I threatened to review this, and since it's gotten through the queue I am here to fulfill my threat. Well, that's a rather dark view on it. Think of how you will.
First of all, I love the idea that Ollivander is an identity passed on by the magic of the shop. It fits perfectly with the strange notice on the door (which confuses Harry during Philosopher's Stone).There were a few places where your punctuation and phrasing broke the flow of the story for me. For the most part you managed to create an ethereal tone, well suited to Mr. Ollivander. But then every once and a while I came upon a misplaced comma or slightly awkward phrasing and I was not hearing Ollivander anymore.
The first of these places is several paragraphs down. The fact that you are reading this letter means that you are capable of performing the office, how that works is I confess, one question of many that I never managed to find the answer to. "How that works" should be the start of a new sentence. At the moment it's a bit of a run-on. I think it would make more sense if you had The fact that you are reading this letter means that you are capable of performing the office. How this works is, I confess, one question of many that I never managed to find the answer to. I changed that to this because I think it sounds better (totally opinion, I know), and "I confess" should really be bracketed in commas in proper English grammar.A bit later, you have The same will happen with your personality; since you are reading this document, then you are not likely to be the most extroverted of people, but you will find this trait increases... Personally I think "to your personality" would be better than "with your personality," but like everything else it's only my opinion. What really bugs me is the "then." Since ..., then ... doesn't make much sense to me. I think the sentence works better if you remove the then.
Sometimes I yearn to ask them, what a wizard can do without his wand? Dear Emperor Won-Won, what on earth is that comma doing in the middle of that sentence? It makes perfect sense without the comma, and no sense whatever with. Please take it out. I beg you.In the third paragraph down from the last one I commented upon, you use the word 'negative.' Besides being a rather empty word devoid of connotation, it doesn't seem to fit Ollivander's character. You've both stated and shown in several places that Ollivander does not see the world in terms of black and white, good and evil. I don't think he would see things as 'positive' or 'negative.' He might call the perspective he was giving on his job 'one-sided' or 'narrow,' but I don't think he'd call it 'negative.' It seems out of place with the character you have so lovingly created.
My last nit-pick is really more a matter of taste than anything else. In the last paragraph of the letter, you have I imagine so, I can’t think of a reason why they’d have stopped, but it’s been so long since I talked to anyone, and I am so very tired, so very, very tired. To heighten the sense of slowing down and drawing to a close, I might break this up just a little. Maybe I imagine so, I can’t think of a reason why they’d have stopped, but it’s been so long since I talked to anyone, and I am so very tired. So very, very tired. It's not a big change, but I think it adds something to the sense of completion.All my snarky little comments aside, I do really like this. I love the premise. I love the execution (In the words of Marie Antoinette, "Execution is everything"). I love the way you chose to write it; the letter format and the continued use of 'you' come off very well. I love the characters you chose to write and the originality with which you write them. So please, Tom, keep it up.
Wow!! That was amazing! You have incredible creativity. I felt like I was really hearing Mr. Ollivander's voice through that letter. I love the concept of the shop having an identity of its own with its own magic. I'm also glad to have a picture in my head now of how a wand is made. You described such a lovely one. Thank you!
I liked this chapter, too. The Welsh name was funny. I also liked the part about retired gargoyls working at muggle buildings. Great story.
Ooooh, I like this chapter. I love stories like that, that give the thoughts and motives of "bad guys". I heard someone say once that no matter how absurd you think someone's opinion is, you shouldn't dismiss it because something probably happened to them at some point to make them believe that. And to them, your opinion is probably just as ludicrus. Again, I loved this story. Now to read chapter two...
Aw... this is sad but funny at the same time, which is hard to pull off. I like it a lot.
I really liked this story. Bella is a lot more interesting than she's usually portrayed. I also liked the insinuation that the ancestor wasn't really all that competent (in the beginning of PoA, it says that any witch or wizard could easily escape a witch-burning with a basic charm, but the ancestor couldn't). I also like the canon references -- #12 Grimwald Place, Macnair, etc. For corrections, just the capitalization stuff that others mentioned. Nice going!
This is so unusual and such a great read. Dumbledore's Gargoyle *L* I love the little details about what happened to the other gargoyles that were made with him and his rants about portraits. *L* It has never occured to me before how similar their jobs are. Although gargoyles seems a more prestigious choice of a guardian.
