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2/26/2017 c1 ThisIsTom
Haha. This is hilarious.
11/20/2016 c1 Electrum - RGEF
Coming back to Charlotte’s story after a long while and I see you’ve been redrafting. That is the way to improve a piece. Everything is trial and error and it is vital to try new things.

Now in the opening I see Charlotte is attempting to eradicate the vampires whereas in an earlier draft, the curse was considered irrevocable. I think it’s better that the characters try eradicating the vampiric plague themselves and find out whether or not they can break the curse. I recall the setting is post apocalyptic in a lot of ways and we can see that the origin of the curse has become legend and then fragmented and confused in the manner of a folk tale. It’s mythic figures such as the Raven that made some believe in a collective unconscious.

Scene setting: I suspect the council believe that killing vampires is not the answer. Unless they’re very pragmatic and believe the hunters should just hunt! There is a certain rugged appeal to a hunter gatherer society. And so Charlotte gets her first look at the fresh vampire. So he turns out to be something different – or does he react differently because Charlotte actually read an incantation. This is something that was not in an earlier draft.

Characters: Setting up Charlotte’s relationship with Patti is of crucial importance. I see it is developed a little in this chapter, but I can’t help, but think it’s still too early. If a character is lost so quickly then a way to show that it really impacts a surviving character is to show them as literally unable to take it and to pretend that the departed is still present.
With the description of Patti you have license to be uninhibited as this is through a Charlotte filter. She gives a decent description, but still, there must be some idiosyncrasy that Charlotte loves. Does she squinch her nose when Charlotte says she is beautiful or does Charlotte love her special smile that’s reserved for Charlotte alone or does she have dimples? It’s entirely up to you as the author whether Charlotte’s feelings are platonic or homosexual, but this applies either way. This is the one point where I am confident that my advice is vital. Patti’s intimate gesture that encourages Charlotte to stay brave is progress however from the last draft.
One gets the clear impression that Patti is an adventurous spirit – almost from the cradle ;) She’s certainly better at keeping a brave face than Riley and Jax. Too bad the odds were stacked against them…

Mythology: I approve of the idea of living alleyways in both drafts. The idea of the vampire swarm as being bestial/zombie like/or a hive mind has remained constant in each draft, but I am intrigued as to why the well dressed vampire acts differently. And we glimpse the fox man at the end of the chapter once again I think? He was good, last time.

I can see that the most important part of the chapter is when Patti is taken by the swarm. It’s this sort of turning point in the story that requires the most rewriting and I wish I could help more. Despite being on the verge of panic, Charlotte still puts up a really good fight. The best line is: “The sounds I hear aren’t human. Some of them are mine.” That does give a good idea of how much this affects her. Sometimes people in really dire straits cannot register a shocking situation all at once. Although I don’t know… is Charlotte the sort to go into flat denial? Would she insist, ‘this cannot be happening…’
4/24/2016 c1 Shampoo Suicide
Might as well give thoughts (mostly as I go), since I pestered you to post this :D

Liking the opening, glad you went with starting it here. I like bringing up Deadlane immediately and then the further asides about what/where it actually is. Thought that was handled well. I get the sense of danger from Char taking inventory of her weapons and all, but it does sort of slow things down a little for me, I don't know. Nothing terribly distracting though.

I love the bit about the sayings in dead languages and then following it by saying c'est la vie, because it's such a well known phrase that to have it follow gives you the sense things are much much different in this universe. Plus it was funny/clever.

I have a question about Patti, it's very important: when does she find time to trim her bangs? XD

Love the description of the curse death, and the entirety of the action where they're breaking through the barricades. I liked the differing descriptions of everyone reacting to it a lot, especially, gives a good sense of everyone's place/ability/character.

Okay so you already know I'm pro Patti dying immediately like this and I have to say this iteration works even better than the last one. We get some sense of how much Char cares for her before she's wounded and the stakes with the death pact and everything and it's just so fantastic. I do still get that same sense of feeling from Char this way too, but it's like heightened.

