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Reviews For An Insider's View

Name: Vader (Signed) · Date: 10/20/05 9:50 · For: A Disciple

Bellatrix Lestrange is one of Vader’s favorite characters in the Harry Potter series. Though his opinions of the character were not drastically altered by this work, he must say that this was a very interesting read. Using the diary to explain “the way things are” to young wizards and witches outstanding. It shows a very believable reason why some wizards might fear (to this day) Muggle persecution. And, the impression such a memory or such images can leave on an eleven-year-old serves well as a possible explanation for the way Bella turned out.

For the most part, your characterization of Bella is spot on. However, it does seem to Vader that she might have a little more of a “let them all die” attitude. Or, at least, that was the impression he got from the books. Granted, to this point, we have only seen glimpses of her. So, it is certainly guess work. Perhaps Vader is just having a hard time seeing her as being able to rationalize things the way you have her here. She always came across a little bit more on the crazy side (to Vader).

There is one point, in the fifth or sixth paragraph from the bottom, where it looks like you meant to have a new paragraph, and they sort of got squished together. Vader doesn’t think that is a major thing, unless you want to be a perfectionist. It certainly doesn’t interfere with the read and much as the eye. Just making a note.

Great work, CCCC! This is the first time Vader has read anything of yours, he thinks. A worthy nomination to Featured Story status!

Author's Response: Firstly, thanks a lot for the compliments, they're doubly appreciated from a SPEWer.

I was actually trying to hit two points with this chapter. One was Bella's characterisation and one was the idea that evil people could be rational, I may have sacrificed something in the former in order to improve the latter, but I think it improved the chapter (I think it's harder to write a good chapter about someone who is literally raving mad). So I'll take the criticism, and the compliments :D

Name: HeRmYgInS (Signed) · Date: 10/16/05 20:29 · For: A Sorter
That was so good. And funny. Great read...

Name: SiriussGirlthru_n_thru (Signed) · Date: 10/13/05 22:39 · For: A Guardian
poor guy. i hate being bored and hes REALLY BORED! Very interestin and well written though!! good job 10/10

Name: SiriussGirlthru_n_thru (Signed) · Date: 10/13/05 22:38 · For: A Guardian
poor guy. i hate being bored and hes REALLY BORED! Very interestin and well written though!! good job 10/10

Name: orange_balloon (Signed) · Date: 10/10/05 13:43 · For: A Shop-Keeper
i'm reminded of the novel "the historian" and the letter bequeathing the search for dracula to the reader. reading this i felt as though the letter must be addressed directly to me and that i must take on the duties of an ollivander. i am very impressed with this interesting take on the entirely one-dimensional character of mr. ollivander. you've done a fantastic job building an entire character's thoughts and feelings out of a few small scenes in his wand shop and the mention that he's gone missing. excellent - i can certainly understand why this is the feature of the moment!

Name: mdvlestrange (Anonymous) · Date: 10/07/05 10:46 · For: A Disciple
I really like your interpretation of Bellatrix and her views! I also thought you got into her mind really well! I'm writing a story in historical about Bellatrix's life so it's nice to read what other people think she might be like. My only critisism was that perhaps she was a bit too calm and not extreme enough? Although I suppose even Bella must have her quiet moments! Really well written, I'm off to read some more! xXxXx

Name: kiwichik (Signed) · Date: 10/07/05 1:23 · For: A Sorter
wow, that was really cool! You've made the sorting hat seem very real - almost like a real person. keep it up, i can't wait to read your other perspectives!

Name: notabanana (Signed) · Date: 10/06/05 21:34 · For: A Shop-Keeper
I really liked that. It reminds me of the Dread Pirate Roberts from "the Princess Bride". Or the movie "the Santa Clause". It was very well written and I am seeing more and more why this story was featured. Everything is so well thought-out! Keep it up!

Name: Starmaiden (Signed) · Date: 10/06/05 20:45 · For: A Disciple
Kind of freaky, but really very well done. Very true to what Bella might be like.

Name: notabanana (Signed) · Date: 10/06/05 17:09 · For: A Guardian
I really enjoyed that and the way you recieved sublte hints as to whom the character was. Congradulations as being chosen as a feature. You deserve it!

Name: pandafan81 (Signed) · Date: 10/06/05 16:42 · For: A Guardian
Ha Ha Ha Ha! That was great! Congrats on being featured. I think he'll be able to connect with Snape with his new hobby!

Name: BansheeGirl (Signed) · Date: 10/06/05 6:27 · For: A Guardian
A very clever little piece, I must say. The concept was very unique indeed, and I did like such witty ideas as 'the “Union of Gargoyles and other miscellaneous sentient Stone-carvings”,'; you worked this particular idea very well and eventuated some very comical points! It did, however, seem as though you somewhat failed to maintain the tense of the story throughout the piece. This was not so much of a significance, but towards the end of the piece chronology did appear a bit shaky. The only other major nitpick I have is the segment where you begin to enter the idea of gargoyles' passwords. There is quite a build-up to this idea with Sarpedon's excruciatingly difficult password, but then the emphasis is taken off as you delve into a tangent about the fat lady, before plunging back into Dumbledore's tasty-treat passwords and Celeres' shame at these. My suggestion is running through with the whole password concept, and then linking on to the fat-lady idea as two distinctly different points. Otherwise things just seem to draw on as one long rant. Overall, this was a good read, and I am most impressed by your use of wit. Thankyou! ~BansheeGirl.

