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for I Never Said I Was Brave

10/13/2011 c23 v-n-ll-y
Hmm, well it would appear vampire bloodthirst really is like tripping o.o

I do like how you wrote it though, it certainly conveys that sense of hallucination and delirium. Plus they were all like, loopy and stuff...

It was kind of interesting when Jude's magic left him though. It's a really good way of showing the psychological conflict.

It did get a little grotesque with all the people dying and blood and stuff, but that's kind of a given when there are vampires running around.

I'll have to say this didn't feel like one of the better chapters, but it's not necessarily bad. Just that you've written some really good chapters prior to this one.
10/13/2011 c23 6Devil's Playground
I'm all caught up again, finally! :D

Ahh yesss another Jude chapter. I love the narration style you have going with him. As always, your language is so beautiful and chaotic and so fitting. I loved the mixed images and sounds at the beginning, the blend of what is actually happening with his memory. I really loved the lines about "breathing club" and the howling of the wolves changing into distorted synth punk. And Charlotte's name showing up in his jumbled thoughts is really cool, as well. And how the enchantment breaking and his worry for Charlotte is enough to pull him back into reality, ahh. Even unintentionally, she seems to have so much power over Jude already.

The disorientation and confusion of the memory with reality is really well written - if that's how Jude experiences things, well hell, no wonder he goes a bit vampire-crazy from time to time. Oh, and I really like how he has bits and pieces of the past even when he's pretty firmly anchored in reality - the use of tastes, smells, etc. is really well done.

The fight scene is so well written, too. The pacing is spot-on and you have some really great, violent imagery. And then that mixed with the crazy club imagery and his lust - aah it's just so well done! You write everything so well, I could gush on and on about how much I love your style. x_x It's so unique and so powerful.

And I love that you follow that crazy out-of-control Jude scene with the one of him arguing with his magic, the ending of which is so sweet and almost childlike. It's like a little kid who is embarrassed about apologizing for something, d'aww. And I love how he so frequently argues with his magic despite his insistence that they're the same person to Charlotte.

Aaah, I love the way you write Jude "sharing" his trip as well - and the fact that you call it a trip, and relate blood to drugs for the vampires. Very cool concept. And the Ephraim-Jude bonding at the end is very interesting and aww. I'm glad that each of them could have at least a moment of bonding and understanding - I think they need that.

Oh boy, although those shifters turned out to be okay with Kit, I doubt they're going to react well to the two vampires showing up... can't wait to see where this goes! Eagerly awaiting the next update (:!
10/13/2011 c22 Devil's Playground
"Learning Chiromancy."

"In your spare time," I clarified, still watching Ephraim pile the dirt.

Jude paused. "Learning Chiromancy," his magic overlapped. - Oh man, laughed out loud at this part. xD Poor Charlotte, compared to the rest of them she's just so... normal! I loved that whole scene and how it showed the contrast between all of them, haha.

I really like how Charlotte repeatedly tries not to think about or look at Jude - and is clearly failing. Cuuuute.

Ahh, the scene with the shifters and the two of them hiding behind Jude's spell was so well done. I really liked the pacing, and having it from Charlotte's point of view, unable to understand what they were saying, really helped build up tension. And then when Kit started translating right before they were about to shoot - aah! I was on the edge of my seat that whole time.

The entire tragedian fairy-tale I had built surrounding his undying love for Margot vanished along with any further respect I'd had for him. - Ahaha. I love this line, and I'm definitely with her on the first one. xD I also like how Kit was trying to use her as a shield and everything, heh.

Margot, dead? D: No! She can't be dead! Must... read... more!

Caught one typo: witch eyes, brimming with aura and magic, both pair[s] opaque blue.
10/13/2011 c21 Devil's Playground
I love the opening few paragraphs, and the contrast between how Kit and Charlotte get more tense while Jude "comes alive" at nightfall. The little details Charlotte notices about Jude and his magic are also really well done. I especially loved her noticing the subtle words and hand motions that accompany him using spells.

And I love seeing Jude using his magic in a more subtle, playful kind of way rather than using it for destruction. It shows another side of him, and of his magic. And the scene with both of them changing the colors of the fire was so great - it's so sweet and the imagery/associations you use with each color is brilliant!

