This was a very unique story. I've never thought to think about how Dementors might see their lives or how Muggles might feel when confronted by a Dementor. I thought both descriptions were equally well done.
The first thing I noticed was the setting. You have a wonderful way of setting up the scene. I could really see myself there in London. The Lovecraft quotation helped with that, too. I love how the two men get cornered into a barrier that they can't get around. That was a nice touch. I could really see them there.
I also liked your structure -- staring with the Dementor, then Adrien, then back to the Dementor. It allowed us to see both sides to the situation. The Dementor seemed to know everything, while everything was foggy and confused to Adrien . . . but then it was Adrien who thwarted the Dementor, even though he didn't know what he was doing. I loved the presence of mind you gave to Adrien, and I couldn't help but root for him, even though I knew it meant he was going to have to kill himself.
Overall, the plot was good. You set it up so well -- the Dementor doesn't find any resistance in Dmitri, so both the Dementor and the reader are expecting it to be just as easy with Adrien . . . only it's not. You have a great twist there. Even though I was hoping for it, I didn't really expect he'd manage to kill himself. You kept the suspense up really well. I also thought the Dementors were definitely accurate from what we know from canon . . . maybe too accurate. I found that you used the word "rattling" to describe its breath more often than maybe you should, and even in the same constructions. For example, in the third section, in the first paragraph, you write, "I let out a harsh rattling breath" and then just a few paragraphs after that, you write, "I let out a long rattling breath". I think you could have used other words and structures to describe the breath, rather than essentially repeating the same one.
I did not notice any glaring mistakes in grammar, so even if there are any, they didn't stick out or distract me from reading. And I loved the title! I didn't know what I was getting into, but after I finished reading, I realized how perfect it is. Overall, I really enjoyed seeing this take on the Dementors and Muggles. It felt natural, realistic, and interesting.
Firstly, I love the quote at the beginning of the fic. I think it really sets the scene quite wonderfully - very apt, very striking, very accurate. It reminds me of Dumbledore's quote… what is it again?
Quote: It's the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.
For me, the use of the quote was a great start to the story.
One of the initial things I noticed when reading was the use of first person narrative. I found it rather off-putting. I've never exactly thought of a Dementor thinking clear, concise thoughts, more… basic feelings. In my head, they're beings, rather than actual humans, if you get what I mean. The first person, for me, just wasn't quite right. I understand the purpose of it being first person - to really suck you in, to really comprehend the "brain" of a Dementor - but it just didn't quite work for me. The way things were phrased were too human-like: can a Dementor, in fact, make the distinction of 'deciding' to do something? I think it would have made more sense to just have it 'do' something, rather than making a conscious decision to do it. To be honest, if I were to write from a Dementor's POV, I would be hesitant as to what narrative to choose. I suppose it would be a toss between third or second. Third could be too uninvolved, too nonchalant, and would more than likely detract from the whole striking, Dementor's point of view element. I would have liked to see it told from the second person, actually. I know it's difficult to pull off, but I have quite a penchant for second person narrative, when it's done well. That way, you would still things from the Dementor's eyes, but I think it would have been less… human-like. I've never thought about a Dementor thinking at all, if I'm honest. It never entered my head that they could think or feel like a human does. In my head, they're more… beings, than actual humans. In my mind, they rely on instinct, much like an animal does. It doesn't seem fitting that they can think so concisely and so thoroughly, but then have that complete lack of moral distinction. It doesn't match. How can a creature make so many observances, then not understand, or at least, explain why they are so? I think to have them closer to creature than human is more apt.
I also think that the story would have been more effective if it was told in the present tense. In my head, it seems odd that a Dementor would 'remember' a previous event, if you get me. I think it would have been more realistic, and more powerful for things to be happening as you read it. More hard-hitting, really. The Dementors, as magical creatures rather than actual human beings, seem like they would just exist, rather than live, and it would seem more appropriate to have them 'in the moment', rather than reflecting.
The style of writing in the piece… I'm not sure about it. I found the majority of the sentences to be overly long - not poorly written, for some of the images were truly intense, and the descriptions were certainly evoking - but just over-done. I felt it was too much. It jarred with my understanding of how a Dementor 'thinks' - short, sharp sentences and gut feelings, rather than detailed observations. The writing was though-provoking, but not quite as effective as what it could have been. This paragraph, though, is amazingly powerful in its imagery and description:
His soul, a white, hazy, shapeless form slowly emerged from within this human’s disgusting mouth, which was now hanging open like an open gateway. It ascended like thick smoke and was starting to take on various shapes and sizes before I promptly drew it into my mouth, trapping it in me eternally—never to be free and always surrounded by darkness, just like its human body, which would remain an empty shell forever more.
