Reviews for The Ghosts of England
Scoobycool9 and LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 1 . 2/23/2015
I have to admit that the piece starts off interesting and the use of second person to show how things are at the time is quite good. I also like how you personfied London and gave her a face and a name because it gives a great character to the city as a whole. I also like the fact that you regard everything as fact because it shows in your writing. I will admit I am a little perplexed if that is just Sherlock at the end, but an all it was good. I also like the way you use sight to show the differences between modernism and contemporary pieces.
Stutley Constable chapter 1 . 1/20/2015
Compellingly well told. I only wish I had read this around Halloween. Then the atmosphere would have been perfect.
Darkwood Princess chapter 1 . 10/10/2014
This was beautiful and gave me the shivers!
Starluff chapter 1 . 5/5/2014
"So sad, so strange, the days that are no more" - A. Tennyson

There's no real point that I love or dislike. Your writing is so whimsical and magical, so moving. I cried, really I did, when I first read this, and until now I feel feels!

I love the part about Mycroft, how he was a casualty of war. Because he was, wasn't he, in a way? "an old man fighting a young man's war." Speaks volumes.

"It is a smothering feeling of inevitability," this line best describes the story, as well as how I feel about it. It's not necessarily because Sherlock and Watson and co. are dead that makes me sad, but to slowly watch yourself fade away, to watch your friends and family die, and your own body fail you; that is the real sadness. That is the tone you have set, so skillfully to have moved me to tears.

Doesn't Watson get married and have children? So why does only Lestraude have a family?

The piece about the family was nice and sang true. To die laughing is a good way to go.

I really feel bad for Watson. It must be the worst to last the longest. At least, even Holmes had his Boswell to the end, no matter what. But to lose everything you have and live, simply waiting for death to take you...

The ending is a beautiful biter sweetness. "For London loved these men, and these men loved London, and love is strong as death." They are back in their Old London.

"and if he gently fingers it before he leaves you – well – he is a gentleman." My favorite line by far.

The ending is perfect. It fills me with magic. I'm trying to think of anything more to say but I can't express what I feel in mere words. I'm sure you understand. Amazing work.
Mwac chapter 1 . 4/22/2014
This... was so incredible. The picture you've painted with such beautiful words was incredible to read.
I'm glad Ange picked you for the Stories Around the Campfire at Ange and Neo's Hostile Takeover. It was a fantastic pick on his part.

Some lines stuck out to me more than others, but as a whole this was awesome.

-a lilting echo of a violin eerie against the bricks, or the sharp, swift thunder of hoof beats pounding on stone streets.
-and it painted on buildings like rouge, and roads like lipstick but it could not regain its former beauty
-London was a great lady, and ladies do not forget their lovers, and they do not leave their dead without mourning.

Incredible. Your imagery is impeccable and your story telling is flawless.

I love how this is a kind of continuation of Doyle's world of Holmes and Watson, how London moved on from their legends, and how they strayed to the background until it was their time to go.
Starting with Mycroft was smart, as he was always the one in the background helping things run smoothly, and without him, the others were bound to follow shortly after.

Overall, I couldn't find any SPAG errors, so good job on that! The story was a joy to read, thank you.

-Moderator at ANHT,
SoulsandSwords chapter 1 . 4/20/2014
Wow. And by wow I mean Oh my goodness, this was amazing! Even canon-blind readers (like me) can read this and be moved by your powerful imagery and prose. Whether your referring to the films (those which I've seen) or the TV show (which maybe I should check out), the theme is consistent; an aura of mystery, your syntax flowed very well, almost like reading a children's book. This is almost like a simple expository chapter; showing us what England is like in Watson and Sherlock's eyes... nothing but a kingdom full of ghosts.

The only worry is that always remain consistent in time tense-you switched from present progressive to past progressive tense at one point. Other than that, flawless. Congrats on earning the pick of SatC :)

JasmineRaven chapter 1 . 4/20/2014
Hi! Congrats on being picked as this week's SAtC for the forum Ange and Neo's Hostile Takeover. I apologise in advance for my fandom blindness.