I really like that the ending is mostly unchanged (so it seems to me?), because I loved the way you'd done it last, with her stumbling on Kit and being in shock from everything that happened and all. NICE. GOOD.
4/17/2016 c2 deadaccount2019
The first thing I'll mention is that I disagree with the comment about the missing suffixes. I see this technique used more in romance, but in any genre it's a stylistic choice that (imo) gives an act and its descriptor much more impact. You've always done a great job breaking the adverb rule, and I can't say I feel any differently here, and to be honest I think writing in first-person allows more room to get away with this kind of style.

I noticed you mentioned in the OT that people have been assuming Char is bi or lesbian. To be perfectly honest I don't get that feeling with Char & Patti's relationship. Even when Char regrets never saying 'I love you', it feels a lot more like a sisterly or best friend thing than romantic. Either way I don't see her sexuality mattering too much in the story, but if you wanted to go the ambiguity route that does give the reader the option of interpreting it as they like.

So a little less general feedback and more chapter-specific. I love the Red Riding Hood touch this chapter. The base premise of the story is recognized in some way or another throughout most cultures, and the the focus on canine shapers is pretty appropriate for the story's universe. I loved the timing of its address as well because while Char is thinking of the different ways it can go, she is in a somewhat similar limbo.

While Char's examining the scrolls I kind of feel like I'm missing something. There's a sense of importance, but I don't really see why she is so startled by the maps before realizing how old the last one is, and even then it seems kind of odd to be wrapped up in them when a potential predator (the dog) is nearby.

Some more elaboration on the change from dog to man would be nice. I know Sica's poked at me before for using "blink of an eye", and it's something I've really come to appreciate, and this is a big example where it would help visually. Is the change instantaneous, like frame 1 dog, frame 2 human, or is there a flare of light, a morphing sequence, etc? If it was simply a decision to work off of Char's shock I could see the omitted description working, but I'm not sure if that was the case here.

I love not being privy to his language here. It really heightens the sense of uncertainty and fear for Char because, much like a dog with ambiguous barking and body language, there's really no way to predict what he will do. Char mentions that wolves won't settle so close to prey for so long, but coyotes certainly will, and in fact will "play" with larger prey to try an annoy them and follow them back to a waiting pack. Another thing that really draws me in to Char's perspective is the diversion about the pubes. It's such a ridiculous moment, but it's a realistic portrayal of just how unpredictable shock can make our thoughts and behavior.

I'm assuming this is Kit, and I have to say he's freaking scary this time around. Definitely not the whimpy poet I'm used to. I'm not sure how new readers will feel about the characterization, but for me I kind of like this more savage approach to him. It makes me wonder if he was always like this prior to the binding, or if this is simply one of the big changes going on in the project. At any rate though, he certainly doesn't seem like he has anything to gain from backstabbing Char, but at the same time he's starving and just generally scarier, so there's no telling how predictable he is this time around, which makes me worry for Char and anxious to continue on. :)
4/12/2016 c1 14Shampoo Suicide
Holy hell, I thought I'd reviewed this! Glad to jump back into this project :D

I don't remember if in previous versions of this the readers got to experience Patti's death with Charlotte. I seem to recall at least one where she was looking back on it rather than having it happen while we read about it. All that is to say, I like it a whole lot this way. It's an excellent triggering incident for the rest of the work and pulls us into Charlotte's desperation and despair immediately. It's also a wise move to start with Char rather than another character (it usually started with Kit, if I'm right?) because hers is the more immediately impactful, engaging storyline, I think.

That said though, if I'm right about the opening that was a clever way to introduce the voice of a different character without plunging us too deep into it too soon. It's a nice hooking bit of writing that definitely raises interest, and it also fits the tone of when Charlotte takes over even though the voice and everything is totally different. Very cool.

