For first person narrative, this is written quite well. The only issue I had with it was it just doesn't seem 'Percy'. It could be anyone sitting in that room, tied up and frightened, you have use everything you know about Percy and tie it into his manner of thinking and the way he responds to Lucius. The word 'huh' which was placed in the middle of a sentence in the opening paragraph immedietely threw me off; I didn't feel like I was in Percy Weasley's mind at all. Lucius should have been more mysterious about Pettigrew. "It's taken care of," in an icy drawl, his lips curled into a cruel smile would have been perfect. Death Eaters don't seem the type to give their victims too much information (think of the way they played with Harry's mind in the DoM, and even the way Draco teases Harry about what he knows, but never tells him exactly what that is). A few mistakes here and there, but below the average. A Beta is always a good option, you can find one to look over your chapters before you submit at the MNFF forums (there's a link in the help section). I think this is an interesting premise for a story, we don't get a lot of Percy PoV's - and you have a lot of potential, so keep at it. Never hesitate to make this your own, it's okay to step away from the mainstream. Keep writing ;)
Author's Response: Thanx. Im really grateful for constructive criticism, I'll keep it in mind for future writing. And I really appreciate that you've taken the time to write such a long review.
I loved seeing an other side of 'Year Six'... very exciting; I love behind the scenes. I also was thoroughly delighted in McKee's treatment of Draco, that swatty little ferret! Aside from the overall brilliance of this piece, I must comment on the fact that it hasa very consistent tone, which is important for first-person narratives. The reader becomes acquainted with McKee's personality merely by reading your word choices and thought process. Fantastic.
Author's Response: Thank you. I thought her out a bit, and decided to avoid the 'she looked like this and these are her likes and dislikes' route. I feel like the reader can get a quick first impression in reading, the same as they do in real life.
Very nice; everyone was in character. I especially loved Sirius, he was just magnificent. I also really enjoyed Hermione and her 36 books, as well as Ron with his bathtup spiders. Mrs. Weasley's speech to the twins was superb, too. One think I have to scream at you for is 'suave' Harry. Harry is not suave, in any way. He is the opposite of suave. Not even Ginny during her schoolgirl crush phase could have possibly described him as suave. But moving on, this was very well written and brilliantly descriptive; it was witty also witty and clever. Your writing style is very good. I would have liked to see just a few hints of the R/Hr romance that this is concerning; even just a tiny bit of foreshadowing or dramatic irony. Something to tie it in with the idea of the story. All else said, great job and keep up the good work, I'm sure this will be great.
Author's Response: Really? Did he sound suave? I was trying to make that sarcastic, especially with the line, "but she found the dark and suave parts to be a tad more objectionable." I'll go back and make that clearer--thank you for pointing that out. R/Hr will come up eventually. Patience! Haha. I'm glad you liked it so far though, especially the characters. Thank you for the wonderful in-depth review!
I liked it. It was all very sweet. Once part that was done quite well is in the opening scene where Ron says smiles "I love her". You had a lot of extraneous commas, which distracted from the story. I think that they don't seem concerned enough about Harry. That all should have been taken care of before the snogging ;) To be perfectly honest, I don't like it when people paint this picture of R/Hr finally confessing their feelings the first time they see eachother in the summer after sixth year... it's done a lot in fic, and I never find it believable. Anyway, other than that, I did really enjoy it, the writing was smooth and everyone was mostly in character. (The rushed confessions of love being the only thing pushing them out of character). You have the perfect fluff factor, sweet but not overzealous (not that pure fluff is bad, just not right for this story) so that part was done well. Good job, keep writing.
