Reviews For Distantly
Reviewer: Eleanor Lupin
Date: 07/17/11 6:34
Chapter: Distantly

I liked this a lot! It felt very real and very believable, definitely lacking the unrealistic melodrama that many other D/A fics end up with. A few particular lines stuck with me, mainly this one.

"She stands on wet grass, shoes slipping, sinking, sticking in the mud, surrounded by hard grey tombstones that graze her hands when she tries to touch them, and all the ashes buried beneath her."

That line there just gave me chills. This was amazing!

Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Date: 12/13/10 23:14
Chapter: Distantly

'Ello there, Miss Alice!

Congrats on the QSQ win, dear. You've written something with such stunning imagery, from the simple days of being in school to Andromeda having bloody nightmares about her children she didn't even have yet being killed. Though there is nearly no canon information about Andromeda, it just feels right for her. She would be in such a precarious place emotionally after giving up her entire familiar world for Ted, so naturally it would haunt her.

I think the thing I like the most about this fic is that it focusses on such simple things, like the cat and the day to day doldrums. The wedding is downplayed in a sense that the dream about the cat stomping the kids was more poignant and meaningful to her than her marriage.

I thought it was interesting how paranoid she was about her children ending up like Bella and Cissy. It's almost a relief to me as a reader to know that her daughter is almost as opposite of them as one can get with her lack of the poise that was so high in stock for the women of the Black family.

All in all, it was a fascinating trip into the mind of Andromeda Black Tonks. Her emotions and fears seemed real and probable, which is so different from most D/A pieces that melodramatise such things.

Ta for now, and until we meet again, etc...

~Jess

This visit is a gift of the Ravenclaw Order of House Elves

Reviewer: lovelle
Date: 11/16/10 1:39
Chapter: Distantly

cool. i like it. it's easy to understand and it has good flow.

congrats with the win.

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 11/12/10 3:28
Chapter: Distantly

This was beautifully written - somewhere between poetry and prose with a touch of post-modernism. I liked how you created Andromeda's character and didn't go into explanations of how betrayed she felt by her family, but just showed it through her actions.

I liked the way that in a way she should feel happy, but she doesn't really. The scene where she and Ted have moved into a flat, as there's so much happiness there (the peace of her garden, the cat called Fluffy), but still a letter from Narcissa can mar it.

Anyway, you've already got a series of long reviews and I pretty much agree with all of them, so I'll leave it here. Great fic!!!

Reviewer: wishbones and witches
Date: 11/10/10 9:10
Chapter: Distantly

Hi! I just wanted to leave a review to tell you how much I loved this story. It was really interesting and so different from what I normally see; its style was somewhere between a story and a poem which made it truly unique and riveting. I loved how you used the present tense, which is usually a tool to draw a reader in, to distance both the reader and narrator from the events that are going on. The story was written in such an artistic way and had an attention to style that isn’t often seen in prose.

The detached tone in which you wrote the story was amazing. It created the dark atmosphere you were going for without having to resort to melodrama and angst. And, somehow, the tone didn’t seem to be just her’s, but seemed to convey the lack of control over their own lives that fitted so many during Voldemort’s reign. This is particularly clear in Regulus’s letters to her, which show slowly deteriorating faith in Voldemort and his cause. The tone was used beautifully throughout and really added to the story.

Andromeda and Ted walked hand in hand down the road, the heavy solid weight of him tethering her body to the ground while her mind floated dizzily and distantly away from herself.
Can I have a moment to squee over this quote? I love how you don’t just outright say how she feels, but through your language you mention it obscurely and poetically. For example, you never say that she’s excited or nervous about eloping with Ted, but by saying “her mind floated dizzily” you convey it all the same. I love how you blur the lines between the emotional and the physical as you talk about “the solid weight of him tethering her body to the ground”. Even though you’re referring to their emotional states, you talk about it in terms of the physical bodies which creates a rather vivid imagery.

I also loved the dream sequence and its circular structure. When you start off with her running her fingers through the dewy grass, it’s a sweet and homely image but you slowly move the dream away from that into rather dark waters and the image it started with takes a similarly dark new lease of life. The dream very poignantly shows Andromeda’s fear of what her child might become, the oppressed or the oppressor, which I think would be a very real worry in times of war, especially given the child’s parents. But, at the same time, you deploy your gift for subtly and don’t just write all that, but bury your meaning underneath layers of surreality. It makes reading the story so satisfying.

the branches and leaves of the tree tangling in on themselves, blocking out the sun.
This quote is beautiful. It’s so poetical and captures the tragedies and pitfalls of the Black family so well. I love the imagery of it and how fitting it all is, perfectly conveying how the fates of the Blacks was a bed of their family’s making. The idea of branches tangling in on themselves mirrors the Black vs Black animosity in the Harry Potter really well and the fact that you managed to capture the Black family in one short but touching metaphor is really a mark of your great writing skills.

I could go on like this, but there’s only so much squeeing a girl can do.

As much as I loved your story, there we some points where a lack of commas disrupted the flow of a sentence (eg. “ He likes to sunbathe on the roof of the shed and always falls head first into the stream trying to catch the slivers of sunlight that dance on the water.”) but those mistakes were few and far between so I don’t think they’re a good problem.

I’m not sure about the name Fluffy either – it just conjures an image of a three-headed dog in my mind and, since this is MNFF, I’m sure I’m not the only one with that mental image.

