Hi again! Back for another review! :^)
Yikes, I don’t think its a great idea to be drinking when you are hurt. Also, can I just say I never understood why Grandpa Jones asked Ethan to protect Selene? Or maybe I forgot. I don’t know.
Selene’s cold character certainly shows through very well.
What exactly is going on? Maybe I should have read ‘No Mercy’ first lol. Oh well, I’m already here.
Jesus Christ! All your characters are psychopaths. I don’t know. Some may feel Ethan’s actions are justified because of the betrayal, but I’d prefer punishment that doesn’t include torture. Torture, to me, always seems ethically questionable, even if the circumstances are absolutely right and perfect.
Your characters make me somewhat uncomfortable. Although I’d prefer Quinn over any of them, I can definitely see that her nature is not wholly due to her parents.
This was a great but disturbing one-shot.
Thanks for writing.
Hey there, again! :) So this is one of those stories on your page which I've seen so often and always thought about but ultimately passed onto something else, so it feels so good to finally be stopping here :)
You really do have a real knack for writing dark/horror style stories, like wow. It's a really hard thing to do write - because it's really easy to go overboard with it and make it almost comical with too much violence or too slow with too much introspection. And I'm seriously in awe of how you manage to both write short things and longer things so well - it's a real, real struggle for so many others, I think (including me) because they need different sorts of skills, and yet. And yet you do it so easily :)
I love how so often your characters are complex but also unashamedly dark. They do bad things, not always for good or the right reasons, and they do them simply because they do - they want to, they think they should, because that's the way the world they're in works. It's so refreshing to see, because there's this tendency often to try to excuse bad actions by characters - to explain it away as something which actually isn't that bad, really, yk - so characters who are just... bad and that's okay stand out. And it's interesting, too - it makes them more complicated, almost.
I'm so so fascinated by all the relationships in this. Ethan is protecting Selene as a favour for her grandfather. Ethan knows Aurelia - they used to work together - only she betrayed them to someone else, and now Ragnar is dead and Logan found out. Selene just kind of tags along for the ride at the end :P It's a tangled sort of web but it works so well and it adds to the story rather than being too complicated and taking away - and I love the creepy nature of how Ethan smiles at the end. They used to work together, him and Aurelia, they were at least friends, it seems - because he takes her betrayal personally - and he smiles when he makes her suffer. I mean. Damn.
You know I love your writing. You have this lovely clean, direct kind of style which works so so well for anything dark/horror-ish and action; and you always manage to make your writing read so emotionally, so heavy - if that's the right way to describe it - almost serious. It's a great quality to have; it works so so well with your writing and the stories you tell.
Ahhh I loved this - and it makes me more curious about your TAOBN, haha - this was such a great story and I'm so glad I read it! <3
Hey, kris! I'm here for the April EvS and for Ethan & Selene!
Ragnar's death affecting Ethan so much makes me sad! My feels! Also, I still need to know who betrayed them as I'm fairly certain that was kept secret during No Mercy. And it largely makes sense why Ethan is numb and angry, having someone who they were meant to trust betray them, and that someone is the person responsible for Ragnar's death. If they hadn't betrayed them, Ragnar might still be alive, and their mission would have gone over much more smoothly.
Selene is such a creepy character -- I can't help but love her. I also have to agree with Ethan, she doesn't seem the type that needs protecting unless Ethan's grandfather knows something we [the audience] and Ethan don't. Poor Logan -- having Selene close to hexing you to oblivion must be frightening. And, ahh, I see -- I take it Augustus Thorne is both powerful and probably evil (or something akin to). I should probably read more of TAOBN so I can get these references. It makes sense that she's jumpy and quick to draw her wand with someone rather unhappy with her [to the point that she might be killed].
The question is -- did she kill those people in Iceland? What happened in Iceland? What did the people in Iceland do? Is this another TAOBN reference? Who is Aurelia and why would she betray them? I suppose that last is the least important of my questions as it seems that Ethan and Selene are off to deal with her.
