Reviews for The Alto
Shirley Ujest chapter 7 . 4/23/2016
Ye Gods, what a mournful tale you've woven here. It was heartbreaking enough to do the impossible, induce me to pity Darla. You completely nailed the characters of the Màster and his blonde childe - with the exception of the evil Nest's mindreading ability (which calls into question his loss of this skill with Buffy after she'd been resuscitated by Xander). That's but a minor trifle when compared with the absolute horror of this young girl's life. To have been born into a highborn family then practically sold into slavery of the lowest kind explains Darla's ruthless cruelty as a vampire, for such a taste for violence had to have a good cause. Also her dastardly plan for Lady Worthshire which was foiled by the woman's untimely death must have broken her. To have her vengeance snatched away from her at the last moment wasn't just frustrating, it was maddening. I praise your skillful storytelling, I was completely lost in this fic. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Laurie Jupiter chapter 7 . 1/25/2011
This is truly amazing. The attention that you pay to historical accuracy and the way you weave that in to create a believable backstory for human Darla is incredible. You're one of the few authors who must have done hours of research on what life was like during Elizabethan England for a story. I read your essay over at the Fanged Four (very well-written, might I add) and am glad that you're putting all this information to good use. Your effort is very much appreciated.

The irony of her situation must have caused her immense anguish, finding out she was of noble blood and being condemned to a life of hardship and suffering - all thanks to her aunt's calculative maneuvering. I found that a sort of turning point for her character as well, one that makes a significantly negative impact on her view on the aristocracy and family (and not only because she was abused by them before). It does explain why she scorns love of any kind. I also agree with your assessment on Darla's physical appearance, which must have been very rare in the days of people who were so disease-ridden they retained scars. They had no toothpaste as well, so imagine the tooth decay and the number of toothless people walking around. Darla must have indeed seemed like a true goddess in their eyes. When she finally turns into a vampire, I can almost feel relief for her because she has been freed from her miserable existence. Compared to the life that she had before, being a vampire was a luxury because it afforded her the kind of freedom she had been denied when she was human. It makes sense why her devotion to the Master would be unwavering and strong - even when she was with Angelus.

Although the pacing of the story, in my opinion, is a bit rushed in some parts. I understand that there's a lot of detail and some parts of the story are best left out so it doesn't become filler. I would have found it more believable, though, if Darla had fallen truly and genuinely in love with Geoffrey. You could have expanded a bit more on this subplot, so that the sting of betrayal and cruelty would have been more apparent. I just don't believe that Darla would have sworn off love completely when she barely felt anything for the man (except seeing him as a quick getaway from the brothel).

Again, fantastic job. You've turned Darla into a more complex, sympathetic character than just some vampire who turned evil out of the blue. She's one of my favourite characters and you've brought her justice.
George chapter 7 . 11/6/2009
OMG, fantastic story!
Kim chapter 7 . 1/6/2006
wow. I really like this. Its really good. I love Darla. But yeah I like how she has different names and you explain like things. I dont know how to explain it.. but yeah i realli this.. so keep writing more..
Otahyoni chapter 7 . 8/12/2005
My first question would be, what's your vision for this? This is called "The Alto." Will each of the Quartet get their own life story told, or will everything be through Darla's eyes? Just curious. It's an ambitious scheme, whatever the particulars.

Your historical detail is remarkable. I well believe when you said your research was exhaustive (and probably exhausting). But it's paid off in a setting we can almost feel-and certainly smell.

My only problem with the story at this point is the somewhat contrived Pocahontas-as-Slayer point. It served little purpose (unless we're going to see her again, but Darla won't be back to the States until well after Old Poca is dead). I kind of groaned when she showed up, and then again when she ended up a Slayer. I understand that she was a viable historical part of that era, and her purpose as Sarah's only "friend," but she's taken on such mythical proportions since then, that her showing up made the whole thing feel like a Disney movie. Grant, a dark, sordid Disney movie, but Disney nonetheless. Probably the only time I've been disappointed with an aspect of your work.

Otherwise, this is gritty, dark, and perfectly believable as Darla's story. I love that she should have been rich and powerful, but instead wound up a prostitute. I love that she managed to have her own house, and did quite well for herself, managing to rise above her situation.

I look very much forward to future chapters, and to the rest of the quartet.

