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for Midnight Skies are Brightest

8/16/2012 c31 4The Phoenix Girl
Amazing story! I really love it :) keep up your great work :)
8/8/2012 c31 HERsheKISSxoxo
Like the story so far, and if in your story the vampires can have mates, can they have children too? Cant wait the next chapter! :)
6/30/2012 c8 41marceline the vampire queen
Yes! Some action!

Okay, things I liked about this chapter. Firstly, I'm glad Jessica and Laurenz have finally secured their relationship. I was beginning to tire of all the dodging around. She's admitted she likes him, and vice versa. Once again, the road is clear! I'm also thankful, as I said, that there's some further action. There are decisions to make now, emotional revelations, challenges. That's definitely a good thing. Now Laurenz is in danger, it's a perfect opportunity for Jessica to realise her true feelings. for him. In that way, it's a good plot device - and it's interesting to see the bad guy so vulnerable for once. Nice role reversal. I'm pleased that he's waiting before he turns her - it shows that he cares more about her than he does about his own dominance.

Now for the things I didn't like. Jessica's slipped remarkably quickly from "hating" Laurenz to cherishing him - not just cherishing him, but actually sobbing over the fact that he might not return. Only a couple of chapters ago she detested him. But I guess that was necessary if we want the story to go forward, so I'll overlook it. Her angsting was also slightly morbid. "I sank into a chair, my ankles too weak to support me any longer. I rocked back and forth, tears streaming down my face. Nothing had prepared me for this. You could bleed me, insult me, even torture me until I was no longer conscious. Don't leave me alone to endure the endless suffering of waiting for a cherished one of whose fate I did not know." It's all a bit emo. Maybe tone it down a little?
I also don't like the way every male seems to swoon over and want to protect Jessica. She's been felt up by how many people now? But then, it IS a pretty good way of getting across how creepy Slade is. Like I said before, all vampires are rapists.
But the thing I really must protest about is the fainting. Just...the fainting. Last chapter, Jess passed out (for no apparent reason) and woke up at the beginning of Chapter Eight in a bed. Halfway through Chapter Eight, she fainted again and woke up in bed again (which was a bit rushed as well; I'd recommend using line breaks so there's a sense of time passing, rather than all the action happening in one big rush). And at the end of Chapter Eight, she passes out again. For the third time. It doesn't give anything to the story, and makes it seem like a lazy way of avoiding the action or breaking off a section - kind of like you've said to yourself, "Okay. Can't think of anything else to happen now - time for another blackout." It might work well to break off with a last line of dialogue, or someone leaving the room. For example, the last section could have ended very nicely with just the "forbidden fruit" line - it wasn't necessary for her to fall asleep again. Leaving the audience with an introspection is more interesting than leaving them with a faint.
And finally, nitpicks.
1) Where did Jessica get a Colt. 45 from?
2) Wouldn't she die straight away if she cut the artery in her neck? (Or maybe her half-vampire strength is protecting her. Hmm.)
3) Black eyes can't really be called "exotic". Just stick with beautiful, or maybe some other adjective, such as intent or liquid.
Chapter Nine!
6/30/2012 c7 marceline the vampire queen
Okay, now I'm confused. Does she like him, or doesn't she? It's clear she lusts for him. It's a twisted kind of lust, but it's there nonetheless. We all know it's fairly common for girls to be attracted to the dark side, to the danger...so that's normal, although - as I've said - it's all slightly masochistic. Attraction to a guy who keeps you prisoner and beats you up? But past that. Jessica's acting like something between a French maid and an alley cat in heat. She's clearly so in lust with Laurenz that she can barely control herself; she's basically throwing herself at him, and barely even puts up a fight when he kisses her. Yet when he attempts to respond to her "advances", the alley cat hisses and spits, fighting him off. These flares of rage are also way too abrupt. She flickers between docile and innocent to fiery like a TV changing channels. Again, that's one of my previous criticisms, so I'll leave that behind as well. My point is, if both characters are so strongly attracted to one another, and they know it, then why not just hook up? However, you've answered this already - Jessica thinks that Laurenz is playing games with her for his own entertainment (whether or not this is true, we are yet to know). So there we have the main barricade that holds back their relationship. I'm guessing, or at least this is how it seems to me, that she wants him to love her openly, with no torture or manipulation. Until this happens, she's holding back on her true feelings. She won't be just a pawn in this game Laurenz is playing. If this is indeed her angle, she should probably struggle a bit more; right now she's doing a very good impression of a clingy, lovestruck princess. When it's on her terms, she's clutching him and trying to kiss him. When he makes the first move, though, she's not having any of it. So in this way, she's almost got dominance in the relationship - she wants control over who initiates contact. But this is just theorising, so I'll stick to what's concrete. If the previous concept is indeed what you intended to convey, it's a good line to take, and should maybe be clarified for the benefit of your readers.

