Reviews for Drivel II
Skyfullofstars chapter 21 . 3/25
I had not commented in my previous review, about Chloe’s upcoming meeting with Rosita. Now that I’ve read the scene through – twice, I might add – Holy Cow, Woman! I won’t spoil anything for those readers who peruse the Reviews first, but …okay, then. And I must say I really like the character of Rosita.

Have I mentioned how very much I hate, detest and loathe Liz? Just checking.

I know I’ve mentioned this – but your writing is so visual, that I have had no difficulty in picturing these events at all. And Chase and Red, speeding through the snow on a sled, the dogs pulling for all they are worth – that’s a picture worth the price of admission. I am spoiled by a story set in winter and a story with dogs! (Call of the Wild was one of my favorite books as a child.)

Yup! I called it with that foreshadowing phrase from Ch. 20. Nailed it! Not certain that Blake and Charlie deserve to work with Red after the stunt they pulled. (Red is another very sympathetic character. I hope to see Red in a future tale. Hint?)

The last scene of this chapter gave me the absolute willies! I had temporarily ‘forgotten’ about the menace that lived below. Jeez, woman, you play hard and fast with your characters’ lives!

My favorite line: “… groaning like an animal caught in pain.”

I just realized this Chapter is the last one posted, so far. No fair.

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 20 . 3/25
What I love about your story – all of your stories, in fact: there is plenty of action and multiple opposing points of view. There is never any chance of your readers becoming blasé’ or bored. And you certainly deliver in this Chapter . I read back and forth between the scenes taking place and then went back to re-read them all again … just for enjoyment’s sake. Your writing is extremely visual and very enjoyable.

As for multiple pov’s, beginning with Jack’s determination to not play Liz’s game, all I can say is Good for Jack ! Liz is one sick puppy, but he has had it with her power play and resolves to fight back.

I love the mental picture of our hero as “avenging angel” … rather than guardian angel. Excellent phrasing here.

I have to say this: Charlie and Blake’s thoughts of Chase’s story as a combo of Fatal Attraction and Silence of the Lambs in one package is spot on – I was casting about for an apt description of Drivel II and this fits in perfectly. Very apt.

I am a bit worried about your phrasing in that one paragraph about Charlie and Blake – “some close-ups are to die for.” Are we in for one of Jodi2011’s foreshadowing phrases here?

And Liz running out, armed to the teeth – does not bode well for anyone.

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 19 . 1/12
Oops! I misspelled juxtaposition in that last review. Hate when that happens, lol!

I loved that you opened this chapter with Red and his young companions requesting that Chase tell them his story. I could mentally see the three of them, listening to Chase's story. If you were looking for a chapter header, “Shot and Blind in the Sierra Nevadas” would work just fine!

All the while that Red was cleaning Chase’s wounds, I was thinking of his previous question…”are we in danger?” and Chase’s reply…that it depends on who he’s married to, that his father-in-law shot him. So Red is thinking that Jack is to be avoided, as well as Liz. And then he uses the mental phrase, “The vengeful Jack.” Yup. I nailed that one.

Truly, you have a way of making your readers gnash their teeth. When Tony opened the email from Chloe – and then proceeded to ignore it – I groaned in frustration. I just want to shake him.

The freshly-fallen snow doesn’t bode well for Red and his group, or for anyone for that matter. Another thing that doesn’t bode well, Liz’s intentions to punish Jack! This woman is unequivocally evil incarnate and I can’t wait for you to shove her into a snow drift or drop her into a volcano or something. Please.

I have to totally agree with Red’s assessment of the situation when he finds the two young men gone AWOL, after leaving him the note!

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 18 . 1/12
Before I say a few words about Ch 18, I just want to mention a line you used in Ch. 17 that impressed me but that I neglected to mention previously.

Jack is tied to the bed and speaking to Liz…and thinking of how lovely her neck is and how he kissed it once, years back…and here comes the phrase….”but that was years back, back when he was enraptured, before he discovered he was ensnared.”

Wow…Powerful use of justaposition there. Just wanted to let you know.

If Captain Scott thinks that the cabin – and the dank hole – gives HIM the creeps…he should try reading it from our end. Seriously.

As for Chloe's wee scene...here we have a clue in Chloe’s actions, closing the book, turning it over so she can’t see the cover. I remember reading about the Donner Party in school and it gave all of us the creeps. But the revelation of the book title AND that Thaddeus’ paramour was named Liz … rather creepy foreshadowing? Hmm …

I can’t imagine Jack’s thoughts and the burgeoning horror that he shot his own son-in-law, after coming all that way to rescue the man! I hope for rescue for Jack soon. I can’t write what I hope for Liz as it’s not very nice. Not nice at all.

