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for Shadowcrest's Hammer Book One of the Nightingale's Odyssey

12/29/2018 c9 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

Oh, this is nice. I had just read your one-shot with Blanjini in it and now I finally get to meet him in here. Funny how that works. Anyway, it’s great that Erik has found a kindred spirit, who understands him. It’s kind of like that feeling we fanfic writers get when we encounter a reviewer who understands us and what we were trying to do. No better feeling. Still, I wish Erik didn’t have to hide his new means of income from his friend. After all, Nadir is getting worse if he’s turning to drinking to solve his problems.
I very much like Blanjini. He won me over with that reference to Philomela. I also love his voice, and I have a hard time deciding if I like it better or just as much as Erik’s, but it’s got a very distinct character to it.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
12/3/2018 c8 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

Now this is a very interesting chapter. Erik is now speaking to his Jungian Shadow, and it’s just spot on. It’s that deflationary voice that knows how to really stick it to you (believe me, I know what a troll my own deflationary voice can be. It never holds back). And it’s not something completely new. Erik has been struggling with this for a very long time. But, he’s engaging in Active Imagination, which is what’s most important in this chapter. True, Erik is fighting a losing battle in this instance, but having those conversations with our psyche is healthy for us all the same.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/29/2018 c7 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

Well, things are finally looking up for Erik. I’m actually kind of glad it wasn’t going to entirely be doom and gloom throughout this story. But, this also shows me that this story is going to be a much bigger adventure than I could have ever expected. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, but I’m excited to see.

I’ve got to say, you’re snooty, rich dialogue for this end scene is very spot on, I think anyway. It’s very much like that opening scene in the first chapter. You capture the atmosphere and the attitudes so well. I’m assuming you’ve done quite a bit of research to get this just right for New York in the late 1800s.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/25/2018 c6 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

Well, you had me curious about the farmland. It looked like Erik might have a chance, but then we move on to this horse-whisperer bit. It’s actually kind of funny since that kind of a thing isn’t going to be mainstream for a while. Good thing someone like Erik is around.

Aha, so it all does work out for the better. Erik secures a little bit of networking and gets what he needed to head north. Funny how the world brings us coincidences like that.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/25/2018 c5 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

Oh, I don’t think we’ve had a chapter from Nadir’s perspective. This should be fun.

You definitely go for a full sensory-experience here, and I think I understand why you picked Nadir’s viewpoint to do it. Erik is more…logical? Calculating? Whatever it is, he’s more able to tune out the things that he doesn’t consider important. Nadir, on the other hand, is much more tied to the physical world and can easily describe everything around him because of that. His head isn’t in the clouds with lofty dreams of grandeur and success, so he’s able to see things as they are.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/22/2018 c4 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

Again, the relationship between Nadir and Erik is very interesting. It’s a friendly back and forth, filled with regret and resentment at times, but that’s what makes a friendship real. For better or for worse, they are friends that keep each other sane.

The second half of the story really brings back the original flavor of the novel by talking about Erik’s past. Yet, it also shows how much it haunts him in the present.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/20/2018 c3 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

While not the main focus of the chapter, I was interested in the conversation revolving around Erik’s opium addiction. I’m assuming you did some research on this because it feels pretty accurate to the situation. I like how you describe it as Erik’s “beast” that needs to rest.

You also take the time to explain just how dire of a situation Erik and Nadir are in, and I really feel for them. They’re very relatable characters, and their situation, given the time period, is deplorable. You can’t help but feel for them.
As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/20/2018 c2 ZadArchie
So, I’m just going in order of the posts on that WA thread to help counteract the spammer. So, yay, another review for you!

A really good expression of the differences between the haves and the have-nots within this world. Which, actually, I should have seen. It ties back to the conversation the gentlemen were having at the beginning of the first chapter. There’s a strong sense of prejudice against foreigners and the lower classes at this time, and despite Erik’s genius, he is rejected because he is seen as a filthy, low-born, foreigner. Excellent way to capture that here at the beginning.

