It’s Azhure from the forums – I said I would review a story for you in the review fest thread, and here I am.
Firstly, wow. This is such a powerful story. I absolutely love how at the beginning Tom is so innocent, just craving for a love that we will never have. You depicted a side of him that I don’t think anyone has really thought of before, which is amazing. And then the way that once he is submerged in the water, something clicks in his mind that makes him truly aware that he will never have the love that he craves, and then he learns to hate because of that. Just simply amazing work – honestly, I love this story.
Your imagery is also really good, and I like how you tied the imagery into Tom’s emotions – making it darker towards the end. This was very effective and powerful. I particularly love this line:
He had tried with all his heart to ignite the light inside him, but the entire world had its claws turned against him.
Both of these clauses juxtapose each other, yet they fit together perfectly. I know I’m probably rambling, but I honestly really love this story. By the way, just a piece of critique: you used ‘him’ to end each clause; maybe try to rephrase this sentence slightly so you’re not repeating words? A similar thing happened here:
He took a step closer to the edge, bending slightly over to see down the edge.
You said ‘edge’ twice. Try to maybe use a synonym or something to vary the word choice.
I also like this part:
As he beheld the ocean in front of him, he desired to be the wind that swung just above the surface of the waters; the foam that crowned the waves like a glittering jewel under the shinning moon, coming and going, so free and careless.
You used simple words, yet put together they were just so powerful, especially ‘glittering jewel under the shining moon’ (by the way, ‘shining’ is spelt with one ‘n’, not two).
Another thing I like about this story is how you reference back to the orphanage and the boys. I’m not sure when you wrote this story (before HBP or after), but I thought it was great to see a different perspective on all the seemingly intentional things Tom did to the others. There is one thing that didn’t really make sense to me, though:
Not one of the boys who he’d done anything had ever bothered him again.
This sentence doesn’t really make sense. Did you mean to add a ‘to’ after ‘anything’?
And I just have a few more critiques (I couldn’t resist, sorry – my internal beta is very stubborn):
It would be so easy; he only had to give one more step forward and then close his eyes as his body would brake the harmony of the air to meet its destiny where the waves crashed.
In this case, ‘brake’ should be spelled as ‘break’.
As his tears, for what he was about to do, ran down his face, he gathered all his strength to invoke his internal power, awakened by emotion; love, hate. His power coursed through all his body, surrounding him with an invisible cloak of energy.
Here you don’t need the first comma.
Okay, that’s enough critique.
Truly, I love this story, and I can’t believe I hadn’t read it until now – I’ve read a couple other of yours, though, and they’re all great. You’re a really talented author, Astro!
I have to say this is a fab story ... i seemed to like the the first lines and last lines the best.....
Tom watched the waves below him. From the dominant position over the sea, he could see very far into the horizon, where the ocean and the black-pitched sky kissed and gave birth to the stars and the moon high above him; a paradise and its mirror.
.. It just has so much descripition just showing were he was and I thought that it somehow showed tom in this story....showing how he was going to change into something different..a mirror like image except something that was blurred and a different color..sorry now im just ramlbing :)...anyway i also liked the last line.....
The boy, Tom Marvolo Riddle, had died under the silent dance of the waves. Lord Voldemort was born from the ashes of the sea.
i love how poetic and sad this is ....it almost makes me feel bad 4 voldy ...lol.. so thatz a 1st...any way loved ur story hun keep up the fab work:)
Author's Response: I deserve being hung up for taking so long to answer this. As you can imagine, I stoped writing for a couple of years, but I'm back now. Thanks for stoping by :)! I loved how you put it: "he was going to change into something different... a mirror/ like image except something that was blurred and a different color..." I can say it wasn't meant that way intentionaly, but maybe, knowing what was going to happen, that was the scenario formed in my mind. Thank you very much for cheering me up :) I'll most certainly try to start writing again!
i think this was a really good story!!:D it was very poetic aswell, and i kind of think that's a good way for lord voldemort to become as well, poor tom. very good :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much hollyberries :) I really like this story. I know that may look a little bit narcicistic but I promise it's not! Heh. Thanks for stoping by! ~Astro
Well done. Very emotional. It all most made me cry. I loved it. I have always believed that there had to be some good in Tom. I think the way you portrayed him was very realistic. I loved how you put so much detail into your descriptions. I can see why you like this story so much. Well done!
