Hi there Vampricone! I’m here with a review based on the Story review template!
This short leaves me feeling curious about what will happen to the main characters. It also feels a bit odd that it ends on such a cliffhanger (we don’t know based on just this work if they will get out alive) but I guess this is part of a wider collection of stories, so that might not be such a problem in the end. I thought it was heartwarming, how Ethan comforted Felicity about their situation. Even though the situation is really something out-of-this-world, I thought Felicity’s fear and how it was expressed helped to ground it and make her more sympathetic.
I like that the events of the story start quickly, just a few lines into the work. Quick starts help grab the reader’s attention. Another thing I liked about the plot was the twists that happened towards the end. I hadn’t expected the two main characters to already have been killed while Ethan was passed out, so that was quite a scary discovery. The final twist about Felicity also being able to turn into a puppet was unexpected as well. I wonder if that means she is different from Ethan somehow.
Although I liked the conversation between them, I thought the characterisation of Ethan and Felicity at the beginning of the story was a bit confusing. At first, it seemed like Ethan was the main character, since most of the information we know is about him (e.g. has a boring but happy life, is married, has kids . . . these all apply to Felicity to, but the sentence they are shown in is talking about Ethan). But then later, only Felicity is awake when Violet reveals her whole plan, which seems to me like the main event of the story. It also felt a bit odd that we only start learning what Felicity is like after the clown has killed both of them.
At times, I couldn’t really understand why they were doing or saying what they were. For example:
Ethan finally woke up in a circus tent,lying next to a green-haired,pigtailed clown.
"Hey,you kinda look like my wife,but as a clown." Ethan said.
This part made me chuckle, even though I feel it wasn’t supposed to, because the two characters have just been kidnapped. It just seems odd that the first thing Ethan says after waking up in a strange place isn’t ‘where am I?’ or ‘Felicity, where are you?’, but that he instead he tells the only person in the room with him that she looks like his wife.
"Huh.It appears Felicity can turn into a doll as well as a clown.Interesting."
I don’t know if this is just Ethan’s personality, but he seems to underreact to a lot of situations he’s in. I feel like if I’d just found out my wife and I were turned into clowns, I’d be a lot more freaked out. Then I’d probably try to warn her if I saw she was turning into a wooden puppet as well. So Ethan’s course of action and train of thought just doesn’t feel very believable to me here.
Now for something I think you can be proud of as a writer! I think you did a great job in coming up with an unusual premise / starting situation for the story. The idea of clowns being a whole different species from humans is something that never occurred to me. It sparks so many questions. Are there no humans working in a carnival then? What do the clowns do in society? Violet seems to be wreaking havoc here, but are all clowns like that?
Overall, this is an interesting short story that’s quite a wild ride to read! I like that the characters are placed in an unusual situation and that they react in different ways. I also like the idea of there being supernatural creatures that rely on transformation to get around – disguise is always an interesting concept for thrillers and horrors.
Hope some of this is helpful and feel free to ask for more feedback!