|Reviews for Something Wicked|
| Wynter Phoenix chapter 2 . 2/19
| cneajna chapter 1 . 2/18
I've been meaning to review this gem for since the original date of publication, and I'm ecstatic that you have extended this outside of a one-shot. At this point, I've read both chapters a few times now and I'm more than eager for a new installation, but all in good time - life keeps us all infuriatingly busy.
Elyse is a compellingly spirited character, befitting of her age. Seeking out thrills, impulsive, breaking free from her gilded cage. I find I’m quite protective of her.
As is customary with your work, the language is rich with detail, there is depth to the setting and OCs and the movement of the plot. For all the grandness of the ball, Elyse's intuition that there is something amiss is a powerful mechanic. It certainly contributes to the eeriness of the masquerade, and that there's something supernatural present. As well as being rife with the best kind of tension.
How you introduce Dracula is breathtaking, he paints quite the splendid and otherworldly image. I feel most thrilling of all is the distinct sensation that Elyse and Violet are unknowingly in a world of danger, lured into a pack of wolves dressed as lambs.
I like to believe something beyond the trickiness behind Elyse’s disappearance—had she not been rescued—influenced Dracula to snag her from the brink of death, and even to appease her wishes in going to Violet. He is evidently compelled by her, and the dynamic between them, even in the short and eventful period they interact, is intriguing. He wears his gentleman disguise so cleverly, the naughty man, but I don’t believe it can be feigned in entirety. Whatever his motivations are, I have to assume that they’ve not been fully revealed to even his own mind.
It gives me the impression of experimentation. After so many years of living, perhaps it’s refreshing to step outside to boundaries of comfort, which appears to be, in my mind, hinted to in his solemn speech.
Uncharacteristic generosity, indeed. His terms are interesting, deliciously interesting, and his final line of dialogue is truly the icing on the cake. To seal a pact with a kiss, hm? I fear Elyse is in over her head, but how could she have resisted.
| Anon E. Mouse chapter 2 . 6/8/2017
I lied, I'm still procrastinating (and it's lunchtime so whatever), so here we go for chapter 2!
Interesting, the plot thickens! Elyse is engaged to some fellow named Ashton, and for whatever reason this makes me automatically think that he's probably a creep. I'm picturing him as Soames in the Forsyte Saga, who is basically the worst. Look at him being all charming when we know he's a snake in the grass. And here is is a snake twice over: dallying with everyone's favorite skanky baroness AND joining up with the Holy Order and their band of zealots. I look forward to having something very unpleasant happen to him. This was a nice twist, and brings us right back into the heart of the VH universe.
I like having Elyse brought in to be a medic, and the justification that Dracula does not have the time to gather these ingredients on his own nor can he handle the containers, making Elyse's presence logical. Her reactions here are interesting: she's clearly freaked out by what he asks her to do, but at the same time she is clearly very curious about him and about vampires in general, having only learned a year before that they exist. Her insistence that he feed from her is also interesting but it makes sense that she would trust him: he has already shown himself to be ethical, if not moral, and while she might not trust HIM, she trusts his sense of integrity, that he would think it not just rude but dishonorable if he harmed her after she'd helped him. I see similarities here to Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter: Lecter is a psychopath, but hurting Clarice would be against his rules. (The Hannibal/Dracula comparison is one I fall back on frequently.)
I like the nocturnal setting in Highgate Cemetery. The Egyptian Avenue is one of the creepiest, loveliest places I've ever been and, if you have the opportunity to go and do a tour of the west cemetery I highly recommend it. You have great atmosphere in these scenes. Your writing in general is getting very rich and you're really nailing the tone. You're using great words like "whined" for the dhampir. I'm digging your phrasing.
Now for my favorite guy, Old Vladdypants: hats off to you in keeping him so wonderfully formal. It's the courtliness, I think, that is so alluring about him here and everywhere else. Say what you will about his diet, but the fellow has manners. Those manners serve to suppress how dangerous he is, which makes him even more appealing. He would *like* to tear you to pieces, violently, but that would be unseemly; he will do it slowly. There is something coiled and feline about the way that he seems always to be holding back. He was deliciously sinister and yet upright in the cemetery, and I loved the moment when he bit her. You drew it out marvelously. (He didn't bite until she asked him to; I told you, I'm here for this.)
