Reviews for The Ghost Map
Edhla chapter 12 . 2/22/2013
Giry, I am just floored. I know we're all RT buds and stuff and I don't want that to take away from my praise or put it in any kind of context but this: holy crap, this is remarkable.

This is the sort of chapter that causes me that horrible conflicty feeling of just *loving it so much* and *I will never be this good in a million sickfic years*.

But hey, even if I fail to every write anything this good, it's okay, 'cause YOU have, and I have read it. :D

Touches every single squishy spot in my heart right the way through. I wish I could talk more about characterisation and narrative technique and structure and the finer points of the plot, but it's knocked me for six, I'm afraid.

"Lestrade did not require any further clarification. A seasoned officer, he was on his feet in an instant and gone from the room. He had the nose of a police dog when it came to tracking down the criminals and Watson had every faith in his ability to find the attacker." This really is the only paragraph that I side-eyed in any kind of way. Not because it tells (ACD did a helluva lot of telling, after all) but because of *where* it tells- right in the middle of extreme tension. I have no coherent ideas for how you'd go about writing it any differently, or even whether you should, but that's how it struck me.

How beautifully ironic that it was cocaine... and you really did your research there (I wonder how many people have googled "cocaine overdose" because they were trying to write a fic about it? ;) )

I found the part where Lestrade, who is generally the butt of Holmes' unpleasant mockery in ACD canon, is reduced to *praying for him*.

Once again his delirious wanderings are deliciously written and the ending was just... *feelz*. So many of them, Giry. So many. I literally feel overwhelmed by this chapter... wow.
Edhla chapter 11 . 2/22/2013
Giry, I'm a bit scared to read this chapter. I'd demand that you hold me, but since this is completely your fault, I'm thinking you may not be very sympathetic to my plight. As Aiko said, "why must you do this? Because you are mean author-lady, like me." :)

I love how you really took your time with the description of Holmes coming into the house. That you worked with phrases so we have "dark as pitch" instead of the usual "pitch-dark." I love that you remind us that Holmes is physically vulnerable.

"Irony is a funny thing." I thought it was apt that Holmes should notice the irony, but the phrasing of this (possibly the tense/POV) sort of drew me out of the story, broke the fourth wall a little.

God, Moran is a creep. I'm way jealous and I love his dialogue with Holmes. I keep thinking he's in way over his head though- of course he is. But not just because he's up against Holmes. I still maintain Moriarty is not gonna be happy with him. On that note, the conversation about the many-faces-of-ACD-Moriarty was really clever, and made me smile.

"Holmes shook his head in amazement. "Won't you extend my greetings to Sergeant Billings the next time you deliver his payment?"" Ohhh that is brilliant. It's a brilliant plot-piece, and the fact that it came out of Holmes' mouth makes it all the better.

"I shudder to think what your friend the doctor will do when he finds an unfortunate victim of suicide lying in the very house he resumed his career in."- Giry. Feels. Please. Why must you do this to my heart?

Okay, this is going to sound so incredibly lame, but at the Reichenbach Falls interlude and Holmes (who is totally not going to die of course- he'd better not seriously- but that is TOTALLY NOT THE POINT), I quite literally had to get up and make a cup of tea because I was being a bit flooded with all the... feelings. The descriptions there were excellent. Visceral. Overwhelming, even. I felt it.

Minor typo: "dragged through his skin."

And then you had Watson and Lestrade breaking a door down. Good. Lord.

That... scene that you did... with Mary... this is snowballing in the most epic way and I am seething with feels and jealous. Really. And then you have Watson and Lestrade to the two-man rescue.

Someone had better shoot someone else through a window. I'd like my cookie, please ;)
Edhla chapter 10 . 2/21/2013
I promised you I'd review :D Though I have to tell you that I am approaching this with extreme caution because the last couple of chapters have caused me SO MANY FEELINGS THAT I'M KIND OF SCARED BUT HAPPY TOO :D

Seriously, few fics and few writers have that effect on me.

"It had been skilled madness because the police were oblivious to the fact that Holmes had deliberately wielded the weapon but it was madness nonetheless"- I want to say that there should be a comma in here somewhere, but given my completely uselessness in the area of commas, perhaps you should defer to someone else on that one ;)

Yeah, that's right, Holmes. Don't even bother going against Watson. It's not worth the results :p Pretty sure he'd have him under lock and key sometimes if he thought he'd get away with it.

