Reviews For Maps
Reviewer: rosemerta
Date: 06/08/14 6:56
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

Very sensual. Not at all romantic because it's far more animalistic almost. Well done, very short and yet in depth vignettes into these individuals' lives. It was a good read. Thank you!

Author's Response: Thank you! Yes, it's very much a physical piece and I'm glad you appreciated that. Again, thanks for the review :)

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 11/29/12 17:42
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

Hi Julia,

Congratulations on the QSQ win! I remember reading this story for judging, and as usual, your signature exquisite style completely took my breath away and even more so when Carole read it for Audiofics. I thought the sensuality this fic exudes is amazing, especially given the diversity of the four pairings -- even though each pairing was so different, I could see what tied all the vignettes together. And for what is quite a short one-shot, every character is incredibly well-defined and beautifully characterised.

To me, each vignette was a thoughtful character study. I found the first one explored Andromeda’s character so thoroughly; it’s interesting that you’ve never written her or Ted before, because I actually think this section was the strongest one out of the four. I think you really put across how much of an outsider Andromeda was, and I completely agree that her being with Ted is probably the first time she has ever felt truly loved. I really connected with Andromeda on a personal level here, because having family issues is never easy, and I can see how Ted would have helped her get through that and forget about the prejudices the Blacks held.

I also thought their physical relationship was brought out here really well -- the way you wrote it was sexy but never over the top or explicit.

She smiles as that word slips from his mouth, teeth pressed into his bottom lip, the assonant hiss of an ‘f’. It’s a glorious sound, a luxurious sound that in the day seems cold and hard and unfeeling but now, in the dead of night, it’s beautiful because she has done this to him.

I thought that was far more effective than writing the moment out in dialogue; there was something really heady and raw about the phrase, “the assonant hiss of an ‘f’”, and I think you described their sexual experiences beautifully without it seeming crass at any point. Throughout the story, I thought it was as ever really poetic and, at times, quite conversational, but never losing its lyricism.

Subtlety is definitely one of your major talents in writing, Julia, and in the Neville/Hannah vignette, Neville’s development in character was excellently done. After the battle, I think there’s always been a bit of a preconception that, just because Neville chopped off Nagini’s head, he’s suddenly brimful of confidence, so it was great to see his characterisation remain intact, in that Neville does not consider himself to be as impressive as everyone thinks he is. And that makes him even more endearing to read, for me. Also, I could see the similarity between how Neville is with Hannah -- unsure, quite insecure -- and how Andromeda is with Ted, because I felt Hannah understood Neville and saw through what everyone else thought of him, just like Ted understood Andromeda. So even though the two pairings are from different eras, I loved how there was such a clear link between the two of them.

The other two pairings intrigued me the most, I have to admit. I can remember reading a Parvati/Daphne drabble by you once, so I knew a bit of the backstory (assuming it’s the same?) from before. And even though I knew it didn't end well in the drabble, I was nevertheless saddened to read that section, because I really felt for Daphne there, with her unrequited love for Parvati. And the inclusion of Lavender/Parvati was interesting, too, because I have always thought that pairing was likely considering how close Lavender and Parvati were in canon. But what I think made that vignette all the more poignant was how accepting Daphne was of Parvati not loving her back; i can see why Parvati would use Daphne like that, and the bitterness from both of them was evident, especially as Daphne actually watched Parvati say Lavender’s name instead of Daphne’s.

The Scorpius/Hugo section at the end, meanwhile, was lovely in its optimism, which was definitely welcome after the saddest vignette of the four. Hugo was delightfully quirky, and you conveyed his slightly different mindset really well -- in that his perspective of a body as a map meant the title was incorporated without making it seem shoehorned in. The last line about how unimportant straight answers are is brilliant, because it really sums up the rich essence of the whole story: that love is not easy or straightforward, and I could see that so clearly in every single vignette.

Even though each vignette was short, I still got a really clear idea about the backstories of all the characters. A few reviewers said it would have been better with more, but I disagree, because each section works beautifully on its own, and I think each vignette had such a natural beginning and ending that I didn't need more backstory. In fact, they could have easily been four drabbles, but they also work together really well.

What I liked the most about this story, though, was just the sheer realness of it. There was something so raw and rudimentary about each section, and I think that was because of the imperfections in every relationship presented. This was a stunning story, Julia, all in all; you never fail to astound me with your flawless way with words, and it’s definitely my favourite story of yours (along with The Colour of Distance). Well done, and a belated happy birthday!