But wow, just in general this was a powerful chapter. You really have a gift for the show don’t tell element, and you’re able to convey it so well in Erik’s voice. Unfortunately, I only grant one favorite story per author, but that doesn’t stop me from favoriting the author if they have more than one reason for me to enjoy their work.

As always, a courtesy review to another person plagued by the spammer is encouraged to help pay it forward.

Best,
Zad
11/19/2018 c1 ZadArchie
I believe you, like a great many others have been hit with the wave of spam from a very angry, disturbed, and quite frankly, sad person. I am sorry this has happened to you because all authors deserve respect for their work. I have decided that instead of complaining about it like others have, I wish to do some good in spite of it. So, for the time being, I am putting out good, real, constructive reviews to anyone who has posted in the WA thread on this matter. Enjoy!

First of all, congratulations! You are the 100th review in this little review-a-thon of mine.

I think what catches me right from the get-go is your really strong use of dialogue. In that first scene, it really helps set the atmosphere of your story. Not a character’s line is out of place. Later on, the dialogue helps establish the characters of Erik and Nadir. Well, in general, the first-person voice you use for Erik really helps me see that unseen genius his character is already known for.

There’s definitely some good humor in here as well. It’s not slapstick, haha funny, but it’s a really strong wit that makes readers see the lightheartedness in the rather bleak tone of this world. I liked it, anyway.

Finally, I get a really good feel for Erik and Nadir’s relationship. You can tell they’ve been close friends for very long, and even though Nadir doesn’t always trust Erik’s judgment, he still sticks with him like a true friend. Plus, he’s the only one to call Erik on his crap, and even if Erik doesn’t believe it, he still respects his opinion. They’ve got a good back and forth going.

I hope this review has made the past couple of months just a smidge better. I only ask in return that you perhaps find someone else who has been struck by the spammer and review them to brighten their day. These reviews are absolutely free of charge (no exchanges or anything like that, please), but I hope you take my suggestion into consideration. I think maybe together, we can all make this mess into a good thing.

Best,
Zad
6/21/2018 c49 47phantom-jedi1
I rarely go looking through the new submissions anymore, but I'm rather glad I saw your newest story and decided to take a chance on the series. It's terribly rare to find well-written and engaging stories these days. My congratulations, and I look forward to the process of catching up to your present story.

PhantomJedi
3/22/2018 c49 alexandra.ross.902
OMG YAY I LOVED IT! I wish I could buy a hardcopy of this and put it on my shelf next to my other Phantom of the opera paraphernalia. It was so wonderful and realistic. I couldn't get enough. I wanted to finish the chapters as soon as I could to find out what happens next, but I also wanted to savour and enjoy every second. Thank you for this beautiful story.
Sincerely, Angelica Duthie
7/20/2017 c49 granddma paula
thanks for re printing this. it took me 3 days to read it all but it was wonderful seeing all that eric overccomes. i just wished he would have found another christine. grandma paula
7/13/2017 c50 Metal Galaxy
The last chapter here isn't really a chapter as much as it's non-story content, which isn't allowed according to FF's rules.

Entries not allowed:
1. Non-stories: lists, bloopers, polls, previews, challenges, author notes, and etc.

The best thing to do here is to move non-story chapters such as this to your profile. I can assure you that people do read your profile, so you have nothing to worry about. Good luck.

Metal Navy
Critics United
7/1/2017 c1 Sjejdnndjem
I may have stumbled upon this by accident...but I'm really glad it did! Now I'm wishing I had all day to sit and read this.
4/16/2017 c1 Iso-AngelofDoom
Shadowcrest's Hammer
I fell in love with Kay's Erik shortly after reading her vision and I was totally thrown away by his struggles between dark and light as well as the torture's he has gone through, but so rare can I find someone to portray Erik in the way she did. That was, of course, before I came across your stories. The very same strong feelings which had touched the bottom of my heart overtook me once more. It's just amazing how you managed to capture Erik's complex characters and reestablish them through words.

