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Reviews For Shades of Black

Name: FaunaCaritas (Signed) · Date: 04/26/08 17:34 · For: Chapter 1
Well, after reading that I really have only one question for you: why are you still writing fan fiction instead of original work? You have a near-perfect command of the English language, your character development and insight into character is brilliant, and your narrative flows smoothly from start to finish. Get yourself an editor and get writing!

I would also encourage you to challenge yourself by writing a multi-chaptered fic. I know you said you think you might lose interest. But I think the challenge would be a good thing.

Well, it seems I contradicted myself-- move on from fan fiction and write a long fic... hmm, I am going to have to work on consistency. I still stand by what I said, however.

One sentence stuck out for me:
She has gotten her acceptance letter only last week.
You might consider altering this sentence. 'Gotten' just doesn't sound right to me.

I have added you to my favorite author's list, and I will be keeping an eye out for any new stories of yours. (I am now heading off to check the other stories that you already have validated.)


Name: Hermione_Rocks (Signed) · Date: 12/05/07 9:50 · For: Chapter 1
Oh, wow. Amazing. This is such a short piece, but you managed to squeeze so much into it at the same time. I loved how you contrasted between the three sisters, but also showed how united they were. I adore the image of them all standing together, holding hands, about to enter the room. And I also like that you didn't say what they were doing: I did wonder, but I'm glad you left it mysterious. Excellent job! :)

Name: Tria Teressell Black (Signed) · Date: 12/03/07 3:23 · For: Chapter 1
This is a great story. I love the way you portrayed each of the Black sisters. Very well written. Great job!

Name: Heiress_of_Insanity_ (Signed) · Date: 12/02/07 16:55 · For: Chapter 1
Hm. Where are they going, you wonder.

This certainly is a well-written story. The descriptions are lovely, especially the Black sisters and how they relate to their birth order. It's nice to know that, at one point, Bella and Narcissa loved Andromeda. Wonderful story!~


Name: lunaandneville (Signed) · Date: 12/01/07 12:53 · For: Chapter 1
i like this it is well written. great job

Name: marvelousmeg (Signed) · Date: 11/29/07 17:14 · For: Chapter 1
Wow. I love this tory. You made their emotions and thoughts so important I forgot to wonder what they were waiting for. Great job!

Name: Lia Mey (Signed) · Date: 11/28/07 14:18 · For: Chapter 1
WONDERFUL! Your characterization is spot on. It is a pity we only get a small glimpse of Andromeda in the last book. We must suppose she is a little like Tonks:)

Name: MithrilQuill (Signed) · Date: 11/28/07 10:50 · For: Chapter 1
Awesomeness! I really liked this one-shot. You do an excellent job of describing the three sisters and I especially liked your description of Andromeda. I would have liked to know what they're waiting for, but I guess that would take from the effect of the one-shot. Thanks for a great read!

Name: Insecurity (Signed) · Date: 11/26/07 11:12 · For: Chapter 1

Interesting. There's something quite surreal about this one-shot, with the sisters waiting in an unknown space for something we never discover. It really works as a device for a short story. The most striking part, in my opinion, was when they linked hands at the end. We're very used to seeing Narcissa and Bellatrix as close - two contrasting characters who are nevertheless close - but to have Andromeda included in this image was unsettling for me, because of her future expulsion from the Black family.

I liked how you focused on the coach they were sat on: the colour and texture symbolising Slytherin and pure-blood ties; and the physical closeness of the sisters. The way they sat on it silently and still created a tense atmosphere, and I loved how you broke that by having Narcissa shift in her seat slightly.

There were a few oddly phrased sentences. Throughout, you're using different forms of syntax and it makes for a dynamic narrative, however you need to be careful that the sentence is still easy on the ear. One example would be: There are two extremes on the sofa they sit on. It's not very clear whether you're referring to the sofa or the girls. This is another sentence that is awkward: The only thing that is really hers are the freckles splashed over her nose. Here, you need to use ‘things’ and ‘are’ because freckles are plural and so the rest of the sentence needs to correspond.

Over all, I thought you did well with your characterisation of the sisters. Andromeda, especially. Her thoughts on the painting of her ancestor were very astute but fitting for her age. However, Bellatrix’s thoughts seemed to mature for an eleven-year-old. Even though I agree that she was fiercely proud of her pureblood ancestry from a young age, I don’t believe she would have been thinking of ‘marriage alliances’ then. It’s easy to think of characters like Bellatrix as monsters who were never ‘children’ in the real sense, but this would be a mistake. Having said that, I like how she doesn’t tell her parents in the end about the Muggle book. It shows she’s not completely rotten in the end.

For a very short one-shot, this story is very striking. I’ve read countless character studies on the Blacks but this one has a uniqueness about it, due to the elusive setting. Well done on achieving Featured Author – it’s an acknowledgement well deserved!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the highly detailed review! I do agree that Bellatrix is possibly the worst characterized of the Black girls. I do however think that, despite the fact that she is an eleven-year-old, she would think at least a little bit about an arranged marriage. It is important to remember that she has been in a pureblood environment, where blood and marriage is essential, from a very young age. I don’t think the fact that she is thinking about arranged marriages indicates she is “mature”: she is merely imitating the world around her. As for the awkward phrases…serves me right for not using a Beta! XD. I actually have not lived in an English-speaking country for many years, and I am afraid I have begun to lose my ear for finding awkward sentences. Thank you again for reviewing! Everything you told me was very constructive.