If I may, a few bits of constructive feedback/historical nitpicking: first, in the 19th century they'd have just used paper. Parchment (made of animal skin) was no longer in use-paper actually begins to replace parchment broadly in Europe in the 15th century. So Elyse would use paper, but it could be interesting to consider whether Dracula would prefer vellum. Christopher, if he's old enough to be married and have his own house, would be Mr. Dormer, not "Master." His courtesy title, as the son of a viscount, would be The Honourable Christopher Dormer in writing and, in speech, just Mr. Dormer. I've noticed, too, that you use Miss Dormer and Elyse interchangeably when you refer to her in your narrative. I'm guessing you're doing this for variety, but to me it reads a bit schizophrenically? It's one thing to have "Violet" and "the baroness" alternate, but for whatever reason, going from formal to informal with Elyse doesn't read as evenly for me. Lastly, I wonder if at times the Count is too effusive when he speaks to/about Elyse? Would he show his cards like this? Or just describe her as "refreshing" and leave Elyse (and us) to guess at what he means?
These are small things, but since you clearly approach your craft seriously, I thought I'd return the favor with my reading of it. I don't claim any special expertise, and these are, of course, just my opinions, and the ultimate judge and "decider" is, of course, you. So please don't feel obligated to take up any of these suggestions.
I'm now officially intrigued: what's going to happen? Clearly the entanglement between our Count and Elyse will continue, which I look forward to with relish, but we've also got some Intrigue with the Holy Order on our hands. I won't say "omg update soon" because I know life gets in the way (and I don't get to ask anyone to be prompt about updating ever), so I'll just say that whenever you are able to update I will be eager to read it!
| Anon E. Mouse chapter 1 . 6/8/2017
Well hello there! I must say I feel like a dowager around here these days, but I'm glad not to be the only original cast member (can I really say I'm an original cast member? I'm more like a season two addition). Really, I'm glad you're still writing. As I get older and move on in my real and professional life, it's always nice to have fiction lurking somewhere, to think about characters, to think about stories. I'm so glad you're still finding space to create.
Let's get to it! I like what you've got so far. You've taken a tried and true formula (naive chickadee stumbles into Dracula's den of vampiric iniquity: will there be romance or carnage?) but make it vivid instead of mechanical. So, we have our lovely heroine sneaking off with her imprudent friend. I don't know whom I'd picture as Elyse but I've got Rose Byrne as the Duchesse de Polignac in Marie Antoinette in mind for Violet. I like your choice to make them skeptics-"let's go crash this party and prove that he's just an overblown Casanova, because everyone knows that vampires aren't real." It infuses the scene with a sense of greater plausibility, if that makes sense, even though obviously vampires aren't real (...right?). You set the scene well, with evocative descriptions of the sumptuous interior and good pacing in your hints that something isn't right. The cold. The smell. The fact that these two beautiful men seem to know their names even though they were not presented. The progression of events is logical: the buffet is open and here come Lucas and Niklaus to get a little snack. I'm curious as to why the Count intervened (which, I'm sure, will be at the heart of whatever comes next). Does he justify it at first by telling himself that Niklaus and Lucas broke protocol by helping themselves unbidden to those under his roof? What is it that he sees in Elyse that makes him think that the world might be a more interesting place with her in it?
One thing that struck me as particularly compelling is the cataclysm in the middle of this, when Van Helsing sets of the UV bomb and incinerates everyone. (I'm assuming that, as in the movie, Aleera is still around somewhere.) It seems like this has changed something for our Count and introduced a kind of melancholy and malaise that wasn't there before. I wonder if this has altered the Count's actions towards Elyse? Had the party continued, so to speak, would he have summoned her like this? Made this request? Decided to let her live? Or would he have ended up just taking her to bed and killing her?