This story is beautifully written. Everything was worded so beautifully! Your use of description was excellent. Some of my favourite lines from your writing were:

1) "one dark night in London when the moon is shrouded in fog and the street lams cast only a dim, flickering halo of light"
2) "a lilting echo of a violin eerie against the brick"
3) "the upturned faces shine with recognition, and the peculiar glint of eye that comes with idealism"
4) "so many others are locked into simple, dry legend when the truth was always more vibrant and so very beautiful"

I found those lines very interesting. You also did a great job of setting the emotional tone for the story. And, I also admired your use of short, powerful sentences like "For the truth- you will find- can never truly die" and "their city wept for them."

There were a couple of missed commas, but no drastic mistakes. This is an excellent, well written, beautifully worded story. I wish I could steal your writing talent. haha! I really enjoyed reading this. Well done! Keep up the excellent writing :)

truthsetfree chapter 1 . 1/20/2014
Excellent use of language in this. Your choice of word, use of metaphor, and use of imagery were stunning. Great use of repetition. The rhythm flows nicely. This is very well crafted.

If this were mine-
Given that it's set in England, I'd change those measurements over to metric.
I'd put "eerie" in front of "lilting."
zanganito chapter 1 . 1/19/2014
I like the reoccurring themes you have going on through this piece. The aging of men, aging of the city, and the ghosts all fit together nicely, particularly, since I think you make it feel like Holmes and Watson are a part of London, and the parallel between them aging and the history of the city is interesting. I also like how you sort of sandwiched the story of Watson realizing that they were aging into the framework of the story about ghosts. It kind of gives an eerie feeling to the fic, since Watson is at the point where he realizes their adventures are mostly in the past and turning into glossed over legends. It’s kind of sad, but at the same time makes the “ghosts” feel so much more human. I think your line:

/Holmes is all too haunted by his own legend, and Watson sees it in the faces of the villagers when he goes to market./

makes it seem almost like they turn into ghosts before they die. The ending is also really strong, and I think your line,

/For London loved these men, and these men loved London, and love is strong as death./
nicely ties up all the themes, and re-emphasizes how closely tied they are to the city.

I also really liked your word choice and use of language throughout the piece. It was well-written, flowed well, and I didn’t notice any typos or areas that could be improved. I enjoyed reading this quite a bit. Well done!
Great Angemon chapter 1 . 1/19/2014
Okay, wow! Nice opening! It gave me chills, the talk about Holmes, Watson and Lestrade being ghosts; I loved the way you said that even though they were ghosts, that didn't make them any less real. I think that was very nice, and very true.

The way Watson was comparing his and Lestrade's age to the way the city was developing was very clever. I think that that makes sense, because, like you said, "Even as they grow old, London grows faster." You might grow, and it seems like nothing changes, but in the blink of an eye Old London can become a modern city.

I loved loved loved the ending. It was absolutely beautiful, the way you were describing London as being a lady who would never forget the truth about Holmes, Watson and Lestrade, and how she wept for them the day the last of them died. The way you wrote it, you would absolutely believe that they all were alive at one point, running after the most terrifying criminals in all of history, and playing the viloin.

I absolutely loved this story. Wonderful job.
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 1 . 1/19/2014
I love the poetry of this story - the sheer talent of the writing in it, the feel for phrase and choice of word and above all rhythm: these are sentences that cry out to be spoken aloud, to be felt in the mouth and on the tongue or to come slowly, recorded on radio, in the voice of some skilled actor. But the theme that it handles is equally powerful; the boundary between memory and Story, and - perhaps - the irony that by his own chronicles Watson has been locked into the constraints of living legend. My immediate thought was of Kipling's own stories of the English countryside, and of myth and legend: "Puck of Pook's Hill", perhaps, which is a mingling of just such musings, and of language which interleaves the poetic with tail-pieces of pure verse.