Author's Response: Ah, thank you very, very much! It's great to know that you enjoyed it so much :) Well, you obviously know that I believe that, too ;) This story is special for me. I do hope that the next things I write will outdo this one though; it'll let me know I've improved. Thanks for reviewing :D
That was.....so profound. I love your use of pesonification for feelings (ect. fear, power, and death were his only friends). I felt so much sympathy for Tom riddle...how he tried to stop the evil in his heart from engulfing him but the callous world he lived in made him evil. He seemed so human, not that distant figure were're supposed to completely hate. This was expressed in how he wanted to feel love but at the same time he wanted to retort against those who denied him it. And true, I completely aggree with you that it's not necessarily that one is born evil but the circumstances they grew up with cause them to be that way. Take for example hitler, who had an abusive father and was forced to provide for his family at a young age. Probably the malvolent nature of his father unwittingly rubbed off on him.
Author's Response: HI LOTRandHPnut (I love your name ;p )
Ah, I swear it: everytime I read a review, I feel so happy. What can I say? Thank you very much! It's very good to know that you found it profound. I really tried to make this story in particular meaningful. You know, after I wrote this story, I have never thought of Voldemort the same way. Yes, this is definetely not cannon, but now I see Voldemort more... like a person. Don't get me wrong, I do see all the evil he has made, but in the back of my head I'll always remember Tom Riddle before he lost his innocence. I do believe that circumstances mold people into what they are. However, in this story, Tom really didn't have too much of a choice (or at least that's how I wanted to present it); he could either let himself go down the cliff and just give everything up in the name of humanity, or... become the monster he became. In real life though, I like to think that no matter how hard the circumstances, we will always have a chance to do the right thing. It's not easy, of course, but it is possible (I like to think that :) ). Now, HItler... well, I really can't excuse Hitler for the simple reason that there are a lot of persons that go through the same things, and yet, they manage to be good fathers/mothers and do good things. Hitler... well, Hitler was someone with wrong ideals with too much power unfortunately. I really don't know much about HItler's life to say give an opinion, but I do think that he also had the same choice Tom Riddle had at one point of his life (to do the good thing or to let himself get carried away by his hatred). It's all too complex :P
Thank you very much for leaving a review! I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it. It's what makes us authors keep writing :)
Wow, this is a great one-shot. First of all, I love young Tom Riddle, and I agree with you that he wasn't born evil.
You had some beautiful imagery and diction in this fic... the ocean seemed at once beautiful and terrifying. And the song went perfectly with it.
Good job... I hope someday I'll be able to write a one-shot half as good as this. :D
Author's Response: Hi Hatusu :) Thank you very much! I'm glad that you enjoyed, given our little discussion of one-shot vs chaptered ;)
Ah, well, that idea hasn't really been worked as much as it deserves, in my opinion. But I'm quite glad that you agree with me :)
The song is really what started all this. It gave me the inspiration, and you could also that the idea also. Ah, the ocean :) ... I wanted to transport the reader to that cliff, but more importantly, to make him imagine that sea.
Aw, thank you very, very much for those very kind words :) ! I know you will, it's only about getting the right inspiration :)
such imagery...a view I would never have had...the dying of innocence, of the good that was/could have been. The final transformation into evil.
Author's Response: I think you put it in the right words: 'the tarnsformation into evil'. That's exactly what I think Oceansoul is/shows. Thank you very much for reviewing (not only this story but also all the others! :D )!
By the way, I recommended your fic in the following thread: http://fanfiction.mugglenet.com/forum/showthread.php?p=42012#post42012
When it comes to Bless the Child, I always thing of the Gone Back in Time bit... Oh, my, another plot-bunny.... Must write.... Promise you'll read it when it's done!