Name: Wolfie Jojo (Signed) · Date: 11/26/07 11:10 · For: Chapter 1
I never imagined the black sisters tolerating being in the same room as each other, even as children, let alone holding hands! Sweet. I really hate Bella, but I didn't want to punch my computer screen when I read this, so well done.

Author's Response: Part of why I LOVED writing this one-shot is the fact that I strongly believe that the Black girls did have a somewhat loving relationship at the beginning. They are, after all, sisters, and I imagine for the most part they had a very lonely childhood: I doubt their parents cared very much about what they did as long as they remained respectable. They HAD to stick together to survive. I can’t imagine “liking” Bellatrix…but she does make for some interesting characterization! XD Thanks for reviewing!

Name: katieshay (Signed) · Date: 11/25/07 22:11 · For: Chapter 1
that was very good

Author's Response: Thanks for reading!

Name: WunderWitch (Signed) · Date: 11/25/07 21:58 · For: Chapter 1
bravo!! absolutely lovely! You never really think of the sisters actually getting along, in a sense, so this is really quite extraordinary.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it!

Name: immortal_evil (Signed) · Date: 11/25/07 10:20 · For: Chapter 1
Sweet! This story was very good. I like how you flawlessly described each Black sister in distinguishable ways. Great job.

Author's Response: I’m happy you found each Black girl to be unique…at least I didn’t melt them all together to make one uniform, angsty childhood!

Name: lovely_witch (Signed) · Date: 11/24/07 11:45 · For: Chapter 1
I love this! I nearly always forget Andromeda is a Black, she seems far more like a Weasley. I like how you wrote her actually as a Black, with a Black persona, although still slightly less than that of Bellatrix. Very well done.

Author's Response: It’s very interesting that you think of her more as a Weasley, because I never thought of her that way…definitely food for thought. I’m glad you liked the one-shot though!

Name: mishnyc2002 (Signed) · Date: 11/24/07 1:16 · For: Chapter 1
A great viewpoint! And done quite well- you must have the sisterhood bond as well, I'm guessing? :) I really enjoy the fact that you are focusing in on the female Black family (The same way the novel, The Red Tent, did). I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. I'm curious immedialtey about what they're waiting for (the birth of a new sibling?) and at what point there will be a division of loyalty between them (if the fic goesthat far!). Thanks and keep going!!!!

Author's Response: Unfortunately, this is only a one-shot, and will remain so unless I get a sudden burst of inspiration to continue it (although this is very, very, unlikely). I have never read The Red Tent...definitely something to add to my reading list! Thanks for the review!

Name: ohsnape (Signed) · Date: 11/23/07 14:15 · For: Chapter 1
this is awesom!! please keep writing!

Name: MissyQuill (Signed) · Date: 11/22/07 2:47 · For: Chapter 1
But where were they going?=Sammy

Name: Dory_the_Fishie (Signed) · Date: 11/21/07 10:26 · For: Chapter 1
Oh, this is a lovely little fic. As much as I love the Black family, I tend to read more about Sirius and Regulus and not enough about the Black sisters. But I enjoyed this very much.

The characterization is spot on for all three sisters, in my opinion. I think you did an excellent job of telling and showing us what they’re like; so many authors can only do one or the other. I think my favorite bit was about Andromeda: She was born in the middle and sits in the middle and looks in the middle. It’s a very nice sentence, really gives an idea of what Andromeda feels like and how she fits into the Black family (or how little she fits in, as it were).

I love that you talk about what they’re thinking about, because it’s such a perfect way to show us what they’re each like. And, I love that they aren’t thinking about what they’re waiting for, because three young girls probably wouldn’t be thinking about that. Bellatrix’s thoughts were the most telling for me. I thought at first that maybe it would be a little unlikely that she was already thinking about finding a suitable husband, but then I changed my mind and decided that it wasn’t that unlikely. Bella’s character is just so…I don’t know the word. She’s just like that. Lovely job.

Narcissa to me had the most interesting character, because she doesn’t really have a mind of her own yet, which is perfect. I think it’s easy to see that in her even as an adult; clearly she isn’t the strongest of the sisters, and that actually makes it that much more refreshing when she really is strong in Deathly Hallows.

I’m really glad you added in some dialogue to this, because it’s important to see how the sisters interact. And they behave exactly as sisters would, I think. Even though they’re so different and have different goals and different thoughts, they’re still sisters, and they still feel like they need each other. They stand up, the three sisters, and link hands. This is traditional, almost instinctive: they do it without thinking. I love that.

Of course, I wonder what they’re waiting for, but I’m sort of pleased you didn’t tell us. It isn’t really important – the focus is the sisters. Overall, very nice job!

Name: lucilla_pauie (Signed) · Date: 11/21/07 1:33 · For: Chapter 1
A veritable literary fanfiction, this one. The descriptions don't bear down on the reader because they weren't descriptions so much as beautifully drawn images that makes the reader feel present with the three Black sisters. Their clothing and bearing rings 'Black' through and through. And their childhood closeness and their candidness to each other is touching.

The story even reads like a poem. Every sentence has a cadence in harmony with its neighbors.

Wonderful, and no wonder it is featured, Candycane!

But can you clarify or imply what they are waiting for? Maybe it's just me, but I really didn't see what it is. Maybe the birth of Sirius?


Name: Karya (Signed) · Date: 11/20/07 20:20 · For: Chapter 1
wow that was wow where is the next chapter!

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