|Reviews for Deliver Us from Evil, Part I: Mortality|
| farunjin's.feather chapter 1 . 8/17/2015
Hi there, coming over from the RLT forum, as the mods are currently promoting your story and get it some much deserved reviews. I loved the jarring nature of the prologue and how you intersected the narrative between the subsequent thoughts in the mind of Sherlock. Right away there is an ominous feel to the chapter and the reader can easily see how Sherlock is affected by the dark. This is greatly enhanced by the first person tone, which is well-executed.
The tie in to the darkness now inside of him was great as well, for now it is not simply the surroundings Sherlock must be afraid of- it is himself as well. A little nitpick on the thoughts: noticed quiet and cannot were not italicized like the rest, but nonetheless were effective. I also think some commas or … should be included in the dialogue with the thoughts, since it is implied to be the same sentence with the period at the end.
The part where you talked about being injected was nicely executed as well, for now Sherlock has a tangible circumstance to be afraid of. To make this part more effective, I’d almost have the man say ‘Inject him’ in a more demanding way to play up on the mental gymnastics going on in Sherlock’s head- I like the softness, but making it demanding would up the ante quite a bit. It would also tie very nicely with the ‘coarse chuckle’ line you have a few paragraphs below that. I really felt the desperation and despair throughout the struggle with getting injected, and was a nice subtle hint to everything that goes on with Moriarty.
Very interesting too that the professor got someone else to inject Sherlock- makes me wonder if perhaps he fears Sherlock on some level. I also loved that you touched on the fact he did not have his Holmes there to help him, as darkness is also metaphorically standing for Sherlock’s feelings of being alone in his fear.
A very dark and compelling start to story, that truly intrigues the reader to learn more without giving everything away. Nice job!
| Faulty L0gic chapter 2 . 6/2/2015
[Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the private consulting detective]
It seems odd that Mr. is used with his full name, and that both “private” and “consulting” are used. Though it’s been a while since I’ve read the source, so ignore if such phrases were common there.
A lot of your word choices remind me of the book itself, so well done on that front.
While awesome, I’d like to know HOW he knows some of these things. It doesn’t have to be the full process of induction, but I think a few of the details that Holmes notices which led to some of those conclusions would be good.
[the youth hastily tipped his hat]
Youth calls to my mind someone before their teenage years. I think “young man” would work better.
Savage seems pretty suspicious to me. All he has are vague conjectures.
[You possess a gift that the rest of us poor mortals simply don’t have
I like the subtle implication that Holmes doesn’t really see himself as mortal.
I usually find transcribed accents annoying, but you’ve still written them well in this chapter.
The exposition regarding the Irregulars was helpful to me, and short enough that I don’t think it would bother those already familiar with them.
[Only an astute observer would realize that Cockney was the boy’s native speech]
This seemed odd, considering he interjected “cor blimey” earlier. Also, I wouldn’t consider “boy” to describe a twenty-one-year-old.
I think the best part of the chapter was Holmes thinking about Watson. It’s so clear that he cares a whole lot. Nice.
[Let’s see… what can I discourse on?...]
If you don’t have a clear purpose for an Author’s Note, I’d recommend omitting it. In my opinion, they are distractions.
In all, a good start to the mystery.
| Faulty L0gic chapter 1 . 6/2/2015
Fandom impaired, but this looks good, so here goes:
[I have never liked the dark]
I think this would be a stronger opener than the quote you used.
I applaud your choice of first person and present tense. They combine well to give a strong sense of immediacy.
[“Inject him,” the man orders in a soft, precise voice.]
If I had to choose the best line, in terms of effectively illustrating just how bad things are for Sherlock, it'd be this one.
[Sherlock had his Watson]
I think Sherlock would think of Watson as simply “Watson,” and not “his Watson.”
You paint the desperation and despair of this scene very well. However, I think this would work better as part of the story proper than as a prologue. I know from this that Holmes will be captured by Moriarty at some point, and I know he will escape, especially with “first part in a series” right before you begin describing. In my opinion, you’ve taken a lot of the mystery out, and with it the feelings of surprise and discovery that are my favorite parts of Holmes stories in general.
[Got your attention, yes?]
Yes, it did. But I will warn you that that came off as a bit smug.
Still, the scene, the descriptions, the thoughts: chillingly effective. Well done :)
| zanganito chapter 28 . 5/15/2015
Here’s my last review to your intriguing story!
This is an interesting epilogue, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one formatted like this before. It almost feels like the end credits of a movie maybe. Also interesting that you list the characters by their roles instead of names, yet it is obvious who is who. I think the only one I don’t recognize is “The Spy”, but maybe that’s because either I haven’t read the canon material in a while, or he plays a larger part later on.