I'll stop spamming you now. c(=
Author's Response: Ah, I don't know what to say! I think no one has ever recommended one of my fics :) Thank you very, very much! I feel... special! (lol)
Oh, another plot bunny! Yes, go ahead and read. I most certainly read it when it's done :D Hmm... now that you mention that bit, I think that's a very important part, too. Actually, probably the whole lyric is very deep and meaningful. We just have to see it ;) Please tell me as soon as it is ready. I can't wait! :)
Hahah, no, I love your spam :) Thank you so much for reviewing and recommending my story! It is truly appreciated :)
Hey, I really did like this fic. Very interesting and original. Generally you don't see Riddle's life at the orphanage. Makes a lot of sense that he wouldn't have much control over his power at an early age and that would be why people fear him.
Author's Response: Hi, anAnachronism. I'm glad you did :) That's very true. There are not many stories about the part of Voldemort's life. And that's also and idea I had in my mind: he could have not been able to control his power, and therefore, he was forsaken by the other kids :/ Thank you very much for your review, and I'm very happy that you enjoyed the read :)
Very nice. Very well written. I do love that song... I never thought of how it could apply to Tom Riddle, but it makes sense. You managed to fit the text very well with the story and the plot you had in mind. I applaud you; this is definitely one of the better tales of this kind I have read. I like the imagery of Tom beingb lifted off the cliff and sinking into the sea. It's very powerful.
This whole story is very powerful, and being based on one of my favourite songs certainly didn't hurt. Well done!
Hm... I could do one like this with Bless the Child... My God... Must think up a plot now.... Very good story!
Author's Response: Oh another Nightwish fan \W/ ! Well, I don't why I got that idea, but I really enjoyed writing it. It's nice to know you think it did fit the story and plot :D Aw, thank you very much! You know, that imagery is the real structure or body of this story. I like it very much :)
I'm glad that you liked it! This is also one of my favourites songs :) Thanks!
Ah, Bless the Child. It's such an excellent song! Unfortunately, I don't seem able to get inspired with it :/ The only part would be the very end, more accurately the line: "Why is the deadliest sin to love as I love you." I've gotten some ideas for that part, but nothing concrete... yet ;)
Thank you very much for your review!
Wow, that was very beautiful. You're right, it is a very original piece...it's intresting to think that Tom Riddle actually wanted to feel love and be good before he turned bad. I never thought of it that way, but it does make sence.
Actually, it's funny...I do listen to Nightwish, but I don't think I've ever heard this song...I might not own it. That's a shame, it sounds like one of their good ones, looking at the lyrics.
Author's Response: Oh, it's so good to see you here, nudnik :D
I'm glad that you found it original (and beautiful! [heh]). It does make sense to me, but I wasn't sure how people would react to it (even more when the first review was 'interesting...').
You do? :D Yay, another Nightwish fan (just 'listener'?). The song can be found in 'Century Child' album. But no, it's not really considered one of ther good ones. Is not that famous amongst NW fans :( However, I think this one could be my very favourite (and I have several of their disks!).
Very glad that you liked it, nudnik :) And thank you very much for your review!
Mmm... this was a sumptuous read - powerful and deeply emotionally engaging. I was thoroughly absorbed in it. In a way, it is chilling, and at the same time, comforting, to us readers - well, to me, anyway. It is always comforting to know that Tom is - or was, maybe - vulnerable to human passions at some time or the other. Reading fics about Tom has that dark, staining effect which is hard to brush away, and this was excellent for that effect.
The way you described how power and pain seduced him, and how he did get the urge to apologise for his spur-of-the-moment acts made me think of the two sides he could possibly have. I never thought that Voldemort as a kid could ever have the thought - or the nerve - to say sorry. D'you think that could be a trait of Merope's? Remember how she couldn't bear to have her husband under magical influence anymore?
Anyway, I am really glad I've read this story now. I admire your powerful description in this story and your exploration of Tom's feelings. I wonder... how old was he then? Was this all just a little before Dumbledore met with him?
Anyhow, splendid job with this story!
Author's Response: Hi Blossomlily :) Thanks for leaving your review! I'm humbled for your very kind words, Blossomlily; I don't deserver them :P I'll answer to your post in the forums right away (just after this one), heh.
I suppose that fics about Tom Riddle are dark. I really don't know, heh. I haven't read any so far, but I know I should :) However, you are right about the 'feeling' with dark fics, and I'm glad that you think this one accomplished that!