Soraya xxx

Author's Response: OH I completely missed this review, Soraya! I'm so sorry! I don't seem to get notifications anymore :(

Anyway. THANK YOU. What an amazing review :D Ted and Andromeda are one of those pairings that I don't write or read often but really should because I really, really, really like them. I enjoyed writing them a lot so maybe I will try and expand this headcanon I have for them :) Neville is always such a joy to write and I have written a few drabbles with him and Hannah so I'm glad you thought he was in character. And I did put that drabble after Ted and Andromeda because I thought the parallels between them complimented each other well so it's cool you picked that up, too. I have written a Parvati/Daphne drabble before but I never really intended this vignette to fit in with that. I started writing an expansion for that earlier drabble for the mystery challenge and never finished it. However, now that you mention it, I think the drabbles could fit together, especially since I didn't really take the aftermath of the battle into account when I wrote the original one... hmmm you have given me ideas! Hugo and Scorpius were A LOT of fun to write and I am actually expanding their story right now :D Thank you so much, Soraya. This was such a gem of a review to discover and I am sorry for not responding sooner!

Julia x

Reviewer: dreamsnape
Date: 10/12/12 19:03
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

Interesting glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of some characters post-war. Lovely writing, but it did make me with for a little more--more story, more information.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. These were just vignettes exploring one aspect of each relationship. More story and more information would have taken the focus away from that. Sometimes it's best to leave things to the imagination!

Reviewer: welshdevondragon
Date: 06/17/12 12:35
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

Julia, this story was beautiful, showing four very different pairings, and exploring their relationship in so few, but such evocative telling words, so briefly. It felt almost like a tableau, with you explaining the detail of these brief moments, while also managing to imply their past feelings towards each other.

The structure is beautiful. I love how each section is so distinctive in its own right, and the use of the present tense makes all the relationships incredibly immediate and independent of the time and place they exist. Also I think the use of short paragraphs is really powerful here, making the whole piece lack in actual detail, but heavy in emotion. I think it’s interesting, however, that amongst these deeply romantic couples, you have Daphne and Parvati, which is incredibly, heart-breakingly sad. However it adds a lot of depth in what could have seemed too positive a take on romantic relationships, which works really well.

These vignettes could so easily have made one-shots in their own right, but they work together here so beautifully, and this is mainly through your language. I love how you describe Ted as slightly heavy and wanting her so much, and the way in his love and lust, her problems cease to matter, even though they have existed throughout their relationship. Referring to her family as ghosts is such a powerful way of showing this.

And I think in this single paragraph you got Neville so perfectly, and also show the way he sees Harry. He associates Harry with heroism and doing the right thing, even though he showed himself capable of it when he was eleven as well. Neville does what he does because he has to, and while being an incredibly brave person, I think characterising him with the subtitle “blush” is an excellent way of showing how young and naive in some ways, he really is. With Daphne--oh, it’s so sad. I love how you describe them as marked by the war, and how Daphne lives through the hurt by just touching her, and the last line of that section feels incredibly sad. I love the idea of this relationship, about physical intimacy, is characterised not by that, but by the vast psychological distance between them. In the final section, I love the description of the map of the body, tying into the title, but also applicable to the previous vignettes, and so succinctly and beautifully phrased. Also your language is so sensual, that you cannot help but feel the intimacy between the couples. The final line is beautiful, again, applicable mainly to Hugo and Scorpius, but also to all the other couples you’ve mentioned, summarising relationships such as these incredibly well.

This story is beautiful, Julia, and I feel this review is inadequate, but it’s an amazing story, and once I’ve worked out where to put it, will nominate it for a QSQ (unless someone’s beaten me to it...) because it deserves recognition.

Alex.

Author's Response: Alex, thank you for such a wonderful review. I know you thought it was an inadequate review but, for me, it was perfection :) I'm glad you thought the structure worked and that they all linked in together despite being relatively separate in terms of narrative. I just felt like they were linked too much to separate them which is why I published it as a one-shot. It's great that you liked the dynamic between the couples, as well. Most of the characters, apart from Neville, are quite minor in canon so it was interesting building them up to make them as powerful as possible in few words. Again, thank you so much for this review. It made me squee and I'm sorry for taking a while in responding. It's always so difficult knowing how to respond to something which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Julia xoxo

Reviewer: mumbleville
Date: 06/04/12 15:37
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

This was very beautiful! Your writing style gives me chills. Great work!