And ahh the dialogue with Kit is so well done. Kit really is pretty tricksy, eh? The thought of Charlotte using Jude is so sad because I adore him, but at the same time... Kit does have a point, Jude can't even control himself, so it could save them all if she had some control over him... eghhh. Sticky situation. And Charlotte's insight into Kit's motivation and how he "knows the weapon well" is so good, I love those details and how her view of Kit changes.

And oh man, the Charlotte/Jude scene was so damn good. Like... seriously. Wow. I loved that scene, and your writing was so poetic and so powerful and it really added to the moment. And the fact that it was preceded with her conversation with Kit just adds so much more complication to the scene and aahh. So good. I really loved the line about Jude's innocent - so cute! And the last few lines, of course, were just perfect. Loved this chapter!
10/13/2011 c14 5Dr. Self Destruct
There was something I forgot to mention about the last chapter that I really liked! And for some reason it popped into my head while I was driving home from work - I have no idea why. My brain is fucking weird...

I thought it was adorable how Margot called Kit 'Kitty'. With every chapter he narrates, I can't help but feel him warming up to the reader and exposing himself for what he really is deep down inside. He really gives me the impression of someone that WANTS to be mean and bad, possibly important, considering how his epic really stirred the war into action, but he isn't that type of person. And I haven't really detected any self-loathing from him in regards to this thus far, which I think is really cool. He actually seems to take pride in running away (sometimes) or is a bit indifferent about the whole thing. At least, that's what I gather from him at this point - I don't know if it's going to stay this way forever. After all, Kit seems like an emotional person who bottles things up inside, and I don't think he'd be able to just forget about the war he left and not be fazed. Maybe as of right now the guilt hasn't gotten to him yet (or not enough to really impact his narration), but I have a feeling it's coming. He acts so composed most of the time (at least more than Charlotte and Jude), and I'm waiting for the moment he isn't going to be able to take it anymore. After all, he's had a pretty rough past... being all alone and all... an enemy, a traitor, and Margot being dead (I think she is, anyway).

Your characters are so fun to analyze. c:

Okay, I should probably start reading. xD

[Not once did we stop to ask ourselves why we were making such an effort for Jude. Not once did we question our motives or even remark to one another that it would be better to leave him, safer, at least.]

Here is where I'm really starting to sense some deep, strange type of bond between the three of them. It's not really friendship (as of yet), nor is it trust (well, maybe Charlotte and Kit are a bit trusting of each other), but more an acceptance that these three people are being hunted. When in this situation, they need to hold onto whatever they can - most importantly each other. I think this type of bond really digs deep into people, and after everything is over, brings them together with an understanding that is deeper than friendship: survival. With more numbers they're stronger, so it's only natural for them to stick together.

I like how you recount the fight from the last chapter with Charlotte telling the story. You do a great job with displaying her emotion through her dialogue, and there's a lot of character development from these paragraphs. Especially with how she was willing to shoot her own people to help Kit and Jude. I can imagine how shaken up she is about all this, and now I'm really excited to read her next chapters because I want to see how she feels about these two guys after having saved their lives and betrayed her own people. She's got a lot of guts doing that, I gotta admit.

[—if Charlotte was crying—then perhaps there wasn't much hope left for me, or anyone.]

Really liked this. It says a lot about how Kit now views her: very strong, determined, impossible to crack.

["Oh, sweet Charlotte, if my magic put a spell on you— it would be one to shut you up!" I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I don't mean it.]

So what I gather from this is that Jude tries to act like some big bad-ass motherfucker, but his magic betrays him (sometimes) and what he's really thinking, like feeling bad for what Charlotte had to do to set them free. Jude definitely has the personality where he tries to hide behind sarcasm and apathy - I blame this on his upbringing and his reputation. I can't wait to see him and Charlotte start to warm up to each other; I bet that'll be a huge hurdle to cross. I'm excited to see that, and I love their arguments. They're always so fun to read. xD

["No, you're right," I said, "get the fuck out," or I'll kill you, brother.]

