Reviews for Dead Craft
LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 11 . 6/5/2015
I really liked the introduction of this chapter because you get right into the action and show how Charlotte percieves the situation quite well at the end of it all. I also liked how Jude rescued them because it shows an interesting side to his character that we have never seen before. I also really like how you revealed the connection between Jude, Kit and Charlotte because it is fascinating to think that a boy winds up saving his favorite author and the main star of his punk show and demonstrates how life can be very concidental. I somewhat dislicked the ending because it seems to show that Charlotte is not noticing what's around her.
Jalux chapter 18 . 6/5/2015
It's a quiet chapter, plenty of dialogue and world-building which is fine. It reminds me a little of the chapter where he was in the abandoned house before Achitophel met the prince. Not much else to say here I think it certainly is effective at what you want to do which is slow down the pacing of the story to expand on some of the mysteries you've given the reader. Certainly the last few chapters for the most part have been quite tense with a bit of action so I don't think you're in any danger of losing reader interest here.

Speaking of dialogue it was the main focus here and I guess I should talk about it. I think yeah it's well written basically, I like how constantly reminded of the fire and the embers because it broke up the dialogue nicely and stopped it from being too repetitive. That and the part where Achitophel talks about how humans treated shapers is powerful and opens up a tonne of questions as to how things ended up like this.

It's pretty evident they're getting closer, I guess you can see this early on in how she seems to care what he thinks of her or at least is quite embarrassed when he does notice her waving her hand in front of him. It's to be expected given small things like them sharing food last chapter and this chapter in their discussions. Or at least I feel so, the ending seems to suggest some animosity so honestly I'm going to hold off on saying much for now.

Chapter was enjoyable, quiet yet interesting. I suppose some people would rather more plot movement so to speak but it's quite short and the techniques used make it flow nicely enough that the lack of action wasn't really an issue. The plot as a whole is still interesting and I'm eager to see what happens next.
alltheeagles chapter 16 . 6/4/2015
RG EF

Hey, it’s the revelation, and sooner than I thought too. Right, so Jude was on a pest-control mission and he decided to spare the humans. That makes sense, given his (presumably forbidden) association with humans vis-a-vis hanging around C’s band. And then he got turned and he’s persona non grata to his own kind so he might as well hang around Charlotte. And he just happens to want a pet shaper. Ok, I’ll stop harping on Jude’s motives now. But I’m no closer to understanding the nature of vampires and shapers, which is a little maddening to my OCD-ish brain. Charlotte, honey, your plan is so full of holes you could use it as a sieve. But hey, whatever keeps you going, right? Incidentally, I liked the explanation of why they turned Jude – it’s logical if somewhat risky, and boy did the gamble NOT pay off big time for them. Especially Niki. It’s pretty cool, though, that combination of deadly magic and regeneration/hard to killness, like the Hulk and Wolverine had a lovechild. But now that I think about it, hmm, the fact that Kit was the shapers’ strategist might explain why Jude thinks he’s worth keeping around.
In conclusion: I think you dealt with your problem of getting sidetracked in character development cause the plot is moving just fine now. Incidentally, are there only 3 POVs now? No more from the other shaper and Jude’s sister?
LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 10 . 6/4/2015
I really liked the descriptions that you had in the beginning of the chapter because it allows us to envision the scene and easily get into the mind frame of Kit without thinking too much. I also really liked how Kit corrected Charlotte on the shaper word for fuck off because it offers so much depth to his character and shows how he was once a writer. I also liked the whole interaction of both Kit and Charlotte because it shows great development and allows your two main characters to bounce off each other and express their view of the other culture quite well. I also loved how cowardly Kit is because it shows how he is onlly built to survive, which is interesting.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 9 . 6/2/2015
Juuuuude.

-rumbles happily- I love reading his chapters, but then I'm always left at the end having no idea what to say because I feel like the rhythm of his perspective just rolls up and sweeps me over and I kind of just swim in his mind for a while. And then I get to the end and it's like wow, well, the current took me somewhere but the *ride is over* what happened.

But ahem. Something a little more coherent, let's see...

I feel like I kind of half babbled everything I thought about this chapter into the RG forum already. XD But I'll make an effort to make it more readable here. As I said in there, I thought the waxing/waning was clear, but I actually was going to comment on it anyway (before you brought it up as a point of possible confusion) just because, while reading it, I actually thought that was a really neat effect. It felt almost like this sort of...energy balloon/bubble/inhale as it waxes and his magic/energy/blood rage builds and roils up on itself, and then a heavy gradual exhale as it wanes... The word choice adds a nice subtlety to it and also makes it feel more...wild? Comparing it to the moon/nature? I enjoyed it.

