Reading Reviews for Shadow
  
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Aphoride Shadow

16th January 2014:
Hey there! Sorry for being a bit late with getting to this - I've been surprisingly busy over the Christmas/Winter holiday period. I'm here now, though ;)

And wow. Just wow. Gosh, this is amazing. I read a lot of dark/horror, in fanfiction and out, and this is honestly one of the best written and most original one-shots I've read in a long time. Expect a favourite after this! :)

So, after that, I want to apologise if this review is a little short and gushing, etc. :)

Genuinely, like I said before, this is seriously one of the most original one-shots I've read in a long time, possibly ever read. It's such a unique idea! I'm a huge fan of mythology myself, and I've always loved the possibility of including some bit of mythology in one of my stories, and I have to say that this was a pretty tough challenge, given that an incubus is quite a tricky figure of mythology.

You did so well with this, though! Honestly, I loved this. I loved how you really used the mythology in the story, and the detailing of it was so excellent! I loved the idea of incubi and succubi fathering/mothering children who go on to become famous and influential people... in a strange way, it makes sense :P The voice of incubus was amazing, as well - it was such an interesting take on it, the way you made the incubus proud of his accomplishments, in a way, and what his children had done. It was such wonderful characterisation and use of the mythology.

I loved how it tied into Albus Dumbledore, as well. I have to admit that I really wasn't expecting that (I thought maybe it would be Snape, given you said it was in the north - I got a bit confused :P but that was my fault, not yours ;D), but it makes such sense when I think about it! I also love how you mentioned other incubi fathering other children, and the one in the east of europe who claims he's fathered a child who will tear down the definitions of good/evil or something like that... Gellert, perhaps? :P

The details in this were wonderful, the description was amazing... gah, this was just a wonderful, wonderful one-shot. Favourited. Absolutely.

Feel free to re-request later with anything else! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there! No worries- this was a lovely surprise to get! :D Thanks for coming by!

I'm so happy that you liked it! It was one of the more horror-oriented stories I've written, so it's really lovely to hear you thought it was well written and original. It really means a lot! :)

I love mythology too! It's wonderful to get the chance to tie in myths and legends to stories. I agree, the incubus is quite tricky, but I had a lot of fun imagining how it might fit into the wizarding world and into canon.

Ah, I thought the idea of incubi being the parents of extremely talented people fit so well with HP! I'm really happy you thought it made sense. It's lovely to know you liked his voice- in a way, I imagined that his own true accomplishment or impact on the world was fathering great children, so that's all he really has to hang onto.

Confused isn't such a bad thing! :P I was hoping readers would have that moment of realization, hehe. I'm glad you liked the mention of the mysterious other child- good job guessing. :P

Thank you so much for this absolutely beautiful review! :) It was ever so wonderful and really made my day! :D ♥


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Review #2, by Elfwynn  Shadow

12th January 2014:
Goodness me! This is so creepy.

I love all the creepy mythology and folk tales that you use at the start. It seemed like some of the imagery that you deployed had quite a few *almost* religious references and connotations. Was this a deliberate decision or did it come from the myths and tales that you found or just something implicit in the way you were writing? I only really know the role of the incubus in the Merlin legends so I would be interested to hear what you think.


At first, I wasn't quite sure where the 'Harry Potter' factor was (if that makes sense). However as the creepiness factor begin to grow, it seemed to draw back from the purely mythological and historic to evoke an increasingly sinister connection between the incubus and the witches of the wizarding world.

I love the voice that you use - it feels as if the narrator is whispering quietly in your ear; telling you things - evil secrets that should be repeated.

Finally, when I was struck by the revelation of the name, I did a double take and I had to go back and re-read it from the beginning!

I love the way that that this piece seems to draw you in carefully and then suddenly slaps you with a realisation that puts everything in perspective. It acts like a crescendo that ends with a sudden clash of a cymbal!

Really nice work!