And speaking of voice Charlotte is more Charlotte than ever here, especially since we get to early on see her interact more with others than we may have in the other intros. I loved "No one's saying we're fucked, but We're Fucked" and the repetition of that last bit later on. I like that both her narration and actions give us a really good sense of who she is, her place in this world, and the way she's kind of autopiloting through this trauma or at least attempting to.

Love the end where it's just all too goddamned much already and she collapses. The scene before that with the advancing shadow things was stellar. The way she freezes but then somehow fights her way through it, the way we know it means the end for her friend but we want her to escape anyway. Love that tension.

Your writing here seems more crisp than ever and I adore it. I cannot wait to read more and see what changes this means for Kit and Jude. I think you mentioned sprinkling little Jude bits in (which is what I thought you were doing at the beginning if that wasn't clear haha) which I think is a fantastic idea. We still get those poetic touches of your style throughout here but I am excited to see how you tackle the less straight-forward characters in this version. Excellent stuff! :D
4/3/2016 c5 50Electrumquill
Interesting that foxy fellow can guess the precise age of a building/other construct by its scent, but it is conceivable if he has all the foxy faculties and all human faculties combined. What a great historical tour guide he would make. Furthermore he is very well versed in the history that is entwined with folk mythology in this world. The fate of Ursine is good foreshadowing to the start of the introduction of witches later.

And it is quite an interesting POV that the fox has to reveal that there is some disorganisation among the human survivors as to who ranks where with his scrabbling to make them fit the template of a canine pack in his mind.

Avery's account of the vampires breaking the boundary should be a bit more explicit I think. On first reading, "they were at the middle" doesn't necessarily get across to the casual reader exactly what went on. Admittedly not too much should be given away here, otherwise the surprise at the end would be staled.

Again the animal instincts of the fox are useful as he can sense Charlotte's strength and determination in more ways than a human character could. And that is not the only way his POV is useful - it is important to get the POV of a character who is not her friend so we can get a well rounded view of her as a leader and a fighter.

I like the touch that the fox considers it a point of pride that Charlotte treat his old map carefully.

More creepy and effective vampire imagery with the olfactory part first- "unwashed filth and festering wounds" to the visual - "writhing shadows and old corpses." If they eat one another it would seem that they are soulless, like zombies.

Again, the fox's knowledge of the backstory is illuminating. It fills the gaps that were in Charlotte's knowledge. There obviously is a magical curse of some kind, since the vampiric plague spontaneously reignited despite logical efforts to eradicate it. Frankly the witches' revenge is starting to seem even nastier than the use of nuclear weapons.

It's poignant that Charlotte is still searching for Patti. If she is a vampire now, she's already gone beyond recall. But grief and desperation do make us irrational.

So a witch enters for the first time and like the fox, he's intended for the het female gaze. My preference in witches is sexy green ones.
4/2/2016 c1 9Zoicite23
Woah this was really well done. The beginning part confused me initially because at first it was this eerie descriptive little paragraph that dissolved into nonsense. But then when I realised what you were doing - showing the deranged madness of the 'cursed' zombie things, I could appreciate it. I really liked the scene where Nix is with the dying Patti and suddenly the cursed appear and attack them. The scene is appropriately terrorfying and I love how you describe her going into a fit of panic, slashing with her weapons, the horror of poor Patti being ripped apart, and all the descriptive sounds and movements as she stabs, pulls, struggles, pushes. I also liked the chase scene afterwards where she gets caught several times, it reminded me very much of a nightmare. Plus with the one cursed she thought was toying with her cause of her paranoia. And the red dog Patti saw and fixated on, I liked that little bit too. Good job.
4/1/2016 c1 8Henry Palmetto
Hello,

We'll start obvious. The slow build tension was very well done; drama finely cork-screwed. Good subtle introductions of character/details: Yasmin's stories, Riley's initiation, Deadlane slinking up like something you can't quite see from your peripherals but which you know is there.

