Reviews for The Cost of Love
Guest chapter 1 . 9/5/2012
you beautiful person i love your erik works, please let there be more phantom works because recently i watched the actual thing and also love never dies.
Dysthymic Panda chapter 1 . 10/12/2011
(Apologies upon apologies upon apologies for the lateness of this review D: I'm horrible, I know. Please forgive my appalling behavior.)

Good: Well... awright. Honestly, reading this fic made me massively uncomfortable. The association between violence and sex is unsettling, almost enough to push it past implied dub!con and justifiably into an implied rape!fic. However, despite the sensitive subject matter, it's brilliantly written. You did a spectacular job at keeping lust and depravity the central focuses. They remain pervasive throughout the story not only because of the plot, but also because of the outstandingly strong imagery; the use of action verbs to describe is exemplary. I'm especially impressed by the depiction of Erik's reactions to Christine's singing: scores clamoring, transcendent voice piercing, vibrato shaking, crescendos causing heart rate to rise and diminuendos paired with Erik's hand lowering. Those noun-verb matches are, imho, some of the best descriptions you've ever written.

But I think the things that bothered me the most were the themes of objectification and impurity, both of which contribute greatly to centering lust as the main subject. They're upsetting in passing, but they're unavoidable in a prostitution story, and you illuminated them in a way that's, well, downright creepy. For objectification, there's, obviously, the prostitute in place of Christine, but there's also an elaboration on Erik's use of Christine as a proxy for his music (an idea that definitely deserves to be expanded upon instead of only getting a few throwaway lines in the ALW musical). That, in turn, is emphasized by Erik using Raoul as a substitute for her. As indicated by his thoughts while watching Christine sing and then again after he rescues Raoul, he breaks both of them down into the attributes he covets (Christine's acceptance in society and Raoul's innocence) and basically dehumanizes them. But while Christine is a tool, and therefore indispensable and untouchable, Raoul is an object upon which he can unleash his rage and other base desires. The brief emergence of his possessive side is terrifyingly vicious: instead of wanting to guard his mate, he wants something to utterly destroy. I interpreted his possessiveness as him wanting to control Raoul, and in this way, Raoul is once again objectified: Erik does not regard him as a person; instead, he is a thing to be maneuvered as Erik pleases and whose fate over which Erik has absolute mastery. Additionally, the repeated use of the word 'take' to describe copulation between Christine and Erik implies that she has no control over her own body: sex is something she will have to passively accept, much like objects must accept the forces acting on them.

Alongside objectification, there are also the themes of impurity and defilement, and both of these seem to emerge from lust and loveless sex (although I might just be getting that impression because it's a common theme in literature). Christine and Raoul are 'pure' because they're relatively inexperienced, and Erik and the prostitutes are 'dirty' because they're sexually active; whores are described as 'disgusting' and 'offensive', and this fic repeatedly remarks that if Erik and Christine were to have sex, he would be sullying her. And, as I stated previously, this story entwines sex (and thus, its depravity) tightly with violence. Erik embodies impurity, and, like social acceptance and an undeformed face, purity is something he obsessively craves yet cannot obtain. In his envy, he reacts by trying to contaminate the unsullied people around him. It's a little ironic how he describes Raoul as "the complete opposite of his Christine" when what he truly hungers for is their shared aura of innocence. But, once again, Christine is unsuitable because, as his proxy, she is an extension of him, so Raoul becomes his target, and therefore the exemplification of purity in this story. But Erik doesn't want to simply defile purity, he wants to bring it down to his level of debasement and savage it. (The word 'ruin' to describe his intentions is simply perfect.) In this, there is animalistic rage coupled with animalistic lust. (However, it's interesting to note that you actually stop short of having him sleep with the prostitute on screen, just as Raoul isn't too seriously attacked in the alley. It could be construed an implication that he isn't completely immoral. Um, which he isn't, of course.)

...uhhh, crap orz Gomen ne, so sorry, I didn't mean to get carried away like that. Really really, thank you very much for writing this fic _ Please don't be sorry that it distressed me. I still enjoyed reading it. It's wonderfully thought-provoking. Oh, and there's no good place to put this, but I liked the little mention of Christine being anxious on stage. It's one of those canon things that often gets overlooked, so thank you for giving it some attention.

