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for I Never Said I Was Brave

2/9/2013 c14 1k+Faithless Juliet
Okay, so this chapter made much more sense that the last one. From Charlotte’s explanation to Achi about what happened it all makes much more sense now.

I remember earlier right before Jude lost his powers that he and Charlotte had a confrontational conversation, and my interest was piqued about what that all meant, but I didn’t comment on it. I liked how you embraced that in this chapter, and explained in more detail about their past. I also liked how both characters were conflicted, and how you showed what they were saying, but also the contradictory response that Jude’s magic was stated, and Charlotte ignoring that. When you fight like that, you’re almost always saying something that you don’t mean, but you say it anyway thinking that the other person will hear you.

Also liked the introduction of Ephraim. He seems like a strange and unpredictable one.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c13 Faithless Juliet
Thank you for the reminder of who is who in the beginning of the chapter because it was used, and needed :)

I hate to say it but this chapter really *really* confused me. Your title is listed as Shapeshifter that in the past I could also identify who was speaking from that, but I feel like a lot of the narrative was from Jude’s POV? It was really confusing, and even after re-reading parts I’m still not completely clear on what happened.

I think, Jude lost his magic, and Achi went inside his head? Kind of like switching bodies? And Charlotte could see only part of what happened. Eddy also got mad at Achi and tried to hurt him, but Jude got in the way and lost his magic. That’s what I took away from it…

Much love,
2/9/2013 c12 Faithless Juliet
First off, it was really helpful that you put a character list of who’s who for Jude’s family in this chap. I actually think the best place for it would have been the chapter where Jude loses his magic, which was a couple of chaps ago.

I took Jude’s mother’s name (Sybil) is another play in Greco post-Romanisms – Sybil is a traditional name for an oracle, or seer, although I don’t think it’s spelled this way, I want to say it’s with a “C”

I feel like this is the first “action” based chapter in a long time – not a bad thing, just an observation, but I like how this one essentially gets the story moving forward again. There’s really only been a handful of “action” moments in this story, and so far, I would put it (as a whole) in the character-based story, not action. First we have Achi and Charlotte’s escape (action 1) then Jude loses his magic (action 2) and the third action I would have to give to Jude’s dream a few chapters ago.

I would say a traditional story is set up as: Part One – introduce your characters. Part Two – get them into trouble. Part Three – get them out of trouble. The End. But I feel like we haven’t really gotten to part two yet. Although your story is completely original so far, so I have to assume that it will play by no traditional rules now.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c11 Faithless Juliet
Well, that was a fun read through…

Seriously though, it wasn’t *that* bad. I understand it in a way that someone else might not, and I think, in a way that’s really good. Each reader will pick up on a different snippet and keep that, and therefore the chapter will embody that.

I think Jude is my favorite character so far. He’s just so interesting. I mean the other characters are good, but Jude has eight dimensions of personality, where Charlotte, and Achi have four or five. Jude is not who I would call evil, or saintly, or good, or bad, he just is. You show his mistakes, and his heartache. He contradicts himself, but it a normal-everyday-real-world contradictive way, that makes sense. It’s a truth that the reader can latch onto and helps them travel throughout the story.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c10 Faithless Juliet
“A Knight to Kill." – Not only is this a clever play on words, but I also like the hidden meaning there. A woman is supposed to (in a traditional sense) be saved by the knight, but if the woman kills the knight is she not alone, essentially, while also being empowered?

Interesting chapter. I liked the appearance of Eddy, it will be interesting to see more of her, she seems like a complex character. I do want to point out that you have a couple of similar names floating around in this story. Ellie and Eddy – Ellie I believe is Jude’s sister, but at this point I can’t be sure. You also have Margot, and Margene, and they both sound similar. I also think it’s strange that Achi and Margene are siblings just in the sense that they’re names are so different, it just seems a little strange.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c9 Faithless Juliet
This could very well mean nothing, but here’s my theory on “Isolde&Isaac” first Isolde is the tragic Arthurian character, doomed for her love for Tristan (also a mirror for Lancelot and Guinevere (also a Freudian opera by Wagner)) and Isaac is the son of Abraham, meant to be slaughtered by his father. Now, “Isolde&Isaac” may very well mean nothing, but… it could also mean *something*

I could also be over thinking that as well…

I am starting to notice that the chapters are getting more and more stylistic as I read on. Compared to chapter one, this is about as complete a 360 degree turn as you can get. Both are very good, but in different ways. I will say though that is hard to keep up with what’s happening, mainly because there’s not a 3rd party describing voice to make sure the reader understands the action. As is, it’s going mostly through 1st person, with shifting back and forth between memory and reality so it’s easier to get lost.

