Book Jacket

 

rank 5908
word count 148818
date submitted 02.02.2009
date updated 06.03.2009
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Romance, Fantasy...
classification: moderate
complete

Darkest Night

Katherine Thompson

Gabriel Stone is a Necromancer, fighting evil in moonlight and acting normal in daylight. Can he fight the darkness, or will it consume him?

 

A senior in high school, Gabriel Stone is faced with more than his fair share of problems. He has just moved to a new town with his widowed mother after an expulsion from his previous school in Los Angeles, and now he must prove to everyone that he isn't a bad person--while spending his nights combing the cemeteries for demons. Because Gabriel Stone is the Necromancer, called into duty by the Seer book. When things start to heat up as his senior year flies by, he begins to wonder if he’ll live to see his own graduation. A demon in human form, Daedalus, appears seemingly out of nowhere as the demons grow stronger and more numerous. Can Gabriel fight this war with darkness alone, or will he be consumed by it?

 
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tags

cemetery, demons, funeral, high school, lucifer, necromancer, paladin, seer book

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12 comments

 

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audreym wrote 1503 days ago

I just finished your manuscript - and I was thrilled! Lovely descriptions, especially the battle scenes, which were so well described, I felt I was watching it first hand.
A couple small complaints - Firstly, an epilogue seems necessary. The ending is good - but it fails to give the reader closure. I have SO many unanswered questions after finishing, that could easily be summed up in an epilogue.
Secondly, a few missing words, small grammatical errors - nothing that a good proof reading won't find.
Despite some of the other comments, I enjoy a longer book - and I found your length to be perfect for fully developing the characters and plot in your story. Sometimes, I have to wonder how people can make such blanket comments without exploring the entire work their so apt to criticize. Truthfully, some scenes could be removed to take off some length - but I found it refreshing to have more than just the bare bones story for once - to have a fully developed sense of the characters, story and plot before being slapped with an ending is absolutely refreshing.
Just my humble opinion...
Regardless - I was quite taken with your story, and am highly disappointed to see it doing so poorly.
Best of luck,
A


redrocket63 wrote 1752 days ago

Originality in writing. Thats what I like to see! You've created a tension that gripped me as a reader. I am truly impressed, and will continue reading. It's uncanny how we can develop our own little utopias or heaven/hell as writers and you've proven to be quite the mind. Great job and I will continue reading. Game, Set, Match, Shelved.

redrocket63 wrote 1752 days ago

Originality in writing. Thats what I like to see! You've created a tension that gripped me as a reader. I am truly impressed, and will continue reading. It's uncanny how we can develop our own little utopias or heaven/hell as writers and you've proven to be quite the mind. Great job and I will continue reading. Game, Set, Match, Shelved.

redrocket63 wrote 1758 days ago

Great story - it's apparent you have some talent, but you could definately use more description, and not only to paint the scene for the reader, but also in your narrative - how do your characters feel? Great promise. Game, Set, Match, Shelved.

Debbie wrote 1810 days ago

Wow. 150,000 words. Impressive! This was a fun read and you are clearly a competent writer. It all felt very natural - particularly your dialogue. I disagree with the previous comment re putting thoughts in quotes (that's the good and the bad of this place - everybody will give you a different opinion!). But then I don't think you need the I thought tag either. At least not all the time. You could try, for example, changing:

It isn't all bad, I thought optimistically, leaning against the wall on the other side of the principal's door, staying away from ...
to
It wasn't all bad. I leant against the wall on the other side of the principal's door, staying away from ...

But it's largely a matter of your own style.

I like the way you're just drip-feeding little nuggets of information that he's not quite normal. Nothing too much, just enough to intrigue. Not too fussed on the last line of chapter 2 - a bit of a cliche, IMO. But it's all very readable and will appeal to Meyer and Buffy fans, plus you've kept it mainstream enough to appeal to general fantasy fans too.

But I do think you will have problems selling a novel of this length, partcularly a first novel. Having said that, you could really make this sparkle by some judicious pruning - a word here, a senetnce there, maybe the odd para or even scene. You'de be surprised how easy it is to do and how quickly you can get the word count down. It's hard to do I know when you've nurtured your baby for so long, but I do feel that your writing will really come alive after it. Best of luck!

Armen Chakmakjian wrote 1820 days ago

This is a substantial work and I applaud you for the size of it. I read through several chapters and it kept me absorbed. Your writing style is good and there is obviously a clear voice. I only have one comment about it being the in the first person. It may be just me, but as I read through it, it started to get...well word wise predictable. Every other paragraph seemed to start with I. I stepped, I meditated, I ran, I left, I stopped, I sighed....The "I" paragraphs rarely started with "As the wind blew my hair, I xxxxx" I think that by between chapter 4 and 7 (where I stopped) the ratio went down to 1 out of 3, which may be that you were finding your (and the narrator's) voice.

One other thing. At one point I noticed that your narrator spoke their thoughts. The line was (my quotes)

Great, I thought.

I would think that it might be

"Great," I thought.

It may be that both are valid grammatically given the narrator, but it was odd to me.

These my only stylistic comment. I think you've done a great thing here and I'm going to back it. Good Luck with your work.

brian d wrote 1834 days ago

Katherine, first off let me offer you a big "way to go girl" for writing a 100,000 word book. For a 19 year old thats mind blowing. I tried writing at that age and I sucked. It's over ten years later and I still suck at it some might say. I liked what you said on your profile that you'd rather just listen to the muse in your head than talk to folks. I'm kinda the same way.