Well, in this story I wanted to show how Tom Riddle died. In my opinion, Tom Riddle was a good and pure soul, but the problem resides in the circumstances he grew up in. The lack of love and the abandonment he suffered were decisive for when he had to decide: to succumb to his darkness or keep on fighting. In the story, he reaches a point where he feels he just can't keep going, where he is almost defeated. Hmm... It could be a trait of his mother :) Despite how his father and brother treated her, I think the only thing Merope wanted was to feel loved and beautiful. It is very probable that she felt guilty and decided to stop giving his husband the love potion.
*Blushes* And I'm glad that you liked it, and furthermore, that you reviewed :) Well, in my mind, Tom is around seven years old, so yes, it was before Dumbledore met him. He had a lot of time to grow into his dark side, and by the time Dumbledore met him, Tom Riddle didn't exist anymore.
Thank you very much for your review, Blossomlily! :)
Oh and i just wanted to apologize for my atrocious use of the word "like," it's the Californian in me, can't help it, sorry =P
Author's Response: Heheh, no worries at all :D
Really, very unique.
We had a week long discussion of loss of innocence in my English class, so i had to read Ocean Soul again with that in mind. It seems more like a point where he realizes Tom has no innocence left in him, which ammounts to the same thing because it forces him to do something different with his life. I think the story is really strong, and if it wasn't so dark it could be universal. Like, we read Bless Me Ultima (not sure if you're familiar with it) and the boy Tony is the opposite of Tom. Tom has darkness and is trying to find love and goodness but only gets rejection. Tony is good and loved but he's finding darkness. It's really nice for me to compare the two, although my English teacher would probably have a good laugh about comparing a "recognized work of literary merit" with Harry Potter (sorry, thinking about usable books for AP essays, back to the review).
Ocean Soul is beautiful, quality writing in my mind.
"...where the ocean and the black-pitched sky kissed and gave birth to the stars and the moon high above him; a paradise and its mirror."
Right there, i knew this would be an involved and satisfying read.
"His own personal hell that his life had turned into would finally freeze to let his starlight soul fly free."
Probably my favorite line too. (I read the other reviews before reviewing myself)
As a person who sides with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, I want to believe that something made Tom into Voldemort. But Mrs. Rowling doesn't really tell us much about it, not yet anyways. Your portrayal of internal struggle now that i think about it reminds me of Frankenstein, only without the overblown pretentious style. Ugh. No, your descriptions are weightless, airy, floating the reader along while our hearts grow heavy and fall with Tom to the crashing ocean. I really enjoyed how Tom falls in slow motion, i'm not sure if you envisioned him actually falling slowly or not, but it works really well to explain the rush of his thoughts and emotions--like his life "flashing before his eyes", because that would be too cliche, definitely beneath you--meaning you found a better alternative. I really wanted to reach out and catch Tom, or pull him from the waves; you characterized him as such a pitiable and helpless child, I really empathized with him, which Shelley did not achieve with me and the Monster by the way.
Like the Monster, Tom had to make his own decision, and we knew what the choice would inevitably be which somehow makes the story even more desparingly involving. I couldn't help myself from just loving every minute of it! The moment when Tom resurfaces--as Voldemort--has all the power of the Monster screaming his revenge upon Frankenstein. Not to like downplay your work here, it's really your work that's wonderful, not Shelley's dictionary. i really liked the idea of a dark phoenix, especially because Voldemort made it his life's goal to be immortal.
What's really important to your work, to me, is that it made Voldemort more human, it showed his stuggles and pains. My French teacher says, "Life is suffering," so knowing what Voldemort suffers from gives depth to his character; that he is evil because he is angry no one showed him love, now he wishes no one else may have love is meaningful. And i love you for thinking of something so brilliant.
Wow so now i feel like i wrote an essay-length review, much more enjoyable to write than an essay. I hope you didn't mind all the literary references and discussion... keep writing pretty please!
Author's Response: *Breathe catches in throat* Wow, that's a very thorough review :)
Yes! That's the climax of the story. When he realizes he just can't love no matter how hard he tries, Tom finally gives up to his own darkness. It was really thrilling to get into his head and describe all the anguish and the despair as he decided to commit suicide. It was literally itching to write it since I got the idea, and I can say I'm very proud of it. 'Bless Me Ultima'? No, I'm afraid I haven't read it :) But I somehow can picture your English teacher laughing, heheh.