It is hard to achieve writing of this style and to this standard without falling into pastiche: this story has a perfect command of its idiom, and the skill to conjure an image or a fleeting sensation with a well-chosen contrast or shading - "Age takes him where love could not go"..."he will speak nothing to you, nor will he stray from your side" - or to summarise with a wry twist: "the brain without a heart, the doctor without a wit, and the professional without a clue". I felt that the writing stumbled only twice: an ill-judged comma in the first paragraph ("streets that are built on inches, and hands and yards of history": the effect is to couple together the hands and yards and part them in so doing from the inches, and I don't think it was intended as such), and a confusion of persons during the death of Lestrade.

"He is with them when he dies, surrounded by grandsons and granddaughters, and so he is told, laughing": one of these three 'he's is Watson and one Lestrade, but the identity of the first is unclear: Watson is with Lestrade and his family? Lestrade is with his family? Properly speaking there should be a pair of commas around 'so he is told' to mark off the interpolated phrase - "and, so he is told, laughing" - which adds somewhat to the confusion: it becomes uncertain whether the laughter is that of Watson or the unknown teller rather than Lestrade.

But I love the use of comparisons: "buildings like rouge, and roads like lipstick" - the image of red brick, and sticky tar painted on; "it wore on him like an ill-fitting coat", playing on the double meaning of 'wear'; "seeing only a character in a story and drawing a stick man when... only a Master's paintbrush would do". The story ebbs with the retirement and death of its characters, one by one; and with Watson's end the myth, appropriately, blossoms into full personification ("Their city wept for them").
Rosawyn chapter 1 . 1/19/2014
I'm reading this fanfic because it's currently the SOTW at the Rlt. I'm somewhat familiar with Sherlock Holmes, but I should probably admit up front that I have not actually read the books.

Oh wow, I really love who this fic opens! I've always been fascinated by old cities, and London specifically, and I really enjoy how you describe it here, how London is built on inches, hands, and yards of history.

I absolutely love the description of Watson, Holmes, and Lestrade as, “good men in a hard time” who “became great men in an even harder one.” Beautiful!

The idea that Lestrade and Holmes are growing old is introduced well, and I love Watson's little lecture to Lestrade about sending out Constables while he tends to Lestrade's injuries. :)

The image of Mycroft's death as a “warning shot” is startlingly effective. I must admit, though, that I'm unsure what you mean by saying he's a casualty in the young man's war in which he never fought; the best I can guess is that he died of a heart attack or some other stress related caused.

It seems bittersweet that Watson must stay home from the war, and I love that he puts his efforts so strongly into managing a hospital. It seems very like the character I know from adaptations. :)

The idea of London ageing faster than the men is intriguing, since at that point in history I expect the whole world seemed to be ageing or at last changing very rapidly.

It took me a couple of reads through, 'the brain without a heart, the doctor without a wit, and the professional without a clue,' before I realized it referred to Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade specifically, and the characterized ideas of them in the popular mind.

And of course Lestrade would eventually retire. Of course he deserves it, but I can see how that would still be a shock, yet another reminder that they're all getting older.

It's quite sad that Watson didn't manage to have children here. Especially since he seems to have wanted them.

The idea of an old Sherlock Holmes having people accost him for autographs is quite amusing, though I suppose in context it's supposed to be sad.

Sherlock Holmes' funeral, is quite poignant as you describe it. For all his fame, it's just a priest, John Watson, and God who attend. Though, it seems that was the plan; they didn't want his many fans to even know where the grave was located.

Oh, silly John Watson, you are a character in a book, after all. :P Well, that and several movies and tv shows and the like. You even got to be in an “Epic Rap Battle of History,” lol.

It is a lovely image, the legend of the city weeping for them.

I love the quote from the Bible, “love is as strong as death”! That's one of my favourite quotes. :D

I'm not sure exactly how you intended the ending, but it seemed a bit eerie (which isn't a bad thing!). I liked the bit about the ghost being a gentleman.
StrawberryDuckFeathers chapter 1 . 1/19/2014
. For the Story of the Week thread . . Have seen the films, but otherwise fandom-blind .