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 04/26/12 0:49
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

Great little scenes, Julia! So poignant and so full of vivid language and imagery. For some reason I liked the first one the best, because it was so lovely that Andromeda had Teddy to remind her she was so much more. Neville's was sweet as well, so very Neville! Daphne's was quite a bit more dark, wasn't it? Since it's a pairing we don't know, there's much more to that story, I can tell. I love the nod to Hugo/Scorpius at the end, hee hee. Again - there's a story there and you hint at things in such a way that it's complete on it's own but more would be nice too. Anyway, I don't know the song so I can't comment on that, but as always I love your style and really enjoyed reading this! ~Gina :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much, Gina! Hm yes, I think there is a lot more to Daphne's story and maybe I'll tell it one day. I did really enjoy writing Scorpius and Hugo's story and I do have a bit of their backstory in my mind so we'll see about that as well. I liked keeping them in short vignettes, though, because I do think of each scene as relative to one another in a way even though the actual storylines aren't connected, if that makes sense? Again, thanks so much for the review, Gina :)

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 04/24/12 16:25
Chapter: Falling. Blush. Distance. Blood.

Gah Gah Gah Gah Gah Gah Gah!! Flaillls. Julia fiiiiiiiiiic. Yayayayayayaya (and all incomprehensibility.

JULIAAAAAAAAAA - this is so gorgeously gorgeous and I really am beyond words of any sense whatsoever. I love it! (sorry, I should prob have let your fellow elf leave first review, but she's read it before, so I'm sneaking in here - heeeeee.

I remember this from the musical drabbles. It was hard not to because you captured four relationships so perfectly and encapsulated the characters with utter love and honesty (except that Lavender ISN'T Dead, so Parvati must have another best friend - heh heh)

I think my favourite of these is the first. I'm not sure why, but I think it's the forbiddenness and their very earthy sex that makes me feel so ... um ... UNF with the fic.

She smiles as that word slips from his mouth, teeth pressed into his bottom lip, the assonant hiss of an ‘f’. It’s a glorious sound, a luxurious sound that in the day seems cold and hard and unfeeling but now, in the dead of night, it’s beautiful because she has done this to him.

Gahhh, so beautiful and real and wonderful and and and. I am squeeing far too much - sorry.

I love Neville and Hannah. This is very representative of how I feel about that pairing. Neville is NOT a mad BAMF sex god after the war (he's bamf in lower case because he'd remain unassuming) and I hate fics that portray him as an overconfident arse. This is perfect. Hannah ♥ Again, this is how I picture her, and I guessing from how you've written her, that she has slightly more experience than Neville here. That's possibly me seeing what I want, but yay, I'm taking what I want from your fabulous words.

He starts a rebellion and falls for the girl, and it’s all so Neville Longbottom and nothing like anyone else at all.

Daphne - wonderful. Not facing up to things and just living for the sexual desire yet wanting more.

pretend that there is was no bloody war and that she never had to choose a side.

Uhm, this might be a typo, although it knid of works if you're spanning present and past ... (I'm probably being thick, is what I'm saying) *hides* Love this part, especially the realisation in Parvati's eyes at the end. *sigh* This vignette is definitely the saddest.

NOOO SCUGO!!!!! I take it she imperiused tyou to write that - ha ha. Nah, I love it. How could I not. I love the normalcy of their relationship. It's heartwarming to read and a fabulous end to a wondrous fic.

Merlin, my reviews are poor. Overload of adjectives and superlatives, but really this is so so so so good.

~Croll~

Author's Response: I'm sorry, I seem to have a habit of killing Lavender off, don't I? I also did it in a mix'n'match drabble once! Anyway, thank you so much for this amazing review! I don't care if it contains squees because I LOVE squees XD I love that your favourite is the Ted/Andromeda because that was the part I worried about the most. I've never written either of them before. I'm glad you thought it felt real. I agree so hard about Neville. He's a bamf but he's still that same awkward, kind boy we met way back in Philosopher's Stone! And no, I don't think you're reading too much into Hannah :P Thanks for picking up that typo. It wasn't intentional.

SCUGOOO. Perhaps I should have put an AU warning. Or a Caron AU warning. I enjoyed writing these two so much, though, so I don't think I was Imperiused. Perhaps temporarily seduced, instead. Again, thank you so much for the review, Carole. It was so lovely to wake up to!

Julia xoxo

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