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for Toby

10/2/2014 c24 2Dragonwing Writer
*To anyone who hasn't read the story, this review contains MAJOR SPOILERS*

In a word, wow. The characters, story, writing, and mystery are all fantastic!
In particular I liked Sherlock's deductions about Toby and also the apartment break-in scene.
Also I liked how when the new Toby's owner was one of three people at first I was thinking "of COURSE it's Kelly Tayler,the one they don't know anything about," but, while it does turn out to be her, you throw the red herring of it seeming like it's someone else.
I also like to concept of Taylor's phoney baloney names. I didn't see it coming but made sense afterwords.
I did notice a few typos, for example in chapter 18 (19) you say "lying quit easily" or in chapter 19 (20) you say "fat" instead of "fact".
I also found it interesting that, as bad as Chris was, when it came down to it he was small potatoes compared to John and Sherlock; they've faced a lot more dangerous persons before..
I also love the mind palace analogies you made in the last chapter, specifically when you said "Carefully, Sherlock gathered the meories back together, stacked them neatly into the proper room, and closed the door."
I also really like the foreboding use of a smiley face in Chris's texts.
All and all the is definitely one of the best FanFiction story's I've ever read. My only regret is that I was unable to support it during publication.
9/28/2014 c2 57hiddenhibernian
I like the idea that 'she' forgets which part of her living quarters is where in the prologue. I'll skip to chapter one for the actual review, you have caught my interest now!

John being noticing and being kind to stray dogs is very much in character.

“He used to be a pet” is unexpectedly heartbreaking – poor little dog... You're really going for the feels with this: another bit that stood out was “"Good boy," he said quietly. He dog's ear's pricked up at the sound”.

“Stay, stay, his brain whispered; I want to help you.” - I don't know if you're familiar with Gaspode in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, but this sounds very much like him.

I think Mrs Hudson may have opted for a “No Dead Bodies” policy before a "No Dogs" one, so I'd imagine John is quite safe there...

I enjoyed how you showed the difference between John and Sherlock in the little exchange ending with: "So you heard me drop the groceries and didn't bother to come help me?". Sherlock is all deductions, while John goes straight to the heart of the matter.

I did find the pace of the chapter a little slow at times; I think you could shorten sequences like “There was, of course, the possibility that the dog was simply lost...” a bit without losing any key bits of information. The same thing goes for the second paragraph: it's quite powerful now, but I think you could back an even bigger punch if you trimmed it down a little.

The set-up is very recognisable: Sherlock is petulant and bored, John fumbling around with the day-to-day tasks and Mrs Hudson motherly. I got a little confused about the kitchen, though: as far as I remember, there's one in 'the boys' flat too, but here the dog seems to be downstairs with Mrs Hudson.

There does seem to be a lot more than meets the eye to the unexpectedly intelligent dog; I still don't know if you're going for the full monty where Toby has human intelligence, or if he just happens to be an unusually clever dog...

Minor typo:
He dog's ear's – The dog's ears
8/26/2014 c3 7cocoablossom
I've always been a huge fan of any Sherlock! So reading this was quite interesting.

I like how you captured Sherlock's personality: his uncanny abilities of deduction, intelligence, and contemplative demeanor... I thought you portrayed that very well in his dialogue and mannerisms. I noticed it not only in this chapter but in the previous one as well when he inferred John had met the dog outside the apartment without having witnessed it himself. The way he just summed up the dog's history even down to the age of its owner within a matter of seconds was surprising, but no less expected.

The bit with Sherlock trying his best to get away from the dog was actually quite hilarious and if I may say: cute. I could imagine it playing out and I guess that in contrast with how calm and collected Sherlock usually is makes it all the more comical; seeing something that could startle him; now that's a feat achieved. Just the idea of him perched on a counter is so unexpected that it's amusing.

And of course it was the mucus, Sherlock. Lol.

I like the witty and entertaining banter between John and Sherlock, especially when he admonishes John for being "clever"; ironic coming from him, isn't it? I'd like to point out (and I think I might do so more than once) that you've truly captured Sherlock's air of intelligence and wit without making him seem too pompous and extravagant in speech. So, in that regard, well done.

