8/2014
Well. That was unexpected...
I liked the fact that Elysia has a need to protect Jack - it's something that's reflected between their close natures. However, I do feel as a character - and part of her characterization - it's interesting that she takes it a little too far. To the point that it seems like an obsession? The fact that it turns into a bit of an obsession is worrying, but it also brings up new speculations. Is Elysia a victim to herself and is Jack as well?
Another thing that I found interesting was the sort of gender reversal. It's normal to see the whole, boy protects girl, boy gets girl idea. Instead, you've flipped it around to the fact where you have girl protects boy, but hurts boy in process. It's a different take on an old trope, and it's a fresh one.
However, one thing that I did find was that the pacing was a little slow. While it is the first chapter, I think you took a little too long to build up to what happened to Jack, even if your punchline at the very end, was frankly, poignant and terrifying. The buildup, the whole background, I think could be cut down a little or broken up into a few more paragraphs, so we're not faced with an overload of information all at once.