And even though every description is a character synopsis, it also seems that they fit together, to form the conclusion of this story, and the start of the next. It’s a very clever way to link this story to its sequel.
I especially liked this line in Dr. Watson’s description: /He is a man of contradictions, this Doctor, and he is beautiful for it. Reichenbach is unthinkable, because he has already grieved once and he cannot conceive being able to survive it a second time./ A nice line with both characterization and foreshadowing.
Thanks again for posting your lovely story. :)
| zanganito chapter 27 . 5/15/2015
/He felt seventeen again, dazzling and invincible , his entire life stretching out before him./ I really liked this section, and how Sherlock reflects on his childhood, and how his life has changed since then. And it was sweet that his mother was proud of him. I think she would be.
/Sometimes, he did well, felt optimistic about his recovery, rattled off plans to Watson during the Doctor's visits. Then the wind would shift directions, and he would feel decidedly claustrophobic, morose, frustrated… and, yes, bitter./ Recovering is hard, especially for someone with Sherlock’s stubborn personality. It’s realistic that even though he’s improving and getting better, that he has moments of frustration and bitterness. And when the people helping him are as stubborn as he is, conflict is inevitable. Especially when he normally ignores what Watson and Mycroft think is safe for him and does what he wants to.
/But the doctor was having none of it. "After all he has done for you! And surely his weariness has not escaped your notice—the stress of your plight wore him quite thin. Literally."/ Watson tries to play peacemaker, but Sherlock and Mycroft both want their own way. Mycroft want to keep Sherlock safe, Sherlock wants to start on cases again since he fear becoming bored. Very in-character that Watson would eventually reluctantly side with Sherlock after hearing his reasoning. Even though he wants him kept safe during his recovery, he knows Sherlock need mental stimulation.
Ooh, and I also enjoyed the conversation between Mycroft and Moriarty. They had to remain polite because of appearances, but subtly traded information and insults. Lol
Another excellent chapter, thanks for sharing. :)
| MissScorp chapter 2 . 5/15/2015
Hi there! I’m finally back to read another chapter of your awesome story.
I like how here: ((The tall man halted on his doorstep and turned to see a younger man staring up at him from the sidewalk. Early twenties, only child, wealthy, banking trade, steady and sensible, slightly romantic, played rugby in university, lives in West Norwood, engaged to be married. And he wore deep mourning.)) that you instantly capture that detective mode that is so much a part of Sherlock. He easily takes the guy apart, figuring out who, what, when and where without even breaking a sweat. It’s a great way to reconnect readers with the man that Sherlock is while introducing the client (as Mr. Savage would soon become).
((“The fact is, I've heard rumours at my club—from two lads who are courageous or foolish enough to brave the East End just for thrills—that people have been dying there from rare diseases.”))—aha, so murder most foul is being done by using diseases rather than the use of a knife or gun. This does put a unique little twist on the story. Curious to see how this will play out in the end and how many people will die from some unknown virus or condition that will baffle the Yard and Sherlock Holmes.
This here: (("No! He had enough to worry about with a child on the way, and then the baby was stillborn! Why burden him with unnecessary concern after the fact?")) aptly describes how much Sherlock actually cares about both John and Mary Watson. He wouldn’t unduly burden John (in spite of how much it would vex John to discover the truth after the fact) with fussy things like some lil ole knife wound that he received while working on a case.
Again, this line here: ((Just the memory of nursing Watson on his presumed deathbed still had the power to rattle Holmes.)) aptly reminds us that the man who can seem to not give two pennies for other people? Actually gives quite a few pennies about a few people. The way to hurt Sherlock is by hurting John and Mary, Mrs. Hudson and even his brother, Mycroft. He’s not an emotionless being, he’s just extremely controlled and reveals his thoughts and feelings where and when he thinks it most necessary to do so. That John’s nearly dying is enough to unnerve the usually composed Sherlock shows the profound affect that his friendship with Watson has had upon him. Before Watson, Sherlock was on a crash course with the Grim Reaper (still is at times) and didn’t seemingly give a care about anybody. After Watson and Sherlock has been shown to be a man in possession of great feeling—he just doesn’t have the social skills necessary to reveal those emotions.
In all this was another great chapter that did well to introduce the plot of the story as well as a few of the key players. Great job!
| zanganito chapter 26 . 5/15/2015
/Weary, wasted, and wan… but bearing a flame of rediscovered determination. It was visible in the luminosity of his eyes, the set of his jaw, the minute tension of his posture. Robin Hood had indeed returned to his Merry Men./ I really liked your wording in this comparison. Sherlock has been through a lot, but at last he’s finally back with his friends.