Author's Response: Hi! :)

Hehe, I'm glad you found it creepy. Creepy is the most fun to write. :)

I'm glad you liked the references and the religious imagery- that was very much on purpose! I sort of combined the research I'd done with some of my ideas of restrained sexuality from the era and religious imagery, so it was a little bit of a combination. Many of the facts, like incubus visits being used to cover up unwanted pregnancies and abuse from relatives/family friends, were from my historical research.

That makes a lot of sense! It was tricky to work in the HP verse since there aren't any mentions of something similar, which is part of why I set the story in the Victorian age.

I love the way you described the voice, that's just what I was hoping for! Evil secrets that should be repeated... I like the idea that the incubus really wanted to tell his story and be heard. :)

Ah, I'm so thrilled to hear you felt that way about the ending. That was just what I hoped for, to have this plot twist which changed the whole story, so I'm glad that was the effect! :) A crescendo that ends with a sudden clash of a cymbal... I LOVE that!

Thanks for the lovely review, it was so wonderful of you to come by and read my story! :D It really made my day! :)


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Review #3, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Shadow

12th January 2014:
Hey, it's Sam here, reviewing your entry for my Supernatural Creature challenge. :)

Wow. I did not expect that end. That the woman was Kendra and Albus was the son of an Incubus. It's put Albus in another light, thinking of him as a fighter for the light even with demon blood in him.

Speaking of demons, I love your Incubus. The thought of this supernatural creature as a feral-like shadow in the night was creepily fitting and different from other stories I've read.

I felt a little bad for the Incubus when Kendra saw him for what he was and sent him away; despite his less than human form, he seemed to really care for her and it was sad to see him cast aside so easily.

I love the use of second person. Now that I've read this, I can't imagine it being the same if it was written any other way. Like he's still talking to Kendra, always thinking of her - it's bittersweet.

I really loved this story. Thank you for entering my challenge!

Sam.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Ah yes, I hoped that people would be surprised with the ending! :) I always felt like Dumbledore was a little too good to be true and having him be the son of an incubus provided a sort of convenient explanation for him to have such special powers. :P

Thank you! I loved writing the incubus and his particular personality. It was a lot of fun making him creepy, and I'm glad you found it different.

I do too! :( It really presented a shift for Kendra from having an insubstantial lover to finding a real life. It wasn't truly fair for him, as despite being a demon he did have true feelings of love and passion.

I'm glad you liked the use of "you." I loved writing in that style and felt it added to the creepy but also bittersweet factor.

Thanks for the beautiful review, for issuing the challenge which I really enjoyed, and for choosing this story as the winner! :) I was very honoured and had a wonderful time writing this story. :D


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Review #4, by LilyLou Shadow

9th January 2014:
Hey, Jenna!

This was quite an incredible one shot. Needless to say, this is a one of a kind. Never have I ever read anything like this. Not even an original fiction. This was so captivating and surreal. I felt as though I was the will-o-the-wisp. Everything was so wonderfully described and just so perfect.

Ahh, I love how you manage to make the reader feel as though they are a part of the story. You have a way of doing that, which I admire greatly. I envy you, and not to mention am extremely proud to have you as my beta reader.

Beautiful one shot!

-Janelle

Author's Response: Hi Janelle! :)

Aw, if you could know how sweet this review was and how happy it made me! Thank you! I'm so glad you found this original and captivating, that is some truly lovely praise. I'm so pleased to hear how you connected to the story.

Thank you for this beautiful review, and I am very proud to have you as my wonderful beta-ee as well! :D


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Review #5, by Penelope Inkwell Shadow

8th December 2013:
So, wow.

When I read your summary I really didnít know what to expect. It was difficult to imagine an appealing story about an incubus. But then, you just surprised me. There were some really lovely moments in this, and the ending was so striking. You did a very nice job with this one shot!

Your descriptions are lovely. The way you describe his darkness and sensuality--itís really just so smooth. Itís dark, but not so dark itís just terrifying and creepy. Itís more like...I donít know, those commercials for chocolate truffles, like Lindt? And they always are pouring out these floods of dark chocolate that just ripples and pools and makes food look sort of weirdly sexy? Itís like that.

...which is meant to be a very fine compliment--I hope that comes across. Chocolate is always a compliment.