Name: Jenn_Weasley (Signed) · Date: 09/29/05 8:45 · For: A Sorter
OMG - You are brilliant! The sorting hat as a horcrux. I've wondered before if the sorting hat must be bored to death. I figured he'd have some entertainment watching the headmasters, but 1000 years is a long time to sit in basically one place. Great addition - I'll be watching for your next chapter! Thanks!

Name: Poultrygeist99 (Signed) · Date: 09/14/05 8:54 · For: A Guardian

What fun! That was a very enjoyable read. I love the idea of gargoyles having a guild, and being embarassed by non-distinguished passwords. hee hee hee. I thought you had Dumbledore beautifully in character. Although, part of me could see him pausing for the occasional game of chess with a gargoyle.

You might consider using a beta to help proof-read for grammar and word usage. Mostly your writing is very clean and easy to read, but there are a few nit-picky things that could be cleaned up. I see others have picked up the specifics, so I'll spare you. ;) Keep up the good work!

Name: x2pttrclue32 (Signed) · Date: 09/11/05 18:28 · For: A Shop-Keeper

Hm…what an interesting story. I really liked the feeling I got from this story. I really felt as if Ollivander was right in front of me talking…which is a cool, and sort of creepy (LOL). In connection to that, I thought that Ollivander was very much IC.

Now, I’m not sure if this is just because of my brain’s incapability to comprehend some things, but I thought that a lot of the story was a bit confusing, due mainly to the er…large variety of words that you used. All those fancy words made the story hard to understand for me and I got a bit confused about where the story was going and such.

On the flip side of that however, I do not think that those words were overused (if that makes any sense at all). I thought it really brought out more of Mr. Ollivander’s character, which was exciting. I really liked how you made him sound…mysterious…in combination with logic and...what’s the word…intelligence? Yeah…What you give up is your social life, your ability to interact with other people, your ability to share a drink, to laugh at a joke, to feel love for another human being. I thought that that sentence was very interesting. I have never thought about it that way before…that he sort of ‘changed’ himself. It does certainly seem that way…seeing what we have seen of him in the first and fourth books…

Hm…well, on the whole, I enjoyed this story very much. There were things, of course, that I have never thought of in that particular sense before, and things that I didn’t agree with, but what’s a story without a little controversy, right? Right. Hehe.

Great job.

Name: Ksenia (Signed) · Date: 09/11/05 16:10 · For: A Shop-Keeper
I think out of the other one-shots you’ve written this is my favorite. I like how much depth and intrigue you have given to the character of Mr. Ollivander. I think the part of the story that stuck out at me the most was: [i] “When I began this job, if it can be called that, I was so sure, with all the surety that youth brings, that I could solve all the questions, decipher all the clues, and explain all the mysteries. I have since learnt that trying to determine how it all works is pointless, and that one can only carry out one’s duties, and hope that it will one day become clear.”[/i] You have written the life of Mr. Ollivander, the man who’s job takes over him, but you have also written the essence of life itself. It gives advice that is not only necessary for the new Ollivander, but for anyone, [i]“My advice to you is to marvel at what you do find out, instead of being obsessed with what you are yet to comprehend. If you only care about what you do not have, then you never appreciate what you do have.”[/I] what can I say good advice for anyone really. The other thing I also enjoyed was the little activities that he does, the solitaire and cricket. Sad as his life sounded it also sounded like everyone’s life. Filling up the time with activities to deal with the boredom. The only question I had was why did Mr. Ollivander the former sign his real name. I thought that after time he forgot his name, or is it that now that he has retired he remembers his old name?

Name: lunafish (Signed) · Date: 09/09/05 22:30 · For: A Shop-Keeper
I see below that you have a few very long, detailed reviews. I have no intention of leaving the same, I'm sorry to say. (Being a member of SPEW looks like hard work!) Really all I wanted to tell you is that I like your story very much. JKR gave us a flat character in Mr. Ollivander, and you've made him round. And the job...the way of life...it's very scary in a way, but somehow sensible. Who else but THE Mr. Ollivander could carry out this most sacred duty? You answer the question: no one. A last thought: have you ever read Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality? As in your story, the person becomes the job in that series, and it's a heavy burden. You've definitely given me plenty to think about!

Author's Response: Thanks for your review (being a member of Spew is hard work and scary, if you don't do it mj starts oiling up the thumbscrews.). I have read (and enjoyed) the Incarnations of Immortality series, and they were a base model for this chapter, so I think it worked. yay, and thanks.

Name: Evilpersonified (Signed) · Date: 09/03/05 16:58 · For: A Shop-Keeper

Ha, you know how much I love these little one-shots, don’t you? I keep coming and bombarding you with SPEW reviews. Well, here’s another one.

