Great story, sorry I have not much to say, because it was so fab. You soooooooo need to write more. Have fun writing:):)!!
p.s. Come and see my poems I have five!!
Author's Response: Thanks for leaving a review. I'm really please you enjoyed my story so much. I have a few ideas stewing in my head for new stories. So, just keep an eye out. I will take a look at your poems when I have some time. Thanks again! :)
I read and reviewed Leslie’s gauntlet submission last review period, and I thought it might be interesting to read another one this time and see how it differed. Plus I just like Hermione, so finding a new Hermione-centric story was great. Apparently Leslie’s also reviewing this story right now, so I guess you’ll be getting two perspectives. And without further ado…
In general you did an excellent job using canon details in this story, but I noticed one repeated canon error. The four-point spell doesn’t make your wand point in whatever direction will lead you towards your goal. According to the lexicon, the four-point spell is “performed with the wand laying flat on the open palm of the caster. When the words are spoken, the wand rotates to point north.” In GoF Harry used the four-point spell to his advantage by figuring out roughly what direction he had to go in to move towards the center of the maze. So Hermione would have to do that too, and when it came to decisions she’d know which path was going towards the center, not necessarily which path would lead her there.
“She walked through the garden amazed at the openness of it within the confines of the maze.” I think there should be some kind of punctuation in this sentence, probably a comma after garden.
Later in that same paragraph (and I’m cutting in and out in the middles of sentences here), you have: “Hermione followed the stone path running through it until she reached the stone bench at the end. She looked at the items on the bench before opening the notebook to see if she could find the answer to her problem there.” This section confused me a bit; I kept going back to see if there was a sentence in there that I’d missed. It works to refer to both the path and the bench with definite pronouns, because you qualify both as you introduce them. But the use of the definite pronoun with notebook left me scratching my head and rereading. It was the first I’d read of any notebook, and I had to think for a moment before realizing that the notebook was one of the things on the bench (unless I’m just plain confused and the notebook mentioned is Hermione’s, which is possible). Also, the word ‘items’ isn’t very descriptive. It would be nice if you could be slightly more specific about what Hermione sees on the bench. I realize that it’s difficult to find a substitute since there is an assortment of objects, but ‘items’ just sounds sterile to my ear.
My biggest criticism is the ending: the story has a sense of completion, but it doesn’t entirely resolve (if that distinction makes sense). Hermione is curious to her very core, as you demonstrated so well in the opening. Especially after the incident with the Imperius Curse and the somewhat strange (though very appropriate) prize, I think Hermione would definitely wonder who was behind the whole thing. She might puzzle about the voice, trying to figure out whom it had sounded like. She might puzzle about the tasks and wonder who could have come up with them. Being clever, she might even be able to figure it out. I don’t think Hermione necessarily has to figure out who created the maze for her and why for there to be resolution, but I do think she needs to at least ponder it.
My above nitpicky comments aside, I really enjoyed this story. I’m not going to go very in depth about the plot, as I believe (though I could be mistaken) that you wrote it as an example for the challenge participants. I thought it was interesting enough to read and review more than one story modeled after this challenge, and I think that says more than anything I can write.
What I really liked was your portrayal of Hermione’s feelings throughout the story. You show them through how she describes the scenery around her, which is great. I loved how the books and written clues reassured her –– it was totally in character for her, and how she oscillated between fear and fearlessness, frustration and triumph. Her emotions changed along with the plot, making her a richer, fuller, more three-dimensional character. Excellent work!
Hey there, L. I really appreciate your review as it does give me quite a few things to think about.
You're definitely right about the Point-Me spell. In my haste to make sure I got response to all the prompts done on time, I spaced on that little detail. When I get the time, I'll go back and fix that.
Likewise, your comment about the bench, notebook, and items make quite a bit of sense. When I wrote everything for the individual prompts, the only person going to see the writing was my guide through the Gauntlet, who knew all the details of the prompt. Anyway, after having read through that part again, I realize just how confusing it can be. Like the first, when I get a chance, I'll make sure I edit that as well to make it clearer.