Bad: "The whore currently within his grasp." This is a sentence fragment; please do something with it. I think you were trying to use it to set the subject for the rest of the paragraph, but since it's where a transition is supposed to be, I think it should probably just be expanded into a full sentence. I suggest adding a break there, as well; jumping straight from Erik leaving the brothel to right after he drives Raoul's assaulter away is a little confusing.

Misc: Anou ne, if you don't mind me asking, is there any particular reason behind your recent switch to British spelling?
Xenon Z chapter 1 . 8/9/2011
Really nice idea you have! :3

I usually give lengthy reviews nitpicking all the wonderfulness in a fic- but Unfortunately, i'm tired. :( so I'll just cut to the chase and say that you should defiantly continue writing this! You write wonderfuly and I think it would be well worth it if you continued this yourself!

Keep up the good work, it really is spel- splene- splendid. (Tired, mindless typing FTW!)
whatevergirl chapter 1 . 8/7/2011
Oh, I loved the comparisons to Christine, as well as Erik's thoughts about Raoul's innocence. Raoul didn't gather any extra injuries in this one though! :)
Keyklee chapter 1 . 8/6/2011
I really liked how you explained how for this Erik music is not just his passion or hobby (it makes me feel awkward to think of Erik and hobbies, he doesn't really seem to have hobbies the way most people do, the way I do) or biggest talent perhaps, but that he really views it as an escape and a way of achieving genuine relief.

I think you did a really really great job at describing and explaining how Christine's singing can literally arouse this Erik. I think it's something that... I'm not sure, ...I've seen it being touched in fics before, but most of the time it's been addressed pretty shortly only, rather superficially or just kind of by the way-ish (from what I've seen so far), and I guess that that's perhaps because, while it might be poetic or at least ...significant, it's something that, if one takes it literally, might actually be really hard to write realistically. But I think you did really amazing there. (sorry for the ramble, that's all I really meant to say.)

I love how you explained what it is that would and could actually make an Erik who's still all over Christine desire Raoul. Honestly I sometimes feel like their innocence and purity are sometimes the biggest (if not even the only) connection/similarity between Raoul and Christine. (Though to be honest I feel most of the time that Raoul's innocence is a lot more real, Christine's seems just so often to be based more on naivete or an unwillingness to deal with things than anything else (though probably just to me I guess.).)

I feel like it makes so much sense that this is something that would attract Erik so much about Raoul, and I think it might be something that is really hard to find in prostitutes who've been doing the job for a longer time already, so Erik's frustration in that regard makes a lot of sense as well.

It makes me feel horrible for Raoul now though because I feel like Erik will take such terrible advantage of his genuince innocence. D: Poor, poor guy.

I think you did really fantastically explaining Erik's motivation and reason for being interested in Raoul as well as prostitutes as such. I feel a lot worse for Raoul, but I do feel bad for Erik too. All the frustration he has of wanting something so bad and never being able to get it sounds very harsh. If only poor Raoul didn't have to suffer the consequences.

Thank you so much for adding this part!
tophis1 chapter 1 . 8/5/2011
Wow. It makes perfect sense, though.
minlin chapter 1 . 8/5/2011
I kept thinking 'poor, poor Raoul' all through this. He's definitely going to earn whatever Erik pays him. Very angsty.
JuliaHVT chapter 1 . 8/5/2011
I love your stories! and this one is really good I'm so excited for the next chapter :D
Emilx311 chapter 1 . 8/4/2011
Wow loved it :D It was really interesting to get Erik's side to this story, awesome work as always :)

The Crazed Artist chapter 1 . 8/4/2011
I am cursing you so much right now, and blessing you at the same time. Jesus the perv in me was going "Yes..Yes! YES!" throughout and then the little tiny part that always feels bad for Raoul was frantically muttering "No, he's not pretending gosh darn it, but take him anyways!"

Ugh, I would pick this up and take this places if I could but honestly I do not know the fandom as well as I should and would mess things up quite horribly. Damn you and your amazing bunnies and writing skills! -shakes fist at-

Anyways, excellent writing and plot (like always you brat) and your vocabulary makes me 'unf' as usual.

Keep up the amazing work you horrible horrible tease and sneak!

-The Crazed Artist