Such a journey you've taken me on... I feel like I should be lining the streets in the nineteenth century to see off soldiers or something... That's how real this seemed to me.
You use simple imagery which is very effective here because it's a recount of humanity (the 'muddiest' of all memories.) I also like it because it makes the writing seem 'clean' and very easy to read. You know how to capture an audience by not boring them with epic sentences. That's a skill that only some writers posses. I commend you!
I also really liked the family life you created for Jasper. There are so many ways his life can be written by fans due to the vagueness in the real books, and this was a refreshingly new one. His feeling of being suffocated in the world he grew up in was a nice element; it gave more ground for his leaving. You didn't make him look like an immature wannabe man, which can be hard when a 16 year old runs off to war. I liked how you channelled a sense of guilt in him for 'running away' - it makes him feel like less of unattainable god to the readers :)
I can tell also that you did a bit of research into this, which is always a plus (though not done nearly enough sometimes) when it comes to writing stories. So all the credit to you for taking the right approach to this.
I particularly like your writing style; you give so much without having to take a million lines to do it. I envy that! (As you can see, getting straight to the point is not always as easy as it seems!) Like I said earlier, your style is 'clean'. And intelligible. A combination you have so clearly mastered!
"If I was alive, I wished for death. If I was dead, I wished for redemption." - That sums up your writing talents very nicely. (A magnificent quote, by the way.)
As a Jasper-lover myself, I adored this look into his early years. You made it seem real. I got lost in his world; particularly when he met Maria.
And that's another part that you wrote so extraordinarily well: his transformation and his first hunt. The transformation was so jarringly real that it made my heart want to pound out of my chest (if it fails, I blame you! lol) and the way you described the slurred sounds... Truly incredible! But, for me, what takes the cake, was how you painted the picture of his first hunt! It seemed perfect; give into instincts first, ponder it momentarily, and then go back to instincts. His confusion just hightened the newborn madness... and... wow. Simply wow.
Anyway... In case I forgot to say this at the beginning, this was an incredible read! I want more! You have an obvious talent and should be a writer (assuming that you are not one already... simply because if you were a published author, this would be one of you multi-million dollar achievements lining the shelves of bookstores...)
Thank you for posting such a marvellous piece... I really would like to read more of this if you're up to it!
::wibble:: Thank you so much! My goodness, it warmed my heart to read this. I really loved writing this story, more than I thought I would, and I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it. Thank you for taking the time to review, and to give such a detailed and thoughtful review at that. What a compliment to my writing that I've never heard before! Thank you for that.
I hope to write more on Jasper's early adventures someday, but I'll have to pluck up the motivation to do so because it actually is quite a draining process. The amount of emotion and confusion Jasper has becomes so strong that to write it in detail gets tedious and tense. It's great to see the finished product though. I'm glad you liked reading it, hopefully some day we'll see his continued adventures!