Reviews for Wherein David Dies
Ersatz Einstein chapter 1 . 1/11
Your first paragraph set the scene astoundingly well. I could easily picture Moriarty (and later, the boy). Your shorter sentences and bits of humor were clever and welcome. (I particularly enjoyed the bit about the bellhop's polyester suit.) However, the long descriptive sentences of which you are so fond tend to cloud the subject and make it difficult to follow you in places. (I mean the last sentence of the second paragraph.) You had a couple of antecedent problems. (For example, when you say "set it down," "it" can only refer to the "stare" referenced earlier, when I assume you mean the tea service.)
Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed this a great deal. It mixed flashbacks, descriptions of the situation, and dialogue well to give an idea of what a monster Moriarty is. The bellhop was a little too nervous; he felt kind of over-the-top. Fortunately, Moriarty himself was so perfectly evil that it hardly mattered.
HaiJu chapter 1 . 3/1/2013
Creepy? Check. Funny? Check. Nice job.

This felt very "true" to the Moriarty depicted in the new series. Coy, impulsive, more than a little unhinged, but with an undercurrent of deliberate thought that's unsettling in its accuracy.

I never watched past the episode with the pool, so I'm assuming this is an "unseen moment" from the next story arc? By putting the ending in the title (David Dies), you make this little conversation that much more interesting because we're half waiting to see how and when it's going to happen. But that might be a little different from me because I don't know how much of this is canon-dictated.

Anyway. I liked the creepy/playful imagery you used (ie, picturing himself as a saint in concrete terms). You have some nice descriptives in there, too (his feet nestled in the carpet). The dialogue flowed well and the action was clear to follow. There were a couple of points with typos and odd wording ("as sipping his still-hot tea" for one) that could be caught with a simple proofread.

I did have some logic issues with it, though:

- The bellhop knows Moriarty by his true name; wouldn't that imply that he'd registered for the hotel under that name? Since he's such a scary guest I'd imagine David would have gossiped about him to the other staff, making Moriarty's attempt to frame Holmes rather useless.

- David is obviously petrified from the start. Why? Surely Moriarty doesn't advertise his homocidal tendencies to random hotel staff? Though I suppose you could argue that he'd been planning to kill David from the start and was just toying with him.

Just food for thought.

Thanks for writing!

-Hj
MasterSpy chapter 1 . 1/27/2013
Wow! That was brilliant. I loved your characterisation of Moriarty! Absolutely spot on. Dangerously crazy.

I enjoyed how you played with the eccentric madness of the character and amplified it. Even more, I loved his inner thoughts about Sherlock: how he dulled when his emotions clouded his judgements. Very perceptive. There was this one action of Moriarty I loved - how he cupped the bellboy's cheek. On any other individual, it would seem like a caring, affectionate act but on Moriarty, it seems all the more dangerous and frightening - how he invades the private space of his victim.

My favourite line of all, I think, has to be this one: "David, David, David... Dah-veed... If you call me Mr. Moriarty again, I will carve my name into your tongue with a butter knife," he whispered soothingly... It's just so perfect at highlighting the crazed, psychotic nature of Moriarty, how utterly dangerous he is and how is unpredictability makes him even more frightening. The fact that he could say something like that soothingly is testament to his madness, which is an attribute that I find fascinating in Moriarty. I love how you incorporate that so well into your story!

Here are just a few things I noticed and some suggestions:

["But Mr. Mo.. Ji.., Sir, last night...] I think the punctuation in between is meant to be ellipsis, like so: "But Mr Mo... Ji... Sir, last night..."

[He returned to his seat and sipped slowly, wincing at the heat.] I'm not entirely sure who you were talking about at this moment. Given that David was the subject of the last sentence, it sounds like it is meant to be him, but Moriarty is the one who is drinking tea. Perhaps you could switch a few things around so that it is clearer?

[He lapsed in to silence, staring the bellboy down with sharp brown eyes as sipping his too-hot tea.] "in" and "to" can be combined together to "into". Also, the last part of the sentence doesn't quite make sense. You could try "as he sipped his too-hot tea" or "whilst sipping his too-hot tea".

[" Which you'll do until I give you leave to go. I haven't, by the way. You'll know. "] Extremely minor, basically formatting error. There are extra spaces in between the quotation marks.

[In a few months he'd have something finished...] I think you could add a comma here: [In a few months, he'd have...]

[They kept telling them they were making progress] Did you mean: they kept telling him they were making progress?

["I was just.. .I..."] Again, just a very minor typo, the space needs to be moved so that there is a complete ellipsis: "I was just... I..."