Author's Response: Thank so much for reviewing!!! I love it when someone points out the weaknesses!!! As I said in a response before, I think that after the DoM they will be mature enough to express their feelings!!As for the commas, well to be honest I was worried they weren.t enough, and my beta for the first chapter(Daniela) said I should remember them, so I got a bit overwhelmed with it!!Sorry! I hope you'll keep reading, there'll be much more Harry in the next chapters, and they WILL be concerned!!LOL Thanx again for reviewing!!
pretty good for an opening chapter, though for follow ups you should open it up to more dialogue. I find that one of the smoothest ways of giving information to the reader about the setting and situation is to casually insert it into the dialogue, sometimes very clearly, and other times with a compilation of subtle remarks. I like that it's a seventh year fic in which You-Know-Who has been defeated, though you might want to include more info on what happened and when, even if it's not the focus of the work, because reader's will accept it more willingly. I liked what happened with Malfoy ;) I also wonder why his badge was taken. Anyway, you should of course continue submitting chapters. I find that I get better with every chapter I write, and I find more enjoyment in taking my characters to new places and new situations, so there's never any reason for you to stop. (BTW: you're grammar, spelling, sentence structure and overall writing style is better than about 80% of posted fiction I've read)
Author's Response: Thank you!! I do plan to explain what happened with Malfoy. This is the first time I have ever written anything since I was was in a class at the University of Arizona. That was almost 30 years ago. I will explain also about Malfoy and his cronies got changed into frogs. I told my daughter about that, and she laughed. Thanks so much for your honest review. It gives me the courage to continue!
Very good, the opening paragraphs were exceptional; so vividly described, brilliant imagery and word choice. I'm left in a total state of bewilderment as to what just happened before my very eyes, which is, here, a good thing. Totally not what I was expecting from the summary, but I'm sure it's going somewhere ;) There weren't any errors that I noticed, either. What can I possibly say? Something about Malfoy was unsettling - he seemed pure evil. Perhaps he is, but even when I have him as horrible as possible in my mind, I can't imagine this darkness. In my mind Draco is really just pathetic and whiny and the victim of his father's expectations, but that's really my perception of him, so I can't really say if this is OoC or not, I just have an inkling of discomfort with the image you painted for him. I am very intrigued to read more and find out what exactly was going on.
Okay... I'm more understanding of the first chapter now ;) I have this haunting feeling that it was more than a dream. Again, this chapter was really well written; you are so good with describing surroundings, people and emotions with the most perfect words! Moody was hilarious ;) I think this chapter should have been darker, after all shouldn't Harry be brooding over Sirius's death?Which brings me to the ending: WHA!? Yeah, I wish I could proved a more intelligent analysis, but that's all that comes to mind with the "Snuffles Sighting" I'm seriously looking for chapter three, now. I think the part with the Death Eater and 'Ron' was a bit odd... I didn't really understand it. All the criticism aside, I think this is great and I'm enjoying it - in fact one thing that jumps to mind, and is what I feel the best compliment I can give because it's something very high on my list of requirements for fanfic: it's not the typical sixth year story. You didn't start it out the same as all the other's, and even when you fictionally visited Privet Drive it felt different. Kudos!
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the great reviews. They're very much appreciated. When I write, I try not to be a follower towards what other people write--which I'm finding quite difficult now with all these stories out there. But I like to give a shocker here and there. I'll be submitting chapter 3 later tonight. Thanks again for the review!
Wow. Brill, Lex. I think I only just remembered to breathe. There is one line in which your 'an' should be an 'and'... but other than that it was perfect. One thing that stood out to me is that McKee recognizes Gravity as pulling her down, and keeping her where she is - but Gravity can also be the death of her and cause her to leave this world. In both instances, it defeats her - but in two very different ways. I loved it - it's not often you read a one-shot that reminds you your heart is beating.
Author's Response: I'm glad you understood the nuances in meaning. Thank you!
Summary: A series of one-shots from inside the minds of various characters. Different formats and styles for each character.