My first piece of nit-pickery is so marginal you are at total liberty to ignore me, but the phrase "Make it rain ash on the wind" is long and rather clumsy to be the kind of catchy good luck byword it's clearly intended for. For one thing, "rain" "ash" and "wind" are all different elements each of which summons different pictures for the reader; there's too much imagery. I propose the shorter and catcher "Ash the wind", with 'ash' as lexical imperative verb denoting the act of pulverising human zombie.

The writing is mostly good, snappy and quick and natural, but it way over-uses the first person pronoun. This is the danger of first-person stories and the reason that I've never written one: too many "I" sentences. The problem is that "I" draws more attention to the protagonist than an impersonal pronoun and with time, this attention becomes annoyingly self-referential. It is something very easy to miss while writing, but here, for example, in your last paragraph there are 17 first person pronouns (possessives included) in a paragraph only 7 sentences long. It does not sound overwhelming, but when you multiply this by the amount of paragraphs in the chapter, that is a lot of space taken up by a narrator unnecessarily clogging the story with talk of herself.

The best remedy for this is to simply recognise where you have an unnecessary personal pronoun. Then, read writers who do a good first person. My recommendation is David Mitchell whom you and I talked a little about before. Minus 'Jacob de Zoet,' literally all of his novels' narrators are first person, and they make fine prose.

As long as I'm picking on language, let me draw attention to something I'll refer to as 'kodacks.' Kodacks is a word I literally just made up to refer to the little snapshot sentences used to orient readers to where exactly the action is taking place.

I will reference your last paragraph once more: "Heaving, I reach the top, shaking, weak-kneed and half-falling into the high weeds on the other side." Structurally the sentence is fine (although far too descriptive: heaving, shaking, weak-kneed, half falling) but you have too kodacks, one of which takes up almost half the sentence: "the top" and "high weeds on the other side". "The top" is fine because this is the action, but "high weeds on the other side" is unnecessary-so then your new sentence (substituting "reach" for "heaving" which is a more powerful verb) could read: "I heaved to the top (of the wall), and collapsed to the other side." Short, punchy, direct.

To draw the focus to a wider margin, let me talk about the drama in this chapter. As I said, it works very well (and the second to last sentence, "A camp with one small fire..." is surreal and wonderful) although I think you ignore a potential for even more dramatic payoff by giving Riley no direct screen time. This was an outing for her coming of age and it's gotten twisted into something terrible. The focus of the chapter of course is not on her, but attending a little to her feelings-her guilt, shock, horror-would add flavour. Like, maybe you've seen "28 Weeks Later"? The opening scene is masterfully moribund. See how fast it swings from family dinner and a cute child to absolute bloodbath. That is what I picture reading this, coincidentally.

I don't think you need the first paragraph, from the infected's POV. Or rather, I don't think it needs to be first. It adds a flavour, sure, but it occupies up the most prominent space in the chapter which could be put to something punchier.

Looking forward to giving this more looksies in the future
3/28/2016 c1 4pumadelic
Opening

I like the idea that the vamp/cursed/humans would think in short impulse bursts like this but some of the language doesn't work for me. Some very nice assonance and internal rhyme in some of the lines here - eg one crooked yanked shank of flesh - and some lines are a pile up that is tricky to read - pillars of ash where slights against doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Characterisation/Relationship/Dialogue

I remember liking Charlotte and Patti from the previous piece. The tough, badass, laconic but emotive voice of Charlotte carries it through strongly. Her sarcastic take on their dismal situation allows you to present this situation in tense snippets - first Patti making her kill, falling, and the original celebratory purpose of Riley being initiated in hunting going into reverse as the group become prey.

Patti saying 'It doesn't hurt much' after you've shown us the 'twist of rusted metal' in her gut is brave and touching as is straight-talking Charlotte's lie that they'll be back soon.

The red dog is a nice, sinister touch - a harbinger of blood suckers? and Patti's extreme vulnerability adds tension to the scene.