/Forgive me if I supposed that any and all would-be assassins would flee in abject terror at the sight of you."/ I enjoyed the banter between Mycroft and Sherlock, and how it subtly shows that Sherlock is starting to recover and things are getting back to normal.
/Terror was cold and chains and absolute darkness and emptiness; terror was not seeing his tormentor but knowing that he was there and being unable to do anything but waiting for him to strike. Terror was the pain dragging on and on and not stopping and his fear that it never would end. Terror was being trapped in blackness far away from everyone who ever meant anything to him./ This is a very powerful section. And it fits in so perfectly with everyone wondering if Moran is about to make another assassination attempt, but not knowing where he might be or what might happen. I also loved the line about Sherlock’s fear that his friends would share his fate. It’s true that while suffering is difficult, watching someone you love suffer is usually even more difficult and heartbreaking.
/They were both alive, and they had just bested a formidable foe, just one or two hours past Christmas. It was a good day to be alive./ The section with Moran was exciting, and a reminder that Watson is a military man, and a good enough shot to foil one of Moriarty’s top assassins. Sherlock and John and the others have been through a lot, but at least they’re all still alive.
/Moriarty would not punish him for his failure. Moran had been punished quite enough, and would bear the shame of a failed assassination for a very long time to come. Moriarty need do nothing more./ Another reminder of why Moriarty has gotten so far. He knows how to deal with people, and knows that any punishment for Moran’s failure is unnecessary.
/The professor accepted that with a nod. "Quite so. And how is your younger brother, Mr. Holmes?"/ Oh and what a cliffhanger to end the chapter on! Mycroft vs Moriarty next? I suppose I shall have to keep reading to find out.
| zanganito chapter 25 . 5/15/2015
/ On one hand, it scarcely seems possible that he could have lost that much of his life, locked away in a dark hole. On the other hand, it seems impossible that that time didn't last an eternity. / Interesting paradox. Sherlock comes back and things have changed, it’s slightly disconcerting that they aren’t the same as when he left. But on the other hand, he feels that he had spent so much time a prisoner, that even more time should have passed. Hmm, and as usual, Watson is right about not wanting Holmes to over-think things, but he really can’t help it to some degree, since that’s what he’s used to doing.
/ It's too much. As he falls back into the darkness that always sits just at the edge of his consciousness, he wishes that he could have given Watson a better Christmas…/ Aww, poor Sherlock. He still has a long way to go in his recovery. And his feeling guilty about not giving Watson a better Christmas is realistic, though, if he told that to Watson, I’m sure the reply would be that it’s enough that he’s there.
Nice characterization of Lestrade the over-worked police officer spending Christmas with his family. And this part about his son was cute: / Geoffrey and Annie were seriously considering asking Dr. Watson to teach him the craft in a few years./ It’s a nice reminder that Dr. Watson is a talented writer, and sort of builds on the fact that all these friends consider each other family.
/ And it was Watson's fault./ It shows how much they think alike that both Holmes and Watson blame themselves for Sherlock’s anxiety attack.
/ "I simply didn't want you to task your brain—it shall heal in its own good time,/ It’s true that healing can take a very long time. And it’s realistic that Sherlock would find this immensely frustrating.
Lestrade’s reaction to Holmes recovering quickly was interesting. /And the blood of others, a nasty voice in Lestrade's head whispered./ Being an inspector, he has a slightly different perspective. And then with his line: / "Do you know how many people did come to harm on your account?" But he instantly regretted it, could have kicked himself from here to Billingsgate when Holmes's face went sheet-white./ Lestrade realizes that Holmes does feel guilty (and is probably recovering faster than he would otherwise for Watson’s sake.)
Uh-oh. And now Moran and Moriarty are up to no good again. Surprising that Moriarty isn’t more furious, but then again, he isn’t an evil mastermind for nothing, and probably realizes that Moran is one of the few people capable enough to do the job (and killing him for failure wouldn’t accomplish anything).
I also especially enjoyed this exchange between them:
/ "And what does that make you, Colonel?" Moriarty sneered. "A soldier with a heart?"
Moran raised his chin. "I hope so, sir." He moved to leave, then stopped in the doorway and looked back over his shoulder. "It would be deucedly difficult to live without one." He summoned up the colossal audacity to flash a smile./
It shows how they are different, and what they value. Oh, boy, but that plotting left another evil cliffhanger!
