Wow, this was a powerful chapter. I liked how different it was. I feel like this story really reads like a horror novel, but it really works with this fic. There is a Victorian-Gothic feel about what's happening to Isla, and the fact that you told this story in first person has only heightened the power of the fic. By chosing the first person narrative, you've allowed the reader to experience all the mystery and confusion that Isla is experiencing. Also, your descriptions in this chapter were haunting and helped set a very Gothic tone to the fic.
Author's Response: Thank you!
I liked the dream. It carried over the mystery from the first chapter. I could tell this chapter was wrapping some of the explosiveness of the first chapter up while getting ready to move onto the second chapter. Isla's character seems really believable, but I couldn't really judge the full scope of her character in this chapter because I felt she didn't really do a lot. Mostly, Isla was in shock, and the nightmare helped propel this story forward, and maybe the mysterious book will serve as a type of prophecy later in the fic.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review. And I'm glad you think Isla is believable. I like her a lot and give my best to make a tridimensional character out of her.
"Of course, Father was not happy with me when I lost my composure and hurt any of my siblings." For some reason, this sentence made me laugh out loud.
I was confused about 3/4 of the way through whether I was reading flash forwards or flash backs of the italicised portions...but I figured it out by the end, obviously. :)
This is still very mysterious! :)
Author's Response: Haha, that was my intention, to keep it mysterious. As a matter of fact, the whole writing process seems like a mystery to me now. I can't really remember how I managed to get the story to look like it does today. It's all a mere blur nowadays. lol
This story is beautiful and dark...the language is lovely. You write this time period (I read in the other review, mid 1800s?) very well...properly speaking, rich, noble woman. It's delightfully romantic. :) And this tale is very mysterious while allowing us to see the development of Isla.
"Elle? What is it?’ I questioned, my voice worried something bad had happened, and sat up, throwing off the blanket. My sister usually did not get upset; she stood above such mundane things. But once and again when the rarity of her being upset did happen, we had to be careful because in this case something really bad had occurred." // This paragraph seemed odd to me...perhaps she is not fully remembering what happened after seeing her brother's body? But I would think that "What is it?" wouldn't be the question that is asked after such an incident. Maybe more like, "What happened?" Her sister's response is appropriate though. :)
"The first problem I had to solve was my relation to Bob. I liked him, I really truly did, but was liking him enough to risk the safety being a Black meant? Did I want to get thrown out when they learned about me meeting and talking to a Muggle-born?" // This also seems strange--the first problem to think about after her brother's murder? I know it says in the next paragraph that the "bigger" concern was her brother. These were simply my first throughts upon my first read-through.
"they prickled like I was stabbed with thousands of small needles" // Good description...I hate when that happens!
"I gulped and slowly made one, then two steps towards the centre of the market, not knowing why I did not just turn back and made my way out of there as quickly as possible." // I believe it should be "...make my way out of there" rather than "made".
"But I could get out of the way just in time and stayed unhurt." // This sentence is somewhat ackward...maybe it could be phrased "But I could get of the way just in time and stay unhurt."
I have not read "Shining Through Blackness", so maybe the reference to the man at the end and the importance of Bob are not quite as mysterious to those readers? The remaining two chapters are posted, so I will go check them out!
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing and the compliments. I'll look into your comments closer as soon as I have a spare moment. Thanks for reading.
I'm going to include my favorite section from th prologue because I think it really exemplifies really good inner tumoil in first person POV.
I had tried explaining him my reasons, but I could not even understand it myself for the most part. So how was I supposed to expect him to fully understand it? Even my thoughts were often confusing, too confusing for me, and I had to stop thinking or I would get a major headache.
It can be a bit difficult to write a convincing first person, but you gave the character distinct thoughts while still describing in the scenery to the reader. I liked how you ended the prologue with a cliff-hanger, too, instead of simply having her meet with her brother. Now, I'm left wondering not only who killed her brother, but what they wanted to talk about that had Isla so worried.
Author's Response: Thank you! I love writing in first person POV. It gives me the opportunity to be closer to my characters and explore their inner feelings in more depth than third person offers in my opinion.
If you're looking for concrit, I've got a few mistakes I found (although that may not be all of them, I sort of got into the story). Anyway, mistakes:
"She looked quite pale, and her grey eyes missed the usual sparkle of pride and superior feeling."
You probably want to replace that with 'lacked.'
"I stood up; it was one thing to grief upon the lost brother, and another one to play things down."
Definitely replace 'grief' with 'grieve,' probably replace 'upon' with 'for.'
"Never before my sister had ever listened to anything I had said."
You probably meant to say, 'Never before had my sister ever listened...'
Otherwise, as far as I can tell, great story. It's immediately fascinating because of the mystery it presents as well as the conflicts within the character's own life. Isla seems to be an interesting character, and great use of a minor character fleshed out rather than a random OC. Besides, I love a well-done rebel rich girl, so I'm immediately inclined to like her.
Author's Response: Thanks for the comments. I'll look into the mistakes.
Ooh, Bine, this was good. I wish that I had time to read the rest of this story, but, alas, I do not.
I enjoy reading about minor and original characters and you've made Isla very human and personal.
Well done! Hopefully I'll be able to read the rest soon :]
Author's Response: Yay, another review! *hugs* Thanks for the lovely review, my dear. And I hope you can read the rest soon.
I want to read the next chapter so much, but I really don’t have enough time. :( Ah, well, I’ll just review you for now instead.
I’ve said it on other stories by you, Bine, but I love your use of language. What time period is this set in? The order you’ve used words in isn’t how we would today, but it adds to the story, even though it confused me slightly in a couple of places. And I love the use of no contractions, by the way.
The characterisation of Isla is lovely. She’s so different to the majority of pureblood Blacks - I look forward to seeing more of her in the rest of the story.
What struck me about this was how it went from such little worries about this person called Bob to, ‘Oh God! My brother is dead!’ Well, Isla isn’t quite like that, but you know. That’s probably what she’s thinking.
I had tried explaining him my reasons - ‘to him’.
Silence surrounded me completely, and I felt embraced by a soft dark veil, only that it was not a warm embrace but a cold one. - I love this sentence. Such powerful imagery, but so simple! I would take out ‘that’ though - it would flow better without.
Surprisingly, though, I was back to call him by his first name. - Did you mean ‘calling’ here?
My shadow fell onto the first landing, and I took a deep breath. I also just realised that the house looked gloomy and was ghastly silent - this builds up a sense of foreboding so well. I especially liked the use of ‘shadow’. This continues excellently when Isla enters the room.
Great story - I look forward to reading the next chapter. You have me intrigued.
Author's Response: Oh my Helga, another review! Yay! *huggles* And thanks for that lovely compliment. :)
The story plays in the late 1860s, so I decided - adding to the fact that Isla is from a wealthy family - that without contractions it would sound more like her being from upper class and all. Also, What Is To Happen is a companion story to my other WIP, Shining Through Blackness, if you want to read more about Isla. I just edited chapter thirteen and sent it off to my beta so another update shall follow soon.
Also thanks for your nitpicks. I'll look into them. *hugs*
Very intriguing, Bine. I can't see any prompts at all so you must have woven them in seamlessly.
I do enjoy reading about characters I know very little about and you've fleshed Isla out very well.
Tiny nit-pick. Surprisingly, though, I was back to call him by his first name. Personally, I think this reads a touch awkwardly. I'd put 'calling' instead of call. Great beginning, though, and I can't wait to read the rest. Carole
Author's Response: Yay, first review! *hugs* Thanks, Carole. *giggles* The prologue is part of the answer to prompt one. hehee =D And I'll check on this nit-pick you have.