[the rest were all laser pointers waved menacingly about.] This is just a suggestion, but maybe, it would flow better if it was "laser pointers being waved menacingly about".

Which reminds me, I loved that idea! That Moriarty never had all those snipers present, (just one) but was fooling Sherlock. It's brilliant, and sounds exactly like the mind games he would like to play with Sherlock. It is something I enjoyed very much throughout your story - the rivalry yet odd sense of understanding between the two.

Something I found very interesting was how you showed Moriarty's violent streak when he killed David. He always seemed like someone who played with his mind, leaving the dirty work to everyone else. But, I really enjoyed reading about a different, more aggressive, hands on, side of him. Also, I loved how he seemed completely unfazed by the disturbingly gruesome way he killed the bellboy - the apologetic look emphasised his psychopathic nature, his words seemed as if he was suggesting that it was David's fault that he was forced to kill him. Just brilliant!

I loved reading this story. It was very well written and the characterisation was fantastic. I'm very glad I read it. Well done and thank you for posting! :)
Kay
warriorfist chapter 1 . 1/19/2013
Another fantastic one-shot.

First off, the title was a great choice, befitting of the whimsical nature which Moriarty often lapses into, and an abrupt spoiler of the sinister events which take place in this story. Regardless, the build up, pacing and mood was so immaculate throughout that when the moment came, it wasn't robbed of any impact whatsoever.

Your Moriarty is just so fun! I know it sounds wrong, but seriously, I don't care when he is written this good. I could read a multi-chapter from you written from Moriarty's perspective for the rest of my life and never complain.

That twist at the end was also ingenious. I love how he put in that little touch in his grand scheme despite being so fond of theatrics.

Great stuff!
thats-a-moray chapter 1 . 1/19/2013
Love the first sentence of this story. I'm pretty sure I've been in that position before.

Oh my god. The part where he threatens the bellhop is absolutely chilling. He's such an intimidating presence. You write villains very well. I especially enjoyed watching him ponder how to deal with Sherlock. If there's any advice I can give on how to improve this story, I'd suggest add more details about David. Tell us a little bit about him aside from the fact that he's afraid. Make us not want him to die.

PS - Sorry for the delay, I dozed off at the computer last night. :(
TikiPrincess chapter 1 . 1/4/2013
Plot:
- The title alone has me anxiously anticipating a death. Excellent use of the "spoiler that isn't a spoiler" technique. I know something is going to happen, it's just a matter of how/when.
- The ending delivered on the promise and added another twist at the end!
- Although the pacing was a bit odd, going from introspective musings to harsh interrogation within a few lines of each other, it worked for this fic because of the POV. I think it really emphasized the very unpredictable nature of Moriarty.

Character:
- The opening image gave a great impression of the character, lounging in his throne like a spoiled prince. You've captured his psychotic nature well with the slightly inappropriate giggling, and the conversation with David about whether to call him Mr. Moriarty or Jim.
- David serves his purpose in the story. He works well as a reader surrogate because who wouldn't be terrified of an unbalanced man like Moriarty. I didn't necessarily feel that cathartic sadness when he dies, but I don't think I'm supposed to. He's like Sherlock's skull or John Watson - something to talk at while trying to figure things out.

Description:
- As I mentioned, the opening image was spot on.
- There were moments, however, where the description took me out of the story. For example, "He pulled a face that said what can you do?" I have no idea what that looks like. I'm not exactly sure what it means, even after sitting and thinking it over for a little while.
- Some of the exposition is a little clunky, like the part where he muses over Sherlock's strange sway over people. It didn't seem connected to THIS moment. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of storytelling. How much do you include so that the reader understands? How can you do this without losing the reader's interest? Because it's Moriarty, I think it's okay to talk in circles or refer to events without having them explained. Instead of rehashing the pool scene, he could simply refer to the "pool incident" and not go into detail about it until later where he talks about Sherlock's weakness.
- The death was epic! I loved this line: "He lay in a heap, twitching every so often as the synapses fired, and then he was still."

Dialogue:
- The exchanges between David and Moriarty are done well.
- I absolutely loved this line: Everyone has put all their eggies in one electronic basket and they're just begging me to break them, and I can't find my hammer.

Style:
- Kudos to you for writing from Moriarty's POV because I would find that nearly as difficult as writing from Sherlock's. And it was done very well!
- This sentence confused me: "They kept telling them they were making progress, but they didn't have anything to show him. The next time one told him that she was "Ooh, so close," he'd take off some fingers and hang them around the others' necks as a warning." Should them be him? "They kept telling HIM they were making progress"? Whose fingers will he chop off?
- The phrasing in this sentence was a bit awkward: "The boy hovered halfway between the door and far wall where Moriarty was ensconced, torn." I think it's the 'torn'. It's sort of hanging on the end, and it's not clear what/who it's modifying.