Poor guy ... *L* Dumbledore just has the weirdest tastes in passwords *lol* can see why he's frustrated *L*
I also want to say that the names for the gargoyles seemed fitting, they sound old and prestigious
Alright, I haven't reviewed the first chapter *blushes.* But this is the chapter with the funny long word, and that's what I was sucked into, so I'm reviewing it!
First of all...your sense of humor never ceases to amaze me. There were quite a few moments when I laughed out loud and got really strange looks. And the best part is the deliverance--so dead serious! And of course, I loved the story of Sarpedon and his password, and the Welsh family; hehe.
Most of the nit-picky things I found were places with either too many commas, or missing ones. Actually, there was only one spot that stood out for me. It was the paragraph that started: Neither had anyone else he’d invited, and the entire paragraph goes on with no breaks but commas. Other than that, it was nothing too serious. I think there were a few places that would sound funny if you were reading outloud...but luckily, I wasn't :D. Too busy laughing.I absolutely loved the gargoyle council and the passwords, it was such a clever idea. Heck, the entire thing was one clever idea after another. You used "to" instead of "too" in a couple of places, but I didn't really bother to find them. Loved it. That's all there is to it.
Since I liked the first part of this fic, I thought I might like this next part. ^_^
This is completely and utterly wonderful. It’s so hilarious, I am sitting in my room giggling to myself. The way he comments on everyone and everything is just brilliant, and I love that he’s good at chess. Maybe he should challenge Ron. Oh, and the password! “llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”. LMAO.
I particularly love the line: “Celeres quivered with rage, or at least he would’ve quivered if he’d been able to, he quivered mentally at any rate, and after all, it’s the thought that counts.” It’s completely hilarious (as is most of the story…lol) and just gives a beautiful mental image. Also, do I detect a hint of Douglas Adams humour?! Actually, when I read it again (because it was so funny) I noticed it everywhere: the dry, sarcastic, and just very, very clever humour. But that line was definitely jumped out at me first! Great job!!!
You had a couple of little grammar errors, but since this was so much fun to read, my nit-picking skills have decided to disengage and assume that a beta would get those out in a second, so I don’t need to mention them too much!!!
That was so perfectly funny and dry that it’s not hard to see where your literary influences come from, even if I didn’t already know you were a huge Adams fan. You have an eye for finding the ridiculous and making it seem perfectly reasonable to your lead character. Creating a world for Gargoyles to inhabit can’t have been easy, yet you brought some lovely flourishes to it. We know so little about the gargoyle and yet you have taken what we do know and worked with it, giving him a great personality. My favourite line, out of many favourite lines, had to be this one…
He decided to give up chess, he’d already managed to beat himself 6,339 times straight, and the next match had an aura of predictability.
Perfect! Sums up just how tedious the poor fellow’s life really is. He’s like a bored Jeeves, willing to serve well but with such disdain for the world he inhabits that it’s excruciatingly funny. And of course a Welshman would have to use Llanfair, what a tongue-tying password… I feel sorry for poor Sarpedon… it was the family’s fault, after all. But what really made this fic so good was the little details; The mention of them first meeting on the worktable, the idea of Gargoyles taking a sabbatical and sitting on an old cathedral for a few years, the fact that the ghosts cheat at chess and the Fat Lady’s wanderings with Fortescue. Not one joke or idea in this fic doesn’t work; they are all inspired.
There are grammar issues, instances of repetition and a few clunky sentences that would need a beta read to sort out but it’s so dry and witty that I don’t care!
Author's Response: Don't know what to say, except a large thank you for the review (and for making it a positive one)
Wow, I really liked this. The perspective of a Death Eater was done very well. You can up with rather understandable justification for Pure Blood supremacy. Honestly, I'd have to say that Bella, to me, comes across a lot less 'reasonable' than you have portrayed her here, but I suppose since we don't know much about her, you do have poetic license ;)
The only nitpick I'd like to make, is that you don't capitalize the word 'Muggle', and you should
I really enjoyed your writing style; this is the first time I've read any of your work, so it was a new experience for me. But I found it enjoyable. It was smooth, transitioned well, good detail and description, but not too much. The tone fit Bella very well. It was very proper, and slightly dark. It definitely felt like an 'Insider's View'.
