Reviews for The Haunting
Guest chapter 1 . 11/18/2016
Am I right in thinking that this is going to be the next world you are going to be working on? This is just a bit too developed to be a one shot...Just saying.
Emerald Viper chapter 1 . 3/13/2016
Okay, a couple of things I noticed. Xandria (the kingdom) and then “Xandria Commons”, presumably a neighborhood in the city? I think is is unusual that the country has the same name as the city. I cannot think of any case where a kingdom and its capital had the same name. Nitpicking, truthfully.

You tell us really early on that Ryanon is an assassin with the line “ready to kill”. I think when you have 6,000 words to work with you could develop the character more effectively by not verbally stabbing straight at the heart of the matter (or, well – assassins, stabbity-stab-stab).

Ryanon seems very focused on her issues being “because I'm a woman”. In my experience (mostly martial arts and sword-fighting) women who participate in combat type activities try not to draw attention to the fact that they are female.

That thought may crop up from time to time (c'mon punch me harder – I won't learn if you don't hit me for real), but if you are always thinking about “it's because I'm female” you aren't focusing. And then the reason you seem incapable isn't because you're a woman, it's because your head is not in the game. Someone who is an assassin I feel needs a more focused perspective. Fighter (killer) first, female second.

Why does Ryanon think that stabbing humans with a knife would make it dull? Not tending a knife (cleaning, sharpening) can ruin its edge, so can hacking through things like ice or thick rope. Unless she is using her knife against her victims like an ax, this I really don't believe.

Your strength here is the action scenes. I do like the premise of going through the thorns into Sleeping Beauty's castle to commit a murder. I almost would have rather seen Ryanon going in to kill Beauty though. The end kind of hangs and lets a lot of the momentum you'd built up fizzle.
TanteLiz chapter 1 . 3/12/2016
I'm not sure how to review this - it isn't quite to the prompt, you're right, but the intersection with Sleeping Beauty is certainly there.

The adventure-writing aspect is the strength here - I've noticed that in many of your works. You create and sustain a mood well, and you know how to move a story forward. With a title like 'The Haunting', though, I was waiting for somebody to do some haunting! I assume that's where you were going with killing the king before the princess wakes?

You ran out of words, which is understandable (I did the same thing and had to slap a crappy ending in place!). Even with twice the length of our usual contest our stories can expand to fill the available space. There were some stubby side-plots that you didn't need, like the assassination of the anonymous lord in the pub and the romance between your two main characters.

There was also a great deal of wordspace wasted on Ryanon's constant dithering. You gave her these weird, defeatist, internal tapes to roll about being female and therefore inherently weak, then overspent on rolling them. This consternation over her own femininity, rather than making her interesting, detracts from the story. She is a fucking assassin - let her BE who she IS so that the story can be your focus.

If you do turn this into a full-length piece, please consider increasing your anachronistic tech mix. I loved the fleeting mention of cameras and guns - intriguing, but so rare as to be easily missed.

Well done, and good luck!
Solemn Coyote chapter 1 . 3/6/2016
This is a really neat set-up: Sleeping Beauty as the context for an assassination mission.

"No cameras" This is an interesting detail. I had thought the tech level here was medieval. Renaissance, maybe. That your main character would even know to worry about cameras is interesting and says some broader things about the setting.

"While it's stone wall and moat" its

Drones too? This is fascinating, and makes me think the world might be post some kind of fairypocalypse.

"Dak keeps his hand on the small gun" kept

Ryanan has this really strongly internalized sense of what her gender means and it seems to completely contradict the things she experiences. She worries about women being too emotional, the lord in the tavern opens himself up to attack because of his lust. And she feels like women have always had a strong place behind the scenes, not center stage, and yet she's taking the active role in this piece and Dak is the one supporting her. Now, I'm not saying that anything here needs to change. Rather the opposite: this is absolutely the way I think most people think of their own gender. They look at the things being a man or woman is supposed to mean, match them to the circumstances around them, and then ignore the hundreds of details that don't fit. If this story gets developed further, I'm really hoping Ryanon will get a better sense of this. After all, as an assassin living at the fringes of society, cultural roles are just this mask that she sometimes has to wear. The rest of the time, she can be whoever she is.

I totally dig the snakebunnies and the other cursed animals. Those are a great setting detail.

Feels like the plot is cut short just when it's starting to get complex. I'd like to see more of this. If nothing else, this story absolutely proves that there's a ton more you could do with this setting, and I'd be curious to see it develop.
MileyRowling chapter 1 . 3/2/2016
Sleeping Beauty! One of my faves!
Guest chapter 1 . 3/1/2016
Sleeping Beauty, huh? I must say that I really did enjoy it. I think this would make a really good full length novel.