Some of the best writing is here when you describe Charlotte's responses to Patti's situation:
'The world goes blurry for a moment, my throat sore...Her words are mumbled wisps' along with her rather futile attempts to protect her physically.

This creates a strong emotional core for a first chapter although you would need more backstory on both in subsequent chapters for readers completely new to the story.

Setting

This is dripped in from the opening, in small tidbits (Deadlane, Uptown) and more detail in the paragraph beginning 'Yasmin's stories...' Personally I would like a little more world building in terms of the environment's physicality. I like the use of 'lane' which sort of reminds me of songlines or leylines; a zombie/vampire trail, marking the landscape.

Plot/Story/Narrative

It's a tense and action packed chapter with a clever use of back and forth narrative. The little hunting group disperse and, in spite of their armour, weopons, and skills, they are likely to be easy pickings for the denizens of the deadlane. It perhaps might be a good idea to draw out the success of the hunting party before dropping them in it - all good horror has its moments of happiness or else there is nothing to lose. More mood contrast is needed for a first chapter.

The scene where the cursed humans tear into Patti is genuinely disturbing and well conveyed Charlotte is forced to shoot it out, escape, runs in circles, ending up with the hare and the naked man. Is she safe or not? We can't be sure although I presume the cursed ones don't bother with cooking meat. All well done in terms of suspense and pacing.

Writing Style

I've said before I've issues with the capitalisation in odd places. Your sentence rhythm has a staccato poetry to it and you aim to avoid cliche. I like the 'tease of giggling' and 'hunched shadows'. Some phrases just feel plain wrong: ' kill violent' 'it fell the city'; if this is meant to suggest a dialect, forgive me. The repetition of 'make it rain ash on the wind' worked because it highlights the survival theme.

Overall - the ending is a good hook. Dense and intense tends to leave me wanting a change of pace and I might have wanted a bit more interaction before the action gets going, even in a survival-horror genre story.
3/23/2016 c5 4m. b. whitlock
RG Depth #5,345

This chapter was a journey into the past as well as an unknown future. Achitophel was a great choice to narrate these scenes. Since he knows the history and how the towers are supposed to work, the penetration by the cursed is super dramatic. It seems like the last vestiges of security are crumbling. Nix’s people ‘the common rabble’ (love that) have been hanging onto life by cracked fingernails. What will they do if their last wall of protection breaks into rubble? I wonder how they are going to shore up their defenses. I have to say things look really bad…!

It’s also cool to have Achitophel describe Char as she takes on the mission to save Min and (secretly) Patti. It’s great how he can smell her guilt and her reckless courage. He sees her as dangerous and powerful (and stupid)––very iconic hero attributes (Nix definitely is the hero of this story so far, which is great). I’m not entirely sure if Riley’s sudden realization that Char is really trying to rescue Patti makes sense. It’s not a major thing, but I guess it seems more likely to me that someone like Avery, someone who had spent more time out in the field with Patti and Nix and witnessed how close they were for years, would be the one to accuse Char of having a secret ‘save Patti’ agenda. Riley has only had one day with the Foragers, right? I suppose her relationship with Char and Patti beyond the Foragers was quite close though…

Well, before I get to my notes, I want to tell you that the mythology in this chapter was terrific, beautifully told and deftly woven through the action. Very good pacing with Achtophel’s tales of the Witch Queen and the Black Door and the patrons. I can sense the depth of the world-building. It will be so much fun to plumb the fathoms. ;) The last paragraph was amazing. Can’t wait to find out who the ‘queen’s guard’ is! I’m guessing he is the third pov…

Notes:

Love the opening paragraph, especially this line:
“The wind tells the arched bridge was built before Monas Gea's Cressona, before her Damos, and long before her Nercos. Castle, temple, and marketplace.”
Fascinating how Achitophel can sense the age of a place from the smell.