This is a past featured story, but from way back before they did rosettes for it. Bellatrix, Gargoyle, Ollivander, Sorting Hat, Filch, Rita (New)
Wow, I really liked this. The perspective of a Death Eater was done very well. You can up with rather understandable justification for Pure Blood supremacy. Honestly, I'd have to say that Bella, to me, comes across a lot less 'reasonable' than you have portrayed her here, but I suppose since we don't know much about her, you do have poetic license ;)
The only nitpick I'd like to make, is that you don't capitalize the word 'Muggle', and you should
I really enjoyed your writing style; this is the first time I've read any of your work, so it was a new experience for me. But I found it enjoyable. It was smooth, transitioned well, good detail and description, but not too much. The tone fit Bella very well. It was very proper, and slightly dark. It definitely felt like an 'Insider's View'.
What I found most intriguing was her the way her family basically raised her to be prejudice. I found it to be incredibly realistic; a frightening reflection on many real world attitudes and how they affect the upbringing of children. I can see the white parents in the 50's and 60's finding justification for instilling prejudice against blacks in their children, and the more modern families doing the same in concern to homosexuality. Brilliant, Tom.
I really enjoyed this. It's been a long time since I've been able to read a chapter of a fic right through without feeling the urge to skip a line. But this held my attention all the way through. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
Now, onto the critique: I think Lily's acceptance of Jame is too fast. We've gotten the image that she really couldn't stand him, and I think she'd be a bit skeptical at first, of his 'new attitude'. Your Point of View is a bit odd. At first it was third-person restriced to Lily, but it then included thoughts from James, and Remus. A bit odd. Some suggestions: If you do third-person omniscient focus a lot less on Lily; if you want to keep it in the same kind of manner it is now, give the other characters a bit more thought time, probably with a scene change so it's like changing the PoV officially. It would be less confusing; OR, just limit it to Lily's PoV - don't give the reader what James is thinking, or Remus, or anyone. Just Lily. Moving on - sometimes you have two people talking in one paragraph. When someone new talks, it should be a new paragraph. Your writing style is a tad awkward in places. I didn't like the way you mentioned Cira was named for her color. (“Time to go, Cira,” she murmured as she picked up her ebony cat. She'd been named after her coloring. ) You could have combined those sentences; though I would have left it out altogether. The naming of Cira is wonderful, but the readers don't necessarily have to notice it. If you really want your readers to appreciate the thought you put into it, you could always have someone ask Lily later and have her respond "Oh, her name means black in Irish."
I like your story a lot though; again, I love the thought you've put into the names, and I think Lily's group of friends is great. I love the charm Lily did on the compartment; I think it's wondeful that you've incorporated the fact that her wand was good for charms into your story. Other things I liked: The snippet where Remus was looking for Peter and said he couldn't think of a reason he'd be in the Slytherin compartments, the girls relating the story of Sirius entering the compartment, the house passwords (fluffy bunny rabbits, teehee), the last scene with James & Cira, just the mere fact that Lily has a black cat, your mention of You-Know-Who and the war, Catrina's power with fire, and Aureia Storm's glowing eye's and hair + much more that I can't even finish listing.
Overall, I think this is well-written, entertaining, creative and clever. I think if you got a beta you'd be unstobbable. Oh - and the title totally drew me in! Good work (I suck at titles myself). I don't often look through all the stories, but I saw that title in your signature link and I just found myself drawn to it without even having to read the summary. Great Job!
Author's Response: I do have a beta, and she said everything you did, I just have to find time to correct them. d3pr3ss3dNhappy (Marie) is so awesome; she highlighted all her corrections in red, which is a pain to do. I beta for other people and I get so tired of typing in [color=red][/color]. I need to make a few changes, and I hope when you reread it, you'll find it more enjoyable. Oh, and you what's really lame? The only way I knew you had reviewed this story was when I was looking through the SPEW forum. I didn't even check my reviews when I logged on. (I'm already falling out of my chair at how long this is).
Author's Response: Eek! I did it again; I typed so fast I left out words! I meant, "Oh, and you KNOW what's really lame?" Seriously - that was lame. But at least my signature ad worked.
Summary: Harry has been distant with his best friends all summer. Hermione figures it's grief, but on the way to Hogwarts, she finds out it's much, much more than that. Not my best work, but please review. One-shot.