This line of dialogue confused me for a moment, because I thought it was Kit speaking since there was an 'I said', but I noticed it was in italics, so then I realized it was Jude's magic speaking while he was talking. You might want to put a break in there and just clarify that's exactly what's happening, because the 'I said' kinda threw me off a little. The rest of the dialogue in this conversation is great, though. You really know how to pack emotion into your dialogue without a need for excessive speaker tags, and that's always a good thing.

Oooooh, so here's Ephraim. A very interesting character. I really enjoyed how wacked out he is, haha, as mean as that might sound. I'm assuming, since he's in this story later as well, he somewhat regains his composure. I'll be excited to see him again in the future and find out what exactly happened to him. :3 From the sounds of it, he's a shifter/vampire, considering he was a Fury and now he's a vampire. Looks like the witches have been experimenting on more people than just Jude. I wanna see a witch/shifter next. :O

Good chapter, though not much happened, I think there was a huge amount of character development, and their conversations definitely kept me entertained throughout! Looking forward to more. :3
10/13/2011 c1 1Miryo
First off, very interesting title. I love it.

Second - I love that your protagonist is a writer. It's so different and refreshing.

I'm not going to bother pointing out grammatical errors, since you have nearly a thousand reviews; I'm going to venture a guess that at least one or two have pointed out the same ones I intended to.

You're off to a good start. I'm already endeared to the main character, and you interweave action, dialogue, and description all into the story seamlessly. I'm really intrigued by the concept of a writer protagonist in a fantasy novel, so I can't wait to see where this is headed.
10/13/2011 c23 18Stephanie M. Moore
" they were people, pressing, hand branches."

I think perhaps "they" was meant to be "there." Based on the sentence structure, I believe "there" is what you intended, but the other isn't necessarily incorrect.

Ephraim's shape is a bat? That's so perfect, very nice.

I thought that the rapid back-and-forth between dream and reality was effective. It feels like a technique you see a lot in the movies, and that's kind of how the scene played out in my mind. Using the club as Jude's memory really helped. Between the psychodelic lights and the pounding music, it definitely encourages the sort of chaos and confusion that Jude experienced.

And I feel like you drew it back at the right time. Jude's conversation with his magic was very revealing. The way your writing shifted seemed to show that he was in control. And I like that his magic is a romantic, lol.

I'm a little confused by the ending. Jude is on a blood high... and he is hunting. But I thought he had returned to his senses. And it seemed like he was looking for Charlotte at the end, but him and Ephraim are together. If I followed everything correctly, then Jude's shared high with Ephraim has set him off.

I'm sure the next chapter will clarify.

Another wonderful chapter. Update soon!
10/13/2011 c22 Stephanie M. Moore
"Every time he overcame one tempt..."

I think you mean temptation.

Never fear! I understood what was going on.

I like the fact that you are exploring Achitophel's past, because apparently it is a complicated one. Charlotte's feeling of betrayal is, of course, justified, especially after his pining for Margot. Not to mention how bewildered she probably is by the entire situation.

The development of Charlotte and Jude's relationship is an interesting one. So far, it's more of a subtle bond with the magic, but I thin that's for the best. Those feelings give their relationship a normal feeling (minus the magic.)

It's really interesting to leave this story for a while and then return to it. Your writing style fits the mood and everything. Seriously, I could just gush about it. I know that you had some complaints from people who didn't "get" it, but I thought this chapter was lovely.

Onto the next one!
10/12/2011 c1 cerebral1
Return review: from the RH.

This is a new genre to me; I never read fantasy/supernatural, so I am a blank slate.

I like how we are told right away the narrator is a shapeshifter. Cuts away any confusion. I also liked the witch having to explain what the writing is: "I believe it's a poem..." I just found that humorous.

I also liked the line: "A literate savage-indeed this is a special catch." Should there be a comma after 'indeed'?

The narrative got a little long for me, causing me to skip, but

when I forced myself to go back through and read it, it was very informative and flowed well; I'm just more of a conversation buff.

I like the personification in the line, "How dare you, the looming trees seemed to whisper."