Great story in these two lines:
“Enraged, he devours the messenger whole, then roars with grief before clawing down the Door's foremost gate with only three swipes. By the time he reaches the middle gate, the wards have eaten away even his bones.”
But the messenger part required a reread. Maybe add something ** to this earlier sentence?:
‘Ursine demands retribution for her death, but the Queen*’s messenger* refuses him.’

“The woman and Riley split through the mob just in time to help pull an old man and a woman back from *a challenge of strength*.”
Not sure what Achitophel means here at first. It wasn’t hard to figure it out after I read more though. :)

Not sure why you capitalize ‘Of’ here: “but smells like her Of grief.”

I like how Achitophel is more magic sensitive and scent-oriented when he’s in fox form:
“When I'm shaped fox, they reek of choking death.”

Lovely lyrical mythic language here:
“The seas and the woods and Monas herself refused the Queen and her people after her selfish abandonment of their gift—so Gea and her Black Door became lost, mythic. The Queen herself nothing but of old songs.”
Achitophel is quite the bard. :D

What a dramatic entrance!:
“Barefoot, bare-chested, wearing the remnants of a uniform reserved only for the Queen's guard—all black, the short jacket undone and frayed.”
Love it!

Great stuff!

vb,

mbw
3/23/2016 c6 6Victoria Best
Hello!

Returning your review!

Loved this! So much tension, drama, all fast-paced and really well written. Was like watching a film. I loved the way you showed Jude's struggle against himself. I was wondering why he kept chanting, but when that part came with the "I am not this" my breath was taken away. Beautiful writing. Someone trying not to be a monster, and you captured it wonderfully.

I thought the horror in this was really well done. It's gory, it's intense, it's frightening. You go all out with this chapter, and it works. Really breathtaking. I especially liked the part with Jude humming as he drags her away. That was some seriously creepy stuff!

Also very horrific, and very sad, that Patti was there. You captured Charlotte's sadness perfectly. I have to say, though, that after that section, Charlotte sort of forgot about Patti :p I know a lot of stuff was going on, but after seeing something so horrific, she definitely would have continued to be haunted by it. I would have liked a couple of lines in the rest of the narrative about her, after that section. Were there some? Sorry if they missed me.

Really love this line, "Yanked, undone, unwound." Also loved, "an invisible knot of razor wire."

My comments:

My big thing was that I couldn't picture where Charlotte was when she was dragged or what she was doing. What exactly happened there? I would have liked some clarity. So, it's from the section when she is dragged, feels the cold of his touch, and then down to the crossbow. I get that he's struggling against himself, and tries to strike her, but what is she doing? Is she frozen? The writing is great, i just couldn't picture the scene. Easily cleared up with ampther line in.

Would Charlotte call the cursed eyes "Blue-White?" Same description that Kit used.

"But her presence keeps my fear numb" could be clearer in its meaning. Numbness implies diluted, dulled. Surely Patti's presence would do the opposite? Keep her fear alive? Or perhaps you meant that it keeps Charlotte herself feeling numb, but the way it is structured makes it seem like it's the fear she's talking about.

Little bit too much floweriness in places. Three smilies all consecutively, for example, "Like tearing it apart," "Like I'm about to be struck by lightning" (weitten as lightening) and "Like waiting for something." And a bit of metaphor mixing too. Is his skin moon skin or ash skin?

"Shapes dog." Would Charlotte use 'shapes?' I think this should remain a Kit word only.

"Like he's heard everything we've said even though nothing on him wavers..." I wasn't quite sure what you meant by this sentence.

"Make them stop like you did before." Also wasn't sure about this one. When did he make them stop? Have I misread something? Was this what he was doing in the last chapter/ beginning?