What I found most intriguing was her the way her family basically raised her to be prejudice. I found it to be incredibly realistic; a frightening reflection on many real world attitudes and how they affect the upbringing of children. I can see the white parents in the 50's and 60's finding justification for instilling prejudice against blacks in their children, and the more modern families doing the same in concern to homosexuality. Brilliant, Tom.
The style of that reminded me of Douglas Adams. Very understated but quite funny. I especially loved Celeres' choice of a new hobby to take up. I also liked his disdain of the paintings, although I can see why a painting would be more frightened of a knife than something made out of stone would. But then that's what made the "no backbone" comment so apt. LOL, who is the Fat Lady visiting in Dumbledore's office. Torrid affair with Phineas Nigellus?
I found a couple of minor editing nits for you: hadn’t even sent a polite refusal, You want a full stop at the end of this. and other nonsense’s I think you want "nonsense" here. I don't think you can make it plural -- it's a collective noun. If you were going to make it plural, you wouldn't use an apostrophe, either.
Author's Response: *glows with pride* Douglas Adams is what I modelled this (and most of my humour stuff on) so yay. The Fat Lady's visit's are her own affair I'm sure ;) (but you'll find out more when she gets her own chapter). Whoo, more editing nits (I only put them in for people to find them honest ;) I'm sure I've seen nonsenses used as a plural, but you're probably right.
That was quite clever and original! I never even thought about the gargoyles before. I'll have to keep a closer eye on them next time I'm in the company of one. Thanks!!
Author's Response: You never know what a gargoyle might do ;) thanks for taking the time to review.
I loved it! There's the unfortunate matter that you seemed to have typed it up quickly, because there are word mistakes like 'they' should be 'there', etc. There was a wonderful humor in this fiction! I liked the idea of a secret affair with the paintings. I wonder, however, if they weren't painted with a ___...alas, nevermind. I shall PM you about that one. I'd like to hear your thoughts. I adored the idea of him having a social life. I wonder how he communicated with the gargoyles' union? Very interesting form of a diary there. You've really brought him to life. Wonderful, truly excellent job. Just watch those typos!
Author's Response: I, er, I decided that the typos would give it more character, honest ;p, I better have another look at it. LEX! trust you to be concerned with that, well, you or mj, but you this time. Sufice to say that everything is in *ahem* full working order. I can hardly wait for the pm. Thanks again, I will maek a specail noet of aviodign tyops in futrue. :p
Right. It's quite a lovely chapter. "Bellatrix smiled wryly; at times she almost pitied their plight. It must be difficult to know that you are fundamentally flawed she mused." I think there needs to be a comma before 'she mused'.
Also, Muggle is capitalized in all its various forms.
Now on to the better portions that aren't so nitpicky. I wonder. There was once a mention of a witch who made the flames only tickle. Was this memory from before the time the spell was invented? Otherwise, I would say that the experience wouldn't be quite as scary.
I think your description is excellent. I would have liked to see the vacant stares of the villagers with more clarity, but that's a personal thing. You've also made Bella seem very human in this piece, and I think that was the clincher. You make her seem logical and real, instead of just being an insane, evil woman. Excellent job!
Author's Response: Muggle's capitalised now? *sigh* I really must find out one way or the other sometime. I'm conveniently ignoring the spell, the witch either didn't know it, it hadn't been invented, or some other clever reason, You like vacant stares eh? Hmm, intriguing. Thank you ever so much for a lovely review. :))
I'm glad to see that you are changing it up a bit in the tone of your story. The perspective of a gargoyle... Very interesting.
They didn’t even do anything, just sat there, looking menacing and preening themselves, a pair of poseurs if ever he’d seen one. Tee hee. I think you pulled off the humor aspect very well. I like that Celeres has this personality that no one gets to see. The idea of him asking Dumbledore if he could give a speech is quite snickersome, mainly because of how humorous Dumbledore himself is.The same had happened with his chess invite, they’d completely ignored it, hadn’t even sent a polite refusal, Oops. You need a period at the end there. It wasn’t that he disliked his job, indeed he was proud of it, and he knew all to well that should he ever make a mistake there would be many others desperate to take his place; and he’d heard distressing news of a couple of his oldest friends. Long sentence. This could really be split up into three sentences. And "knew all to well" should be "knew all too well."
