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5/4/2012 c25 1A. Gray
Yay! So this is really a review for the last chapter, but i want to do a more complete one for that once I read this through once more beginning to end.

So happy that ratter lived, and i could see you easily doing a little thing on just what happens to him once he gets separated. You could make it a little short story that would be cool.

I have to say the biggest question left hanging in my mind is about the monster owner bond. Specifically what would happen if like Anke aged and died of natural causes or an accident? what if she fell and died or something? Does the monster die too? Doe it transfer ownership to the next closet person? It would be another thing that would be interesting to explore.

Another avenue that you might explore in a short story is what happens to Roland after Anke leaves him to get Nolke.

I like how you make the distinction that the monster had never had an owner like Anke before, and I totally got what you meant without you having to spell it out. I loved that.

Overall I felt that this was the perfect ending to the story. It fit so well and gave us that happy bit, but it was very bittersweet. I think anything else wouldn't have pulled together everything to let it end so nicely while still giving you the lovely option of a sequel if wanted.

The last thing I can think of at this moment is I was curious how this creature of massive death and destruction could heal Roland, but it was nice to have that and the question of how the city recovers from this left in my mind. It gives me something to mule over, and I think the best stories leave you with not all of the strings tied. It's nice to have a thing to ponder, and it will bring me back to read this time and time again.

I think that's it for now, but I will review again after I have read this through beginning to end. Once more a great story! I loved it!
5/4/2012 c6 1mingsquared
Wow this Sivan character is fast isn't he? He sure is an interesting one, and I wonder how Anke's relationship with him is going to play out. Does he simply just like her, or is there another reason he's going so far to win her over. I wonder...

Excellent cliffhanger there, I'll definitely read more when I have time.
5/4/2012 c25 13VelvetyCheerio
I am so effing glad Roldan is alive you don't even know.

This is definitely felt like a winding down chapter to me. I literally sighed in relief after Anke found Roldan. If anything happens in the next chapter, at least I can feel good knowing they are safe at the moment.

I will say that I sensed a change in the writing style. Maybe it's always been this way and I never noticed, but I really liked this chapter. It sort of follows in style with the previous one.

Short, but I loved it. I'm a little sad there's only one chapter left. I can't imagine what could happen after all this...

5/3/2012 c3 99Dreamers-Requiem
Not that I wasn't before, but I am like super hooked to this now. I loved the descriptions of the monster; very unique, different and Lovecraftian (from what little I know of Lovecraft, anyway :P). It's interesting to see something like this, as opposed to vampires, zombies, etc. And a shifter, too. Interesting. I like how she doesn't seem too bothered by the idea of a werewolf or shifter, like it's either something she's used to or she is well aware she has bigger things to worry about at that time. And Rolden...I can't help but feel he's hiding something, that he's keeping something from Anke. Their relationship is interesting, and I find myself full of questions about them, so good job in creating that. Overall, awesome stuff, sorry I don't have any critique.
5/2/2012 c1 82Solemn Coyote
No review return required. I'm reviewing because you author-alert'd me, and as a way to say thanks for reading my stuff. :)

1) "the squeal of mice was more often their lullaby than dogs outside." than the dogs outside

2) I love the characters' names.

3) You've got a great cadence to your prose. Really good, strong, distinct voice.

4) Right from the get-go, wonderful characterization.

5) "Ratter had worked his way into the house through sheer terrier initiative." that's a fantastic line

6) "Unlike Ratter, Picket was well-bred, a fawn-colored mastiff" needs a colon or semicolon after well-bred

7) Okay, reviewer-objectivity is shot. I love this thing. You'll have to content yourself with a few grammatical nitpicks, because I don't have anything else critical to say about this piece. You've got an excellent start to a story here.

4/30/2012 c2 TankNLegs
Well that's a very interesting way to start the chapter, everything (maybe not EVERYTHING) I knew about Roldan is a lie, but I like the extra layer of personality you've given him. Vieth is their last name right, because the town is Tover so that can't be it either.

Whoa whoa whoa, the ending has thrown me for a loop. At this time on the boardwalks which are not too far from the docks it seems unlikely that she would be all alone. I feel like maybe she should be somewhere a bit more out of the way, a boardwalk seems like a place where one isn't likely to get attacked.