There's something else that's become apparent to me as I make my way through this story. So far, there doesn't seem to be much of a plot. The initial concept intrigued me, the whole dark romance thing, and of course there's the impending threat of Jessica's being "turned" by Laurenz. But so far, all that's happened in the story is massive unresolved sexual tension. If you get some more action in there and weave the tension, emotions, relationships etc. around it, it would deepen the characters and make it easier for readers to get involved. Scenes like the previous one are all well and good if they appear occasionally, usually at a juncture that marks a specific point in terms of character development, but without anything to back them up it makes the whole story a little bland and unsupported. Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story, Hills Like White Elephants, which you may have read. The story was merely a dialogue between a man and a woman, which showcased their changing relationship. The story was fantastic, but it wouldn't have worked as a novel - if it had been any longer, it would have gotten boring. There needs to be a more equal ratio of action and personal development. Just action means you don't become emotionally involved with the characters; just development quickly gets repetitive. What goes on in the characters' universe affects their actions and their dynamic.

Nitpick: Wuthering Heights was a main feature of the Twilight novels (Eclipse, I believe). I'd take it out if I were you - you want your story to appear as original as possible, without giving the impression that it was inspired by anything specific.

Chapter Eight! (Sorry I'm taking so long with betaing this...I'll try and work faster. :))
6/23/2012 c6 marceline the vampire queen
Ooh. Torture. And well-written torture, as well - unlike my reviews. They've descended from once-careful analysis into practically text-speak. Oh well...I hope they're still useful.

Anyway - the scene of interrogation was pretty well-done, showcasing Laurenz's violence and ruthlessness quite chillingly. I haven't heard about Louis before. He seems like a nicer person that Laurenz, though; he even hugs Jessica after she had a knife held to her throat. Why can't she be in love with him? Ah, Jessica, you masochist. Always go for the bad guy.

All in all, my only problem with this section was the fact that Jessica didn't seem to twig they were talking about her. Wouldn't phrases such as, "She's mine. She belongs to me. He can't have her," be a bit of a clue? Still, I suppose she might have thought there was another girl in Laurenz's life...maybe she doesn't understand his feelings for her just yet. Another thing: why are all vampires rapists?

"What is your game?" I'd screamed at him. "Leave me out of your pathetic affairs!"

...why can you never just say thanks?

Laurenz gazed at me silently, his neck-snapping hands loose at his sides. I rushed toward him and beat his chest with my fists, cursing him, screaming at him for dragging me into danger. Laurenz stood still, allowing me to hit him, knowing I couldn't and didn't really want to hurt him with my blows. I let out a sob and sank into his chest, whimpering and spluttering questions. I'd clung to his shirt desperately, and Laurenz took me into his arms again.

Those mood swings have returned.

And...they're going to have sex again. Finally! But what is this? Jessica doesn't want to have sex after all. Why not? Why is she telling herself that she doesn't want him when it's patently obvious that she does? I thought we were past all that.

At first, I really didn't like the idea of Laurenz using mind control on her - it felt like rape, and having a girl falling in love with her rapist - in a way that is neither satiric nor a product of indoctrination - just sends all the wrong messages. But that twist at the end! Fantastic. I wasn't expecting it at all, and that means it's a good twist. He's getting round her - proving that if she abandons her inhibitions, under all the denial she really does want him. Really good ending.

I'm sorry if my reviews so far have been sarcastic in places - it's not personal. I'm just in a bit of a sarcastic mood today.

Chapter Seven!
6/23/2012 c5 marceline the vampire queen
Just realised I left the review just now on my second account, Nameless Enigma. Oops. Well, it's me - sorry about that. :/

And we're back to the mood swings. I have to say, I like Jessica's "strong" personality much better than her "weak" personality. The thing that annoyed me most was this:

'He took hold of my chin and turned my face. He put his lips over mine so they just barely touched. "You don't have to say or think anything to give your feelings away, Jessica." His lips moved over mine ever so softly. "Your pulse does it for you."

I shoved him off of me and stood. I snarled in his face. "You're full of yourself, Laurenz. I hate you! I've always hated you! I have no feelings for you besides loathing and disgust."'

Then, a few paragraphs later:

'Laurenz was with another woman. The pale glow of their bodies was the only thing I could see. Tears gathered in my eyes. Their shapes contorted, but I still heard it-their passion. It sickened me. The woman moaned, and fury ripped through me. How could he? How could he ignore the one who would offer herself freely if only he asked? What had I done wrong? I choked back a sob and fled to my room.'

