Gubby, this was just. wow. Seriously, you just blow me away every time. Even though I always expect awesomeness, you still do :P
I've said it a zillion times before but I must say it again, because ti deserves to be said: you write so well. I can totally see you being published at some point in your life, because this is better than some published work I've read. I'm gushing, I know, I can't help it.
Daphne is so creepy, it's fantastic. You've really captured her descent into madness quite well. It was truly believable.
And - yay! - a ton of complex sentences helped Astoria in her descent. They definitely emphasized her craziness and long, rambling (but in the best way possible!), crazyinsane thoughts. I found it interesting that you used shorter sentences for the Daphne section and longer one's for Astoria. I don't know if it was intentional, but I thought it worked really well and fit each respective madness (for they were quite different, though both undeniably insane) really well. Daphne was a lot farther ahead in her insanity so the short, choppy sentences worked well with her craziness. Astoria, on the other hand, was not as far along so the longer complex sentences fit her better - though still mad, she possessed a greater degree of coherent thought than Daphne. Hence the length of sentences. (Wow, now I feel like I should be insane with my ramblings the way they are :P).
I loved how much you established and furthered with this chapter. It helped to answer a few questions and set the scene for answering some lingering questions in the final chapter.
10/10, as usual :)
Author's Response: I shall ignore how much I suck for not getting to this sooner, and get straight to the response portion :)
I really can't say how much I appreciate that, Dani. I've always wanted to be published, but I can't latch onto an idea that I can stick with or even fully flesh out. The thing is, I find fanfic an easier platform to use for experimentation and adaption. I only hope that what, if anything, I publish could earn as much praise as this is.
Daphne creeps me out more now than she did six months ago. I think I needed that distance to see what I'd really done to her, and I'm actually quite pleased now with what happened.
I think the contrast in syntax was more subconscious than anything, but I like your analysis of it better than mine. I'm also glad that you recognize the difference in their forms of madness. Actually, you hit the nail right on the head, as usual, so I can't express how pleased I am about that.
There is a scary amount of stuff to be accomplished in the final chapter. I'm terrified to start it (it's mid February and I haven't touched the fic since December). There's so much invested in wrapping it up properly, and I'm so worried about getting it right. I just hope that, when the time comes, it's ready. Thank you so much for your encouragement through the months, ily.