OH MY GOSH -- ETHAN WAS IN LOVE WITH HER? And she betrayed them -- holy crap, plot twist. And clearly she was the one who did because she KNEW why they were there -- she KNEW that they knew. I'm happy that the mystery of who the traitor was has been resolved, plus I have little sympathy for her (as I have no idea who she is), so Ethan's torture doesn't strike for empathy. She deserved it, it seems.
Anyway, fabulous job (as per usual)
I really enjoy the way you write horror! You should definitely write some more horror! You are very good at it.
the trust between Logan and Ethan is undeniable, he’s not only his partner he’s obviously a trusted friend, their bond strong. I like how you show that here with barely a question of Logan’s proof that the woman that Ethan loves is a murderer.
I like how regardless of his feelings for her he was able to switch in moment from love to pure hatred. I felt the pain he feels and I can feel the satisfaction in her death too. I’m sad for Ethan though, not only loosing Ragnar but Aurelia too. He seems doomed to see a lot of death and sadness in his line of work, it’s obvious why he’s able to be so disconnected from murdering the woman he loves, He sees murder and betrayal all the time. It’s sad though that it was such a double whammy.
This is Vicki/Oregonian, here for the EvS Review Tag in Slytherin, reviewing for Team Emerald.
I will confess that I haven't read The Art Of Being Nonchalant, but these short pieces of your, taken from that world, are enough to scare me off from your main work. You have certainly achieved major creepiness in the situation and characters.
From what little I've seen, there don't seem to be any empathizable characters here. The barbarians have invaded. Perhaps it's an illustration of how years of indoctrination during one's youth can result in a soul inured to violence and bereft of human pity. Kind of reminds me of terrorists and of children kidnapped to become child soldiers.
When the snow finally melts and spring returns with its blue skies, warm air, and bright flowers, I may come back and read your main story, which I am sure will prove to be a real humdinger! Can't imagine how these characters will ever find happiness or inner peace. Wow.
I'm here to leave you a review for the Magical Menagerie Review Event on the forums and also for the Gryffindor Red vs Gold Review Battle for 2019! After reading No Mercy, I thought I'd come check out another of your one-shots! You've only reviewed a million and seven chapters, so it's only fair that you get some review love too!
Well, this was not quite as graphic as the last piece, but certainly as cold and brutal. You really have a skill for writing this sort of writing. It's a tough genre, but you do it well.
You can really see how the after effects of the ambush took a toll on everyone. I mean I imagine seeing a close friend get hacked to pieces would really mess you up, so it makes sense that they're acting the way they are.
When Logan first appeared, I wasn't exactly sure what was going to happen. It seemed very tense until he mentioned catching the traitor. As soon as that happened, I knew this was going to get very bloody.
The last scene was dark. I can't imagine torturing someone you once loved. I mean I could understand him being mad enough to kill her, but to torture her, with his own hands? To me that seems excessive.
What does Lex Talionis mean? Is it Latin or some other language? Is it a made up phrase? I'm going to have to google it now.
lex talionis is latin for the 'an eye for an eye' law - the law of retaliation, whereby a punishment resembles the offence committed in kind and degree. you could say that hit wizards, at least this branch, definitely doesn't appreciate traitors. for ethan/apollo, losing ragnar was something huge because he was like family to him...so torturing the person who was partly to blame isn't something unthinkable to someone like him, who makes his living by being a black ops hit wizard. the scene where logan appears is definitely a tense one because he doesn't know about selene, she doesn't know about him and both of them are on edge but for different reasons (these oneshots happen in the same universe as my WIP so the characters overlap and some things are a bit clearer to people who have read the art of being nonchalant, but i tried to write them in a way that wouldn't be too confusing to others who haven't read TAOBN)
for some reason, i find it very easy to get inside ethan/apollo's head and write dark stories featuring him, though i'm not quite sure if that's a good thing or something to worry about :P
thanks for the lovely review!
Hey Kris 😊
I really admire your ability to write such dark themes with such feeling and believability. It's so delectably juicy!