Overall:
There were times where I felt there was too much explanation and not enough description. (Does that make sense?)
Even so, I really enjoyed reading this. I've read some Sherlock/Holmes fics where I felt cheated by the outcome because it wasn't earned or didn't deliver what was promised. I definitely didn't feel that here.
Edhla chapter 1 . 12/13/2012
Don't mind me, I'm just sitting over here DYING OF JEALOUSY AT YOUR WRITING.

And desperately trying to be coherent, because I'm sure my death-by-jealousy isn't at all constructive to you.

Ahem.

I love this. Your details are beautifully... gah. You know how to pick the details we need and want, and leave the painfully obvious ones alone. Too-wide grin. Earl Grey. Twitching, synapses. Dear Lord.

You kind of signified the sad fate of David by the title, but that didn't rob it of any of its impact, which is a testament to your writing skill.

Your dialogue is absolutely spot on, even firing out idiosyncracies like "I did tell you" rather than "I told you."

Thank you also for validating my pool headcanon. :D Really, this is fantastic. *Squee*
HeroesAmongUs chapter 1 . 11/29/2012
You certainly caught the pychpathic side to Jim. He always has, or had, that calm before the storm feeling to him. David was pretty much doomed from the beginning really. You had some very nice desciptions in here and some great ones capturing Jims madness. I liked the idea of the hidden knife on him. Kinda silent and deadly much like him. A very good one shot fic.
ballofstring66 chapter 1 . 11/26/2012
I got the Wedgwood ref! :-)
I thought this was spot on. You had Moriarty to a T - even down to the faces he pulls.
My copy and paste has gone haywire so I can't do examples but loved the butterknife bit! Clever ending. Poor poor David.
Excellent story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Well done.
Aiko Isari chapter 1 . 11/24/2012
I'm amused. Deeply, highly amused.

Why are all of my reviews ending with me completely and royally sadistically laughing? Whatever.

Fantastic Moriarty. He is simply fantastically portrayed because he is this insane batminded little nutjob child that simply wants to play and the world does not want him to at all. Poor guy is so deprived of his toys. I can actually see the bugger skipping, so precious.

I'd recommend varying how you start your paragraphs a little bit, put some narration first, mix them with dialogue, little stuff.

Still fabulous. Still not surprised at my amusement.
Wildcard999 chapter 1 . 11/24/2012
Well, this really drew me in. You have an excellent grasp on the English language and after tfclivi had at you, I can't even tell you have a grammar problem. You seem quite good at using the full range of English vocabulary and a very formal mode of speaking and writing, which really does well with Moriarty as a character and, to be honest, anything in the Holmesian world. I can feel myself being transported back to England to...well, whichever century it was set in. I don't do well with dates. I didn't even find anything wrong for several paragraphs! And I usually hate really long first sentences. They tend to be long-winded and drab, but you seem to have found an exception somehow. Nicely done.

/He pulled a face that said what can you do? "Wedgwood."/

'Pulled a face'? Is that anything like pulling a prank? It just sounds so incredibly informal, and given Professor Moriarty's dignified asthetic, it's incredibly contradictory. And why is it mister? Is this before he was a professor, or am I thinking of a different Moriarty?

Another thing. What does wedgewood mean and why is it missing an e?

/...set it down on the table was even better./

Given that this is not only a new sentence, but also a new paragraph, you should indicate what 'it' is before using a pronoun. Speaking about it in dialogue is not enough. It makes your reader think too much about what 'it' might be and you can lose them.

/...poured his own Earl Grey- no sugar, a drop of cream./

Fyi, and em dash and an en dash mean two totally different things. - is an en dash and it's used as a hyphen. An em dash is longer, automatically supplied by the newer MS Word programs but often indicated by - in lieu of that, and those indicate an interruption in your speech. If you're not sure how to get a real em dash and want one, it can be copy/pasted from a fic that has one, like all my later fics, but double dashes work just as well.

Also, it seems a little weird there's no and between no sugar and drop of cream. Usually commas replace the and in all but one instance in a single list, but you've got only two items listed here. So I was pretty well ejected from the story there.

/The boy hovered halfway between the door and far wall where Moriarty was ensconced, torn./

The way this is written, it can be taken that Moriarty is at the far wall, or Moriarty is halfway between the door and the far wall. If you add a comma after wall, it'll be clear where Moriarty is though.