The little break of a memory in between was a neat technique, splitting up the chaos poetry with this very vivid, concise and suddenly fully comprehensible dream. If I'm correct in assume that it's when he drinks (or kills?), he gets to experience these memories(?), then I really think the reasoning behind why it's so addictive is made really evident in that stylistic choice. He's completely 'lost' when he's himself in the real world - everything is chaos and the reader is rolled through that tumultuous insanity as he experiences it, but then he gets to this *memory* and it's not 'real' but it feels so much more real because it can be understood and it's calm and clear, etc.. Not this clashing of two selves tossed into a sea of battling impulses.

Really Jude does feel kind of like riding giant ocean waves in a stormy sea going up, up, up crashing thunder and then down, down, down into the lull between waves...anyway. Very cool. I thought that sense of rise/fall was especially evident right at the end when he's waning, waning down from the high and his grin is fading and guilt and confusion are sinking in - and then the vampire hivemind is back at him and energy pulses back in.

Let's see - oh yeah! I did like the content of that little eye of the storm memory, too - I felt like it did a good job emphasizing that 'reverse' culture of the witches, where girls are wanted and three boys in a row is bad, etc.. Jude was a cute little'un, poor thing had to grow up. Poor sweet prince. It does a good job inspiring sympathy for him too in that we can really glimpse him feeling more human there.

All around, lovely chapter! :D

- Moonstar
alltheeagles chapter 15 . 6/1/2015
RG EF
Oh, is that all Jude wanted Kit for? To find Charlotte by her scent? I thought he was more than capable of doing that with his magic. But then he says Kits is his pet... See, I have a thing for understanding motives so right now I’m feeling frustrated cause there seems to be no reason for Jude to be acting that way. I assume that Charlotte just wants to be with her kind and escape. Kit, I guess has no choice since he’s been ‘captured’ by Jude. But Jude... yeah, yeah, I just gotta be patient and All Shall Be Revealed, right?
I kind of like the gungho Shaun of the Dead vibe in this chapter. I giggled at some bits: when Charlotte shot Jude, and the wisecracks about dancing and pets. I don’t know if this effect is intended (comedic relief from carnage?) but I think this is the second time it’s happened so either I have a warped sense of humour or the overall mood doesn’t quite hang together.
Language: there’s a ‘princeS’ somewhere that should be singular, I thnk
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 8 . 5/31/2015
Great opening line. I especially like Charlotte’s caps in that particular instance. They come off not only punchy but defiant, in your face Not Dead, motherfuckers. Take That. That initial scene reminds me of a hangover, head swimming, thoughts too loud, nauseous, vision blurry, focus off — though I imagine her version is several hundred times worse than the worst hangover *I’ve* ever had. Still, it fits in nicely (ironically?) with her being in the ‘drunk tank’ now, even though the circumstances are so drastically different.

[“Eat shit,” I seethe.] Lovely dialogue. The whole exchange there is nicely handled, but it’s always especially fun to hear Charlotte being…Charlotte, and never see her fire die out. People pick fusses about using anything else besides ‘said’, but I think ‘seethe’ in this instance really does its work and adds to the emphasis of the tone.

And huzzaahhhh — all of them finally together in united glory! The scene where they’re all finally in the same space is grand. All of them worn to their limits, haggard, multi-times broken brittle and filthy as you can get, but breathing the same air! It’s almost amusing to see Charlotte’s reaction to Kit, him being The Worst, when really he is the softest thing there, poor thing - and he can’t even *shape*, Char! Not that she knows that, but still. I feel bad for Kit - as always, I suppose.

The depictions of Jude, though, are especially great once things get going. I always love how you describe the mottled mesh of his expressions, his movement and his magic — definitely his magic. [Magic curls from his center, unfolding up like broken, jagged wings.] I think almost terrifying broken horror angel, which is pretty rad.

The capitalization technique — love it or hate it — has had mostly rhythm and emphasis effects up until now. At the end, though (even though I suppose it’s still an emphasis thing in a way), it really makes a *difference* - I think (unless I’m mistaken) this is the first time where, if the caps *weren’t* there, the writing just wouldn’t work, since it would be an ‘exact’ repeat. So I think it’s cool that you used it there, that way, really making it carry its weight, and the point comes across obviously. I am hoping for much Jude carnage of evil witches next chap, knowing you let him handle action scenes. I ANTICIPATE ACTION. Much excitement.