Chase can’t seem to catch a break! It’s been a while since I heard the phrase “snow blind,” and I had to go out and re-read the symptoms. (How good you are for my education!) We’ve seldom lived where there was enough snow to worry about but I remember my Grandfather warning about it, years back, when I was quite young, in Oregon.

Chase’s line….”Depends on who you’re married to, I guess.” Terrific.

Please get help for Chase soon and for Jack. I’m seriously worried here.

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 17 . 11/14/2014
Are you kidding me? No, you aren’t! Jack followed all the clues that led him to Chase and then to Liz…and now you’re saying that they … okay, I won’t give it away. But seriously, Jodi2011 – Wow!

I did not see that coming. Well done, You!

The entire scene between Jack and Liz is not only chilling, but left me with a very bad feeling that maybe Jack won’t get out of this one.

The way you describe Jack’s horror when the full realization of his actions finally catch up to him – “Jack was sinking into a mire, the liquid ooze pressing in…”

Chilling lines!

And this one: “Don’t you just love life, Jack? … Just when you think it’s a bitch, it turns around and does magic.” Out of anyone else’s mouth, that would be life affirming. But coming from Liz, it serves to emphasize her madness.

And this: “I must be a fortune teller. I should set up a booth.”

Please – PLEASE – get someone to rescue Jack and soon. Liz is a monster and the image of her sitting there next to Jack, laughing …..um, No. Just, No.

MORE please! Soon?

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 16 . 11/14/2014
Liz is, as my grandmother would say, “a real piece of work,” isn’t she? Hate this woman!

And now Jack is captured. His nightmares are just beginning, but as dire as his situation is, it can’t possibly be as bad as his own memory of what he did to Chase!

As much as I hate Liz, that’s how much I like and admire your new OC, Red. He’s a professional and Blake and Charley are incredibly fortunate to have him as a guide and mentor. His musings on ‘the stranger in their midst’ – Chase – and how he could have sustained so many injuries over the course of his life, including the newest ones – the bullet holes - lead quite naturally into the proximity of Azalea Lake and Red’s own adventure which ended so badly.

You give us just enough of Red’s back-story (beautifully written, by the way) to add to the mystery of Azalea Lake, without giving it away. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us concerning this mysterious location.

Scariest line of many: “… he noticed the strands of long blonde hair wrapped tight around his ankle.”

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 15 . 11/14/2014
I have to say this before even reading the entire story yet, that the opening scene here, of Angie working on her drawing, Kim’s question and Angela’s innocent answer, “He hurt Daddy” affected me. Excellently written – just a little vignette but it showed Angie’s heart and her love for her Daddy, Chase, and her matter-of-fact dismissal that Grandpa hurt her Dad and that is that.

I love that Kim believes wholeheartedly in Angie’s gift and accepts the drawing in the spirit in which it was offered. And her care in wrapping the drawing up in the tube…

I don’t’ know anything about Red’s background but I certainly like and appreciate him just know, especially his knowledge of hypothermia!

Jodi2011 giveth hope…and then Jodi2011 taketh it away. Jack wakes up in Liz’s clutches and the less said about that at this point, the better!

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 14 . 11/14/2014
I knew I liked Kim! Her actions here made me want to cheer! At last, someone is calling these people on their manipulations.

And as she related her tale over the phone, my heart sank, as well. Who, indeed would believe such a thing? At least, Heller shows some sense and doesn’t dismiss her claims outright.

So come on! Let's get this rescue going!

My favorite section? All of it, but particularly Kim’s most well-deserved rant that starts with “You sanctimonious bastard.” Right after she punches Tony in the face.

All time fav line: “It’s the living I’m concerned with here and my Chase needs help.”

Oh, Chase …

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 13 . 11/14/2014
I’m stunned by this chapter (and the last) and just wondering how Jack is ever going to live with his actions?
No! Not Liz, but then, Jack felt someone had been watching, hadn’t he?

Ah, there it is: Now the horror truly begins.

Have I ever commented that you write your characters extremely well? Liz, now. True Hitchkockian evil all wrapped up in a pretty face.

Angie’s belief in her father and her actions are precious. Perhaps hope is not lost. But then, this is a Jodi2011 fic, so we will have to keep on reading.