"He wanted to call his friend back, to explain to him what was happening and to give him a proper goodbye. But now wasn't the time for that. And he wasn't the man for that. He could only pray that Watson would understand when they found the bodies." Giry, what are you doing? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy must you make my heart ache so? Oh dear Lord. This is just beautiful. Oh my heart. I'm sorry I can't be of any actual concrit use here because I am too busy being a fangirl.

"His dark hair was standing up around his head like a mane and his blackened teeth stood out in contrast to his pale skin as he spoke." Yuck. Your Moran is wonderfully creepy and ick. I like how dynamic he's being away from Moriarty as well. Though I have a feeling that the Professor is not gonna like it very much when he finds out that Moran wants Holmes as his kill. Nope. I'd be worried if I were you, Moran. Really, really worried.

"I mean that it takes a truly diseased mind to do something like this. And this man just doesn't strike me as having the brains for this kind of experiment."- YES! I love that you have Lestrade point this out. Poor guy gets the shaft from our friend ACD, or so I've always found.

The final toast they agree upon is adorable. But I'm still worried about what the hell Holmes is up to. *Bites nails*

x
Sierraoscar154 chapter 10 . 2/19/2013
It's been awhile since I've visited this story, but besides that, I was surprised how easy it was to get back in the spirit of things. Watson and Holmes at the beginning was probably how everyone feels after a very stressful (and not quite over) adventure, and I don't know exactly what Holmes is up to concerning the letter and all, but at least he's always thoughtful and considering the future, as usual. It was nice to see his as almost a regular human being, since we're always used to him being super smart and all.
Alas, poor Yorick! *smack* I'm probably sure that joke has been thrown around a little bit, but that little scene there with Moran and him did have me wondering if Sherlock was going to respond, if at all to their letter but we all know the answer already...nothing can keep Sherlock down at least, so there's a storm for the bad guys coming...
The ending did have a little bit of an uplifting tone to it though, despite everything that has happened; Lestrade and Watson having a nice drink, discussing that they were relieved that the situation was improving and all, and wishing Holmes a speedy recovery. It certainly sounds like a nice ending to the story...but it seems like we still have some distance to cover, especially concerning Yorick and his lackeys back there.
Green Phantom Queen chapter 9 . 2/15/2013
First off, it's good that you give that announcement on who's who. Helps keep continuity flowing and such.

Anyway, as I recover from watching a playthrough of The Unfinished Swan and the dizzy back and forth movement it gave me (my head is feelingg like I got car sickness), I'm glad to see Sherlock all right. At least he wasn't fatally injured, and now that we are more than half-way done with the story, things are picking up. Bad guys are coming up, god guys are recovering, and it'll be a race against time! I'm excited to see how this goes! The dialogue tells me that something sinister is afoot and that's the way I like it! Carry on!
numbertheory1000 chapter 1 . 2/15/2013
Before I start, just to let you know that while I have read several of Sir Arthur Conan Dolye's work, I am still not to familiar with the fandom. I will give my best shot to review, anyway.

I like your characterization of both Sherlock and John. I especially like how you use the phrase 'a customary wry smile', it helps to flesh out the character of Sherlock. The dialogues between John and Sherlock are nicely done as well, it gives me the impression that I am reading a Sherlock Holmes novel, not merely a fanfiction. Kudos for that.

Plotwise, while nothing dramatic has taken place, it does help to set the stage for the next chapter. It makes me wonder why Sherlock asked to keep John's note. Well, it might be a beginning to an interesting case, but who knows?

Your writing style is silk-smooth. Even for somebody like me who haven't picked up a Sherlock Holmes novel for centuries, I manage to follow it from the beginning to the end without much difficulty. The descriptive writing is really well done as well. I like how you describe the old flat of Sherlock and Watson back in Baker Street.