Lovely chapter - so happy to see them all together. 8D

- Moonstar
alltheeagles chapter 14 . 5/31/2015
RG EF review

My theme this time: consistency. First off, I like how the narration is consistent with the action. So we get more incomplete sentences, harder to follow sequencing. Moving on to plot, maybe this is a Duh! Question, but why doesn’t Jude take away the spell holding Kit down, seeing as how it’s caused by witch magic after all? I mean, he keeps healing his other wounds… or is that just a pragmatic move, so he won’t be distracted by the smell of Kit’s blood? I suppose it’s kind of explained at the end – he’s using the healing like a carrot and stick because for some reason he wants to keep Kit with him. But I still don’t know why he wants to keep Kit alive.
I’ve thought of yet another way that Kit’s situation mirrors Jude’s – Jude’s magic has taken on an identity of its own and that also seems to be happening with Kit’s bones, the way he talks about them speaking to him from under the ward. I don’t know if this is deliberate, whether it points at some connection between them (that makes Jude want to keep Kit close), or if I’m just reading wayyyyyyy too much into it. I like this parallelism in general, but I hope you don’t end up making their POVs too similar because of that.
Wonder where Charlotte’s gone?
Jalux chapter 17 . 5/31/2015
Interesting interaction between them at the start and then to follow up with it at the end basically. At the start he kind of ignores her attempt to talk to him but at the end it's him trying to be friendly after everything they went throughout the chapter. I definitely can see the steady progression of their friendship and it feels like it's set a good pace. Sharing the energy bar is something I used to haha.

I do think it's realistic how Achitophel follows her orders more or less, it fits in line with what we've seen of his character so far. Charlotte is more "capable" and it shows in how they interact. What I am interested was Achitophel's strategist past and I think it came through this chapter! Like he didn't really plan so to speak but he showed a tactical side of him with the rune traps and his memory of what had transpired before to dictate their actions.

So yeah apart from that I liked the plot developments all around here, good note about how Nikky found the note but not before it was too late. Unless I miss something I don't believe we know why he was too late so it's just more stuff we need to discover. Pacing was spot on and I liked the steady development of Charlotte and Achitophel's relationship. It's a kind of we need to stick together because we need each other to survive kind of thing at the moment.
pumadelic chapter 7 . 5/30/2015
Opening.

Strong, to the point. So Patrice is dead. No burials in this environment. Charlotte has to concentrate on survival. The short sharp sentences are effective. Charlotte wants their story to be told and she's primed for vengeance. Still not loving the capitalisation.

Plot/theme

As Charlotte prepares for a showdown with the witches, we get more backstory on the conflict between humanity (The Good Guys) and the supernatural creatures. I'm still unsure as to whether the shapers are also in conflict with the witches or part of their coterie. The witches themselves are characterised as a repressed nation who have been colonised. I like this as an idea but there needs to be more precise detail on this for it to be meaningful. The vampires are another element in the anti human revolutionary mix but they are also 'the witches real sworn enemies' - not sure why this would be the case and again, I'd like more clarity. I liked the joke about 'who doesn't like working toilets' as a comment on human civilisation.

Writing/Technique

You are alternating between short one line paragraphs and fairly compact paragraphs. This does succeed in increasing the tension. As I've said, I really don't like the capitalisations and don't think they work to emphasise anything. I know that they are meant to represent slogans and set ways of thinking but there are too many of them. The description of the shaper's healing ability had that great vibrant snappiness you had in the first Charlotte chapter -

'a naturally hot metabolism and immune system, jacked with magical shapeshifting bones'

The stabbing and the witches' comeback of internal fire is well achieved - a hot wrap pinches me still. Constricts my chest from breathing.'

Characterisation

Charlotte is still coming across as a strong, emotive woman, who doesn't apologise for her actions, while being able to recognise her mistakes. I liked the section when she is reflecting again on her lack of activism in her youthful rocker phase and I liked her screaming her protest about Patrice's death. Her final desire to apologise to Patrice is moving. The capitals were still annoying me, however.

Ok - You sick fucking Men confuses me...the witches are male? The shapers are all male? Maybe I'm just really dense but I need a teeny bit more exposition.

Ending.

It's sad. But also hyperbolic. Charlotte's feisty but are they really the greatest warriors? Another termination that doesn't feel properly terminal.
alltheeagles chapter 13 . 5/30/2015
RG EF review.

