evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
I know there's at least a handful of Bizenghast fans who read my journal.

So, have you gotten volume 4 yet?

>:D
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Mucha Icon)
Whew! I finally completed all the requests made way back when. Turns out that, while I'm not good at writing long fics, I'm not that great at writing short ones either. These fourteen ficlets altogether are the second longest thing I've written (after my Bizenghast fic from last year)! Which is sort of depressing. Regardless, here they are by fandom:

Bizenghast
Dinah, Vincent and Edaniel take on the prompt of An Ill Omen (fortune teller; fate) for [livejournal.com profile] alory_shannon.

Dinah and Vincent in the real world for [livejournal.com profile] firiel44.

Bizenghast/HP
Dinah and the Bizengang enter the world of Harry Potter...sort of for [livejournal.com profile] diddilypuff.

Harry Potter
Snape tests Lucius's knowledge, and Lucius tests Snape's patience for [livejournal.com profile] ladynorbert.

Dumbledore responds to a recent controversy for [livejournal.com profile] capri_chan.

Bellatrix is seriously eff-ed up for [livejournal.com profile] pith.

Harry/Merak versus Narcissa Malfoy for [livejournal.com profile] merveille_moi.

Harry/Merak versus Lucius Malfoy for [livejournal.com profile] bergann.

Voldemort takes on some bloody seahorses for [livejournal.com profile] bending_sickle.

Aberforth practices some inappropriate charms on goats, and it's not nearly as funny as you might think for [livejournal.com profile] repartee.

Voldemort makes an unusual fashion decision for [livejournal.com profile] originalgeek.

Draco mulls over his receding hairline, his mother and Harry Potter (and for some reason I want to write Harry/Narcissa now) for [livejournal.com profile] khelekwen.

HP/PotC/LotR
Voldemort and Sauron take on an upstart villain from Pirates of the Caribbean for [livejournal.com profile] frenchroast.

Lord of the Rings
Elrond considers a young Aragorn for [livejournal.com profile] yuurei_san.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
Finally, the last chapter of this story. This was supposed to be way shorter than it ended up being, but I'm still glad I did it. Also, I have actually finished a chaptered story (that has all the same plotline), which is pretty amazing since I've never finished any of the other chaptered stories I've started.

Edaniel's Busy Day )

And now back to my regularly scheduled Harry Potter nonsense.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
Well, my exercise in writing nearly serious fanfiction is almost to a close. This is the second to last part of Edaniel's Busy Day. And nevermind that all this is probably been rendered ridiculous by the release of the second book. Oh, well. Chapter four:

Edaniel's Busy Day )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
I've discovered that I need practice plotting out chaptered stories. Or, maybe I should just not write them. Anyway, chapter three.

Edaniel's Busy Day )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
Man, I am just banging this story out.

Edaniel's Busy Day )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
Yay! I managed to get something written! I started this story a while ago, but never finished it. I've promised [livejournal.com profile] sadalice that I won't write anything else until I've written a fanfiction based on her work and added to the Bizenghast category on Fanfiction.net. This will probably be a three chapter story with an epilogue. And the chapters are actually all in the same story! GO ON!

Edaniel's Busy Day )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
Warnings: I’ve known the author for upwards of 10 years. I am in no way an unbiased reviewer.

Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow is the story of Dinah Wherever, whose parents are very, very dead. She is sent to live with her aunt in the shore town of Bizenghast, MA, which is isolated, rundown and frankly the last place on earth one should send a recently traumatized young person. To make matters worse, Dinah is already quite crazy. She alternately lies morosely in bed, or throws fits, or is harassed by ghosts no one else ever sees. The only one who can calm her at all is her friend Vincent, who occasionally sneaks her out of her house.

One evening, while hurrying home, Dinah and Vincent’s usual path through the woods is cut off by a haphazardly dropped pile of junk that had not been there earlier. While attempting to pick their way back to the path, the young pair stumble across an abandoned graveyard and the Sunken Mausoleum. Vincent convinces Dinah to enter the Mausoleum, where they find a strange plaque and a key that Dinah unfortunately touches. It is then that they meet the monster Bali-Lali, and rather wish they hadn’t.

It turns out that by touching the key, Dinah has entered into a contract with the Mausoleum. She must come back every night to set free sleeping ghosts who are not in the best of moods. Otherwise she will die, or quite possibly worse.

That’s just the first chapter setup. The rest of the book is taken up by Dinah and Vincent’s visits to ghosts’ dreams and their attempts to set the ghosts free. This part of the first book feels very sequential, like episodes of television show. Go to the dreams of the first ghost, discover a few clues, set her free. Go to the dreams of the second ghost, discover a few clues, set him free. Repeat. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is only the first book of three or four, so the entire book may be a set up to a larger plot.

It is not necessarily the storyline that distinguishes Bizenghast. The story’s art and atmosphere are very Gothic. And I mean that in the literary way. As in isolated places and protagonists, supernatural presences, and a penchant for melancholy, madness and violent emotions. The story is definitely a horror story. Lots of people dying in implied (and not so implied) horrible ways. There are several images that freak me out, for example, a young girl being garroted. It’s mostly the ideas that are disturbing, and their expression through character designs. I love the ghosts, some of whose bodies appear to be comprised of inanimate objects (see the cover). It’s a little weird at first, wondering why a girl has a birdcage for a torso, or dancers have keys stuck into their backs, but these are tormented ghosts. If you were them, you’d probably have a gruesome imagination too.

The art is frequently mentioned as one of the selling points of the novel. Most of the panel-to-panel art of the characters is fairly standard, but the title pages, the building architecture and small details in the backgrounds show a high art standard. I’m not too disappointed when there are beautiful things to look at. There are several statues that I would love to have small replicas of, Dinah’s outfits are intricate and stunning (especially if you’re a fan of the Gothic Lolita style), and the pictures of the ghosts passing on are absolutely gorgeous. Also, I have a thing for the way M. Alice draws mermaids.

The characters themselves are, well, developing. I’ve seen some complaints that Vincent seems more like the hero than Dinah because Dinah is weak and leaves most of the actual action to Vincent. I believe this is because Vincent comes to the audience fully formed as a strong character trying to look after Dinah. Dinah, as the lead character, has to have a character arc. She starts off as weak and weepy, but even in the first book, I think the reader begins to see how Dinah will grow. The first few ghosts, Dinah either does nothing or is the distraction, but by the end, Dinah makes the decision to start acting for herself, rather than letting Vincent take care of her. I’ll have to see how Dinah develops, but this is only book one, and characters are not always interesting at the beginning.

My absolute favorite thing about this story, however, is the author’s sense of humor. It reminds me a great deal of my own (which is why, I suppose, she and I are still friends). M. Alice uses humor to balance out the macabre aspects of the story. Most of the book is serious, but the last chapter (for example) is mostly jokes and exposition. It also has my favorite character of the series, but I can’t tell you too much more because it’ll give things away. Regardless, it’s the dark sense of humor running through the book that keeps me interested. I am not a big fan of horror, so a straight, serious horror story would be low on my reading list.

The book ends with a few really pretty pictures of fanart, which I think is neat. It’s nice to devote a few bonus pages to fans…of something that has barely started. Ah, Internet! Creating fans before something is even released!

Ghosts. Riddles. Architecture. Madness. Random Acts of Violence. Fear. Death. Outfits. Jokes About the Electric Slide.

All things I love, and all things found in Bizenghast.

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March 2009

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