Make your mind up, Jessica! One minute, you hate him and you don't want him anywhere near you. Next, you're sobbing because he's sleeping with another woman. You wouldn't "offer yourself freely if he asked"; he asked you a couple of sentences earlier and you shoved him off and swore at him. Seriously, either you like the guy or you don't. But you can't expect Laurenz to hang around waiting for you to decide whether you want to have sex with him or not. Why are you feeling betrayed? You two aren't even together! (Well, that sort of depends on your interpretation of "together" but I definitely wouldn't say they're in a relationship yet.) You don't put a leash on a vampire, Jess!

So yeah, that was my main beef with this chapter.

"I didn't say you could move," he growled.

"I didn't say you could pierce me, but it looks like we're both going to have to deal."

Hehe. I liked that line.

Okay, so now she's given up denying it now: she lusts for the vampire. Finally, she admits it! And they're gonna have sex! It's happening! They're gonna...oh no, they aren't. Because he's broken her fingers and teleported away. What a mood-killer. And why did she ask him to stop? I thought she was the one initiating. I'm confused.

Um...well, I guess they've moved forwards a step in their relationship now. No more skipping between she hates him, she hates him not. Now the road is open for the relationship, or power play - and it's going to be turbulent.

Heading onto Chapter Six...
6/23/2012 c4 punkfaery
Aha! I see what you mean about the damsel-in-distress thing…

Okay, so she’s now terrified, in thrall to Laurenz and basically having a total nervous breakdown. Understandable, I guess, as she's now being turned to a full vampire; that's how most of us would react in that situation. But it's not much too much fun for your audience. Reading about a girl who constantly slinks around like a whipped puppy, flinching and whimpering is not that exciting. You would have thought she'd get used to him after 103 years. She doesn't have to let herself get pushed around by him all the time. She's stronger than that - in a previous chapter you stated that she nearly beat him in a sparring match. She should at least put up a bit of a fight.

It's good that you clarified her feelings towards him, though. I'm usually for "show don't tell" but in this case it was necessary. That's the thing; up until then I was thinking how unrealistic it was that she'd fall in love with him so suddenly and yet after such a long time. Despite your explanation, though, I'm still not happy with the way she's reacting in this situation. Right now, her sobbing breakdowns and cries of "I'm sorry! Please don't hurt me anymore! I'm pathetic - I will never make you happy!" are a huge climb-down from former chapters - she's lost that strength and become simply a dog that can be kicked. Why would she want to make him happy if he treats her like this? Her character has taken a dramatic swing, and as I've said before, it's important to ease into these things so the change is gradual. Laurenz is forcing her and exploiting her, and in a way - since he's clearly relishing her humiliation, and she's enjoying it anyway - it's a kind of sadomasochism. This is someone who beats her up, molests her There are definite hints of, "you can't rape the willing".

However, what would be interesting (not to mention an easier route, if you don't want to rewrite the story totally) would be to make that deliberate. Turning it into a form of Stockholm Sydrome would deepen the storyline and raise some important and controversial questions. Rather than focusing on a slightly pathetic, downtrodden heroine who allows herself to be misused by her sadistic captor, it could become a power play where he slowly begins to warp her mind, breaking down her independence until she is no longer herself but a possession of Laurenz's. That way, the question left hanging would be whether her love for him is genuine, or a product of Laurenz's twisted mental games. Lucy Christopher's novel "Stolen" has a similar theme. It describes a girl who is kidnapped and taken to a remote desert hideout by a man a few years older than she is. He refuses to let her go, as he sees her as a possession, but still shows her kindness and tells her he loves her. She begins the story as a rebellious character, and refuses to cooperate with her captor's plans, but the story focuses on her gradual breakdown of self as she is drawn deeper and deeper into his net. It's a love story, but with darker, more twisted undertones. I don't know if you want to go that dark, or even if that fits in with future chapters, but it might make the story more layered and allow more opportunities for character development.

...And Jessica passes out again. At least, I'm assuming she does.

Good news is that your writing is sophisticated, and your grammar and spelling seem okay too. It's just the characterisation that needs work. Again, I am sorry to have to be so harsh - it's merely my opinion. :)

Chapter Five...
6/14/2012 c31 xoxokristen
great story! I can't wait for more :)
6/12/2012 c31 Lilly
That was awsome. I loved it.
9/6/2011 c21 Wowza
Perfect, an other typical rape story.

NEW RATING: 2/10
9/5/2011 c16 Wowza
Great story, I'm just pissed that she's stupid enough to get back together with him, what girl does that, they'd have to be retarded! I'm guessing Jessica is...

RATING: 6/10
6/6/2011 c12 Shana2004
Ahh :D I ♥ this again xD
6/6/2011 c11 Shana2004
Ohhh I ♥ this :D
5/25/2011 c10 Shana2004
All I can do is xD♥
5/23/2011 c8 Shana2004
Gah! I wouldn't want to be called princess. Anyway nice♥ chapter.
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