I'm a Harry Potter fan, well above the age of consent.
I grew up on the Great Prairies of Canada and I still find beauty in the vast emptiness of the prairie sky, even though I live far away now. I am absurdly over educated, having two Baccalaureate degrees and a Masters. I'll probably stick with what I am doing now though, which is software engineering. I have been reading and making things all my life.
I do love getting reviews, even on stories that have been out a while. Tell me what you think, what you like and dislike and help me grow. And *psst I usually do return reviews!
Although I do think it is too short. I could see you expanding it to contain some of the landscape that Dante writes of in the Inferno. 'Dung would land quite splendidly in the Eighth Circle of Hell, amongst the thieves who continually transform from human to reptile and back again. Although that would make it a dark tale indeed.
This is a delightful story.
I have a quibble about a historical anachronism that I found a bit jarring. Acrylic paints were not developed until the 1940s, and so should not have been for sale in the early 1800's. I don't think that artists of that day would have been buying their oil paints in tubes yet - I think that they would be mixing them from pigments and oils - a much more arduous process, and one that allowed artists to have secret recipes, I suspect.
I loved how you talked about painting in colour - the shadows being blues and purples. At that time the yellows would have been umber, iron oxides and ochre, the bright colours cadmium and the blues would have been cobalt. I love painting in oils because of the sensuous feel of the paint, acrylic feels like plastic to me, which of course, it is.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. As for teh anachronism of the paint, I did intend for them to be oils. The tubes were not refering to color but merely to the base substances with which he could mix his paint- however I do see how I rather poorly worded that. Oops. I very much agree with your sentiments on oil paint versus acrylic. I like the weight of oil, even the way it takes for freaking ever to dry. It makes it much more workable. Anyway, thanks again for the review, I\'m really glad you liked the piece.
I don't read poetry frequently, so I certainly don't consider myself an expert, but here goes:
I think you shine when you don't work so hard for the rhyme, expressing the emotions, like:
"I study your face,
"Your eyes poised low,
"Even in the bitter winter"
"We drift apart,
"Can’t help ourselves.
"All light fades to black-blue,
"And it flows, on icicle-ornamented clouds
"From tense to tense, from present to past."
It seems like when you are focusing on finding words that rhyme that I find I notice the rhyming, rather than what you are saying, like:
"The war is long,
"The path is weary.
"At every dusk,
"Our eyes left teary."
I like the way you carry the season (winter) though the poem with your imagery. And the emotions that you are expressing are very genuine.
All in all, a very good poem, certainly better than anything I have ever done!
My hat is off to you! Totally snort-worthy humour! I loved the non-ending ending.
Excellent story! Well imagined! I'm waiting to see what the "one small change is". Its interesting to see Harold and the alternate Hermione be the kind of people that the 'real' Trio would never have become. There is the potential for evil in us all, I suppose.
Author's Response: I know I\'m being coy about the \"one small change\" but the basic answer is in the synopsis. As to evil, Harold and alt-Hermione aren\'t evil per se. After all \'good\' can be just as ruthless as \'evil\' is, if there are such things.
Whew, I had almost given up hope.
Well done. I like the way you highlight the calculated manipulation of Harold. It makes him so different from Harry. I enjoyed Fudge's appearance and I think you kept him very much in character; willing to be manipulated, still ambitious.
Bravo, and don't stop now!
A second and equally delightful chapter. I am curious as to what secrets are in Elizabeth's past and what happened to make her turn her back on life so much.
I do love that you worked in spinning and (one dares hope) knitting will follow. The sad and slow pacing seems just right for two souls who seem so lonely. I am awfully glad that you are not going to wait quite so long to update!
I was quite captured after the first paragraph, the tone is very much the crotchety old man. The description of the structure of his day was evocative of the lonely, disconnected life he was now leading. I like the development of the neighbour, through her trash. I was a little jarred by her calling her mother "Mommy" that seems more juvenile than her age would indicate, I would have expected "Mum" or "Mother". You have successfully piqued my interest - I'd love to see where you are going with this! Please update!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this detailed review. You are not the first person to comment on the way she addresses her mother. I think it may be one particular side of her - perhaps we will see as the story plays out. I'm trying to update very soon, thank you so much for your interest!
I'm coming back in a little bit to read the rest of the story, but I couldn't resist telling you how intriguing this is!
My brother is a Rabbi, and a Harry Potter fan. If you have any questions he might be able to help with, why don't you give me a PM from the Beta Boards? Even better, I'll send him the story link.
Author's Response: Cool, thanks for the offer! I\'m trying to keep this story pretty simple, but if I have any questions I\'ll definitely keep you in mind.
MY one quibble is - why do they have to send all the way to Prague for kosher meat? There are and were observant Jews in England!
This is a really wonderful chapter!
I'd like to put the "horns" into some historical context, its certainly not made up by the author! In fact, if you look at Michaelangelo's sculpture of Moses, which was commissioned for the tomb of Pope Julius II, you will see that this revered Biblical figure has horns.