Now, for the ending, that will take a bit more thought. I'll have to go back through and really read the whole thing and take your comments into consideration. Hermione does have quite a bit of natural curiosity, but I was happy with my ending...though it was written a while ago, and I'm sure there's a way I can enhance it. So, I'll just have to take a look at that as well.
I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my little story about Hermione. She's one of my favorite characters and I really feel like I can identify with her. so, I'm glad you think I did a good job. Thanks again for the review!
I think it only fitting for me to review the story that caused me to owe you a review in the first place. Don’t you?
You write Hermione very well, and the prize at the end is completely fitting. It reminds us that even though Hermione is amazing and all that, she’s still insecure sometimes and desperately needed the reassurance that she was ready to fight with her friends.
Hermione was a really good character for this activity, and you maximized the opportunity; all of the little memories that you had were well placed and very likely what she would have thought of in that instance. The knitting spell was my favorite – the sort of “so there” attitude she had was very fetching.
I’d have to agree with Pat that the boggart seems a little out of place. I’m amused by the thought of the hedge rustling and Professor McGonagall appearing, as well as Draco Malfoy in a dress. But it works well enough; since we know that it was Hermione’s boggart before. To make it a little more believable I might have liked to see more fear, hopelessness, stuff.
Just found out Lian is also reviewing this. I’m going to finish first, you just watch.
Twice in this story you mention the Shrinking Solution, but you have it in different years; either 2nd or 3rd year. Which is it? I think it might be a little redundant to go into such detail both times, personally. Maybe the second time around you can have her recall the garden and stuff, with a thought to that memorable Potions lesson.
I thought the Sphinx part was very clever on your...part, even though the beginning bore a distinct resemblance to Harry’s experience in the maze. That only makes sense, however, because how different can sphinxes be if they’re stuck in a maze? I liked how you confused her, too. Logic is one of Hermione’s high points and you showed it quite well.
Sort of wish I knew who had made the maze, but you can’t have everything in life. To illustrate that fact, I refuse to give you a proper ending to the review (possibly to try and beat Lian, but that’s a secret).
Have a nice day.
Hey, CA, I'm really glad you reviewed my story, especially since it was the one to cause you to owe me a review. It really made me happy that you thought I had done Hermione so well since that is really what I was trying to do throughout the maze.
As I said in my response to Pat's review, I can definitely see how the bit with the boggart was a little odd. But, it was what came to mind in the time I had to send it in to the person passing out the tasks.
As for the Shrinking Solution, I'll have to go back and look at that so I can adjust it. You're right, I probably shouldn't go into that much detail twice as that can make a story redundant and boring. Thanks for pointing it out.
I really enjoyed your review, and I'm happy you liked my story!
Well, look who it is, my SPEW buddy! This is my first time that I have read any of your fics, so I feel quite embarrassed, but I am also quite pleased with what I have "discovered" . ;) After reading it sometime around nine last night, reading it again around four in the morning, and finally skimming through around two today, I feel like I can finally give you the review you deserve, dearest SPEW buddy. First, I must say, that your writing is very factual description, with is hard to weave into art. You, however, do it quite well. I enjoyed it. :)
First off: Your choice of using the character Hermione, and the remarkable characterization you used. We know that in canon that Hermione is very factual, and even though she is a prideful person when it comes to the facts, her having to remember her previous experiences was quite in character. I enjoyed it very much, especially when she remembered when and where she learned about the spell/plant/other random thing. I think it just works for her. I'm very impressed. She's one of the hardest characters to characterize correctly: only second to Dumbledore and Luna (in my opinion). Well done!
Her using the Four Point Spell was a detail that I doubt most would have remembered to let Hermione use; it was just another one of those little details that made this story into what it is: enjoyable. I also enjoyed this little sentence: "Satisfied with the results of the spell, Hermione proceeded to the next step of her plan and muttered the knitting spell she had been using for years to knit clothing for the Hogwarts house-elves. The hedges began to weave together, forming a small walkway about two feet above the mud." Her using the knitting spell to weave together the hedges for a walkway -- brilliant! I loved how her abilities could do things such as that.