"How curious, I had never seen anything cower from the likes of me." Not sure, but I think a period or semicolon goes after 'curious'.

"Her eyes were the deepest of blues, so less chilling than the witch general's.' Did you mean 'no' less chilling than the witch general's ?

"When I'd woke from their inflicted unconsciousness..." Isn't it 'woken'?

"In the separate cell, the displaced witch tensed, his magic hummed." Again, there should be a semicolon instead of a comma;combining two complete thoughts.

Lastly, in one place you use italics for the narrator's other language, yet near the end you don't use italics. One way or the other should be chosen, for consistency's sake. I like the italics, but it's personal preference.

All in all, a very strong start, with beautiful imagery and interesting characters. With so many reviews, I'm sure most everything has already been covered! :)
10/12/2011 c13 5Dr. Self Destruct
Ah, we're back in Kit's head. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but I really enjoy the different perspectives you give this story, and how varying the three main characters are in both their narrative/inner monologue/personality. And I like them all for their own little quirks. It's great that I can go through this and not be disappointed that we're reading it from a certain character again, like I'm never thinking to myself 'ugh, here's Kit, but I wanted more Jude'. In fact, it's quite the opposite - I get very excited for the next character to make their appearance again. I think that can be a very hard thing to do, especially in a story that's told by multiple people, but you pull it off very well. I also enjoy the structure behind the chapters, how you give them each two chapters to tell their side, because I think it's better than giving them just one, or skipping around randomly - I'm a child of order, hate to admit. Though, if you did decide to toss some chaos into the order of narrators, it still probably wouldn't faze me near the end - that's how well you do with slipping into their heads. I envy your ability to hold onto so many different personalities (I'm including Ludwig in here too, since you're writing Deck while you write this) and keep them all straight. I'd get sooo confused, haha. Which also makes me wonder: do you ever get disappointed you have to switch perspectives? Like, do you ever get to the cusp of something monumental with one of them, and then have to switch? I bet that's annoying if so.

Anyways, enough gushing. I should probably actually start reading this, haha. xD

Oh damn, this part with Eddy betraying them in front of Alphonse's men is very powerful. The way Kit talks about being afraid of the men shooting him and then leaving Jude to finish him off - erck, I really hope he doesn't turn into a Jude-snack.

[There was only one way those threads of black magic were wrapped on his skin.]

This is a really cool image, I'm glad you brought it back up again. I think it makes Alphonse appear all the more intimidating. Also, I like how the humans in this aren't all sissy and powerless. Usually when there's a movie with humans and vampire/werewolves/other supernatural creatures, the humans always end up as nothing more than cannon fodder. But you have some very powerful mortal forces in here, and I like that... no matter if they have to hide behind guns. Though, I am sad that the humans are turning out to be the bad guys (at least from the main character's perspectives). Hopefully they'll stumble across some that aren't such assholes.

[And, Wicked had explained, there were his glasses from Whitman.

I had them in my back pocket now.]

Kit must wear them because they make him look sophisticated. All he needs now is a monocle and top-hat. xD

[Wicked started laughing.

Eddy hit him with her magic, so hard he fell on his hands and knees, but he just laughed harder.]

Haha, did I already mention how much I love Jude? He's just such a bad ass.

Damn, now I'm really starting to like Kit as well, especially after his conversation with Eddy. His mention of respecting women was great, and then how he's sure his lover and her possible 'new' lover would have room in their bed for another, haha. This makes me wonder if the shape shifters live as free lovers - and I enjoy that idea. If they do, I really envy them...

I like how different you make each and every one of these races, especially how attuned to nature the shape shifters are. You have a very firm understanding of their cultures, and the amount of thought you put into it is commendable. I'll be very excited to see more of them.

[Wicked, with only a thin shielding spell left, started to crawl towards Alphonse with Faal's smile.]

Faal's smile makes me think of Dracula... which makes me think of Alucard. Omigosh. :O

["My new shirt! My new fucking shirt. Fucking—fuck!"]

Ahahaha... I hate when that happens. xD

Poor, poor Jude. Always feinting. And talking to himself. He better be careful, people are going to think he's a loon.