If I had to give CC, and I pretty much always do as a general rule, the only thing I could think of was that there was once or twice when he sounded almost modern, which was different than his usual dark chocolate I-have-seen-the-empires-crumble-and-now-I-shall-seduce-you voice. But then, sometimes that was a good thing. It gave him that touch of humanity that made you able to connect with him, just a bit. To be able to feel for him, just enough to make the story matter more than it would if he was just some emotionless monster.

"it is spoken of all the time but never mentioned: monitored by physicians with monocles, black-draped women with white hoods and stern faces kneeling before solemn effigies as the dust mites are trapped in their wimples. There is no place for we dark ones here. ď--I just love this. The depiction of the Victorian age is so well crafted, and how you chose to set this in that era--Strike of Brilliance!--that would be remarkable bad times for a seduction demon.

I loved how you had him spend so many centuries in London, from the Roman occupation of Londinium, to the Arthurian age, to the Victorian. Those little tidbits dropped here and there really give that sense of an ancient being.

"Can you feel me? Black as the velvety ink which has been hidden as you snuffed out your candle, plunging the world into quiet stillness.Ē --This might have been my favorite. Right at the beginning, it just sets the mood so well.

Your concept, too, was fascinating, since the story was as much about his lover as it was about him. The way you described what she had done to survive her poverty, and all the circumstances proceeding her marriage. And it being Dumbledoreís mother! Those last words at the end, and then suddenly it all lined up: her eldest son being a wizard of such remarkable power, his blackened hand, the tragedies that struck the family again and again, his victories and mistakes, the Mirror of Erised. What a concept! It was a really brilliant idea, and stars to you for thinking of it.

One question: was the other demonís son, from the East, Grindelwald? If so, I like that, too. Iím a big fan of little, intricate details that can only really be understood in hindsight, and you did a marvelous job of including that here!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hello! :) Thanks for swapping with me, and leaving me such a thoughtful review! It was so wonderful to receive.

I'm very happy you were pleasantly surprised! I was really curious about how people might react to this story before and after they read it, especially since it was so odd and written really hastily.

Thank you, I'm glad you liked the descriptions! Haha, I think the chocolate metaphor is one of the best compliments I've ever gotten, and I know exactly what you mean. :D Chocolate is always a good thing.

Excellent, CC is always appreciated. :) I'm going to do some editing in a couple days and I'll keep an eye out for modernness and see whether it should be adjusted or not. Thanks for pointing that out! :)

I'm so pleased you liked the Victorian era, and it's such a time of change but also certain associations and I had a lot of fun imagining that world. I've actually been studying Foucault in one class so I think that part about restrained sensuality came from reading his work, and I've been reading Victorian novels lately too which helped set the atmosphere! Yes, the poor incubus has a bit of a rough time of it!

I'm a little obsessed with history and with London, and it seems to creep its way into most of my stories somehow. I'm happy you liked the historical references and it really felt like he'd been alive, wandering the earth for all this time.

That was the first line I wrote when getting the piece onto the screen, and I'm so glad it stuck with you! One of my favourites as well. :)

Yes, I thought this particular lover was especially important in tying them into the HP-verse, and it's lovely to know that you liekd her story. I positioned it so that readers might have this moment of realization at the end and suddenly the whole story would tie together, and I'm really happy that seemed to happen for you, it makes me so happy! :)

Yes, that was what I intended. :) You're so perceptive!

Thanks so much for a wonderful review, it was really a joy to read and respond to. :D



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Review #6, by maskedmuggle Shadow

7th December 2013:
Hey there!

Here from the forums with your requested review! First off, I actually really liked this story - horror/dark isn't really the stuff I usually read at all but as I read on I found myself getting more and more engaged with the story.

I found it very original how the speaker is an incubus - I have never come across this before and I really liked how you weaved it into the HP world with him targeting witches. The voice of the incubus was very compelling to read and I liked how you 'characterised' him so strongly just through what he was thinking/saying - he definitely felt very sinister and arcane throughout. So in response to your concern about the character voice - I actually think it's spot on for an incubus.