My only disappointment when reading was when she came upon the sphinx; a battle of wit was excellent, and I liked how she stumped the sphinx, and with what facts she used, but I'd like a few more bits between the two to see how quick and clever the sphinx is. However, Hermione was fully in character, so I have no doubts that she would've known what to do from the start. So... I guess it's fine as is, but just my two cents to give it more flava! *suddenly the Fanta singers come out and start dancing around the sphinx, with a very disgusted Hermione and a bewildered magical creature*
Now on to my least favourite part of any review I do. The nitpicks.
The boggart portion of the maze bothered me, mainly because McGonagall simply would not be in that maze just to tell Hermione that she failed all her N.E.W.T.s. I also would recommend that when Hermione casts the spell, that instead of Draco in a dress, that it is something more along the lines that Draco failed his N.E.W.T.s, and that he simply cannot persue his lifelong dream of being a Death Eater until he does pass them. ;) Heehee.
I also noticed that commas are not your friends. Commas are your friends -- you can always take them out when you use too many, but it's hard to squeeze them into a sentence after you deciding against using them. *gives Karin a pack of commas, all who are smiling at Karin, saying "Use me to punctuate your sentece stylings!"* /craziness. Anyway. One example where I'd insert a comma [but probably most wouldn't] is: "She thrust her wand in front of her as far as she could reach to see if the light from it would show her where the stench was coming from. It only took her about another five steps to discover the source of the smell." I'd place the comma after reach. But that's just me.
Wonderful Karin, glad to have you as my SPEW buddy! I enjoyed it. :)
He he. Thanks for your wonderfully detailed review, P. I have enjoyed reading it over and over and deciding how to respond to it - probably much the way you read, re-read, and then re-re-read my story.
I would've had a very hard time writing Hermione without including her memories as that is one of the things she is known for in the books. I mean, really, it was her being able to recall the little bit about Devil's Snare from a Herbology class that saved the trio during their adventure through the trap door. So, I'm glad you thought I did that well and kept her in character throughout.
As for the battle with the sphinx, I was rather stumped for a while as to how to try and write her getting around it. The whole bit about King Arthur and Merlin was all I could think about and I wasn't sure how much I could draw that out to show the sphinx's cleverness while still having enough to let Hermione outwit it. I'll have to go back over that part and see if I have any new insight to spice it up for you!
Now to your nitpickiness. Believe me, P, it doesn't bother me in the least as it's usually the nitpicking that makes one a better writer - if one is willing to use it. I understand your qualms about the boggart, but I was running out of time to get that part in and that was the only thing my poor tired brain could come up with at the time. Perhaps if I adjusted it so that McGonagall showed up to tell Hermione that she had failed in her task to get through the maze because time was up, it might be a better thing. It's still failure, but something that would be more real to the situation. As for the bit about Draco, that was all I could think of and will have to see if there's something else swimming around in my brain now. Now to the commas. I think my aversion to the overuse of the comma has come from my many years of essay writing that have cut down on my comma use. Personally, I like fewer commas. So, while I'll take your give of commas, I will hold them for future use.
Thank you again for such a lovely review. I'm really glad you were my SPEW buddy and were forced to read something of mine! *hugs*
Only Hermione would be satisfied with a prize like that. But that's just it, Hermione is one of the few who feels rewarded with knowledge and informaion. Excellent work there!
I also noticed that hint about King Arthur! I'm getting excited about summer school, nice touch!
Your work flowed very nicely. The descriptions were well explained without being overly complicated. I thought Hermione's characterization was very well done. She would of course figure out the tasks fairly easily and allow her to brush up on her quick thinking skills. I think this was a good lesson for her, because Hermione hasn't always been the best at thinking on her feet. She likes to analyze things more, but in this case she needed to work quickly. Well done!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, A! I'm really glad you thought my characterization of Hermione was so spot on. She's the character that I can relate to the most, so it was fun to put her through the paces of the Gauntlet. Thanks again! :)