I'm guessing the mystery in this story surrounds the dog's owner. What was most compelling in this chapter was Sherlock's deduction, by far. It was very clever and definitely points to your creativity. I would like to say that in comparison to the previous chapter, this one was written more succinctly. Even though the vocabulary you use is simple, it's not too overdone with advanced words. Your writing flows effortlessly, really. And the words you used: I think you've successfully captured the time period. Well done :)
7/31/2014 c24 rowexz
amazing, simply amazing! :)
7/24/2014 c2 20Leonidas701
Opening: Okay, I don’t know if it was your intention or not, but this opening made me laugh. Just the image of Watson staring blank eyed at a stray dog as he tries to wrap his head around its existence is very amusing to me. I am also very curious as to why John knows what stray dogs look like, along with what happened in between the prologue and now to cause the dog to be removed from it’s owner. This was a very nice opening.

Dialogue: Does it count as dialogue if only one side is actually speaking? Well, regardless I really enjoyed the interaction Watson had with the dog. I liked that, for the most part, it was communication through gestures, on both sides. It was nicely described and I could easily mentally picture their movements. The flabbergasted grin confused me though, I have no idea how that would look. You also did a very good job of capturing Sherlock’s smugness in his talk with John, along with how exasperated the two of them are when they deal with each other.

Writing: The writing here was pretty standard, but, like I said, nicely descriptive. I liked that you always had the characters moving as they spoke, it really made the dialogue come alive. My favorite part was when you had John spinning in circles in the doorway, because with your short sentences, it really did seem like he was constantly turning in place, as opposed to turning, stopping, and turning again.

Characters: You really did a nice job establishing the characters in this story. You made Sherlock smug and bored, and the dog nicely intellegent, but your best job was with Watson. Thanks to how considerate you made him seem in the beginning, with the dog and Mrs. Hudson, it makes it stick out all the more when he’s curt and annoyed at Sherlock, and it does a very good job of establishing he spends a lot of time with him, enough for him to tolerate his abrasivness.
7/11/2014 c2 46Lorendiac
You're off to a good start. John and Sherlock seem very much in character with their dialogue in this chapter. I could easily believe these were the same characters I've watched in the BBC episodes. I was initially jarred by Sherlock's offhand comment that John doesn't have any friends - that was not consistent with my understanding of John's possession of an actual social life, apart from the times he tags along with Sherlock on one hair-raising investigation or another - but then I reminded myself that while John's social skills may be fairly good, Sherlock's definitely aren't, and I can't say it would be out of character for him to a) say such a rude thing, and b) be dead wrong when he said it. It would be far from the first time he voiced a faux pas which might be both unkind and unfair.

I also like the way you appear to be developing the dog as a character in its own right, despite its inability to carry on a lively conversation with the human members of the cast. It seems to have an ability to charm most people on very short acquaintance (although I already looked ahead to Chapter Three and saw that "most people" does NOT include Sherlock, which came as no great surprise). And the dog's presence in front of the great detective's residence at such an opportune moment - when the dog's owner seems to be in terrible trouble and probably needs the help of a brilliant detective if she hasn't already gotten herself killed offstage - could be attributed to any one of three things:

1) Sheer coincidence.

2) The dog is much smarter than one would think and deliberately found that exact address in London.

3) Some other person planted the dog in the neighborhood as part of some fiendishly clever scheme.

I suspect it's going to turn out to simply be a dramatically convenient case of #1, but even John is already consciously aware of the possibility of #2, and there's always the chance of #3. Since this is the beginning of a much longer story, the mystery about exactly how the dog ended up on this street helps build the proper atmosphere. At this early stage, I know virtually nothing about the larger mystery that needs to be investigated, beyond the bare fact that the dog's owner was frantically trying to hide from some mysterious enemy when last we saw her, but you've made me feel sufficiently interested in the mystery of the dog and the owner that I intend to read several more chapters after I finish this review.

Now for the Shameless Nitpicking portion of our program. When I quote passages from your story, I'll set them off with asterisks.

* * * Stray dogs exist. Everyone knows that.

And quite unfortunately there are areas that are overrun with them, areas where pets are abandoned heartbreakingly frequently, and the uncontrolled populations keep spreading to the point that they are everywhere—in the street, in the alleys, in the parks…lost dogs, abandoned dogs, rejected dogs. There are places where such things were unfortunately common.