I think, for a story about ghosts, a beginning that reflects on the very distant pasts of the place, and on the 'uneasy feeling' of being on 'antique streets', creates an eerie feel very well- a feeling that the many that have lived and died in England might still linger in some way or form- and you do this in an original way as well. The sounds afterwards are so creepy- the 'violin', the 'slight sound' of wind and the 'hoof beats' all create a build of tension as well, almost as if the ghosts are approaching. The tension of the '...will remain' line was brilliant, since it really gave that feel that, as we read on, their time is slipping away. I found it so sad that Mycroft ended up dying in a war that he wasn't even part of. The way Watson never thinks of himself as an 'old man' gives another hint that time is going faster than he might think. :) I found it upsetting that, for Watson, London is aging as well- it's not what it used to be. :( The way the city and the people intertwine is brilliant; I personally think a character's surroundings is part of what makes them. I loved the part about the funeral not smelling of 'tears'. The way the grandchildren surround the death is interesting, suggesting he was well-respected by family and had achieved a lot in life as well. 'Reduces him to nostalgia' is such a beautiful way of phrasing Watson's feelings; he thinks it'll help him pull through, but instead he just dwells on the past. I love how you refer to him as 'the Sherlock Holmes', showing that he is well-known and perhaps looked-up-to as well. :) I love and so the truth ends', since it makes you think how much truth is in actually in some old legends and stories themselves. I like that you've given us something to think about outside of the story as well. I like the way that the graves are covered with 'wildflowers', as if the reality of these men is now covered over. The blur between what is real is what isn't it something I really like about this story, especially in the way that you even make the ghosts seem real as well. I have no concrit for this, but keep up the good work. This is a lovely and engaging story. :)
Aragonite chapter 1 . 1/16/2014
Oh, my.
Fantastic, quiet, and lingering on. A haunting piece and I've read professional short stories that palled in comparison. I hope you keep writing.
A True Hufflepuff 13 chapter 1 . 1/16/2014
This is beautiful. Just... wow. I am currently speechless, having no words to express my admiration. I suppose I will give it a shot. But I really don't think my review will manage to do this story any sort of justice.

I really like the theme behind the whole thing. How a city is made of people (living as well as deceased), and historic events, and emotions, instead of just bricks and plaster and other such materials. I also like how you personified the city, but took great care to specify that Sherlock and Watson and the like loved "Old London," and it was "Old London" who remembered them.

Your opening paragraph was very strong, and you had me hooked from the start. I love how you started off with a description of London's streets, and how it was "built on inches and hands and yards of history." At first I was very confused about the "hands," but then I remembered that it was a common way to measure things back in the day.

So you start off with this really neat paragraph, and then the next line, "It is an uneasy feeling" completely changes the mood set by the first paragraph. Great job with that opening line. Simply amazing the way you drew the reader into the story.

You did an excellent job writing how everyone died, and how it affected Watson. At times, I was confused as to who was dying and who had already died, but it was pretty easy to sort that out if I re-read the last paragraphs.

I love how, throughout the whole piece, you blurred the lines between legend and reality.

Some of the quotes really got to me. You said all the right stuff in all the right places, to give the readers all the right feelings. It's just perfect. There are so many little quotes that I noticed and loved, but I can't seem to put my admiration into words. I'll copy down a sentence that I loved, start off with "This was phrased nicely." and then stop, because I can't think of anything else that explains why I love that particular sentence, and why I think it fits in with the story. Some of my favorite sentences:

"And if you cannot touch him, think nothing of it."

"Age takes him where love could not go, and so the truth ends."

"For the truth - you will find - can never truly die."

"They were good men in a hard time, and became great men in an even harder one."

I wish my fingers would just type how I feel about these sentences, without my brain having to first translate the feelings to words. These are the times that try reviewer's souls. Think, brain, think! Nope. Still nothing. No explanations. I'm sorry. I don't think the right words have been invented yet.

Splendid job with the story, just splendid. Keep up the good work! :)
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