Fav – albeit wicked – line: “I could perform open heart surgery on you right now and you’d feel every precious detail.”

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 12 . 11/14/2014
First, I have to say this: Chase’s great grandfather’s name was Wolf?

CHASE’S GREAT GRANDFATHER’S NAME WAS WOLF?

(Mayhap any confused readers should go out and read your most excellent Western story, The Circling Wind.)

Ahem ... Moving along …

Tortuous going in the snow and I now know what a ‘spruce trap’ is. You always do your homework and your background details lend so much interest to your stories!

Regarding my comment in an earlier review, about the slow building of horror, in this chapter, Jack’s increasingly suspicious concerns about Chase, and possible harmful effects from his torture and imprisonment on Chase's mind and psyche serve as counterpoint to your readers’ feelings.

And at the end of that scene in the snow – WHAT Just happened!

Poor Angie….

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 11 . 11/14/2014
Jack’s nightmare is horrid. It left me nearly as shaken as it left Jack, but that’s what really bad nightmares are for, correct? I imagine Jack’s are particularly horrendous due to the fact that he’s been in Liz’s clutches before – and his unconscious mind knows what to expect.

I, too, wondered why Chase hasn’t commented on Jack being alive. Hmm …

I like the casual acceptance of ESP here, but Chase’s sudden realization that Angie just might feel what has been happening to him, was chilling.

Fav line: “…but Jack could see the look of devastation in his eyes.”

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 10 . 11/14/2014
Aw, the joys of owning a Swiss Army knife (I have two.) And yes, they do come in incredibly handy sometimes!

I like the passages which deal with Jack’s preparations. They show his intention of getting the heck out of there. You use his actions to underscore his spoken determination.

Chase’s condition is just heartbreaking, no more so when he voices his belief that Jack is there to kill him! Oh, Chase…

But what Liz left playing, over and over again for Chase to hear and see, is worse than any more blatant torture. I don’t know what Jack has in mind, but this is one sick person!

I hate that they have to stay there, even a little while, due to the snow. I kept mentally saying, “No. No. No.”

Jack shows his knowledge of human psychology, as he attempts to calm Chase by repeating messages of safety and reassurance, over and over. Good job, Jack.

I like the way You use the descriptions of Jack’s actions, harmless on the surface, coupled with the description of the landscape, to slowly, relentlessly build the horror.

And how did I know….that a ‘certain’ item was about to go missing?

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 9 . 11/14/2014
RL has kept me from your story for a month and am so glad to be back to it!

Oh my! This chapter not only tugged at my heartstrings – I think it yanked them out by the roots!
The image you paint here of Chase, huddled in on himself, in chains…starved and hallucinating is dire. Thank God Jack is on the scene!

I don’t know – yet – what you have in store for that demon of a woman, but I hope it’s something truly horrid!

As if that image was not enough, little Angie’s dancing into the kitchen, Danny at her heels and her promise to “make Grandpa Jack a drawing,” coupled with Kim’s belief that all is lost did me in.

Very well written.

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 8 . 9/30/2014
“There were so many possibilities, every single one of them monstrous.”

When a chapter starts out like THIS, you know you are in for an angsty and horror-driven ride.

The foreboding atmosphere of the landscape that Jack travels through is made all the more disquieting by the reference to the infamous Donner Party. I wonder how many current US history students actually study this? I remember being very upset by this in my history class, lol.

What Jack finds in the main cabin room is disturbing and I, too, felt Jack's cold fury.

I held my breath when Jack searched for a trap door in the kitchen, searching desperately for Chase. The writing in this section is so very well done and so very tense! You have the knack of drawing your readers into the horror and of keeping them with you every horrific inch of the way.

My favorite line in this chapter: “This time he’d make sure she stayed dead.”

Chills !

‘sky’
Skyfullofstars chapter 7 . 8/13/2014
The entire phone conversation between Max and Tony really brought a memory home to me. I remember the film The Manchurian Candidate - and I mean the first, original version. I believe they redid it a short while back. That film was a total shocker and this entire chapter brought it back vividly.

I particularly liked the fact that Max pointed out that it's the 'independent thinker' ...the so-called stronger subject, who can be most susceptible to the brainwashing techniques being discussed here, as that is exactly right, according to everything I have read on the subject. You certainly did your research!

I wanted to shout at Jack - "take your phone, you idiot. Take. Your. Phone." But with no reception, it is just dead weight.

Your writing is becoming more atmospheric and tense! Most excellent chapter.
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