You were concerned about whether your story is too stylistic with not enough plot, but I want to reassure you that I feel like you've got the perfect balance! The descriptive language actually sets the mood of the story so well - the opening paragraph had some beautifully dark imagery that heightened the dark character of the incubus. As for the plot, I liked how you tracked it through history and then focused on the one specific person, and outlined the story of Kendra's background (I really liked how she was a woman masquerading as a man - a really original and believable idea!). I especially liked how everything was quite indistinct/vague and anonymous - until the end.

The ending was definitely a surprise, and it was interesting! I thought the woman would just be some anonymous forgotten person and that if you put a name to her it would ruin the story but.. the way you wrote it made it all work perfectly - so I really liked how it was revealed at the end. You also could not have picked a better person than Kendra - she's someone we know in the HP world, but also someone who we barely know at all - so her background story was really believable and I loved this insight into her life.

So now I'm onto the areas of confusion - there weren't many at all but I do wonder why the incubus is so focused on Kendra when he has "had many lovers". To explain: I don't mind the whole focus on Kendra's life story, but how at the end it seems like the incubus is heavily focused on only watching "our son" (Dumbledore - I love how the incubus spoke about him by the way) - what about all the other children he has fathered? Why do the incubus' thoughts "linger upon [Kendra]" and why is it only Kendra's name that the incubus sings? (What of all the other women?) I kind of thought that Kendra would be just another one of hundreds of women that the incubus would forget just as easily.

The only other thing was with the Mirror (of Erised; I'm assuming): I'm a bit confused how when Kendra looks in the mirror she sees her desire: her and the incubus as two respectful members of society, but how when Kendra looks again, this time standing next to the incubus, she sees the real reflection of the incubus. I'm just a bit confused as the mirror is about seeing one's desire - so I imagine Kendra would only see her desire and not the incubus' reflection? Hope this makes sense!

Lastly, a small note that I didn't notice any spelling/grammar/punctuation errors at all, so well done for that! Overall though, I really enjoyed your story immensely! It's really unlike anything I've ever read so you really deserve some applause for that! I definitely didn't mean to write so much in my review but I guess I had a lot of things to say! I hope this review helps you in someway though :P I found this fic to have a really unique idea and written really well, and I'm glad I had the chance to read it!

- Charlotte/maskedmuggle :)

Author's Response: Hi Charlotte! Wow, this is so long and in depth, thank you! :D It's really great to hear you liked my story, even if you're not a big fan of horror. I feel like as horror stories go, this one is a little lovey-dovey at times. :P

It's great to hear you liked the incubus and thought it was original to hear from him. I whipped this up last-minute for a challenge and thought it would be an interesting perspective to tie into the HP world: it never occurred to me to write from the POV of a character who wasn't the incubus, for some reason. I'm pleased you thought his voice worked well. :)

Okay, that's really helpful to hear as I was worried it would fall off the poetic deep end and not make any sense at all. It's good to know the style fit well with the plot and voice. I'm really pleased you liked the way the story flowed as well: I enjoyed having that surprise at the end since it was a little bit of a surprise to me as well! :)

Ah, I'm so glad you found the ending interesting! I agree, I wanted to write a Victorian era story and thought Kendra would be a good choice since, as you said, she's a little mysterious. I'm glad you liked her and thought I did her justice! :)

Thanks so much for pointing these out, it's really helpful! In my head canon Albus was the last child the incubus fathered and Kendra probably his last lover: since the country is moving through the industrial revolution and towards modernization and the Enlightenment is underway, and they're moving away from believing in supernatural things and leaving room for creatures like the incubus to get close to people. I thought it might make sense if the incubus lingered on them since they were the last of his "family" for lack of a better word. Now that you've pointed that out I'll definitely clarify a little more in the story: I think it will make the story stronger in fact! :D