I liked the cursed :) I was worried at first, they struck me as conventional, but I think you've got some unique ideas here. I would recommend building on the unique stuff and getting rid of the done stuff. I don't really want to see mentions of fangs, or starving eyes, or white/ moon skin, if I'm honest. I much preferred the image I got in the last chapter, of ashy skin, rather than white, which is very Twilight. I love, love, love, the idea of them being angry and banging on the doors. Yes! Great idea. We got to see some of this in chapter one, so nice to get back to it. And I loved the humming thing, of course, and the idea that the cursed themselves can't talk.

Keep writing! I'm hoping for a fast update :D
3/22/2016 c5 Victoria Best
Hello!

Let me start by saying, wow, wow, wow, what an ending! Loved it! So intense. Yay, I'm really looking forward to seeing who this witch is and what he intends to do. Start a vampire army, I'm guessing? I'm hoping for a really badass villain character. Is this Jude, who you mentioned in the OT? And your description there was absolutely wonderful, like the "all of him dusted with ash" and the "eyes corpse blue-white." I especially loved the idea of the magic curling from him. Wow! I could go on and on about this. Really spectacular, the strongest writing I've seen from you, I think! :D Couple of comments - you do use "from him" and then "from him" again consecutively, and I am not so sure about ending the paragraph with "wailing" - you already ended the last chapter on the idea of something wailing (the sirens). Also, does he have to be bare-chested, I'm thinking, though? Here in the UK strippers and club guys will wear undone army jackets over bare chests, so this part didn't give me a chilling image of him :p

Writing was wonderful, and these lines have to be my favourite! "Do you hear that?" "I do. It's like the buzz of an insect. In it there are wriggling, invisible threads." Wow! And then, of course, the line following was great also. I just love the idea of 'brittle threads' and I can now understand the 'weaving magic' concept from the first chapter. It's all coming together in this really unique, amazing way! :D And some cute fox lines in this too, like the way he describes the groups of people as 'human packs.' And I like the "okay, okay, what can I do?" I'm a massive fan of that :D Like I said in the OT, I really want to talk like this in real life! :D

I also loved the characterisation here. Kit following Charlotte was great, again showing his connection with the map and his desperation to get it back. You showed clear signs of his fear, especially when using "rat's luck," which further shows how important the map is to him - despite his fear, he continues to follow, to stay close to his map. Also, I love that you wove this in with some exposition, about the old patron songs also, which allowed us more insight into the world. Wonderful worldbuilding again, and both expanded the world and said a lot about it, its deep-rooted connection with mythology, storytelling and magic. Great characterisation with Charlotte also. This chapter made me like her even more; I was in awe of her bravery, just to go up to the gate like that. She comes across almost a little too brave, reckless, and I love that. Also interesting that she seems to push everyone away, like being incredibly flat with Riley, despite Riley's efforts to help. And again, it's great to see her desperation to see Patti when she calls out to the cursed. Wants to see her, even though she knows the truth. Very afflicting.

My only issue was the opening. When I read it, I thought we were back in Charlotte's perspective, so I was wondering why it wasn't labelled as 'Charlotte' and still as Kit. It just felt too clean and articulate to be Kit's, especially the sentence starting with "enraged" which just didn't sound like him at all, with the sentence structure and the choice of word. The only sentence that told me we were back in Kit's was the line about the gathering of packs. Maybe you could slip in one of his catchphrases at the beginning? Mess up the structure a bit? Hmm... Maybe it's just the way I'm reading it, I don't know. Just felt too 'clean,' and felt similar to the narrative style Charlotte was using to describe the city, through Yasmin's stories. ("In Yasmin's stories" / "In witcher tongue." I think it's easily cleared with a Kit line, maybe the wind tells? You could switch out "it's said that..." and put in something more Kitty, like "the wind tells" or "my den mother tells" or "shapers tell," etc. Something else I was going to mention was the use of "it's said that." You used it twice to begin a sentence in that first paragraph, and I just didn't like it. Felt too vague - I wanted to know who was saying those things, where those stories were coming from. Mythology? Ancestors?

Minor comments:

"Packs argues" do you mean "packs argue?"