One of the things going through my mind is how incredibly IC you have Harry and Hermione. Some of the dialogue was so uncanny that I found myself chuckling in delight. Hermione’s concerned but slightly presumptuous; Harry’s moody and troubled, but amused by Hermione’s assumptions. He speaks ‘hotly’ while she speaks ‘briskly’ – wonderful contrast and nice word choices.
‘You’re mad at me because you’re mad at the world’ – and I loved that line. Though Hermione might be slightly off here, it definitely describes him at times. And I love that you don’t have Hermione automatically ‘knowing’ what’s wrong. I love that you have her making wrong guesses. She doesn’t just wait for him to tell her, she goes and acts as though she already knows. Very nice.
I’ll admit, I didn’t like the H/Hr aspect towards the end. Not because I don’t like the pairing, as I’ve written it myself (though I’ll admit, as far as canon, I don’t see them as more than platonic). It’s the timeframe of this little confession of romantic affection – it’s the fact that it seems a small wand has been waved over everything that’s ever shown Hermione to fancy Ron, and a Disillusionment Charm has been put in place to cast Hermione’s interests in a different light. And it’s the fact that a serious moment for Harry, something burdensome and painful, is turned into an exchange of ‘I fancy you’, when it should really be about friendship.
Another positive aspect: not dull. Despite the fact that it’s pre-canon and I kind of new what was happening and what was going to happen, it was entertaining. It had it’s funny moments, but it had it’s emotional moments, and it was smooth and well-paced. There’s nothing more irritating than a story that makes you turn back after a couple of paragraph’s because it does nothing to hold your interest. But fortunately, this story is not one of those ;)
I’m not a huge fan of first person narrative unless it serves a specific purpose. This could have easily been done with ‘she’ and ‘her’ instead of ‘I’ and ‘me’. First person is usually difficult to read and even more difficult to write. You have to inject the character into every line, and it should come off more subjective and limited. You did a better job than most though (totally honest, here – it was done well, I just think the occasion didn’t call for first person, so a lot of opportunities that can be seized with this narrative PoV were untouched, because they weren’t necessary to the story). You kept the narration ‘Hermione’ though, and I applaud you for that.
“patrolling the halls” – heehee. And what a wonderful device to get Ron and Ginny to both scram :D
There was a bit of tense confusion in the first paragraph. I think it should be ‘would be a bit happier’, as the rest of the chapter is past tense.
My biggest issue with this is that I know I’ve read it before. Harry revealing the prophecy, two characters revealing their romantic feelings almost right off the bat from where the next instalment will be picking up. (Not that I haven’t done it! But that’s when I was wading into fan-fiction… I’ve learned why this is a less than appealing path, since). Many writers beat these storylines to death, when they really need to write something new. What I want to see you do is write a Harry/Hermione that’s out of the ordinary. It doesn’t have to be fantastically creative, it just has to be original. Swim from the mainstream ;) You can write, you have the mechanics, you have the characterisation, you have the description, and you entertain – now reach your potential and find your own style by avoiding the beaten path. It’s a little hard to get into it without writing an essay or rec’ing a dozen stories as examples, but I think I’d really like to discuss it with you. So, if you don’t think I’m insane, I’d love you to PM me on the forums and maybe we can direct your talents to something new and find your niche :)
Author's Response: Thanks! That took me about fifteen minutes to read through, and it's great to see someone doing some long reviewing :D This was my first fanfic, and I'll be the first to tell you that I wrote it too quickly (first fanfic, by the way), and didn't take my time. I did first person because it was a challenge from my friend, who thought it would be a bit neat to see what was going on in Hermione's head instead of seeing her how you normally do. I don't think I did a very good job on that... But again, thanks for the review!
Summary: Dumbledore- much to the dismay of several students- has decided to throw a Hallowe'en Masquerade Ball. The Trio, along with a few friends, are horrified at the prospect, and immediately resolve to do everything in their power to get out of going. Along the way, they make new friends, form strange alliances, and even find love. A tongue-in-cheek look at various fallacies within the fandom. Blaise/Hermione, Neville/Padma, Harry/Millicent, and a lot of UST between Ron and Draco. Some OOCness involved (what did you expect? It's a humour fic.)