Other than Roldan there wasn't much for character development here, I would like to know about the town's customs and traditions. From what Anke says she didn't necessarily want to marry Roldan and so I sort of wonder if she had no choice in accepting him. This chapter was full of questions which I think is pretty good for earlier questions.
4/30/2012 c1 TankNLegs
"eyes watchful and a growl at the ready should the strays outside grow too close." They're inside right? So why would the dog be so protective if there's a whole wall protecting them? Is this just because he's a dog or will this mean something later?

"and the question irritated her" Do you mean the answer, not the question? It wouldn't make sense for the question to irritate her since she asks the question herself.

I don't know how to feel about the dogs being so important in the story. I mean it's creative and just so different I can't really say anything about it. The plot just like the dogs seems a bit too undeveloped for me to say anything about. Anke and Roldan seem like an odd pair, while Roldan is easier to describe, Anke still is a wild card. I think in later chapters she'll be a little easier to describe after a bit more development.
4/29/2012 c10 10Vivace.Assai
[The lamp had been smashed in the scuffle, and the room was dimmed to shadowplay] I love the language used here, particularly "shadowplay." This sentence is just definitely a unique way of saying how dark the room is but I think it expressed everything perfectly.

[And where did you come from that this thing attacked?] The dialogue here was worded kind of awkwardly. I don't know what you were trying to say.

I thought you carried the description of the destroyed room very nicely along with the description of Roldan's injury. It sounds just ghastly what happened to Roldan and this terror really emphasizes how bad the situation is. You've given readers great context into why Anke must leave the town. Though the idea of cozying up in the comforts of one's home is very tempting - it doesn't require as much risk or effort only allowing one's fate to be left to the designs of a higher power - recent events show that Anke must act and try to escape. It's frightening but with the broken window and attacks, you've given us enough understanding about why Anke makes her decision in the end.

I do quite like the turn in plot, though. It certainly makes Anke seem a lot stronger - I like this sudden stroke of decisiveness from her. I can see her possibly growing and breaking free from the restraints that used to hold her down. So I'm excited to see her character develop more.

But this change in plot is definitely intriguing. It raises that stakes for all the characters involved but it definitely makes everything more interesting. I'm curious as to how Anke's plan will play out and if the characters will survive this ordeal.

By the way, I keep forgetting to mention this but I like how you have the monster throwing the town into a wave of darkness. Darkness is commonly attributed to terror but the problem with many horror stories is there isn't enough darkness to prolong the story. But with the plot turn you used, it certainly allows for the darkness to continue for a long, long time.

Overall, a nice chapter. I'm really enjoying this story though it'll probably be awhile until I get to another chapter of this.

Thanks for the great read!

Signing off...
4/29/2012 c9 Vivace.Assai
That description with the monster killing the young man... Words cannot describe how horrific it was. You've really nailed the grotesque details required to write horror. You don't give me too much details to make me sick but you give enough that you let my imagination go crazy... And when my imagination goes crazy, I can just visualize everything in my mind. And so, it leaves a lasting impression for me and really gets me worried. But also, I like how you used the young man to reveal how dangerous this monster is. I'm not entirely sure what this sea creature is but I definitely know i don't want to mess with it.

One thing that slightly confused me was how did Sivan and Roldan start arguing? What did they say? But I guess considering Anke doesn't know the whole story, the readers don't get to know it. Which works when you want us to see things through her perspective. But I thought you handled the brief "fight" scene well and you managed to capture the tension in the room.

I think your expansion on Sivan's character was also nice. He kind of switches from emotions very easily, doesn't he? But it makes me more wary of his as a whole and I can start seeing why having him around Anke and Roldan might be troublesome. I was also surprised by Anke's first decision to cast Sivan out. She didn't seem like that type of person but when she retracted the decision, her old character returned again.

As for the plot twist at the end, I'm worried. I haven't gotten a chance to know Roldan yet but considering Anke's feelings for him, I'm scared that he might die. You've definitely given us an intense ending to lead into the next chapter with it, though, and I'm curious to see where the next chapter will lead.

Signing off...
4/29/2012 c8 Vivace.Assai
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back into this story. It's partly due to my hectic schedule and also partly my fault (due to my rather poor memory). And I was really excited with this story, too... Anyways, onto the review:

[In the dim morning light{,} and the half-stupor of fresh waking, she thought it might have been a bird passing by the window.] I was slightly distracted by the bracketed comma and I think it could easily go away and not ruin the flow of the writing. There were a few cases in this chapter where I felt a comma could be deleted and not destroy the flow at all.