First off, my my what a familiar sounding title... :D

I like the setup of your world in general so far, but certain things are starting to make me wonder. One particular phrase intrigues me: ‘the not human parts of me’. Does this mean Kit is only half shaper, and in turn, does that mean that Shapers/Witches/humans can interbreed? He doesn’t seem to identify himself as human, since he also says ‘Don’t underestimate humans’. That it isn’t an inborn condition is suggested by his brother Carwin being a wolf (and he’s a fox – if it’s genetic, then he should also be a fox too right?) Or is it the case that being human is the base form and something has to happen to make one a shaper or witch? In other words, is a shaper or a witch just a human with special powers, or are they born fundamentally different? Going with that thought, is a shaper just a subspecies of witch in that they have a particular kind of magic (ie shapeshifting) as opposed to the witches’ more varied abilities? In the absence of any explanation, I fall back on ‘standard’ knowledge of shapeshifters and witches, so if you have a different explanation, maybe that could be made clearer unless you think it makes no difference to the story. Having said all this, I like that you’re giving Kit distinct characteristics like his heightened senses and his residual instincts. In a sense, he’s also having an identity crisis just like Jude, only in his case it’s not so much having two identities as being forced to adopt a new one.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 7 . 5/29/2015
“I crouch down, digging into my boot for Patrice’s lucky switchblade.” HAH. I KNEW IT.

But alright, let’s start at the beginning…

I enjoy that in the opener we get another reminder of how desperate things are. Despite Pat being her last friend, Char can’t stay even long enough to bury her, and the only consolation she gets is giving a corpse a promise that may well be empty - pretty rough. I like the image, though - Char starting out “decked out” in knives and ready for a “killing dance.” It almost makes it seem like she’s going to a party, all dressed up and no one to cha cha with but witches and death. But I digress.

You always seem to manage to slip in backstory and world-building information so smoothly that I barely notice that’s what I’m reading until I go back to review and I’m like *oh* hey, I did end up learning a lot of cool things about how the world ‘used to work’ before shit hit the fan and such. That said, I think you did a great job incorporating the past with the present as Char slips through the ruins of the old city, dropping details about witches and what society was like pre-rebellion. In my mind’s eye I can see the ghost of the busy Uptown area and all its brilliant lights and gauzy clubs as a sort of faded after-image layered on top of the ruin and desolation left in present day.

The fight scene was quick, vivid and fast-paced. I could feel myself rooting for her like hells yes GUT THEM - okay, okay GO FOR THE THROAT yaaaassss, and other immature internal mental dialogue. Flashback to the opening of my review - I was incredibly pleased to get to witness the scene where Char takes the switchblade to them. Good on her and great fun to root for, also smooth to picture, watching each sweep of the action unfold to its bitter and painful end.

And the end: I think having Charlotte break down into screaming and kind of shatter and let out all the pent up helpless and unspent frustration and rage in a boiling climax was great for the moment. She’s been having one thing after another thrown at her, all kind of piling and piling and piling, and here she’s finally pinned and what’s left but to scream? It felt very human and makes my heart lurch out to her and want to give her that energy to go and f-ck them all up like they deserve and live to fight another day. Obviously I know with the confidence of a reader who can see her name on several more chapters and *knows* she’ll meet with Kit and Jude eventually that she is immune to actual death, but it’s still the sort of end that makes you go NOO get up, get out, somehow you got this! And want to flip to the next page.

Very exciting and enjoyable chapter. I’ve loved Char’s chapters so far but it was especially nice to get to see her kick some butt. She makes for a great action girl.

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 6 . 5/29/2015
I enjoy the flashback to the glory days feel of the opener. It’s immediately evident that we’re getting a glimpse into the past, and cool to get that backdrop of Char and Pat’s roots - putting a real world, glitter and glam rocker teenagers spin on everything before dropping them back into the dingy, end-of-the-world present again. The whole loop there is great, really - heaping that whole sequence in rich with detail in a minimum span of time before finally finishing with the ‘death’ of their childhoods.

Language choice and phrases like [a constellation of…clubs] and [writhed on the floors of stages] really does a great job of making the tone of the opening sequence pop and feel as flashy and ephemeral as it was. Celestial, starry, impossible and wild. You are always great about slipping in words that add flavor that way, but those pairs really stood out for me in that portion.

The development of the setting in the part after the opener is well-handled as always. Between the dingy water to the ‘black skies’ to ‘industrial outlands’, ‘rotting cesspools’ and ‘inland seagulls’ you get a really strong sense of the desolation and ruined atmosphere. Very dreary and bleak, which layers atop what they’re already mentally dealing with.