The reason is commonly given (and I quote Rabbi Hillel Goldberg) "Michelangelo's Moses has two horns on his head because Michelangelo's Bible, the Latin Vulgate, mistranslated Exodus 34:29 as "Moses had horns" instead of "Moses' face shone." "
What lovely use of dialog! You told this story so well and the dialog sounded just right! Usually I add some constructive criticism, but I am kind of struggling to come up with improvement areas here. Audrey strikes me as just the right kind of starry-eyed idealist and Percy seems... well, maybe not as pompous as unusual, but very in character.
Reading this made me think of the hippos dancing in Fantasia, you never expect such large and ponderous animals to step so far out of character, and dance.
I liked the details that you inserted that made me see these people, Millicent's rough hands, Vince's attempts to manipulate the situation, and his acceptance when he was only partially successful.
I think the ending was particularly effective. That these two people let themselves be disenchanted and become human.
Oh, my, this is very good. You did a nice job of keeping the identities of the characters in suspense until the end.
The thought of Tom Marvolo Sr.not being the best of husbands rings very true to me. Merope is used to the abuse from her father and brother, so it all hangs together. Splendid use of language and description.
Author's Response: Eeeee! Thank you so much for reviewing this for me! You\'re my first reviewer on this site, so it means the world to me that you took the time to review it! It\'s always good to hear some feedback! :)
I love Dan Fogelberg, and that song is especially poignant for anyone who had a "what if this had lasted" sort of moment. You did a lovely job translating the moments of the song into your story, but I kind of have trouble imagining Ron as a glamorous Quidditch player!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! Actually, I have a hard time seeing him as a \'glamorous\' Quidditch player. In my mind, he\'s a good one, but he\'s grown up a bit from the Trio\'s school days and he\'s really modest about it. He\'s sorta in the background, and really just kinda likes to be left alone. Again, thank you for the o-mazing review, and I am gratified that you read this (in my opinion) moderately-good little fic. ~Katie
Aha! So this is where you have been! In the midst of a cold forest. I like the way this ties into Deathly Hallows, you've taken the story and *twisted* ever so slightly.
The imagery in the last paragraph is quite lovely. I am impressed.
Author's Response: Haha! No, I haven\'t been neglecting you because I\'m working on this. This is ancient. I\'m in the midst of finals. \r\n*sad face* Thanks for the review dahling!
One girl’s journey as she finds that the darkness outside is growing, and the only way out is to hear the screaming.
What a lovely evocative beginning! The description of the dream was very beautiful and scary. I like how you let us know that Ellen is Muggle-born with the subtle detail of the light switch - wizards wouldn't have light switches, of course Your summary is very good too - a detail I always struggle with, but yours drew me to your story. It promised something different and interesting, and I can't wait to read the rest of it!.
Ok, a little con-crit here: I am a bit confused as to what era this takes place in. At first I thought Molly was Molly Weasley, but from your description, that seems to not be the case, and the slang seems much later than the 1950s for example: "messed up" seems too modern. I also noticed that "Brian" is spelled "Brain" the first time you use the name (little tiny oops).
Author's Response: Thank you very much! It's nice to have good and bad feed back; now I know what to continue with, and what to change. And it makes me happy :) This is taking place during the first wizarding war, the one that Lily and James were involved in. But I see how people might get confused; "Messed up" is more modern, so I'll have to replace it with something else... and thanks for pointing out the Brian mistake- I'm off to fix it! Thanks again!
Seventh grader Alexandra Quick returns to Charmbridge Academy. This year she faces bullies from another wizarding school, a secret Dark Arts club, and the machinations of her father, but her greatest trial yet awaits her in the dangerous Lands Below.
This is the second book in the Alexandra Quick series.
I have to say that this is a totally enthralling series. The world you have made is so much darker than JKR's. You have given it a distinctly American cast, with its own prejudices, aspirations, mythology and misdeeds. Bravo.
This chapter is outstanding, a real cliffhanger. I can't wait to read more.
This was a thrilling read and over much too soon. Alex and Max are fully realized characters with minds of their own and it has been delightful to watch them get to know each other in this book. I have been encouraged to see Anna mature and become more of her own person, too.
I think you did a wonderful job of describing the Lands Below and incorporating Native American myth and stories into the mix. Your particular mix of social commentary and politics has been interesting and seems very real.
I can't wait for the next book
When Rose Weasley finds her best friend dead, she risks her job and forms an unlikely alliance to track down the murderer...
An entry to the Gauntlet Round 7 by Cirelondiel of Hufflepuff.
I'm not normally a mystery reader, but you certainly grabbed my attention with this. I liked how you hinted at Rose and Scorpius's relationship - he sends her roses, could it be unrequited love? Obviously there is a lot of familiarity between the two of them and you managed to establish the relationship very quickly and then get on with the action.
Now some concrit: I like that Rose has a nickname for Scorpius, it helps show their familiarity - but "Scor"? Perhaps something that tells a bit more of a story than a simple shortening of his name? I was also having a bit of a problem visualizing a cottage near the Leaky Cauldron in downtown London... maybe a flat or a townhouse? The last thought I will leave you with is that while it attests to Rose's familiarity that she slings her bag onto the couch, could it be something a little more magical? Like the purse that Hermione carried in DH - tiny, but huge on the inside.... Which really is the crux of my last point.... more magic!
I hope you are planning to continue the story - its off to a ripping good start.