Not so keen on having a chapter end with ellipses, always feels overused and overdramatic to me, even though you're using it to show the song. But I think the line works without them, and feels stronger, "there's a blood cursed with crossing through the Black Door, inside the lost queendom of Gea." Or, if you really want to make it special, perhaps italicise instead? Just some ideas.

Anyway, I'm totally in love with this story. Can't wait for more!
3/22/2016 c5 9Sjoorm
Do the humans follow this religion or mythology as well, or is it specific to Kits people?

I'm assuming that "common rabble" is a for Kit, I like that. I'm also a big fan of characters having an identity or unique phrasing, which you show with "rats luck". The time you've taken with your world building is quite evident, and it's refreshing when compared to some stories that are just slapped together with no real underlying plan or history.

It seems like Kit doesn't understand how this human group operates. Is this his first time observing them?

Just a personal opinion, I don't think you should use phrases like "rats luck" and "common rabble" very often, otherwise what seems like a unique character trait can just become bland very quickly. Much better to have multiple phrases that can mean the same thing.

Do the humans have named gods as well or is the "by the gods" phrase just a euphemism?

I'm assuming the humans have never had to deal with something like this before, their generation is very unprepared for a disaster like their wall going down. But holy crap plot twist there's a wiiiitch :O Clearly he broke the barrier that kept the cursed out. This is gonna be gooood.
3/21/2016 c4 Sjoorm
In your fourth paragraph "If the witches saw how she's twisted" it sounds better to me to have "She'd twisted" just for the sake of him talking about something she had done in the past.

Where he says that he shapes into a fox, am I safe to assume that "shape" is a verb in your story?

When you line break to show that time has passed, I think you should run a full line across the page just for ease of reading. On my phone it's easy to see there is a break (small screen), but on a computer it's a tad harder to actually notice.

It's a nice touch that not even Kit realizes that he's crying until he stops his feast, it's clear that it's not something he normally does (or something that is not accepted in his society). It tells the reader much about his past that he is not necessarily revealing in words.

Near to the end, when the breach happens and there is a yowl of some unnatural creature, I feel like "unnaturalness" is a bit of a mouthful, and also a word that has many synonyms you could use. Unless this is just something you're going for with Kit, less cultured etc. then have at 'er, but when he's using phrases like "common rabble" I imagine him to know greater words is all.

Overall, enjoyed the chapter, not as many questions for you as the last, but you're pulling me in ever so slowly.
3/20/2016 c3 Sjoorm
The farther into this story I read the more intrigued I become. The first chapter didn't grab me, the second one got much better, and it took me until about halfway to find anything in this chapter I even had a problem with. Some questions here though.

I realize that it is probably explained deeper in the story, but has their world always been like this? Living one day to the next hoping you can survive the night? Or was there a nuclear disaster? Magic? Portal to another dimension? Survivor sects isn't a new plot mechanic but it makes it no less interesting to me, and can sometimes explain a lot more about the plot then just describing what is happening. Obviously deaths are not something new to them, and something has happened to force them into living this way. Is it safe to assume they have survived with relatively low numbers for a long time? Does this sect span generations?

"Going out even to slay at night" "going out to slay even at night". The first sentence doesn't make as much sense to me as the second one would. And I can't imagine it would make as much sense to other readers at a first glance. In my opinion, making your reader think about the wording of something that is just a simple sentence (not getting into symbols or deeper meanings) isn't a good thing. But you can take that with a grain of salt, writing does not have many true rules.

I didn't really find much else to have a qualm with here, and I hope you can answer my bombardment of questions about your world (tell me more about your world damnit it's what I wanna know about!)

Oh! Does Char have a sense of honour (feeling bad about lying)? Also, who are the cursed? The fact that you specifically removed any mention of vampire from your novel makes me think (that and the staking, night stalking etc.) that they are very similar to conventional vampires. Is that close?
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