You know... because they don't think already, amirite? ;D

I really enjoyed this chapter! Lots of action, and although Kit was passed out for most of it, I think it builds this tension in the reader that makes them really hungry to learn what happened, or gives them the ability to fill in the gaps for themselves. Jude mentioning that what Charlotte did was beautiful makes me wonder if she somehow got a gun from one of the men and let loose on them... and then the hint of the fight between Jude and Eddy - damns, I can only imagine how that went. I hope we get to learn more about it - I'm always a sucker for violence and epic battles. c:
10/12/2011 c16 13Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu
I swear this review should be a damn long time coming. Apparently, having my current day job screwing me ten times over for the schedule is really damn taxing. Came back from work, can't focus on anything apart from reading random articles and checking my email. Yes this is a bloody broken English from me and it really shows how much my brain has gone bzt. x.x

Okay enough of the ranting. Let me see how far I can go on this one. I swear that I owe you big time on the reviewing front and I DON'T mean the entire review exchange aspect. -.- Firstly I don't know if I'm seeing things or not, but apparently given what I've remembered between Eddy and Al, it seems that their relationship is pretty much... unhinged. It's like I know the basic concept, but somehow or another, it ended up having something perfectly rational descending into an outright primal insanity. I'm not too sure if it's grief or something much more insidious, but I truly doubt we'll see the last of Eddy. I don't know. This is just my guess.

Also one question on Ephraim: Is he confirmed as part of the vital side cast at this point of time? I remember him starting off as some random sod who has gone shit outta luck, but apparently the shift of favour has gone to his side if there's anything to go by from this chapter. My memory is rather hazy on this end, but if I'm spot on, he has never gotten much screen time all the while. But yet via his impact on this chapter, I think you might have grand plans for him. It's pretty much like the super sub concept in any given football match where upon put on the field from the bench, that crazy sod could just win you the match due to the very decision to put him into the pitch. And yes, football as in the standard meaning, not the US version. Sorry for that politically incorrect statement lol. :D

As for Charlotte, I'm not too sure why, but it seems that I'm starting to see a subtle development in her character. I remember that she didn't get along well with Jude and Achitophel, but yet by the end of this chapter (or should I say arc?), it seems that she has gotten a new sense of acceptance on those traveling with her. Read: At the very least she's willing to see them as comrades even though everything at the moment is still hinging on self survival on everybody's front.

As for Jude, it's pretty much interesting that compared to all the previous chapters, he seems so much more sane. I don't know if it's the breaking of the Catcher or not, but I can sense that via whatever Charlotte has seen after she broke Catcher so as to speak, it's pretty much apparent that compared to the rest of the cast so far, he's the one with a very real show of idealism. In fact if it's a given that he used to be your everyday guy chasing the dream, then it really says a lot on how much he valued all that he has lost via the very show of his character all the while. It's pretty much like Emiya Kiritsugu of Fate Zero (gonna hit the torrents asap once the shit comes out. I know bloody well that ufotable won't let any torrents of it's stuff live for long. Kara no Kyoukai was a lucky fluke of roulette so as to speak. Never mind the fact that all the efforts for the gamble actually paid off). Well you know the type of guy who ended up being broken by his own dreams due to the cruelty called reality.

And now I think I need to ask you this question: When you did that memory influx scene, have you ever considered fleshing out the entire chaotic feel beforehand? I need to ask this because I don't want to make an ass out of myself for asking stuff that you've already got in mind beforehand. Basically when I saw that brief maelstrom of his past, I do have this impression that either you've got the entire transition planned out to hide a major plot point or it could be possible that the imagery wasn't enough impact wise.

If it's the latter, then I think maybe you need to play up the entire chaotic ante in Charlotte's mind. While it's true that she couldn't explain it via a rational concept, I actually think that in terms of the raw emotional front, you don't have to hold back. Actually I've just discovered that doing things via a portrayal of random stuff going way beyond rationality itself can be really fun. In fact I've started to embark on this high end journey in my latest chapter for A Ranger's Tale. only catch is that the process is still pretty much a trial and error where I can only know the extent of the effects upon receiving the review feedback. T_T

- From that long forgotten sod in RH aka that stupid S.O.B who should have reviewed much earlier. -.-
10/11/2011 c4 12Deedee Elle
Hi from Review Game.