The only thing is Baker Street wasn't one of them. * * *

Inconsistent verb tenses. You're making general statements, rather than describing specific events as part of the story. It seems to me that all of those statements ought to be made the same way - either using present tense as the default, or else describing things in the past. You mostly use present tense here - a good decision, I believe - but you're erratic about it.

Specifically: The first paragraph I quoted is strictly in the present tense.

The second paragraph is MOSTLY talking in terms of present-day conditions - "there are areas," "pets are abandoned," etc. - but then, during the final sentence of that paragraph, you suddenly SWITCH from present to past in mid-thought for no apparent reason. I would have made it:

/ / / There are places where such things are unfortunately common. / / /

At any rate, in the third paragraph I quoted, it's jarring when you've suddenly switched from the present ("There are places") to the past ("Baker Street wasn't"), even though you're basically continuing the same thought about general conditions regarding stray dogs being prevalent in some areas and far less common in others.

Now, if that third paragraph were clearly "focusing on John's thoughts," as a sudden transition from the sweeping statements of the omniscient narrator which were using the present tense as the default, then it would be a smoother transition

For instance:

/ / / Knowing all this to be true, John also knew that Baker Street wasn't one of them. / / /

(That is not perfect. But I think it's smoother than the way you jump from one tense to another in that passage as it currently stands.)

* * * He must be used to humans, John thought. He used to be a pet. * * *

Since the words before and after "John thought" seem to be direct quotations of John's thoughts at the time, word-for-word, instead of an after-the-fact paraphrase of his state of mind, I would put them all in italics. Exactly the same way you did it a few paragraphs later when you had him thinking, "Stay, stay" and "I want to help you."

* * * "Just brining in the groceries * * *


* * * "Furthermore, you called Mrs. Hudson's name as you entered, which you would not do unless seeking assistance for something. After which you dropped the groceries, and as you are usually more competent than that (John had to remind himself that was a compliment) there must have been something else demanding you attention that caused you to start. * * *

Even with parentheses around the part about John's reaction, it still comes across as if it ought to be part of the speech Sherlock is making, because it's all inside the same set of quotation marks. I would punctuate it along these lines:

/ / / "Furthermore, you called Mrs. Hudson's name as you entered, which you would not do unless seeking assistance for something. After which you dropped the groceries, and as you are usually more competent than that"-John had to remind himself that was a compliment-"there must have been something else demanding your attention that caused you to start. / / /

(I also switched "you attention" to "your attention." There were various other times in this chapter when you made the same small mistake, typing "you" when it should have been "your.")

P.S. I usually see the famous address of the world's greatest detective written as "221B Baker Street" without a space after 221. A little Googling confirms that this is the common practice - for instance, "221B Baker Street" has its own page on Wikipedia.
5/29/2014 c24 6G.Dark
Awww fantastic story I'll be sad not to read any more :-( love Toby the dog xxxxxxxxxx a great ending to a great fic. GD XXXXXXXXXX
5/28/2014 c24 4Birooksun
This is wonderfully done. I'm actually trying not to tear up over the end. I'd actually love to see this as a Sherlock episode.
5/20/2014 c24 29calgarry
That was a really sweet last chapter, a good finish to the story. I loved Sherlock sneaking in to say goodbye to Toby, I knew he liked him really! :) Nice work, I hope you will keep writing.
5/19/2014 c24 Black Night
Aww! What a sweet ending! Of course Sherlock would want to say goodbye to Toby privately. Can't let John know he's got a soft spot. ;-)
Thank you SO much for this great story! I enjoyed it all the way. For being your first fanfic, you did an excellent job.
Best Wishes and keep up the good work!
5/14/2014 c23 6G.Dark
Awww Toby and his mistress has been reunited :-D great fanfiction sad it's almost over :-( GD xxxxxxxxxx
5/13/2014 c22 G.Dark
Go Toby! He got back at Chris alright didn't he? Lol it's a great fanfiction ...onto the next chapter :-D
5/10/2014 c22 29calgarry
Yay for Toby!
5/10/2014 c22 Black Night
Go John!
Go Sherlock!
Go Toby!
Yay Team! :-D
Great chapter. And of course, Sherlock is still in denial that he likes Toby. ( hee, hee)
5/10/2014 c21 6G.Dark
Aww poor poor Toby :-( I hope John won't get hurt xx love the fic please update soon. GD xxxxxxxxxx
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