[voice at a whisper though she didn't remember deciding to] I was confused here with the phrasing. What didn't she remember to do? Lower her voice to a whisper?

[It surrounded itself in an aura of impenetrable black cloud that expanded from every inch of it] I love the entire paragraph this sentence belongs to. There's a sense of impending doom from the descriptions you make and also the descriptions are so detailed that I can perfectly visualize this black mass about to attack them. You've created an intriguing monster and you've definitely raised the stakes for the characters' lives. A perfect way to end the chapter and a perfect way to get the plot moving. I'm really excited to see what will happen next. XD

But anyways, I really loved the dialogue in this chapter. Sivan's recount of the tragedy hitting his family had this feeling of sadness in it but also a sense of impeding danger. I felt as if the monster was really creeping up on the town and there was some fear for the future.

Overall, you've managed to construct a nice and exciting chapter. I'm curious to see what will happen next considering this pretty town is about to see some destruction... I hope everything ends positively though (but I do doubt it).

Signing off...
4/25/2012 c14 4lookingwest
...a satisfied sigh she almost thought. ["almost thought"? Maybe you meant "an [almost] satisfied sigh", since I think it's clear Anke did think it because it's in the narration.]

His teeth snapped on normal air again, empty as the shadow retreated abruptly... [A little unclear on the visual of this, were his teeth snapping at normal air before? or what isn't "normal" air?]

...but Anke couldn't really hope... [Would omit "really"]

It was good the shifter was finally making himself useful. [I dunno Anke, he was pretty useful when he saved your husband, lol]

...would run at the first sign of trouble... [I don't believe this from him because he's joined a fray twice, once for Roldan and once for Anke, when he could've easily left on both occasions]

I really liked your end paragraph description about how hopeful she was and then how it all gets dashed in the last sentence. A great moment, though sad, I think you put her hope to good use. I was almost thinking of where the story could go if they got out of the city anyway, unless the beast just kept following them around, that would also be kinda cool, haha. It'll be interesting to see how their bigger group fairs when the monsters attack. I think you have a good horror-set up with all the potential people that could instantly die.

Also, by this point in the story I really do feel like Roldan's wound wasn't that bad. He seems fine now, anyway. Maybe down-play it a little more when it happens and give a more definite answer that he'll be okay, I just keep thinking about it since it was our last really gory description (I feel like you could've done more with the donkey).

Overall another great set of chapters on the whole though, they all work really well and the short chapters pose interesting moments for cliffhangers. Usually I feel like nano stories always have such long huge chapters-you've done the opposite and I think it benefits and compliments this kind of stop-and-go plot!
4/25/2012 c13 lookingwest
The only thing that seems forced so far is the reason to keep moving-or what I mentioned last chapter, otherwise plot-wise I'm satisfied :)

I would be interested in actually hearing what the wedding party has seen-you say they're horrified by it, but how could they see anything horrifying from inside the church? What happened to them? What have they experienced? Would love a lot more depth there, this is a great moment to bring out the horror aspects of your story. Maybe someone is missing a limb, maybe they have their own wounded, someone who was sliced of skin...a lot of possibilities!

She pushed the thought aside and replied to the gentleman. [Would pop this down to start the paragraph below it]

I liked the irony about the fortifications of the city in respects to the tunnels, that was a great paragraph.

GREAT moment with Anke and Sivan about the cowardice. Although, Sivan did join a fray with two beasts already, so I wasn't really following what was so cowardly about him-maybe Anke is confusing selfishness with cowardice? Sivan has already displayed bravery, he doesn't hide, but he does seem rather absorbed with just himself and Anke's family.

But Sivan pulled away... [Unneeded "but", maybe "Then"?]

...toward the harbor [Missing a period]

...dark moments in her past that Anke would rather leave buried. [To me, the hint here is that it's nothing to do with the birth of Nolke-I don't know if that's what you're going for. These "dark moments" seem to suggest something else than the near-death experience of the birth because she's already brought those memories up in this story already, so I don't see how seeing Glenna would bring them back when they're already there, further suggesting you mean something else.]

