Hey there, John!
This is an awesome entry for the challenge. Go Ravenclaw! Funnily enough I have an entry in the queue too, and guess what is about.... that's right! Neville and the curing of his mother. My entry is for the Air prompt, but I had no idea you where writing about almost the same thing for the Water prompt. Freaky. When I submitted my story I decided to read the other entries. What a surprise when I saw yours was about Neville too!
Now, on to your story....
The pacing and the setting are perfect. You have really captured the feel of a foreign country. Sweden just seems to come alive when I am reading. That is because you include details-- the flowers and their names, the lines in Swedish, etc. Obviously you don't want to go over-board with stuff like this, but you didn't.
Your characterizations are good. Harry and Ron's cameo appearance is excellent. They are perfectly in character, and I loved Ron's line: "No! Everything isn’t always about you Harry." LOL. That was great. Neville is good too, but if I were being super picky I might suggest making him a little more three-dimensional. My suggestion would be to give him some interesting thoughts/lines.
Linnèa is a great OC. I definitely want to see more of her personality, she has a lot of potential. Make sure you give her a whole back-story in your head, even if you don't write about it in this story. You mentioned that Neville thinks she is a lot like Luna. Good-- let your readers discover the similarities too. Don't just come out and say: she is like Luna because of 'x'. Work in 'Luna-ish' speeches/actions/etc. You probably don't want to make them too similar, but that is why you should have her whole story worked out roughly in your head. That way you know exactly what she would say or do if x,y, or z happens. Am I making any sense?
I can't wait to meet the Lord of the Rivers, or see what happens when the two figures hiding in the bushes make their move.
Bravo, and good luck in the Challenge. May the best story win (and we will keep our fingers crossed that the best comes from Ravenclaw!)
Well, Johan, I am thoroughly impressed with your first fic! The story has an original plot, great characterisations and the flow keeps the story moving fluidly.
I know you’re from Sweden and I think it was not only a good choice to use your own personal knowledge as background to the plot, but the way you have described the country and culture was rich and beautiful. From the flora and fauna to Norse mythology, it intrigued me and I’m interested to learn more through your story. You’ve seamlessly incorporated Luna’s story into yours, actually giving her own story of how she met her future husband. I especially liked this part, as it not only showed you have knowledge of HP minutia, but you pay special attention to details.
The way you write Neville is quite refreshing. I love that you’ve chosen him as your main character, as I think he’s often overlooked as a leading character. With that, you’ve also given him some depth. He has gone to Sweden with a specific objective, but I find that it’s very in character for Neville to still be somewhat distracted by his first love, flowers, anyway. I don’t know how much Harry and Ron will play into later chapters, but I like what I’ve seen of them so far, my favourite part being Ron telling Harry that not everything is about him! That made me chuckle aloud!
Your original character, Linnéa, is interesting. I like how you have peppered hints that there may be a spark of something between her and Neville. The comparison of her to his thoughts of Luna leave it so that they may just be friends, or hint that possibly Neville had some feelings for Luna and can now possibly, or just that he found Linnéa comforting because she reminded him of Luna. You’ve done well to pull the reader in wondering what will happen.
It was a very easy read in that your transitions from Neville’s present activity to his memories were effortless. You flowed from his wandering in the ocean of flowers to his thoughts of Luna’s return from Sweden and her stories without it being jarring. One thought and sentence moved right into the next without interruption to the story and before I knew it, I was at the end of the chapter. Very well done!
I’m going to add this to my favourites so that I can be notified of updates. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Sweden through Neville’s eyes and the excitement to come with the looming Death Eaters!
~Michelle, The Marauding Cupcake of Gryffindor Review Crew
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it.
The Rolf/Luna backstory actually was an old plotbunny that didn't work out. I thought it was a good way for Neville to find out about Näcken.
I hope you'll find the rest of the story intresting too
ooooh lovely! Except that small little mistake, I can't find anything else wrong with this chapter, in fact, it's amazingly written. You've captured the reader's attention from the very beginning and kudos to you for that! =D Very nice work, I can't wait to see where it'll lead!
Author's Response: Thanks Manu, I'll edit that mistake. Hopefully I'll be able to update soon. And thanks for the banner and the help on the summery. *Huggles* MvH Johan
I liked the Swedish setting, culture, and characters--Scandinavian countries feel distinctly different from southern Europe, and the Swedish bit really helps set the tone of the piece. Also, you did well capturing all the determination and maturity Neville shows at the end of DH and pouring it into how he handles himself in this adventure.
It is a bit heavy, so it wouldn't hurt to put in a bit of humour in later chapters, but that's really all I can think of. :) A refreshing read, very well done!
Author's Response: Thanks, I was afraid that I had put to much Sweden into it. Ah yes, hehe humour isn't my strongest side. I'll try to be more humorus in the upcoming chapters. :DrnrnMvH Johan
Author's Response: Thanks, I was afraid that I had put to much Sweden into it. Ah yes, hehe humour isn't my strongest side. I'll try to be more humorus in the upcoming chapters. rnrnMvH Johan
I really enoyed this and can really only say one thing - more! I think you write with brilliant detail and you have set the scene well, i am eagerly awaiting your next installment!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you. Well there is three more chapters to come on this story. Now I get a little nervous the next chapter won't be as good. rnrnMvH Johan :-)