I'm especially drawn to the part of his self-created mirror vastness, a 'torture chamber' of his own imagination, a painful display of haunted memories. It reminds me of Webber's lines: 'down once more to the prison of my mind.' Also it's reasonable to be another sad side-effect of his youthful fascination towards mirrors, the way he acted towards it resembles the same way he treats opium, torturous yet fascinating. It seems that his dark appeals roots deep inside his mind.
It's always heartbreaking to see that every single one of those memories, every event that has gathered together to be his life, is sorrowful and often regrettable to him. Even Christine, the woman he held most dear in his heart, is just another series of painful recollection.

But this time, when everything fell apart and he has been left with nothing other than Nadir, things started to turn around. (How mocking that sounds.) Erik has always been struggling with his hideous face, the mask was the reason for curiosity and abuse normally everywhere he went. He has never been in a place where people are so hopeless that they grew indifferent to many things, even the oddity of wearing a mask, neither has he experienced the negligence of the higher-class aristocrats such as VanHollus. Actually, through all that Erik has been through, his face and mask makes him the center of attention and has almost always been the trigger to his temper (not for Buquet's death, of course). So when suspicious glances are seldom cast his way, people can approach him so much easier and dare to show him their kindness, the forever true nature of humanity.

I believe Blanjini to be the first one to cross the barriers Erik set and touch his heart. Blind to the world, Erik can trust him never to judge him by his appearance, the two can truly relate to each other through music. When soul and soul touched, when the understanding of misery and endurance shared, the nightingale once again stretched its wings and went on pursuing its dream. Though blind to the world, the wise man has developed the ability to see into one's heart. It's he who saw Erik's struggle and pain, the demon that constantly haunts him, the danger and promise lying ahead. His death is a key, a key to throw Erik into greater misery as well as a key to strengthen his heart, to urge him to move on. If he had not died, maybe Erik would play with him every day, burying his talents in the pits of Bowery, ignoring the darkness of reality, seeking refuge in music, facing death when no one has any change to offer, and people who gathered around for his music will move on as if nothing had happened.

Chastity is kind and comforting. Though she has to please lonely men to make a living, her soul is as sparkle as it has always been. Despite their many unpleasant encounters, she believes in the good side of Erik once he showed her kindness (that was a rather big one). When she heard the news of Erik challenging VanHollus, it was just nice of her to worry for their safety. As a character mainly set up for Nadir, she's necessary to calm the poor Persian down and help him go through the tiresome duty of caring for Erik.

Erik is strong as well as vulnerable. Where no one can beat him in a fair fight, one can easily collapse him with a single word. The disaster of the Paris Opera House, the constant nagging of Nadir, his pride…, many things contributed to his determination of building up his own empire through fair earning. But the world is never a fair place, there are blows aiming at his back, hands reaching for his mask, cruel words stabbing his heart… When dangers come along, this time however, kindness is shown as well. So Erik painstakingly reached out his arms and tried to embrace the world.

I must admit, VanHollus is so stupid that he's in a way amusing. At first, I was angry at what he did to others (Erik especially). But when Erik found out about his little tricks, what advantage can he get when playing with the master? He acted like a spoiled child and in truth he is one, only children can't be so despicable as to put rat in one's glass. The act is totally meaningless and can only be another proof of his stupidity. I mean, even if he succeeded in poisoning Erik, he still has the Persian to save him so he's not so likely to die and people won't turn to him again even if Erik really died, who knows who is the next victim? Maybe that's just another thing his dumb brain failed to analyze properly. So insanity has he become that he kept turning away from the painful truth, his unwillingness to accept reality ultimately led to his downfall.

Though it may sound a bit morbid, but I secretly loved the scenes in which Erik killed (or murdered). The blade creates a spectacular and the lasso is sudden and swift. Also I love the duel when he fought easily and his seemingly careless moves were just efficient and deadly. Nevertheless, I found the descriptions of his life in Mazanderan attractive, which appeared several times throughout the second and the already updated part of third book. I assume the reason is that it's fun to the shah and khanum being so silly as to give Erik too much power, also it's thrilling to see the particular devices he had built for their entertainment (such as the ring of fire).
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