The thing overall that I would have liked more form this chapter was development with the wedding party. I feel like you missed a lot of opportunity to go deeper into some of their stories, or show more of a debate between them wanting to stay or go. It was a good device to add in the familiar Glenna though, so I did enjoy her character and think you should keep her no matter what. It's good they do see someone they know. It makes me wonder how big Tover is-I don't know if you gave a head-count but I'm sure you've described it before and I just forgot -_-''. Anyway, another good chapter and though I think it would be more dramatic to be more wary of Roldan's wound or a life-or-death sacrifice kind of situation, what you're doing here works too.
4/25/2012 c12 lookingwest
The title of this intrigues me...lol

Roldan was beginning to slow under... [Roldan "began"]

Maybe another idea to show his pain is a fever. I think when your body is trying to fight something off, that might happen-it always does when I get that weird cramping in my chest. I break out in a sweat and have to shallow my breathing-I think that sort of thing would make sense with Roldan, and I'd like more of that in the earlier chapter.

The weather had changed... [omit "had"]

...the large grey wolf she had become oddly familiar with by then. [Why is her familiarity "odd"? Makes sense to me since it seems to be Sivan's go-to shift.]

As soon as it had vanished... [omit "had"]

By this point, I think what I want most is a better reason for them to keep moving. I'm not getting the sense that they really need to at the moment. Another idea would be having them stay in the church and then getting forced out again-but right now the church seems like a better deal than outside, so I kind of was scratching my head as to a really good reason as to why they should go back out there. I also thought the scene with them just grabbing lanterns and a speechless wedding part was kind of funny, dunno if you were going for that, but yeah, haha.

Sad about Ratter! I hope he's not doomed. Roldan by the end of this still seems fine with his wound. I mean, again, I'm surprised Roldan isn't having to stay behind at the church while they go find a doctor or someone outside of the town to enact a daring rescue...

Buut anyway, great description in the run paragraph, I like how you paralleled that again with Anke's past as a child, because it gives her a great moment of characterization. So far with setting, too, I feel like you're doing a wonderful job. Designing a whole town is hard, but you've been very clear with your layout of Tover and I appreciate the work put into it!
4/25/2012 c11 lookingwest
It was an inane thought, but still the information popped into Anke's head. [Was confused from this, what is the inane thought and what is the information? ...I think it's that the silence of the city is jarring? The placement of this might work better as the last in the paragraph instead of in the middle when it could also mean the description in the first sentence.]

But Sivan's hand on her back... [unneeded "but"]

In the first descriptive paragraphs of them walking, I found it lacked attention to Roldan's wound until he speaks his dialogue in paragraph eleven. Maybe alluded to him walking hunched, or breaking out in a sweat. ...but again, maybe his wound isn't as severe as I was picturing it in the earlier chapter.

I liked the incorporation of Anke's birthing memories with the aftermath of attacking the beast because it worked well to display the disorientation, and it also worked to depict her past background and her own memories of the incident. It shows the memory was quite traumatic I think, as this isn't the first time she's gone back to linger on it.

...no good until- [EM dash here]

Hmm, I also think you're doing a very cool job of never exactly describing the monster in detail, but giving us enough of it that we can formulate our own beasties. Good deal, especially for horror. Let the readers imaginations take over-that's a great device and I think you use it really well! Also, great job with the end of this chapter, the scene where you have to describe everything with Anke unable to actually see was cleverly done and I still was getting visuals even though there was a lack. :)
4/25/2012 c10 lookingwest
...leave him alone or help her husband. [That's the same choice though. I think you mean, "Stay with Nolke or help her husband"...otherwise it doesn't make sense.]

But Anke found her... ["but" feels unneeded]

As she finished, Anke returned... [After she finished? or maybe "When"]

This dialogue sentence sounded awkward to me: "And where did you come from that this thing attacked?..."

Some of the dialogue towards the end, around where I marked above, just didn't feel as natural as I would've liked.

But anyway, content-wise, I love what you're doing with the plot and everything. Getting them out of the setting was a good idea, and I think it will give way to a lot of adventures coming up. The description of Roldan's wound was done well, but perhaps not as gory or tense as I would've liked for a horror story.

Maybe more description with Sivan's process, lingering on the wounds? I came out of it not feeling like it was that big of a deal. But then I'm unsure if it's a mortal wound or not...so maybe clarify...I mean another big reason for them leaving could be finding a better doctor. That would hype things up emotionally for Anke too. I could see Roldan being the "no go save yourselves" type though, and perhaps what I'm suggesting errs on cliche, so what you have here was enough justification, it just also felt like it needed something extra than you needing to continue the story.

Anyway, I also liked that Sivan is back in the story because I like him and I think he has a lot yet to offer the couple relationship-wise. I still find myself wondering if his past is exactly what he claims it is.
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