"...having a bird’s nest in each nostril didn’t really allow one to be called “fearsome” Another snicker moment. llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch *snort* I also really liked Celeres's quibble with Dumbledore's choices in passwords. That was the problem with paintings, no backbone to them. Tee hee. Of course they don't have backbones... They're paintings...Very nicely done. Celeres sounds like a fantastic gargoyle. He actually reminds me a lot of Bartimaeus from The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Johnathan Stroud. Quite clever.
Author's Response: Yay, snickers, I like them (except not the chocolate bar, to nutty urgh) Oh dear, more typos, I'll fix them one day Yay, it's clever, me likey clever, (btw what and who?):)
Nice disclaimer; it was very light-hearted. ;)This was very creative! I had never thought about Dumbledore's gargoyle that much before now. The names are wonderful; they sound original and like a name that should be given to a gargoyle, yet I can pronounce them.
I thought it was funny that the story began with a reference to chess, because gargoyles always seem to be wise and in deep thought, so it seems likely that they would like chess. I loved reading about what Celeres is thinking throughout this. The image you created in my mind of Celeres asking Professor McGonagall to play chess was hilarious. The small details and events that you add in is what make this one-shot so good, rather than simply talking about one specific event. Reading about the ghosts during a chess match was also fun to read.
My favorite part about this was the Union of Gargoyles and other miscellaneous sentient Stone-carvings. Gargoyles snickering about one another’s passwords and jobs are just to funny to me. I particularly loved the story about poor Sarpedon. I actually sat up and attempted to pronounce out loud the password from the Welsh family, which made it even more amusing. Stan and Fran, though we didn't have much information on them, are characters I can imagen quite well.
Celeres's dislike towards paintings was quite amusing. It makes gargoyles look like they think they are superior. The ending was great. He finally (temporarily) found a solution to his boredom which was very funny. Great job!
Author's Response: *puffs self up with praise* I'd like to thank you for awarding this excellent review etc etc, I'll leave the acceptance speech and just say thanks. hee hee, I can just imagine you trying to pronounce that word my advice is to have a supply of cough sweets nearby ;) Thanks again
I thought that that was a very well written story. I think that you did a good job portraying a non-human. I also thought that your humor was very well balanced throughout. You did very well. But the whole story was a bit wordy. I think it would have worked better if you had used a lot more dialogue and less description. Other than that, I really enjoyed it. :)
Well, to start this off, I am honored that you used the name Celeres! I’m glad you liked it. Now, on to critiquing… “Stan and Fran” I’m not really sure that they two names need quotations around then, since it’s not as though it was a piece of dialogue. They are simply then names of two of the characters, not a phrase, so I don’t think that they need the quotes. If you do take off the quotes, a comma after the names would be good. a polite refusal, Since this is the end of a sentence it needs a period, not a comma. Stone-carvings”, he had been If you put the words ‘of which’ between the comma and the ‘he’, the sentence might flow better. This is not crucial; just a suggestion for improvement. Gargoyle” Celeres snorted sadly, small . The sentence would flow better if there was a period after gargoyle. Then, you could put ‘at this thought’ after ‘sadly’, and a semi-colon after thought. This would make it sound better, but is again only a suggestion. Other than those few things, I really liked this fic. The character was certainly a funny one, and he knows more than we seem to think. You gave him a good personality, but I don’t think that he will be very happy insulting students. Though he may be a bit bitter, cynical even, he seems like a good person with his heart in the right place. Perhaps insulting student is a bit to mean. But, all in all, great job! :)
That was definitely really funny. I'll eventually read the Bellatrix fic as well now. It got me some time to pick up the hint about Fortescue and the Fat Lady, but that was really, really funny too. You are the only person I know, who'd be able to write so acurately out of the pov of a gargoyle. That was a really unique experience. Thanx again for telling me what maroon looks like! ;) Hope the forthcoming one-shots will be as good as this!
Author's Response: Thank you, and I'll try. My primary school uniform used to include Maroon fairly heavily, so I'm well acquainted with it.
Author's Response: and I'll try.