Yes, the mirror just sort of crept in there. :P I think I need to clarify the positioning at the time: I imagined Kendra looking in and seeing an image of her and a respectable husband, and then she moved the incubus to look in by himself (getting out of the reflection herself) and she illuminates her wand and sees him, so she's not looking in the mirror at the time. Just writing it out like this clarifies it for me too: it's a bit of an odd scene! :) Thanks so much again for pointing these things out, I'm going to do an edit soon and hopefully clarify! :D

Yay, no errors! :) Thanks so much, and I'm so happy you liked the story and found it original. This is very helpful and I really appreciate it! :D


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Review #7, by toomanycurls Shadow

7th December 2013:
O.O This is amazing. The entire time I thought the story would reveal some evil wizard's origin. I wasn't expecting it to be *that* person. (I won't say incase someone reads this as it's a bit of a spoiler.)

I feel like this is one of the most beautifully written stories I've read. This has a very poetic flow to it. The way you talk of the creature's history and past experiences gives such a sense of depth. The narrative voice you use sounds like it came straight out of an old time fairy tale. The hint of darkness to the tale is wonderfully done.

As he seduces the woman in the second part of the story I was on the edge of my seat. He seemed to fall in love with her as much as she fell for him. I'm curious to read her perception of their relationship.

I loved how the incubus watched over his child. It really showed a level of care and interest I never would have thought possible. And, again, the ending nearly knocked me out of my chair!!

Excellently done!

-Rose

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Ah, thank you! This review itself is amazing! I'm really glad it surprised you as that's just what I was going for, hehe.

Wow, thank you, that's such a lovely compliment! I love writing in this sort of style and I'm very pleased you liked the narrative voice and it's old-fashioned style.

It's interesting how you perceived his feelings for her, I was wondering how people might react to that! :) I think that she loved him too, but in a dreamlike, unrealistic sort of way since he's not a real lover in the convention sense. Hmm, I might have to write a follow-up with her reactions to it someday! :P

I'm happy that the story brought a new perspective to an incubus, and of course that you were surprised by the ending. :) Thanks so much for a wonderful review!


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Review #8, by patronus_charm Shadow

7th December 2013:
Wow, this piece, wow.

The whole persona built up behind the devil was really amazing. I think the whole combination of Venice, royalty and nobility and the difference between open and closed sexuality and the trends of it in history was really fantastic. You just built this sort of decadent backdrop to him that suggests temptation, which would make what the women do what they did, and the detail of that was really fantastic.

Iíve been trying to think of a way to describe the devilís narrative but I am yet to think of the right adjective. Either way, the sort of sinister and egotistical air was really fantastic. It matched his character really brilliantly, and the way he was uncaring and cold at the same time as wanting to be close physically was a really interesting combination to observe.

The way the devil gave up his love for luxury and decided to see the lower levels of life at the workhouses was a really great twist. Your description of it there was really brilliant and caught that anxious and hopeless air of the inmates really well. It was almost as if I could sense their yearning to escape, and no wonder Kendra was seduced by him because he was an escape to her.

Iím really annoyed at myself for not picking out the signs it was her before with her being a Muggleborn, her poor roots and the dates, and now I look back on it, I have to credit you for the way you wove in those little hints as it was a great touch. Iím still trying to figure out whether he ever loved her or not, but I suppose this is one of those situations where love can be mistaken for so many other things.

Ahahahaha, Iím still mind blowing over this! So Albus is the son of some evil devil spirit? I really loved that twist and how you wove it into the family curse of all those deaths and disputes as it gives a perfect reason for them now.

This was another fantastic story of yours!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi! :)

Ah, I'm so glad you liked it. And I'm glad I could count on you to catch onto the historical trends and ideas. :D I'm so pleased you liked them and the details of the historical context as I loved writing it (and history in general, as you can probably tell!)

Sinister and egotistical are great ways to put it! I'm glad you enjoyed his character and how inhuman yet also loving in a strange way he was. I really enjoy writing these kinds of spooky, odd characters who can't really be defined by normal human terms.

I'm pleased you liked the factory, working class part of it as I thought that would be an interesting twist that suited the era. I've been studying 'North and South' by Gaskell in class so that was a bit of an inspiration. :) You're right, he was an escape, and in kind of a creepy way I think it was a good relationship, or at least fun for me to explore.