Another exciting chapter, thanks for sharing!
| zanganito chapter 24 . 5/15/2015
I remember reading this excellent story a while ago, and am back for more. :)
/"Be a dear, Mrs. Hudson, and don't allow Watson in here 'til tonight? I know that… Mycroft… and Mary… are coming…"/ Very in-character that the first thing Sherlock wants to do after recovering a little is wait to see Watson and the others until he’s had enough practice that he can theatrically impress them. It’s a nice moment since it shows he’s feeling better and up to his old antics of surprising Watson and the others.
Interesting that John didn’t tell Mary until know because he didn’t want her to worry, but then he realizes he’s been making her worry more. /His hazel eyes were dark and deep with memory she knew he wished to forget. "Forgive me, Mary," he murmured. "I meant to protect you, not to cause you pain."
She smiled mournfully. "Do you realise how much you just sounded like Sherlock?"/ This line makes a nice comparison between John and Sherlock and is very apt considering what Sherlock is currently up to. And it is a good point for her to make, considering all the times Sherlock has gone off on his own to search for clues and left John behind “for his own safety.”
/"Obviously, my insensitive brother wishes to give us a serious fright when he collapses from exhaustion," Mycroft said pointedly. Sherlock simply shook his head and did not protest when Mycroft assisted him towards his own armchair, into which he sank gratefully./ Haha, I like how Mycroft doesn’t have any patience for Sherlock’s theatrics.
/both his brothers were visibly repressing smiles./ Nice and fitting to refer to John and Mycroft as both his brothers. And it ties in nicely with Mary’s reflection on her “extended family” due to Sherlock earlier in the chapter.
/From his bedroom, he heard the sound of shattering glass and a whoosh that was all too familiar./ Uh-oh. Good that they were able to put the fire out easily. Oh, but that was a clever plot twist afterwards. It did seem like the fire was easy to put out, and makes sense that it would be a diversion.
/He was professional to the very end, but even he did not appreciate being sent out on a mission on Christmas Eve, of all nights. Looking through his sights now, he appreciated it even less./ I liked your characterization of Moran here. He might be a hired assassin who’s working for a boss who’s the epitome of evil, but he recognizes the people he’s been sent after, and kind of identifies with Watson. Lucky for them, that he decided his humanity was more important than taking the shot, and is willing to face the anger of his boss. It really says a lot about him as a person.
Another excellent chapter, with Sherlock recovering and getting to spend Christmas Eve with his friends and family, and surviving even more excitement. Hopefully he will be able to recover completely soon!
| Sue Clover chapter 20 . 3/8/2015
I really love your story, I really do. But I happened to notice your chapter heading after all of the author's notes/review replies, and I need to tell you that 19 in Roman numerals is XIX, not IXX.
At any rate, Holmes is home! Or, well, nearly so. Actually, I think Watson is home for him, so we can count this as home indeed. I hope John can handle the pain seeing Holmes like this does to his heart well enough to help him through it.
| Sue Clover chapter 9 . 3/7/2015
I really like your story so far. I found this story mentioned in TV tropes, thought it sounded interesting, and it's reallllllllly good. I am on the edge of my seat at this point, and the writing is so poignant.
| rhinosgirl chapter 1 . 2/3/2015
Hi, Aleine Skyfire! Rhino here –hugs- I do know this fandom reasonably well, having read many of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. But it has been awhile, so please forgive me any canon-related misunderstandings.
“I have never liked the dark.” This is such a simple statement, yet it holds so much meaning for Sherlock. It is the friend of his foes, but also their enemy. It is a necessary tool of his trade, yet it is now his greatest enemy.
The conflicting thoughts that he had were quite revealing. If I remember the canon right, Sherlock is an irreligious man, yet he is now pushed to not only calling on God, but is on the point of bargaining with Him. He is also no longer sure of his own ability to hold out against pain and evil.
Your formatting of his two sets of thought was very clear. The brackets and italics made it extremely easy to differentiate between the two.
I can’t decide whether the Professor is being a coward or just extremely careful when he gets another person to torture Holmes. Whichever it is, it seems he has achieved his goal: to break Sherlock Holmes and make him forget who he is.
I look forward to reading more and finding out how Holmes found himself in this situation. Thanks for sharing this story with us.
| DarkRose2009 chapter 7 . 10/8/2014
Wow, this chapter is a little short for me, but still suspenseful and thrilling. And I like your own characters in the story as well. I love it when it's so well incorporated in the story.
| DarkRose2009 chapter 6 . 10/8/2014
How suspenseful it is really. I loved the way you described the hunter. But if only you could improve on your dialogues, make them flow naturally, okay? I'm not being critical, but just trying to be honest. Overall, I'm liking your story so far.
| DarkRose2009 chapter 5 . 10/8/2014
The narration is very well done. I liked the description of your characters too. But, there's always a but : work a tidbit on your conversations and the like. That's the only advice I can offer you right now.