But poor Ethan. Just from reading The Art of Being Nonchalant (Or Not), I would have had had no idea of Ethan's darkness and struggle. I love him, but he does seem slightly unhinged (which only serves to make me love him more).
I do wonder what happened to him to make him like this, how he became a Hit Wizard to begin with. Obviously, I know that losing Ragnar hasn't helped, and in many ways has probably served as a catalyst for him, but I do hope we get to see more of Ethan's story and how he reached this point. Is he too far gone to come back and find redemption? Does he even want to? How is everything that he is going through, and internalising it, going to affect his relationship with others, especially his sister Quinn?
As always it was a pleasure, and I can't wait to read more.
i always thought of ethan as someone who is really good at compartmentalising everything, especially his emotions, differing his job from his personal life (though as you can see in TAOBN chapter 9 he does have a bit of trouble with that after ragnar's death since he was someone ethan was especially close to). in my headcanon, the regular hit wizards have these scouts/recruiters in their ranks, seeing who would be a fit candidate for a black ops squad, who had the mental capacity and personality to be able to do things required of them...and ethan fit. i also have a headcanon that sometimes they even start recruiting from a fairly early age....if the circumstances are right (i think taste of blood may seem a bit clearer after this review response haha since i didn't really have the word count there to elaborate more).
in my mind (and in his), he doesn't need redemption. what he did, he did for his hit wizard family (sort of) and it's something that, in my headcanon, all the members of a black ops squad know would happen to them if they commit treason. that's why i called the story 'lex talionis', it's an eye for an eye law...
i'm always itching to write more about ethan so when inspiration strikes i'm certain there will be more stories about him (and probably selene too)!
Hi there! Back for Team Silver!
Oooh so these are characters from your novel? Okay, I definitely need to get on that ASAP then, because I’m smitten with your writing.
Even from the little bit I know of Ethan, from only reading the oneshot before this, he appears changed. He’s hardened, it seems. Ragnar must have been extremely important to him. To all of them, I’d guess, judging by how Logan appears affected by his death, too. And I’m curious about who this Selene is, and why Ethan’s grandfather wants him to protect her. I’m assuming I’ll have to start your novel to get more details?
Oh wow, after losing someone he was so close to, he comes to find out it’s because they were betrayed by a woman he was in love with? This poor dude cannot catch a break, can he? These Hit Wizards are ruthless, too. Are they independent contractor types? Or are they part of the Ministry? I would assume the former. They just seem like a group who works outside of the Ministry. And the fact that they use swords and knives, as well as magic is a pretty interesting concept, too.
I definitely can’t wait to read the third oneshot in this series. I’m very curious about what happens next. This seemed like quite the cliffhanger to end on.
Again, just stunning work here. I know I said it in the last review, but your writing is incredible. Thank you for sharing it with us!
hey meg :)
yeah, ethan, selene and logan are all minor characters in the art of being nonchalant (or not), and why ethan's grandfather wants him to protect her is a small subplot in that novel (but the novel is mostly centered around ethan's little sister and james sirius potter so it's definitely more light than these oneshots :P ).
yep, ragnar was definitely important to ethan, not just because they were working (if you can call it that) together, but also because ethan's own family is kinda....messed up (at least his parents....). i imagined hit wizards as something like, idk, the CIA or something - they have legitimate stuff they do and that most of the wizarding world knows but also, i imagined that in the future the minstry might not want to twiddle its thumbs and wait for a teenage hero to save the world, but instead have a group of wizards specialised in dealing quietly with possible threats before they gain too much power....
thanks for the lovely review!
Hi Kris, happy holidays!
I am so intrigued by your characters. The cold, almost ritualistic way in which Ethan kills Aurelia was chilling, and I love love LOVE the final line "painting a work of art with her blood." It's gorgeous and morbidly fascinating. I'm also curious to know more about Selene and how she became such a stoic, ruthless killer. They seem to have their own sort of code of conduct though - at least, that's what Lex talionis seemed like to me, with the punishment fitting the offense - and I'm really interested to know how they came up with this and how they ended up blurring the line between justice and revenge.