Anyhow, about your book. I think you can tighten up your writing quite a bit and make your manuscript sing. You have a cool story going here but I'm noticing that you're incuding bit of needless wordiness in spots that don't need wordiness.

example form chap one--the first bit of dialogue could read a little smoother like this

"You're Gabriel Stone?" The girl asked, not even lifting her eyes from the paper.
"Last time I checked."
The girl smacked her chewing gum and stared up at me blankly. "You have to speak to Mr. Hayes before I can give you a schedule," she said, actually twirling a peice of red-dyed hair between her fingers now.
"Who's that?" I frowned.
"The principal." She said it like I should have known better.
"What do i need to see him for?"
"You were expelled from your last school."
"Yes."
"That would be why." She smirked.
I felt my blood pressure go up. "Can i go in?"
"Sit over there." She pointed to an old padded chair. It looked distasteful.
"I'll stand," I said, then just walked over and leaned against the wall.

See. You're dialogue alone is strong and speaks for itself. But you overdue the point by adding filler such as--she didn't appreciate my humor--than to ask a stupid question. Forgive my ignorance.--I blinked in irritation--I asked as politely as I could which was actually through gritted teeth--i said tightly--I couldn't kill her no matter how annoyed she made me.

all of that stuff you can cut and it makes your writing ten times stronger. The words that the guy and the girl speak to each other tell the reader how each feels about the other. If that makes sense.

You're dialogue is fantastic. Incredible. You write it with a natural ease and it sounds real. But your killing the punch and power of the charecters words by telling the reader what to think. You need to trust the reader. The reader will "get it". You don't need to spell it out for them. We don't need every emotion the poor guy Gabriel feels explained to us. The words that come out of his mouth and the girls mouth do all the explaining we need. And I've read enough of your book here to see that you write very good and realistic dialogue.

Get a copy of Stephen King's "On Writing" if you already haven't. He explains what i am talking about perfectly near the end of that book.

I hope that helps. I'm gonna keep your book on my shelf for a while longer. I'll offer up any other advice that I can as I go. k

cheers, brian d




Gordon Long wrote 1860 days ago

Dear Katherine,

I just finished "Darkest Night", and it is one of the best of this genre I have seen on this site. However, it has two major problems I would like to bring up.

The first is practicalities. When you set a magical story in present day, you expect a certain suspension of disbelief so that readers will accept that the "regular" people will not notice the strange things that are going on. I feel that you stretch that suspension way too far. When Blaise and Gabriel walk out of the police station with their swords in their hands, mine snapped completely. This takes place in America, where some schools have metal detectors at the doors, and these guys are wandering around school with broadswords and daggers! I think you need to sit down with a real cynic, and discuss this element of the story. He should say "I'm the general public. I'd never buy that." and then you would have to rationalize it, change it, or hide it.

The second is development of suspense, and it's strange, because in some ways you are so good at it. The overall structure of the story seems very carefully constructed with the reader's emotions in mind. Just about the time we are screaming at Gabriel to let his friends in, he finally does. Just about the time it becomes obvious to us that his friends are not enough to help him, you give us Blaise.

But do you apply that kind of touch to your fight scenes? Not a chance. He shows up at the graveyard the first time, and suddenly he's knee-deep in demons and getting torn to shreds. Hardly any suspense, no build, just sudden violence. And it goes that way through the whole story. The demons always come up from behind, and he never knows they are there until they grab him. He loses his sword way too often. (BTW, a back-hand is a very weak blow, because it only has the weight of the hand behind it. It's usually used as an insult at the early stages of a fight. A monster's backhand would be powerful, granted, but you use it very often.)

In other words, you need to use the subtlety and finesse of your other writing in your fight scenes, instead of counting on violence, blood, and pain, which palls rapidly on any audience.

In general, you have a great story with some serious problems which are quite fixable. Good luck with it.

PS. I've been getting comments on "Power to Serve" that it's too long (20,000 words longer than Darkest Night), so be prepared for that, too :-)

StevenDowCowan wrote 1866 days ago

I love the title and I love the concept. Would I be right in thinking it's at least partly inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer? (Because I still think that was the greatest thing ever conceived on TV!) Also, you've written it so well - there are so many excellent lines. I look forward to reading further.
S

Professor Iwik wrote 1873 days ago

Hey katherine,
This story is quite good.
it shows promise, but like Rowan said, you need to consider more the delivery of your description for the central character. Necromancy, a topic which rears its head regularily in my work, so it was interesting to get a fresh perspective.
I'll be back for more in the coming days. I might just find you a place on my shelf.
I hope you enjoy Legends of Vera.
cheers

Rowan Dai wrote 1900 days ago

This story is well-written. Gabe is a centred character with real problems.
I did feel that you tried to add too much description about Gabe through Gabe himself. (e.g. “I scratched my black-haired head” and “running pale fingers through [my] contrasting dark hair”.) Maybe you could hand that information out in another way.
I also felt that Gabe would be more cautious about going down to the basement with Bella. He’s trying to be normal, but he knows he’s likely to see something. Not to mention, he feels he has just made a fool of himself in front of her anyway. Then he goes down into the basement with her when he knows he sees things and bad things happen to his friends. Keep him consistent.
Necromancy used to be considered ‘bad’, yet Gabe appears to be a good guy. It’s refreshing the way you deal with this, and have the other beings still see him as not good.
I think this story hits the right audience. The people who like Buffy and Stephanie Meyer and so on.
It’s coming along well.

Jinxy wrote 1900 days ago

Hey, I've just had a read of the first chapter and the premise sounds interesting. I'm going to try and come back and read a bit more of it, but my first impression was that it reminded me a lot of Buffy. New kid in school, having been expelled from the last one, with a secret to hide about the supernatural. But at the same time I do like that kind of thing.

I'm definitely going to come back and read a little more about this.

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