2/9/2013 c8 Faithless Juliet
“he was thankfully not concentrating on eating me or Charlotte.” – the way that you’ve worded this fits with the voice and style that you’ve already used, but you might want to think about going with: Charlotte and I.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I also noticed ‘Cypress’ is the name of the country they live in, whereas Uptown is the town, Heaven is the district (hope I got that right) but you’re use of Cypress (like the tree) reminds me of Cyprus (the island) which is in the Mediterranean, also near Greece – again, fitting with the neo-roman society.

You’ve mentioned the phrase ‘kit’ a couple of times already, and you haven’t yet explained what it means. With the contents that its being used it makes me think it’s a derogatory racial slur? Can’t be sure though.

I’m a little bit confused by the ending of this chapter. Did Jude kill Margot, who was in fact Achi’s wife? It’s a little bit hard to tell what is really happening verses what’s happening in the mind. Keeping track of the recollections or the reality can be confusing.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c7 Faithless Juliet
“Because I spent most of my time in human form, it was exceedingly difficult for me to keep my humanity in a different form.” – I would change one of those ‘forms’ to other word, it sound jarring when you read it the first time.

I really like the way these characters are evolving together. They’re certainly a motley-crew of renegades. I’m seeing the beginning hints of a relationship between Charlotte and Achi, which is doable, but it might act as a deterrent for what you’ve already created. I don’t feel like this is a *love* story so to speak, mainly because it’s so unconventionally, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t work, hmm… we’ll have to see.

I also like the bromance angle that you give Achi and Jude at the end. Ultimately out of all of the characters they have the most in common with one another, being that they’re supernatural, and I like how they mirror each other. No side is purely good or evil, and there is good and evil in each of the characters. The situation could go either way at this point.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c6 Faithless Juliet
Strangely, one of the things that attracts me most about this chapter is the fact that Jude (a male) has such reverence for Gaia (a female god) THAT is so striking to me. I know I’ve read things and elements in other stories of this kind before reading this one, but I really enjoyed the way you’re utilizing it here. How does a man worship a female god? In our misogynistic modern western culture it’s a foreign concept. And maybe I’m attracted to it because I’m a feminist, but I think it’s a true concept here. It would be natural for Jude to see her as a lover figure, a mother figure, and a powerful god (god should be a unisex word, you shouldn’t have to feminize it with ess, in my humble opinion, but tragically women DON’T rule the world) maybe I’m seeing what I want to see, but I hope that kind of what you were going for.

I would say this chapter is the strongest that I’ve read so far. Jude’s narrative is striking, and the style that you utilize equally so. The only thing I don’t care for was starting a sentence in lowercase, I just think it’s too weird in formatting like this; e.e. cummings was really the only one would could pull it off correctly, and whenever I see it now, it always feels off.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c5 Faithless Juliet
“Oh my Gaia, this is beautiful…” – more roman and greek influences.

I think everything that you’ve already showed her ultimately fits very nicely with “Howl” – angel headed hipsters? I think that’s one of his gems.

I liked Jude’s perspective in this chapter, and I like how easily it is to identify which character we’re experiencing the story through because the styles are all so different. Achi (I’m going to call him that for ease of spelling) is very formal, and even a bit subtle in how he experence things, I would use the phrase “still waters run deep” with that one. Charlotte is very chaotic, almost like she has post-traumatic ADD, and Jude is just seething with an undercurrent of contempt. All very different, and all very attractive for the reader to immerse themselves with.