Your language and writing has taken on more maturity (something that I hope we can all say about our work). I like that your descriptions are becoming more concise and feel that the economy of language ends up intensifying it. You've got a rich vocabulary and have tapped into the musicality of Dracula's speech. You write him very well when he's being wicked. "I will not bite unless you ask me to": yes, okay, I'm here for this.
And now I think I've been naughty enough by reviewing this chapter in my office and should probably get back to actual work. Blergh. Before I leave you, I will just make an unrelated recommendation, since I know you are a Roxburgh fan, which is that you check out Rake on Netflix. It is very fun.
Anyway, I look forward to reading more!
| MGrace chapter 2 . 5/3/2017
So much happened in this chapter and I loved it all! Elyse's "memory" of the kiss you conveniently glossed over in the first chapter was HOT and Dracula was dominant and restrained and amazing as hell. This story is so good! You need to update it!
| MGrace chapter 1 . 5/3/2017
I think your portrayal of Dracula is my favorite - you have just the right balance of menacing and charming and I totally dig it.
| DemonicAngel chapter 2 . 5/2/2017
Thank you so much for posting this. I have been searching fanfiction about Dracula in different kinds of genre and I found this. I absolutely loved it and would love to see it updated. Thank you again for coming up with this.
| Katie chapter 2 . 4/12/2017
Highlights of this chapter for me: Elyse remembering her kiss with Dracula and then that part when he told her to free her throat so he could bite her. HOT AF! I already love where you're going with this story. Would love to read more! Hope you update very soon!
| Katie chapter 1 . 4/12/2017
Okay, seriously? That was one of the best things I've read in a long time. You captured the tension and the horror so well and I loved how you wrote Dracula here. Can't wait to see what favor he asks of Elyse!
| Guest chapter 2 . 4/12/2017
OH MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU NOT UPDATED THIS?! WRITE MORE PLEASE! IT'S SERIOUSLY AMAZING!
| Guest chapter 1 . 4/12/2017
My god, that was... that was everything. So good! SO GOOD! Must read more...
| RegencyPoet chapter 1 . 3/26/2017
Aaand I am logging out so I can review this twice over, because it deserves even more praise :) I’m already getting antsy and eager to read this again as if it were my first time going through it. So here we go!
I’m suddenly picturing the beginning paragraphs of this story with music in the background, straight out of a movie. Cue the eyeroll with Violet (as much as I like that name, unfortunately), but the whole beginning sequence leaves me waiting with bated breath. I’ve also found some lines that I must have missed on my first couple readthroughs, and suddenly I’m eager to learn more about the dynamics of Elyse’s family, her relationship with her father and siblings. I understand we get to this In the second part, but it’s something I’m eager to explore more of in the future *hint hint nudge nudge*
“Perhaps she could endure the risk of eternal damnation” – Foreshadowing, a dark humor, something that gives me butterflies! I think I say this every time I review any of your works, but your gift for imagery always leaves me in awe. The moment I start reading one of your stories, it’s like I get sucked into the alternate universe and become oblivious to everything around me. It’s so beautiful to read. I can picture the adrenaline rush Elyse is going through as she makes it to the entrance of the palace. I’m honestly surprised she didn’t faint at this point. My legs would probably be shaking from nervousness.
I try at times to be sympathetic toward Violet because she’s trapped in a loveless marriage. But, she seems particularly thrilled she can do whatever she pleases, considering the future circumstances. She almost embraces her ignorance, hoping her looks will get her by just a little farther than normal so she’ll continue to get what she wants. And if the looks don’t help her, that’s why she has Elyse around. I still can’t wrap my head around why a person can be so selfish like that, but I guess it’s more common than I’d imagined considering how society is.
I have to applaud you writing this from the perspective of someone who’s unfamiliar with vampires/doesn’t believe in them. The observations of the room’s atmosphere strikes fear in the heart of the reader, and we continue to look on with trepidation as the prey inch into a room full of predators. Oh, if only Elyse knew the particular reason why everyone was staring at her, despite how beautiful and glamorous she was in that gown. But I do appreciate Elyse’s natural instinct; she knows they shouldn’t be there, the smell, the feel of the room, the stares. It’s all wrong.