I know I started reading this then I sort of forgot about it so I can't remember where I reviewed up to. Anyway, I've read back through the earlier chapters to get up to speed.

I'm glad you title your chapters with the identity of the narrator as it makes it easy to pick up the threads, your writing style is quite similar for both characters so far.

I like the way her memories intermingle with the present as she walks through the rooms, picturing them how they used to look, smell and so on. I think they would work as effectively if they were italicised though.

As a Spinal Tap fan I was expecting this

'No, everything was just blank.

More blankness, more hallow dark.'

to be followed with 'non more black'.

I thought the change of pace when Charlotte encountered the vampire was well handled and the change again when it was not Achitophel behind was a surprise.

I loved the way you took such pains to describe Al's appearance- then punctured it with Charlotte's assessment of him, a nice touch of humour. The setup gets more interesting as you introduce these new characters, especially with the hints about their latest prisoner. I like the fact that the humans seem as morally ambiguous as the other races with their stage and cages.

Great cliffhanger!
10/10/2011 c1 3WideEyedInnocence
You write very well, very maturely. The scene here is well-described, and I can picture it perfectly. You are very imaginative to come up with such an elaborate and complex plot . I'd read a book of yours:)
10/10/2011 c12 2Viera Wing
Hmm, I don't really know what to say for the previous chapter. It sounded chaotic to me, which I think is what you were going for, so that's good. No love or hate for that part. It's just so Jude! It gets me to where I want (interest factor, plot point, and whatever that gets a story going). Eddy is an interesting character. She seems powerful that even Jude controls himself a bit with her, even when in vampire mode.

In this chapter, a big turn-around for Jude, huh? It seems like he gets chaotic when the vampire side is stronger, when he's thirsty. Then after, his more controlled witch's side takes over. But yeah, vampires in this story are like the feral, animalistic creatures. I think I'm reading this right, if not...heh. Anyway, curious to see what a controlled vampire's going to lead to.
10/10/2011 c1 5Whirlymerle
No better place to start than the beginning, then!

[His eyes were a supernatural glowing blue] Ooh, pretty. The imagery's vivid; I can imagine how captivating they must be, especially in contrast with his dirty face. And I like the idea that they're tied with the witch's magic.

[I killed with my words.] I love this, especially compared to above, when the narrator says he trembles. I'm guessing that this ties with your title? I can completely see how a writer could wield so much power—it's why certain books are censored in authoritarian times/countries, or challenged, after all. That one paragraph makes him seem rather ruthless to me, before he was captured. Yet, based on how the narrator's acting now, it's like he almost hides behind his pen?

[And when it came time for me to live up to my heroic ideals—I was one of the first to dodge the draft] Ope, guess I was right. Aww yeah, draft dodger. Well, bravery isn't necessarily smart… And that explains the content of his poem!

Oh, so he's a dog! I'm not yet sure if a clan of shifters all shift into one animal, like a hereditary thing, but I think the dog-identity is nicely ambiguous. Dogs can be totally fierce and loyal, but then, you also have the dog with his tail between his legs, which is how the narrator seems like now. Wonder if that indicates room for transformation.

I think I got ahead of myself. I guess he's capable of a number of forms?

I really, really enjoyed reading this. The part where the narrator mentions how the human girl reminds him of his sister made me sad. :( I don't know how I feel, or should feel about him. On the one hand, he's a character who's brandished pretty words to fuel the fire of his fellow shifters, yet, is in reality, completely cowardly—until the very end, but even then, he's fueled by his desire for fame as much as his need to write good poetry. On the other hand, the state he's in right now is completely pitiable.

What I'm getting now from the human girl is that she's rather innocent or naïve, if only because of her curious nature with the narrator's language, and how she doesn't have a tough girl persona. But then, there's the question of how she ended up in that cell, since the narrator points out that witches don't usually keep humans for long, so there's clearly something special/different about her. Then there's the other witch. Overall, they make an interesting trio, and I definitely want to know where this will be going!

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