I’m really enjoying all of the conflicting elements here. It seems current but you utilize a lot of ancient mythologies. The world that you created is so full, and striking, and three dimensional.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c4 Faithless Juliet
Forgot to mention this in the last review, but I love the name you’ve chosen for you male character: Achitophel. It really goes with the earlier post-roman, homer aspects that I mentioned. LOVING IT.

This chapter is definitely the darkest of all of them so far. I read your disclaimer at the beginning and I really like how you experiment with your pieces. There’s subtle differences in this than the last chapter, but it would still work as a collective whole. It kind of reminded me of “The Sound and the Fury” narration-style, where you can go into the mind of the protagonist and experience the action in ‘real time’

I’m also enjoying some of the back/secondary angles. The book ‘Margot’ for one fascinates me. It makes me think of Dumas novel of the same name, though I can’t say for sure at this point if it will have any reflections of that book. I also like the feminist angle of an epic book with a woman’s name as the title. When you talk about the power of Achitophel’s writing it makes me think of an archetypal, and even allegorical statement. I also like the idea of the royal family, and the second/first sons. You have a lot of twists and turns already, and I can only imagine that more are to come.

Much love,
2/9/2013 c3 Faithless Juliet
I liked how you flipped your narration to the woman in this chapter, but having said that you also give us a lot of information in this chapter, and it was a little hard to keep up with what was happening at times. I also liked how the structure of this chapter reflected the narrator. She was constantly moving, changing directions, figuring a way out, and your sentences were short and clipped to mirror that. I also enjoyed how you made her (charlotte) a singer in a punk band, completely unexpected, and thoroughly original. The story breaks several conventional boundaries for what is fantasy, and what is reality, and I like how this seems to have the pulse on both ideas but moves seamlessly without being tethered to either.

Much Love,
2/9/2013 c2 Faithless Juliet
I’ve run across this story several times in the last few years, either in passing or through the threads, but for whatever reason I never got the chance to get around to reviewing it, even though I always wanted to. I saw that you’re essentially restarting with Holy the Dark (love the title btw) so I thought let’s give this a go :) Looks like I already reviewed chapter one (years ago I’m assuming,) but I probably have a different take on it now, so I’m going to combine one and two into ‘one’ review so you can get the feedback. I couldn’t find my original review, but there’s over a thousand reviews (OMG) so that doesn’t surprise me.

CHAPTER ONE: First off, I want to say that this is really good opener for your story. You don’t bombard the reader with too much information, but you give it to us slowly. I think what makes or breaks a story is the authors ability to trust the reader to just go with it, and I think you’ve done that here especially well.

I also really enjoyed the setting that you’ve give us. It reminds me of a neo-roman society, once resplendent in its art, and mastering of culture, but now it’s in its “Visigoths are approaching the walls” phase, and experiencing a huge transformation. I also really enjoyed your protagonist. Having the setting in mind, like I explained above made me view him as a Homer-esque character, writing his Iliad. They matched up – character and scene – flawlessly, and then of course you add the fantasy element which done in moderation as you have here dovetailed as well. On to the next chapter.

CHAPTER TWO: “I caught him hungrily staring at me, one eerie eye…” – this works as you’ve written it, but you may want to toy with the idea of changing it to: “I caught him staring at me hungrily…” it might work smoother.

I liked the character development in this chapter. Especially little details about the man’s shapshifting nature, and his need to pace. I also liked the notion of the girl applying her own make up, and the symbolism of the makeup as a mask? Or at least that’s what I took away from it.

We get a lot more action in this chapter as opposed to the last, which was enjoyable. I liked the idea of the “vampire” as an abomination. What I took away from your narration in that part was this was the first of its kind – something that had not been seen before vamp/witch hybrid – but I’m not sure if a vampire existed before this creation and this is just a new form, or if this is something entirely knew, so that will be interesting to see in the upcoming chapters.

Much love,
1/28/2013 c27 1Petals at dawn
I found your story through falling-star-awards. I'm really impressed! I hope to read more soon.
1/16/2013 c1 Fallingstar123
Hey. I'm Andrew from fallingstarawards. Our very own Lucy has reviewed your story, which will be posted on our blog shortly. If you would like to see it, ask us to take it down or have any comments please head over to fallingstarawards blogspot.
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