Not only does the event sound exactly like how I had pictured it to be, but the last few lines are just wow; so morbid, so disturbing, but so powerful.
To me, there seemed to be several potential endings, marked by the switch in narrative (which I found distracting, and a tad unnecessary…) This line, which was so dramatic, so touching, and so powerful, could have been an ideal finish:
“For my sins,” he managed to croak out, feeling his life drain out of him. And without another moment’s hesitation he pulled the trigger…
While I didn't like the switch between the Dementor and Adrien, I think it could have been left there, and ended with a bang.
As a general observance, I found the whole concept of the story to be terrifically original and intriguing. I hope my review doesn't sound too critical, as I really did enjoy reading this one-shot, and I think you are a truly gifted writer. You have amazing potential :)
First off, you quoted my favourite weird science/gothic horror author. You are made of awesome sauce!
I have never read a story from a Dementor’s point of view. The fact that you chose that particular epigram from that particular author was very clever, in my opinion. The premise behind this story is interesting and clever. To me, it is a piece with potential. You have some great lines and imagery in some places; however, I feel as though you should have expanded on them:
To add to this mad fear, I skillfully brought forth his most terrible memories and drowned him with them.
This is a good sentence, but I feel that it should have been expanded. Show us a terrible memory, show us how the Dementor drowned his victim with his own memories. Demonstrate that fear! I know that you end up doing that, later on, through the eyes of Adrien, but the reader’s attention span is short. You’re writing to a generation raised by television, video games, and the Internet. Our needs have to be satisfied immediately or else we move on. ^_~
Aside from my critique, the images I do like are the ones that you keep simple and clean:
Instantly, my deep cavern of a mouth yawned wide open as an immense pleasure swept through me. I let out a deep rattling breath as I sucked the air in front of him, rendering him completely speechless. It was only a matter of seconds now…his soul was mine to take and I relished in that thought alone.
Now, this is actually chilling, if only in the simplicity of its description. The reader is not laden with an over-abundance of adjectives and cheap metaphors. I like this.
White fog blurred his senses as the cold clenched at his heart – the uncanny sensation causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end.
Here, again, more simple imagery, which really helps the flow of your work: I want to see more of this type of prose!
I knew what it was and I knew there was nothing I could do to go anywhere near it, but I stretched my arm out anyway as the slightly translucent creature took flight and soared into the morning sky.
This was made of WIN. I really liked this and the description beforehand. In fact, the last scene is moving and pretty darn close to brilliant. IMHO.
To end on a positive note, I really did like the twist told from the Demontor’s PoV. Please don’t be discouraged by any of my seemingly negative concrit. I just think you have great potential, especially with these creative plots of yours.
Oh my word! That was amazing! I was completely shocked! A demeantor?!? Wow... I really don't know how to describe this. Well, I loved how you showed both points of view. I don't think I have ever viewed them as creatures of thought. I just took them for mostly instinct. That was a pretty amazing idea for a one shot. I honestly was shocked and amazed when I finished reading this. I absolutely loved it!!!!!!!
How's that for a rambling review? Hahaha!
Try try em!
Author's Response: ^_^v Thanks!!
Wow, the detail was amazing! Excellent job. I really liked how you described the dementor's point of view, and the very ending when Andrian's soul (I hope I'm right with that) escaped.
Author's Response: Merci beaucoup! For the first time I could play around with a character/being(?) lol...I was able to make up the things it would do w/o being scared whether I was being canon/non-canon ^^ As for Adrien's soul escaping: that was a rather interesting scene to write out...! Of course, I don't really know what actually happens when we die, but I like to imagine that something of that sort would take place =P Thanks a ton for your review!!
That was really quite good.
Author's Response: Yay! Thank you so much! I'm really glad you decided to have a look at this fic too!! Your review is much appreciated! ^^
Absolutely excellent! The Dementor's Kiss in the perspective of the Dementor is a completely unique perspective, and I think you did beautifully.
I love the fact that Adrien thwarted the Dementor in the end, even if the man was a thief and a murderer.
Extremely well done, IMO.
Author's Response: You're the first to review this story! Yay! I got all excited (as I usually do) when I received an e-mail saying that it was approved! =D I've been waiting for a plot to come into mind...I wanted to write something dark and yet artistic? I'm not sure if that's the correct word lol, but this came into my head one day and I got writing!
First off, I'm really glad you liked my characterization of the Dementor! I didn't have much reference, so it was a nice challenge *smiles* Secondly, I don't usually like killing off my characters, but it suited the situation and I couldn't let it by ^_^
Thank you so much for taking the time to review! I really appreciate it!