Ah, I'm very honoured by your words :) I'm very proud of that opening line, if I may. Even though I am the author, every time I read it I get transported into that cliff somehow. Maybe I'm just weird :) Oh, my favourite line! I'll never know how I came up with it, but I'm really proud of it. It somehow condensates the struggle Tom is going through.
I also wanted to believe that. I don't want to believe that he was always evil, maybe because that would mean he had no choice in his life, and in a way, he was even more disadvantaged than Harry. I read Frankenstein! I thought it was good, although I can't say I specially liked it :) That's what I wanted to achieve! That the reader could be with Tom, if not besides him, inside his head. I didn't really envisioned him in slow emotion, but that he willingly sunk slowly, hoping the feel before reaching his end. I also wanted to 'write him out of his pain', but we know how everything turns out. I really felt bad for him, Tom Riddle, and how he lost... his innocence.
I enjoyed writing every single word of it, I can promise that. I really liked how it came out the conclusion, with Tom emerging as a completely different, dark person. A person he had fought to resist. Again, I don't know how I got the idea of the phoenix. Maybe it came out of the destroyed pieces of his innocence left behind in the waves; I had this picture in my mind of him surfacing with real, papable power. Somehow, 'dark phoenix' contained that description, in my opinion of course.
I've always thought that Voldemort needed a really good reason to be so heartless and to seek with such zeal the death and doom of others. Thirst for power just didn't sound good enough to me. Of course, his lust for power is the reason, but I wanted to research a new probability.
*Feels very, very flattered* Thank you very, very much for this essay-like review :) No, the literary references were good, and I don't complaign at all! Phoenix3, thank you very, very much for taking the time of reviewing with such dedication. It is greatly appreciated, and I can't but feel unworthy of all the kind words :) Thanks for your time and review!
This made me cry...
Author's Response: This means that you were able to feel what I so desperately wanted to express. I'm glad that you were able to feel it :) I'm serious. It tells me that I was able to transmit the pain I imagined when writing Tom. Thanks for reviewing!
AAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!! *screams and pulls her hair out* I'm sorry, I'm not shouting at you. I wrote a really long review in which I pointed out all my favourite parts and the page shut itself down so now I'm going to have to leave a small review for you. It was a great story. Some parts were really powerful, especially the last few sentences.
Author's Response: *Tries to hide smile but fails* I'm not laughing at you! It's just... well, I've been there, and I know I really, really, really hate when it happens. Don't worry, lunar, a small review will do it :D It's good to know you liked it! I just recently read this story again and liked the last sentences, too :) Anyway, thank you very much for still leaving a review even though you must still be very frustrated by the other :) Glad you liked it!
So very sorry, mate, that it took me so long to return the favour and review. *bad author!*
*squishy face* It seems that lily has corrected my mistakes. I'm very sorry about that. I should have caught onto them, and there was quite a few. I suppose you think less of me, now, eh? On any account, I thank you for mentioning me at the end. =)
Reading it again, this time from a reader's perspective, i did admittedly find a lot more mistakes. Reading through those mistakes accounted for, i realised no one's perfect, and that another P.O.V can sometimes help not only a writer evolve, but a beta too. I didn't do what I’ve now taken to doing- and that is actually "previewing" a story in the add story option, just to read like a reader. I find that i pick up on a lot of mistakes that way.
I thought at the time death being his friend was a little odd too, but the way i saw it, was that it was one of the only constant things in his life, something that's always there. It mightn't be his own death he was referring to, but the death caused by him, and the power that he gains from the weakness of others? Does that make sense to you, or am I just an odd person? But, that's how I saw that little sentence, so i wasn't sure whether to comment on it.
Also, your banner is lovely. I saw it on the Forums, and had to clickie :)< p>Again, a wonderful job, and I look forward to more! Congrat's on Newbie hood, we make that shelf look particularly spectacular!
Author's Response: Hi, Lurid! So nice of you to leave a review. No, don't worry it took you time :) It's better later than never (or something like that).