That being said, I still loved this story loads, otherwise I would have never fangirled over it as much as I have. It was so different from everything I normally read and was beautifully written. I loved how you didn’t get tied up in the rules of prose and allowed your story to have some features of a poem. I loved the ideas behind the story and, most of all, how you phrased everything. I really enjoyed reading it.

xxSue

Reviewer: Lovemagic
Date: 11/06/10 14:22
Chapter: Distantly

Beautiful, haunting story. It really feels like I'm looking at things from a distant perspective, but there's still an angsty, melancholy feel to it. What more can I say? The writing is elegant and poetic. Makes me think of wind and ribbons, for some reason. Like her life is just fluttering by, and Andromeda doesn't seem to have much control over it.

I really like how you put Fluffy into the story. It makes the story and her life seem realer. And more domestic. I know that Andromeda didn't really want anything to do with the outside world, anything to do with her family. It feels as if Fluffy is a part of her own family, and that Andromeda is really living in her own world.

Andromeda worrying that her daughter would look like Bella was deep. Andromeda doesn't want herself or her daughter to have anything to do with the dark side, them, but can't forget that she is does have something to do with them and is related to them.

There aren't many things that need to be improved. You may just want to go and glean through the whole thing, because there are many small grammar errors, such as:

She spends long hours watching her daughters changing looks, half-looking for Bella’s lidded eyes or Narcissa’s narrow pointed nose. She wonders if she wished this creature into being, a child who would never look like her mother’s family.

'Daughers' should be daughter's; the comma after 'being' shouldn't be there.

Ted tells her when Sirius is sent Azkaban.

There should be a to after 'sent.'

The world is so black and white in war. Us, them. I’m not sure which I am, some days.

I don’t know what to do, Dromie. It’s not what I thought, Dromie. This isn’t what we signed up for.


I think you meant for the second sentence to be italicized.

But this truly is a wonderful story. My favorite part, of course, it the last sentence. The way you divide it into three paragraphs is very beautiful. It made me feel as if I was actually watching Andromeda, not simply reading about her. And of course, the deeper meaning of the last paragraph was stunning.

Hayden

Author's Response:

Hi Hayden! I'm glad you enjoyed the style, I worried a lot about it, but it seems to have worked okay! My grammar is terrible, (as is my spelling, hurrah for spellchecks!) I thought I had caught most of the mistakes, but I will definitely have another read through when I get some free time and correct the errors you found. :)  I didn't italicise that line on purpose - I was trying to capture the thoughts of both Regulus and Andromeda(and maybe even Sirius a little?) so I wanted to seperate it from the italicised letters above it.  If that makes sense? Maybe not! :D I will have a think about that!  I very glad that you like the last section, it was my favouite part. Originally I had some other parts laid out a bit like that, but in the end I decided I just wanted that last part to be really emphasised.  Thank you so much for your review! :)

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 11/03/10 0:12
Chapter: Distantly

That was really good! You definitely deserved the award for best Dark/Angsty!

~Soraya~

Author's Response: Thank you Soraya!  I am very honoured to have won, and I am glad you enjoyed it.

Reviewer: welshdevondragon
Date: 11/01/10 19:15
Chapter: Distantly

Wow. That was beautiful. I loved the gentleness and resigned tone. The language and imagery you used was especially haunting and poetic.

I also really liked the playing with time. How you start with Andromeda looking back and then reference her future relationship with her daughter.

I think the way Andromeda doesn't seem to have had any control in her life and has always been judged except, crucially, by Ted Tonks was especially beautiful. I'm amazed this hasn't had more reviews to be honest but I'm sure you will get more very soon! Thank you for a beautiful story.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad the time switches worked. I tend to overdo them, so I'm glad they worked in this fic.  I really wanted to capture the lack of control Andromeda has, so I'm pleased that came across.  Thank you so much for your review. :)

Reviewer: Apollonious
Date: 10/23/10 15:53
Chapter: Distantly

Psi, this story is written beautifully. Throughout, you really capture the sense of betrayal that most of Andromeda's family and the Slytherins felt when she left them and secretly married a Muggleborn. I also enjoyed how it was very poetic.

I thought the fact that you had absolutely no dialogue was quite unique, and suited the piece well. And I liked the detail of Fluffy the cat, and how powerful it was that you used him in the dream. Andromeda's fear about Tonks looking like Bella is also well-done.

The only real critique I have is that I think you should read it through one more time and really nit-pick. There were a few little punctuation errors, and a couple times you actually left words out that were necessary to understand a phrase. To fix this, you could just read through it out loud, pause where you have all the commas, and look for instances where a phrase doesn't flow.

Thanks for this, Psi! I enjoyed reading it.

Author's Response:

Thank you so much for your review. I do have a tendency to miss out words - I thought I had caught them all, but I will defintely give it another read through!  I worried that the poetic style was a bit too much/overdone, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Reviewer: the opaleye
Date: 11/07/09 22:43
Chapter: Distantly

That was beautiful. Really, truly beautiful and so simple yet profound in meaning. I love the darkness you portray in Andromeda. It feels so real and sincere. I love it!

Author's Response: A late response, but I am playing catch up! I am so glad you enjoyed it, thank you so much for your review. :)

Reviewer: ahattab33
Date: 11/01/09 17:57
Chapter: Distantly

Wow, Ali, that was beautiful.

The imagery, the description...it was haunting and sad and beaufitul and just...wow.

That was all I could say when I finished reading it.

"Andromeda and Ted walked hand in hand down the road, the heavy solid weight of him tethering her body to the ground while her mind floated dizzily and distantly away from herself."

"She stands on wet grass, shoes slipping, sinking, sticking in the mud, surrounded by hard grey tombstones that graze her hands when she tries to touch them, and all the ashes buried beneath her."


I really enjoyed your characterization of Sirius as well...boldly proclaiming what he knows she's been keeping secret, because he is completely proud of her.

~Amanda

Author's Response: My first review! *hugs* Thank you so much for such a lovely review Amanda, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :) You've made me all smiley! :D

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