Overall, I enjoy reading this fic. It's really a piece of well done work.
Edhla chapter 9 . 2/12/2013
As a lighter kind of aside on Moriarty: Mark Gatiss absolutely cracked me up explaining how sporadically he actually appears in canon, summarising The Final Problem with Holmes saying "Watson, did I ever tell you about that genius evil mastermind who's been trying to rule the world and/or kill me for some time now?" "No, Holmes, you never did." "Oh. All right, well, allow me to explain..." :p

I have absolutely no idea where the expression "mother hen" came from and how old it is, but it jolted me out of the story a wee touch here. "Stable condition", too. OOOR maybe I'm just in shock still, because holy crap.

Lestrade's... probably not a popular man with the chief inspector right now. And I'm more than sure that Holmes doesn't care... though I suspect there is Extremely Clever Plan going on here and I can't wait to find out what it is. Shoulder? Hmmm. That sounds distinctly staged, and I wonder that even Lestrade wouldn't notice that (and let's face it, ACD canon has him... not the brightest.)

In other news, damn, woman, will you STOP WITH THE SICKF- no, actually don't stop :D You have no idea the amount of restraint I am currently showing with my own work not to throw a few more- [/neither time nor place.] But honestly. You know how I feel about fics of sick. If I didn't have to be at work in eight hours I could read this bedside angst all night.

This may be a Freudian slip and may be a clever shift I don't understand at a quarter past two in the morning, but you've referred to Watson by his first name, there :) Also, comma instead of period for "Mrs Hudson." :)

I am absolutely in love with the question-that-isn't, both the fact that Watson isn't stupid, and the way you've phrased it. Since you've omitted the question mark there, I'd take out actually saying it was a statement rather than a question, but that's a stylistic thing.

Moran's going rogue? I'm getting... concerns about that. Deep concerns. That's highly suspicious and I like that, because I feel that drama is ahoy :D

And I'm glad you didn't leave me for too long wondering about Yorick :D

Chapter of feels. FEELS, GIRY. :D
Edhla chapter 8 . 2/12/2013
Oh, squee :D - should go without saying but doesn't. :D

I love the initial scene between the three of them. I really do. I also like the fact that Holmes and Lestrade are at each other so viciously. To help that along a bit, though, I suggest perhaps taking the "almosts" out. :)

That initial description of the cell is a gem, too, particularly that superb detail about the specks on the floor. And "he crushed it beneath his boot." What are you doing to me, woman? I'm about to go on another quote spree.

"I am Sherlock Holmes." I LOVE the simplicity- and carefulness- and truthfulness of this. It's testament to your writing that you can put so much in four words.

"Scottish undertones"- perhaps go even more specific? An Edinburgh accent is different to a Glaswegian accent, for example, and regional accents differ from city ones. Even this version of Holmes is probably pedantic enough to narrow it down :D

"I didn't expect you to tell me. I want to know what it was that my boy came across that meant he needed to be killed." - THIS LINE IS PERFECT GIRY AND ALSO MADE OF FEELS.

Dude, you made a biiiiig mistake. You messed with someone Holmes loved. Big mistake. Huge. Bad criminal. Stupid, bad criminal. May God have mercy on your...

WHOA.
thats-a-moray chapter 2 . 2/11/2013
Overall, a good chapter. The dialogue is excellent. There are just a few things that struck me as odd. First, opening the chapter with John seemed a bit unnecessary. I was hoping that it would lead to something but it doesn't seem to serve any purpose. However, it was well written and I enjoyed the interaction between John and Mary. Second, I think Sherlock takes up this case a bit too quickly. I wasn't convinced that Oliver had sufficient evidence to attribute the outbreak to foul play. Sherlock's explanation, that the outbreak was merely caused by a faulty pipe, seems much more logical. If he brought more evidence to bear or Sherlock merely took the case because of boredom, because discovering the source of a cholera outbreak is better than nothing, even if it doesn't lead to murder, would make more sense to me. Just my opinion. I also have a few specific suggestions:

"A murder? Do tell, my good sir. I am most intrigued." I'd like to see more of Sherlock's reaction here. I can't tell if he's being sarcastic.

"I've seen evidence of something not quite right happening right in our midst." You used 'right' twice in this sentence. Maybe take out the second 'right'?

Otherwise, great job.

SPaG:

"Mrs. Hudson shook her head in annoyance as she picked his plate of ice cold eggs and set it on the tray." I think you're missing a word here?