Yes, no one is perfect. And no! I don't think less of you by any rate! It has happened to me before that I just can't see the mistakes *hopes that none of his beta clients read this*, or at least not all. But what you say it's true: it's different to read it from the 'reader's point of view' than in beta mode.
Yes, you are completely right with that! Death was his friend because he was the one who caused it.
I have to agree with you on that one. It was made by no other than QueenHal! She is amazing, isn't she? :)
Anyway, don't think I got a bad impression of your work, Lurid. You made me see a lot of mistakes that, otherwise, would have prevented my story from being validated. I can't but be very grateful for all your work. You still rock, Lurid :)
Hi Astrofire! I'm back! Well what can I say? This is a very interesting take on Lord Voldemort's creation and I must say I like the idea a lot! This story you have written is completely believable in my mind and such beautiful descriptions throughout. Your talent and imagination is clearly visible in this piece. I think you know what's coming next, a definite 10/10! You seem to get even better with every piece you write which is hard to believe really, as it already is extremely well done. Also I am really honoured that you are recommending my fan-fic on your own. I really don't know what to say other than thank you very very much! I hope you got my e-mail but I seriously don't know why I haven't received any of your other e-mails. It's rather worrying really. Well my second chapter will be sent off to Chili Pepper in a matter of days so look out for a sneak peek!
Author's Response: HI!! Ah, so long since the last time I spoke to you! Yes, I wrote you a couple of emails, but since I got no response I supposed you were taking some time off or something. Well, I'm glad you are back :D
Oh, thank you very much! I've received beautiful reviews for this one-shot, and to be honest, I think this is my best one-shot so far. Well, I really don't know... each one is different, and yet, Ocean Soul is more personal.
Yes, I got your last email. I'll write you back a somewhat lengthy reply but right now I have to fly (going to swim). See you later, and glad you are back!
Hey, I told you that I'd be back! Now then, aren't you glad to see me? *grins cheekily*
Okay, I think this is one of the best you've written yet and you can tell that it came straight from the soul.
There is sooo much pain and emotion that this fic is absolutely drenched with it, in a good way of course.
I think you've gotten to the heart of why so many people are the way they are. If they've never felt love, how could they possibly be capable of feeling love for others?
I loved this journey into the Dark Lord's psyche and how it started long before he even knew he was magical.
Brilliant job on this, I remain as ever, a big fan.
Author's Response: *grins back* Yes, of course I am glad to see you!
My best? Well, I must admit that I think this one is the one I like the most. And you are right about it; it did come from my heart/soul.
This fic came to me almost as if by revelation. I was listening to the song, and suddenly everything came into my mind. The ocean dancing beneath his feet; the wind blowing as he sunk into the water, and the ultimate final agony of not being able to love. After that, I just had to put it down on paper (or bytes).
I liked this story because I felt as though I was able to reach into Tom Riddle's head before he turned into Voldemort. It was really a great experience writing this one-shot. I loved to write all of my stories, but this one was particularly filling.
Ah, thank you very much Narwen3! I haven't done it yet, but I assure you I'll go to finish my sabotaged review (I hate smileys :P ). And I haven't read the last chapter! I promised myself that I wouldn't read it until I reviewed the other one. Anyway, 'To See You Through the Dark' is probably one of the best fanfics here in MNFF! Very good job!
Thanks! I'm glad you appreciated the revisions! Some people take everything personally, even when it's constructive. And no, your story didn't have a lot wrong with it! I just like to nit-pick a lot, for some reason...
It's a little after the fact, but if you ever need a beta for a one-shot, I've got an add on the forums, second page, the last time I checked, in the beta services for sale, with the same username. I currently don't have any projects, but if you ever would need a beta, I'd be happy to! Only if you would like me to, of course. Just letting you know that I'm actually available, if you need someone!
[/spammy response to your responce]
Author's Response: I love people who nit-picks :) They help me see all my little (or gigantic) mistakes.
Ah, thank you very, very much (I suppose my hint was not too subtle :P ). Right now I'm working on a chaptered story, but I'm completely sure that at some point I'll have a rush of inspiration to write something that has nothing to do with that story. All those rushes of inspiration are normally no longer than a one-shot, so I'll look for you the next time :) Thank you very much for offering, and again, thank you for your thoughtful review!