“That I’m just as bad.” Uuuuggghhhhh. Not at her, but in general at anyone ever who says ‘hate doesn’t stop hate’ or *anything* that amounts to victim shaming suggesting that lashing back at aggressors is *somehow* equatable to aggressive action in the first place. I want to punch anyone who says or suggests this. It’s like suggesting you should never say or do anything when someone hurts you because that makes you ‘just as bad’ and completely de-legitimizes the *rational* anger you feel and- *shuts up*

Like all your rare dialogue, I thought the segment between Char and Patti was natural and telling. The fact that you have so little of it made it *feel* sudden, like it was supposed to be, breaking into the silence with that crack burst of emotion. It seemed fittingly horrible somehow that the last time they held each other like that was when their previous friend died, and now they’re doing it again just as Pat is killed.

I think you handled the shock really well - the rawness and brutality of it combined with instincts kicking in, making for a jarring and powerful closer. The “still alive” bit really hits home by then. Like everything’s been taken from her and maybe literally all Char has left at this point is that - her life. But I still managed to feel a spark of pity for the shapers at the line ‘their bodies are so starved they already look like rotting corpses’ - obviously pushed to their desperate outer limits.

Hnnnnh - best of luck to you, Char. Maybe this is why you had to resort to a boot knife against those witches - all out of bullets. I look forward to seeing your whole motley crew get round up together.

- Moonstar
alltheeagles chapter 12 . 5/29/2015
For the RG EF

Even though the chapter is from Kit's POV, I find my attention focused on Jude. He is just one big ball of contradictions right now. Magic vs vampiric hunger. Destroyer vs healer. Sane (if bitter) prince vs mindless beast. I'm interested in how his bloodlust feels like to him, whether it's a gnawing hunger or whatever. Also in how his magic is working to prevent the bloodlust from taking over, or if it's just temporarily dormant for some reason. In fact, I'd like to know if vampires needs to feed regularly in general. Did Jude feed from some of the witches and that's why he's relatively sane right now? Anyway, to return to Kit himself, I think the information he's giving about witches is well incorporated with his distrust of Jude so it doesn't feel info-dumpish. I'm taking note that Jude knows 'women's magic' - possibly something to do with him being predicted to be a girl before birth?
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 5 . 5/29/2015
I enjoy how, right from the opening sentence, Charlotte’s voice is already immediately distinct. Her narrative style comes off blunt, to the point, a little roughed up around the edges but practical and no-nonsense, and that’s consistent throughout. Though I’ve never had good luck with first person narratives myself, I love the way you manage them, and how you manage to say as much with their voice and presentation style as you do with what they actually tell us - ‘how’ they tell the story acting as an added layer. Really nice work.

I thought the opening itself worked well in general, too - hitting it off with immediate action and sucking me in. I thought the contrast between ‘the arm’s whatever’ (which is bad enough to begin with and I was like haha what of course you’d say that but it seems like a *big deal to me*) and the mention of castration was nicely timed and put the arm breaking nicely into perspective.
The “Every Dick Counts” line paired with the castration mention was sufficiently ominous and followed through to the end I anticipated it would. The handling of the ordeal kind of makes me want to bludgeon The Good Guys, but that’s typical of me.

I think the style of Charlotte’s presentation have always been the easiest for me to read - certainly the quickest, with Jude being the slowest (though always fascinating) - which makes the pacing feel like it trucks right along nicely. I chock this up mostly to the fact that she’s the least…poetic, of them? And not in a bad way - I think it fits her really well, as previously described, and emphasizes her character. It’s also a nice change of pace, varying the tempo up a bit after Kit’s more lyrical prose.

I’m also interested in the significance of The Title Caps that Charlotte likes to use. To me it mentally adds weight and emphasis to certain phrases - probably the most poetic thing about her style - and gives the rhythm of it an interesting lilt. Pushing the words on us a little more - sometimes a bit like delivering small punches.

“Jaxon wanted us both to hang.” I’ll just have to settle for mentally spitting on him and maybe grinding a heel into his non-existent balls.

I liked the way the bulk of the story dribbled down into the ending, the chapter beginning heavy both in content and physical text (thick paragraphs), and then petered out to their leaving with spaced out, one lined dialogue and finally just three, spread out short sentences. It kind of mirrors the feel of what’s going on and gives off that sense of the cowgirl-soldiers disappearing off into the sunset as the screen fades to black. I don’t know if the text set up was intentional or not, but my eyes noticed it looking back and I thought it was interesting, and it gave the ending a nice sort of dwindling finality.

- Moonstar
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