This one-shot is amazing on its own but it also raises so many questions about what's happening and what they're fighting for. I went into this completely blind (I've only read No Mercy so I don't know much about this universe) and now I'm super invested and am going to binge read TAOBN later today.
Really great job with this!
hey nim! :D
somehow, i really enjoy/love writing ethan doing horrible/chilling things like, er, killing people - i swear i'm not secretly a serial killer! tbh, i'm also curious to know more about selene :P 'Taste of Blood' is a drabble mostly about her and how/why she became the way she is...when i say i want to know more about her - i do have an idea for her backstory and what happened in iceland, but i haven't had the chance to properly weave it into any of the stories i have written. TAOBN is much lighter and the events surrounding ethan and hit wizards are shourded in mystery and not something quinn (the MC and ethan's little sister) would know about so some clues are there but quinn, being still in school, wouldn't know much about it (which at some point really frustrates her because both her brother and her grandfather are involved in something and she has no idea what exactly).
thanks for the lovely review!
Hey, Kris, I'm here for the EvS review challenge!
Reading this one shot, I realize that I'm just going to have to read TAOBNC, aren't I? I realize that this is also connected to your other one shot (which I've had the pleasure of already reviewing!) and the drabble for the Dark/Horror Snake anthology (which I'll read after I get into TAOBNC. So I'll loads to read and review!!)
I love the darkness of this, and I feel bad for Ethan. No one likes to be betrayed by anyone, especially by the one you love the most. The one that, ultimately, should love you the most also. (Yes, I've been there, but not to the degree poor Ethan has been.)
It must have tore his heart out to find out who the betrayer was. He not only lost his close friend to death, but his trust in others.
But, but, I also have a question. Did Aurelia actually betray them, or has Logan fooled them all? (I've learned nothing is as it seems, and only by reading the other fic shall I know the answer!! See, you've got me burning for answers.) So, yeah. that's my question....
That Ethan did the deed himself is so Ned Stark. It's hard being the one to pass sentance AND carry it out. It shows the depth of his character that he could and did.
Thanks, my friend, for allowing me to again delve into your world.
well, TAOBN is much lighter and quinn/ethan's little sister isn't aware of the events surrounding her brother's work, she just gets glimpses of the big picture (and also gets frustrated when nobody tells her anything :P ) - because what hit wizards do is secret (except the stuff the public knows about...ethan is just in the black ops type of hit wizardry haha)
yeah, ethan can't really catch a break but i think it shows how he's quite good at managing his emotions when he gets over the initial shock of finding out who betrayed them and how aurelia didn't mean to him as much as ragnar....because when ragnar died, he went berserk, when aurelia betrayed him he coldly murdered her (in a ritualistic sort of way but still! he wasn't totally crazy like with ragnar's death). and ethan needed to get his revenge on his own, he needed to do the deed, because ragnar was like a brother to him. he might've meant a lot to logan/jupiter and the other hit wizards, but with ethan he was his mentor, he saved his life, ethan saved ragnar's and it's a really strong bond they shared...
thanks for the lovely review!
gafhsLFJASLFJ can you believe im here again! (i can)
just holy smokes! half of me is like "oh my god my precious son let me protect u" and the other half of me is like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING" (the other half of me is like "FINISH HER" but let's ignore that)
aaaaa the whole numbness.... selene only being interested when there's murder on the table.... this is just (fist clench) beautiful. i love characters who blur the lines between good and bad and mmmmmm your writing just .... amazing.
Showstopping, incredible, I've forgotten the meme but imagine I didn't and I put the rest of the words, exquisite, absolutely divine, brilliant, half of me would die for ethan and the other half of me knows he'd be the one murdering me.
hahah so basically you have...three halves? :P but i totally get what you mean - it's the same thought process i have/had while writing this!
yeah, selene is a cool character, i definitely want to write more of her...so the drabble for the house cup is from her POV and features ethan :D
lol at that last sentence, but you're probably right......................