Ah thanks! :D What I was secretly hoping for from this story was for people to read the last line, and then have an epiphany type moment where everything just clicks together. That's a little how it was for me writing it, and it's great to know if had that sort of effect. Yes, love here is a little more conditional and complicated, but I think that he did care for her, in a way. He certainly dwelled on her for a long time, whether that's love or not.

Haha yes! I feel like Albus' powers and intelligence are a little too good to be true in a way, and this sort of parenthood might explain why he's so exceptional and his siblings weren't necessarily.

Thanks so much for a thoughtful and wonderful review, and I'm so excited you liked it! :D


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Review #9, by Red_headed_juliet Shadow

6th December 2013:
Oh wow. Wonderful. I love it. At first I was a little worried that you were going to make the incubus too vampiric, but then you didn't and I was happy.

The story is beautifully told. I'm normally more comfortable with third person, but this narrative was exquisite. It was truly beautiful. You succeeded in making me feel as though an unearthly creature was speaking to me, or at least telling the story, and that is not an easy feat! I read on with interest throughout the entire thing, and I don't think you had any frivolous sentences. You had wonderfully diversified sentences, utilizing both complex and simple sentences to get the job done, and very well at that.

Then... the ending. I thought it was going to be Grindelwald, but then you had him be a son of light, and I was like.. no way! But in the end it was totally yes way. I do love this very very much, and if you didn't win the challenge, or haven't won the challenge, then it must be a ridiculously close call, because this is awesome. I'm a sucker for tragedy, and I love the bitter sweet ending. The idea of immortality always seemed like a curse to me, and i love the idea of an incubus following the woman who scorned him for his true self in spite of all the contention. And then loving (or at least, caring about) his son as much as he could, just... wonderful.

ANYWAYS! If you can't tell, I really like it. Very nicely done. Bravo! It was a pleasure review swapping with you. +]

Author's Response: Hi! :) Thank you! Yeah, I felt like they were quite different creatures, vampires almost have it better in a way, and I wanted to make the incubus unique!

Wow, I'm so pleased you liked it! I really enjoyed writing it and playing with the language, and it's wonderful to know it came across as unearthly. Hearing you liked the language and style is really helpful, I wasn't sure if it was too much or not, so I'm glad to know it was effective. :)

Haha yes way! I'm glad you liked that little twist and explanation of these especially powerful wizards like Grindelwald. I enjoy tragedy a lot too - especially writing it - and agree that immortality would be awful, especially in the form of an incubus who doesn't really participate in society but exists on the fringes. I really enjoyed writing about his son as well, and imagining the incubus watching for all these key moments. :)

Thank you so much for this brilliant review and for swapping with me! :D


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Review #10, by LightLeviosa5443 Shadow

4th December 2013:
Thanks for the request in my thread!

All I have to say is Wow. This story was absolutely mind-blowing. I honestly don't even know how you came up with it. It was weird, and twisted, and crazy, and disturbing, but it was also romantic, poetic, sweet and dramatic all at the same time.

Your writing style is so captivating and addicting here, I couldn't yank my eyes from the story the entire time, I had to keep going. You make the reader feel the incubus' emotions. You really love the woman dressed as a man, until you hate her for doing those things to you.

You feel the sadness they feel when they watch everyone grow old and die. You've done a brilliant job here, my mind is quite literally blown. There were some minor spelling mistakes here and there, but nothing that completely jumped out at me, in fact when I went back through, I couldn't find them.

Brilliant job, really.

xoxo LL

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for reviewing! :)

Aw, thank you so much! I'm really glad to have such lovely feedback since I had no idea how this story would be received. I'm so glad you found all these contrasts and thought it was both twisted and romantic at the same time- that's just what I was going for! :)

I'm pleased you like the writing style as well! I had a lot of fun writing it, and that it helped you engage with the poor incubus.

I feel as if living on in that form would be so difficult and tragic, and I'm pleased that came across. I'll go back and edit out those mistakes soon! :)

Thanks so much for a wonderful review! :D I really appreciate it!


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