First of all, it’s brilliant. The idea of making it a letter: Genius. I don’t know how you did it, but you completely convinced me that I was going to take over the shop and I must say I was not keen on the idea. I’m not a huge fan of cricket, or tax forms for that matter. Your humour throughout this fic has been brilliant, and it continues to be brilliant. Even though I’m sure Ollivander was being perfectly serious when he wrote this letter, there is a humour that I’m sure only people who understand the muggle world would pick up. ~.0

“At first appearance, your entering this shop and finding this letter may seem to be a total coincidence, one of life’s random happenings, a minute event in the great scheme of things. Allow me to assure you that it is not.” This part amuses me. I love the abruptness of the end: It’s great! It is exactly the kind of thing I feel like Ollivander would do, and I don’t even know anything about him! It was just so sharp and so matter-of-fact that I felt like he was standing there, basically telling me my view on the world is wrong. Anyway, it’s amusing…^__^

As I have already said, I feel like you describe Ollivander perfectly, and the couple of lines that do answer the question that we probably all asked ourselves while reading the book was: “Firstly, you must sever all of your relationships. All of them. All of your connections to life - to your old life[…]What you give up is your social life, your ability to interact with other people, your ability to share a drink, to laugh at a joke, to feel love for another human being. Your personality dries out, and you become Mr. Ollivander.” It just explains why he is the way he is, and it ties up all the loose ends.

And now for the nit-picking, which annoys me too…”I do not dilute the powers or these creatures, with inferior wood.” Nit-picking: The comma after creatures is not needed. Oh, and did you mean of these creatures? If you didn’t, sorry. Thought you might have.

(although I have found a couple of ways to pass the time, one of my predecessors left a beautiful deck of Muggle cards, and instructions for a game called “Solitaire” which I believe involves laying out all the cards in a particular order, but I’ve never quite managed to finish.” Tiny, nit-picking detail; you need a closing bracket on the end of this sentence. Other than that it was quite a charming thought: I can never finish solitaire either, unless I cheat with my computer version. ^__^ Oh, and the way you keep on going, with “The Lost Jack”, “Tax forms” and “Krikkit” is just so amusing. Your sense of humour is definitely your best quality while writing!

Keep up the good work, and I will certainly continue stalking you (lol) and making sure you get attacked by SPEW reviews!!!

Name: Rita Writer (Signed) · Date: 08/18/05 22:13 · For: A Shop-Keeper

First off, I love the way you created the Ollivanders. They rather made me think of the Masons, though I’m not quite sure why—probably has something to do with the movie I just saw that featured them. I would have never thought about something like that. It struck me as very creative.

The thing that made this really work was the fact that Mr. Ollivander was talking to the reader. When the reader is informed that they are to become the new shop owner, it really made me think about whether or not I like the conditions described, not just if another character would like them. Also, the way it’s written, I never forgot that what I was reading was a letter. I thought it was rather funny how he kept getting distracted and off topic.

I really get the feeling that you know a lot more about Mr. Ollivander than the rest of us because you describe his life in such detail—mainly the fact that he has no social life. I really enjoyed how you emphasized on that so much and told us why it was so. It was interesting to hear that the shop keeper has to remain neutral in politics and such. That makes since, of course, but I had never thought of it before. You will lose your humanity, and become the shop incarnate. I really just had to point that out because I really liked that sentence in particular.

Another interesting thing to read was what Mr. Ollivander had learned about wands. The mystery behind it all is quite intriguing. The brief bit about making the wands and getting the materials was fascinating, especially how he is never in danger while getting these things. This sentence literally made me laugh: To some, it may seem a wonder that I know the history of every wand I’ve sold, if they ever actually asked me, then I’d ask them how they remembered the names of their children.

The things in your one-shots that I enjoy the most tend to be the way the characters amuse themselves. I don’t know why, really, but it’s true. I loved the section in your last chapter where Celeres tried to amuse himself by playing chess. In this chapter, my favorite section was Mr. Ollivander attempting to win solitaire with fifty-one cards and watching the Muggles playing “Krikkit”.

Now, I don’t nit-pick very often—if I do, I don’t always know what I’m talking about in the first place—but I found one thing that I just wanted to point out really fast. I think Lian(HermioneDancr) successfully found most everything before I got a chance to look. ;) During the summer months it is true that one must merely sit in the shop, and await any customers (although I have found a couple of ways to pass the time, one of my predecessors left a beautiful deck of Muggle cards, and instructions for a game called “Solitaire” which I believe involves laying out all the cards in a particular order, but I’ve never quite managed to finish. You have one parentheses, and where it should be closed there is a comma.

I greatly enjoyed this. The writing style is so serious, but it has some humor hidden around a lot, and that really makes me chuckle/giggle. I do both. I’m really looking forward to your next random point of view.

Name: nella1337 (Signed) · Date: 08/13/05 4:25 · For: A Guardian
That was a riot. I loved it. Not only did you feel sorry for nim but you could help but laugh at how nuts he would have to go after all those years. great job!!!

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