I find myself appreciating even more that you’ve presented a character with a mien that seems very trusting in nature for his species, yet he’s just as deceiving at the rest. I remember the first time I read this, I genuinely thought Lucas would be a decent vampire, not like all of the others and that Elyse had lucked out in contrast to Violet. However, the entire thing was a deception, and I had fallen into the trap myself.
I still can’t imagine what it would be like, besides the moments I’ve experienced in my own dreams, where you know everything about the situation is wrong and there’s a possibility of death at the close of the night, and you can’t do anything about it. Elyse was trapped in her own body, witnessing her decline and having no free will to do anything about it. Still sitting in awe again of how you so cleverly presented Lucas as one person, and the next moment he’s disgustingly asking Elyse how frightened she is… still with no free will. It’s absolutely terrifying, and I applaud you for making such a glamorous event also the scene of horror.
I think I’ve never been more appreciative of Dracula than I am right now, with the saving Elyse’s life and all. Also, side note, I remember the word “blanch” in my spelling be over a decade ago in middle school. I didn’t hear the people announcing the word properly and thought it was “blench” – cue embarrassing adolescence memory. Continuing on, though.
I’m always captivated by Dracula’s way with words. His impatience and irritability make me laugh and intimidate me at the same time. His ability to actually save a human shows he’s 10 steps ahead of his own race, intellectually and morally. Considering the fact that some of it was for selfish intentions, still, the man/vampire saved this woman. Another note on Violet that I didn’t notice before, she’s 29. Significantly older than Violet. And it all makes sense with her motivations and hidden intentions. The woman is becoming a prune (in her eyes, since 30 is definitely not a pruning age), and needs self-gratifying experiences by stealing men from her “friends” (sorry for jumping ahead to the second part).
For most people seeing the spectacle of Violet and Niklaus, they would barely flinch, but looking at it from Elyse’s perspective (inexperienced, sheltered and innocent to the gore on display).. it’s enough to forever change perspective. To steal away some of her innocence.
I don’t know if it’s just because of my experience writing about Dracula for so long, but I seem to expect so much from him when I sit down to read these stories. And he never disappoints. I love his contrasting animalistic behavior alongside the moral gentleman. He’s the perfect man, the perfect illusion and lure for prey. I revel in it. He illicits all of this philosophy and life lessons, and it’s like he’s giving momentarily into human emotion… just for a moment. But it’s enough to cause a change in him. It unveils thoughts and weaknesses not many would associate with him. And I love that. The man makes me faint just reading about him. You are a master, my friend. If I had to choose anyone’s version of the Count to read for the rest of my life, it’d be yours. Considering the state I’m in about my opinion of men, reading about him makes me forget my bitterness, and that’s a huge accomplishment. Something that’s impossible on the daily. But your writing does the trick every time. This man is always after my heart, I swear. I think the last couple bits of conversation in this chapter is my favorite. It seems so innocent, but there’s a lot of implications of tarnishing that innocence. Bravo!
| bloodyrose2014 chapter 2 . 2/1/2017
Loyal reader bloodyrose at your service. This story is looking damn good and also wanted to let you know that Kalika the younger daughter of Autumn and Vlad will be in a two shot I finished earlier. She's paired with Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds so feel free to read it if your interested!
And always great work!
| Guest chapter 2 . 1/6/2017
This story is soooo good! I need more! UPDATE! UPDATE NOW DAMMIT!
| noivocaine chapter 2 . 12/23/2016
I read this chapter twice, I have to say I was really happy to see a new chapter from you. I've been casually just checking to see if you have anything new, and "Something wicked." is probably one of the best Vanhelsing fics out here. Your writing really just pulls me in, I am dead to the rest of the world, I hope one day you write a book. I would love to see what comes out of your brilliant mind. Thank-you for a wonderful surprise! Hope to see more of you this coming year, and Merry Christmas!