"Nothing interesting every seemed to happen anymore." 'Every' should be 'ever.'
Green Phantom Queen chapter 8 . 2/11/2013
Finally an interrogation scene. It's really tense as we known most scenes are where the detective has to find the information but can't find it, and the suspect won't be saying anything. The whole scene of staring into each others' eyes was also good. Who is mad and who is sane? It's a very interesting thought. And Holmes killing someone at the end. Oh, that's not good. And those four words...Sherlock is going against his own morals in order to do this, and it's for the good of the city. Doesn't make this as horrible as it seems to be.

Great job, and it looks like we're getting closer and closer to the truth.
Edhla chapter 7 . 2/6/2013
Oh Giry, you genius. I love and hate you :p

"It had been so long since they had worked on a case together"- all the bromantic feels right here. And the fact that, once again, Holmes relies so much on Watson. He may not be the brightest spark, but he's so reliable and patient and careful. I'm just reminded of how many of their adventures included him waiting in the dark with a revolver for hours. :p

The description of the rain is fantastic, especially the "little rivers"... and the rat. Occupational hazard of the time and place, I imagine- and a subtle reminder that it wasn't just cholera that was likely to break out at any given second.

The deduction about the ring? Effing brilliant. I love that you returned to that again and again.

"Watson froze obediently." Also "Lestrade knew that they were there." I have no idea why this gives me all the feelings, but it does. I'm really, really trying not to quote the whole chapter here, but I like it when people quote up my stuff, so do unto others, and this is brilliant.

What's this, Holmes has complete faith in the Yard? Surely not! What witchcraft is this, then? ;)

Beautiful as always, my lovely. xx
BlondieLocks chapter 3 . 2/6/2013
I'm not going to lie, I was sad when Oliver took a turn for the worse and passed, in only two short chapters you had really endeared him to me, so it was sad to see him go.

With that said, the story is moving along nicely. The way you opened with Oliver stumbling in pain demanded attention and gripped me by the heart from the beginning until the end. Surely there will be some sort of backlash that a former noblemen died? I think it will eventually play an important role for Sherlock, but I could be wrong.

Watching John guilt himself over a patient's death was a very Watson thing of him to do, but I enjoy the relationship between him and Mary, as it acts as a nice, mild counterbalance to his savior complex and pegs him a notch down so he doesn't feel as personally responsible for what is essentially out of his hands.

Overall this was a nice, solid chapter to add in your story and I've come to expect nothing else from you, Giry.
Green Phantom Queen chapter 7 . 2/4/2013
Halfway through the story and things are picking up. It's sad to say that Watson and Homes are starting to feel strained after the death of poor Kensington. Also, the whole idea of the killer using the cholera as an experiment to test its deadliness is horrible. He's playing around with human lives because he can. That psychopath.

Anyway, it's time for Holmes to start his investigation and it's about time too. Detective work can't be done if no one acts and Holmes has all the reason to start going to investigate. Hopefully he can find some answers to this dilemma.
persevera chapter 14 . 2/4/2013
The sequence of this was so good—first, the broad scope of London, recalling its reaction to the deaths and its slow recovery, then singling a perfect picture of a family in recovery from the events, returning to normal life. I liked the contrast between the recklessness of the boy with his train and the girl's careful attention to her doll. While it was normal behavior for them, it could also highlight the actions and feelings of others in the story, such as Sherlock for the boy.
The vignette with the main characters was simple to introduce the last section with the amoral Moriarty and, as you said, set things in motion for the sequel.
[And yet, where this is desolation, there is, by necessity, convalescence. Time has proven itself to be the best therapy for damage done to the mind.]-Favorite line in the piece. It sums up everything perfectly.
thats-a-moray chapter 1 . 2/2/2013
I think this chapter is just fine. It is a little slow, but your prose is pleasant to read and the chapter is short enough that it doesn't outstay it's welcome. The only area I think you could expand on is Oliver's story. It seemed like it went by too fast.

You did a great job on that strange woman. I especially liked that you added an accent to her dialogue. In my mind, she looked a lot like the woman from Sweeny Todd, the one who bakes the pies. I'm a little worried for Oliver. I don't think it's a good idea for him to stick around (not that he would know any better). Great chapter.

SPaG:

"Squinting slightly, I realized that it was a diary page that I had obtained specifically for this lecture." You witched PoVs here. I'm guessing this was originally going to be first person? :)
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