I'm not that much a fan of 'torn' just sitting there at the end of the sentence there since it very suddenly shifts the focus of the sentence back to Moriarty, but it also is very far removed from the elaboration on his predicament being two paragraphs early.

/Everyone has put all their eggies in one electronic basket.../

Electronic? Wait, what? They didn't have electronics back in Holmes' time. They had clockworks and engines, but electronics didn't exist until the invention of the microchip. Unless you've dumped them in modern times, in which case you'd want to indicate that.

And I just noticed the note down at the bottom. Given how little sense Wedgewood makes up there, I'd add a footnote indicator (usually a superscript 1 or asterisk) or I'd adjust the narration to show that Moriarty has indicated his tea set before speaking that one word. It does not work all on its own unless everyone knows what Wedgewood is.

/He lapsed in to silence, staring the bellboy down with sharp brown eyes as [he was] sipping his too-hot tea./

Into is usually one word here, sharp and brown are both adjectives for the same eyes (unless they're sharp-brown, which it doesn't sound like it) and require a comma because it's essentially a list, and lastly, you've missed a few words to make the sentence work as written. I've entered my best guess, but I can think of a couple alternatives that would work also.

Plane? Okay, DEFINITELY modern day. But why haven't you indicated that? The only version I've heard of set in the modern day was that new series, Elementary, but this is for a fandom called Sherlock.

/Even John Watson turned into a (bigger) simpering fool around him./

I really hate parentheses in fics. It's like an A/N right in the middle of the text, but from the narrator, not the the author. It has almost the same effect too. As far as I'm concerned, if you can't fit it into the regular text, it wasn't important enough to include and therefore doesn't belong to begin with.

/And after he'd left them in the pool room, even he'd come back./

Who is he? Is this Sherlock or Watson? If not, you REALLY need a name here. If so, just the sheer abundance of he pronouns in the previous sentence have really muddled things. I'm honestly not sure who was being clung to, Sherlock or Moriarty. Be careful of having more than two hims in the room or switching who 'him' is more than once in a sentence. You're liable to confuse the reader and muddle the sentence into uselessness.

/...riddled when that woman's call came./

Riddled? Unless it's with bullets, that doesn't sound too menacing. Riddle me this, when else is 'riddled' anywhere near as bad as dead?

/His lip curled back in a feral sneer over the steaming cup and David blanched./

I think David's reaction would seem even more fearful in its own sentence. A sentence is like a spotlight. Cram too much in there and you might as well just light the whole stage.

/His voice was a whip.../

Given that the last male spoken of was the bellboy, I'd use his name here. And I think separating pretty much all of the bellboy's reactions into their own sentences will help Moriarty seem scarier. It's hard to go from being the bad guy with Moriarty to being the scared little lamb with David really quick like that.

/" Which you'll do until I give you leave to go. I haven't, by the way. You'll know. "/

A couple stray spaces, I notice, both fore and aft of the dialogue.

War? What war? I didn't realize England was at war. When exactly is this set? The future?

/They kept telling them they were making progress.../

They were telling them? Them as in themselves, their supervisors or Moriarty and...himself and he?

/...he called as he leapt up./

That really just sounds wrong since David was again the last male named. I know it's Moriarty, but my brain keeps telling me the last he is David.

/"I was just.. .I..."/

Another stray space.

/...having latched on to what would be a likely story. /

Onto is also often written as one word.

I've noticed that thus far I haven't noted a single piece of dialogue that sounds at all out of sync with the one version of Moriarty I know well, which was depicted in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (a holodeck program; sorta like a movie, but interactive). It all sounds just like him and I can hear his voice saying every line you've written. This is indeed quite rare. Usually there's a line or two somewhere, or even several, that sound nothing at all like the character they're purported to be for. Another thing, you may have noticed my entire review is written in the same formal style as you've written this fic in. The sheer consistency just changed my mental language a while. This only happens when EVERY LINE is in the exact same style, so kudos. Very well done. One might even wonder if this is how you speak, just because you seem so comfortable with it. It's seemless.

/Sweat appeared on his forehead[] underneath his silly hat, and the boy fidgeted, jiggling his fists like he was working for a fiver./

Missing a comma there. Also, I'm not really sure what 'jiggling his fists' looks like. Mostly because I have no idea what one does to earn a fiver.

/Something clicked, and he jerked like a man stuck by lightning, sloshing hot tea on the carpet, narrowly missing his bare feet./

There are two he's here. One jerked and the other has bare feet. I know that Moriarty has bare feet, but David dies in this fic, so who is who?