Oh, I assume "alto" refers to Darla's voice. Will the rest of the Scourge be labeled such? Neat way to link them.
d chapter 7 . 12/17/2004
it's so good i love it very well written i hope there will be more soon
Imzadi chapter 7 . 11/9/2004
Wow! Meltha, this is one amazing story, and the chapter was more than worth waiting for. You write so beautifully with such imagination and wealth of detail. I can believe that Darla's life (and unlife) could have occured as you detail it. I like Deirdre (as much as one can like a vampire), and I understand the connection between Darla (Virginia) and The Master. This is absolutely excellent. I applaud you.
Gwynevere1 chapter 7 . 11/7/2004

I am so glad you've continued this fic. I was beginning to become concerned that you might never return to it, which would be a pity. Not only is it, without a doubt, the best Darla fic ever, it's also one of the best Buffyverse fics of all time.

It's made me reconsider my entire opinion of Darla. Whenever I rewatch scenes with her now, I think of this story.

My favorite line in this chapter is: "The murderer was never discovered, but the unknown figure became known in legend as the dark angel, and many believed it was had been the spirit of the witch who had once lived nearby who had come back, claiming vengeance on those who had laughed at her death." Cree-py.

I love the continuity, too. It's so clear that you have this story so well-planned. I adore it.

I also think the ending of this chapter is fantastic. It's amazing how, after making Darla/Virginia such a cold-blooded murderer, you still found a way to make me care about her. Poor Darla; nothing ever goes entirely right for her.

Just a few quick things: When Darla kills Dinah, you write that she put Dinah's body next to the other "three." At that point, there should only be two other bodies on the bed.

Also, when Darla is about to kill Martin you have her say, "As well as girl who came ..." Is there an article missing before "girl"?

I feel kinda silly pointing out these minor flubs like this, when the rest of the fic is so outstanding, but I thought you would like to be able to fix any mistakes. Nothing should keep a story as great as this from being perfect.

Thanks so much for writing this. I hope to see the next chapter soon.
BigBadPetal chapter 7 . 11/6/2004
I love your writing! I've been hoping for a while that you'd add more and I can't wait until you have the full collection done.
BigBadPetal chapter 1 . 4/27/2004
I enjoyed this completely! PLEASE hurry up and write stories for the other characters!
d chapter 6 . 4/5/2004
i hope you keep posting this is a great story. i can't wait to read more. :)
Darla's-Fallen-Angel chapter 6 . 4/4/2004
This story is amazing! Darla is my favorite character, and it's the most well written Darla fic I've ever read. I can't wait for the next chapter!
Aislin1 chapter 6 . 3/25/2004
Well, this chapter took a really long time, but I must say thatit was worth the wait. Making Pocahontas a slayer was positively inspired and I loved he introduction of Luke. I can't wait for the next chapter. I want to see what 'Sarah's' next name will be almost as badly as I want to see the revenge she takes out on her family back in London. I would have liked to see what she did to governer, but leaving it to the imagination was pretty effective. Post another chapter soon, please!
Imzadi chapter 6 . 3/16/2004
It's been quite a while since this story has been updated, so it's a true pleasure to find another chapter in the saga of Darla. This was very well written and researched, although I don't think winters here (I live in the D.C. area, just three hours from from Jamestown) are quite as bad as you've painted them. And I wouldn't have thought of Pocahontas as a slayer, especially as she grew up & married, but it's a good idea. Wonderful, wonderful Meltha. Worth waiting for.
Gwynevere1 chapter 6 . 3/16/2004
My face actually lite up in a smile when I saw the message in my inbox that a new chapter had been added to this fic. Darla has never been one of my favorite characters, but you bring her to life with such detail and love. This story is extremely well-crafted, and the work and effort you have put into it are obvious. Plus: Research! You actually researched! How rare for a fan fiction author!
I was initially wary when I saw Pocahontas added to the story. Rarely when famous figures are placed historical tales does any good come of it, but you handled it well. She was not used gratuitously. I even thought the idea of making her a Slayer was successful, because you gave the hint earlier in the story that the girl seemed greatly burdened.
Extra squee! for the inclusion of Luke and Roanoke.
Overall, a fantastic story. I cannot wait to read more. I guess payback is a bitch. Literally.
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