/...and the rest were all laser pointers waved menacingly about./

Given that none of the laser pointers has been waved anywhere in this fic, it would make more sense if you wrote it as 'he could wave'. Otherwise it indicates I missed the waving.

/If Sherlock had chosen any option other than the incendiary one, he would have ended them, but as it stood, he knew a few new things now./

Huh? Setting aside the weirdness of the 'incendiary one' which I assume to mean the live gun as opposed to a mock up, what would who have ended? And who knew what new things? Nothing in this sentence is the least bit clear or previously indicated. I'm also still waiting to see if David is in fact dead given how incredibly vague the 'man struck by lightning' sentence was. If he's dead already, I suggest a follow-up sentence to set it in much more clear terms.

Also who is Moran and why are you talking about Sherlock like he was here? Is he here? If so, you need to make that more clear and show how Moriarty figured that out.

/He was almost apologetic as he withdrew the blade from the boy's stomach, watching his stricken face, but shoved it into his eye with no hesitation./

A knife? Then why all this talk about guns? And when did it get shoved into the boy's stomach? If that's what you meant about being 'struck by lightning' that was not at all indicated. When you have an action scene, things happen quick and they all build off each other. You need to be VERY clear about what's happening or you'll lose your reader very fast and end up with people having no clue what happened or who won or who's even dead. I actually wanted to leave when I lost track of what was going on.

/Moriarty returned his switchblade to its proper place nestled in his sleeve./

Blood and all? Why? Do you have any what happens when you don't clean the blood off? It hardens and the switchblade gets stuck or just ends up blood in hard-to-reach places that make opening and closing the knife hard and requiring two hands and
crazycatbabe chapter 1 . 11/23/2012
Although I don't know anything about the Sherlock Fandom, I will say that your story absolutely drew me in. And I loved the ending, I thought it was excellent.

Overall, I thought that the story's character, Moriarty, was well written and I thought that the story was witty and intelligently written.

Just a couple of notes:

He lapsed in to silence, staring the bellboy down with sharp brown eyes as sipping his too-hot tea. - into silence; with sharp brown eyes, sipping his too-hot tea. OR with sharp brown eyes and sipping his too-hot tea.

They kept telling them they were making progress, but they didn't have anything to show him. - They kept telling him they were making progress...

Something clicked, and he jerked like a man stuck by lightning...- ...he jerked like a man struck by lightning...

Again, I really liked this story. I thought you did an excellent job at writing it.
Crow's Talon chapter 1 . 11/23/2012
Moriarty scares me. :o

Really, this story was well-written, terrifying, and gets accross how eccentric yet utterly terrifying Moriarty is. His sheer capriciousness in dealing with David, first threatening and then casually murdering him. The last sentence in paticular shows just how crazy he can be, just happily leaving the room when there's the dead body that he killed in there.

I noted the reference to Moran. I wouldn't be surprised if he does eventually show up in Sherlock canon in person one day.
Aeci chapter 1 . 11/15/2012
This was very good. I'm not familiar with Sherlock, so some of the plot here went slightly over my head, but it was easy to picture Moriarty. His characterization and mood - cool and collected, but also frustrated - was very vivid, thanks to how he interacted with David and all.

"…he'd have something finished that would bring Mycroft to his holy English knees and scrape them up as bad as the next floor scrubber…" - I loved this sentence; there's a nice simile in it and the term "holy English knees" also jumped out. Same goes with "the big red stop sign of reality".

Jim's opinion on Sherlock was interesting; you seem to have his mentality towards the detective down pat. I especially liked how you've written that if Holmes was given a red herring, he'd "swallow it whole and ask for more". This bit of ethos demonstrates that Jim knows Sherlock very well and suggests the two of them have been through things like this before.

I found the part where he says "there seems to be a bit of a mess in my room" to be darkly humorous. He comes across as a very casual person, even with a crime scene like that in front of him.

The only thing I felt could do with a bit of tweaking was how much description was in the beginning; it feels one or two sentences too long (and therefore like a bit like an info dump). I think it's the size of the paragraph that does it. Other than that, I really enjoyed this.

Well done!
Fire Sage chapter 1 . 11/14/2012
I really enjoyed this piece. Even though it was short, it was still very clever and thorough. The character and scene were very believable as well. :) No major critics needed that I could see. Some of the dialogue, with all the dashes for breaks and pauses, was a little bother some at times but necessary for what you were trying to get across I think.

Great work!
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