I rarely read Humor fics, because they're rarely clever and generally stupid. And mechanically, they are almost never written well. But this, ah yes, this should prove to be clever. I have this splendid image of students running rampant through Hogwarts, our heroes and their 'love interest's managing to flee to the RoR. My favorite line was quite simple: "Run now, plot crimes later" I also enjoyed when Ginny came in wailing over the bad news, and Ron thinks it's the Chudley Canons and how it comparest to the fact that Harry's mind jumps to dementors. Very well done (though I love Ron, & I get the idea you don't... It was still great) I can't wait to enjoy all your fandom bashing to come. Of course, there's no need to say anything about your grammar and writing in general; it was very smooth and just altogether lovely.
Wow, this was quite good. I'm never sure what to expect when clicking on the name of an author whose work I am not familiar with, but I am pleasantly surprised, Jenry.
Your imagery, I have to say, is your strongest point. The words you brought to this story create a clear image in my mind, and the tone is one to take my breath away.
The opening lines are very strong, they immediately grabbed my attention. Not your typical sixth year fic, I'm glad to say. This prologue serves as a great introduction to your story, and I hope it captures you some returning readers. The bit with the dementors surprised me - I expected an actual *hit-wizard* (loved that, by the way), but when the dementers showed up, it was a nice twist. In a frightening way.
You do have an odd mistake here and there. Muggle should be capitalized, in the first paragraph 'cars' should be possessive, 'life death' should be 'life or death'perhaps some areas where a semi-colon or period might serve better than a comma. Nothing that can't be fixed with a bit more caution.
I like your description of Voldemort as 'vile and lifeless' - great word choice there. This line: His name, feared by the wizarding community, was Lord Voldemort, and he was back for revenge., I feel would have been more powerful placed at the end of it's respective paragraph. (Considering the paragraph is adjusted slightly, so this is the first time you speak his name). Also, 'Voldemort' was mentioned once before in the chapter, so if that were changed also, the name Voldemort would resound more powerfully. Just some suggestions :)
The package intrigued me. I already find myself wondering: will it be explained in later chapters, will it be important? It definitely peaks the curiosity of the reader - a very good quality to work into a opening chapter. And worked in wonderfully at that. I'm a bit torn on the 'fool's hope' line. A few reasons: number one, I love that line, and I think it fits the Harry and VWII perfectly - however, it is a famous Lord of the Rings line, so it's not too original, and it's somewhat cliche. Cliche is a big no-no in fan fic.
Overall, I think this is an excellent start you've gotten off to, and that you have a great natural writing style, and I would put money on saying that this story is going to be just as good as the first chapter, all the way through. :)
Author's Response: Considering you are the author of my favourite fanfics of all time, you have really made my day by reviewing my story! Be assured that I have slapped myself on the head many times for making such careless errors, and ill be sure to change them now, if not in the near future. Anyway, as most authours say, constructive critism is always welcome. I have to say i agree about the last line, a fools hope. At the time it sounded great, but now when i read it again...well...it definately seems out of place. I can never compare my self to the LOTR trilogy! Thanks also for the encouragement, next chapter will be up soon, i hope:) James
Oh, and on another important note, I'd suggest coming up with a nice title for the story, and adjusting your summary to pull the reader in, without speaking as 'the author' (if that makes any sense) - I feel if a fic has a more descriptive and/or intriguing summary and title, and appears more professional, it pulls in more readers ;)
Author's Response: Thats a gd idea, thnx again, and thnx 4 giving me an xtra review, lol. James PS if u still havnt realised i luv ur fic!
Summary: Neville Longbottom lived almost his whole life with his Grandmother. He knows who is responsible for the insanity of his parents. But if he has a chance for revenge, will he take it? Neville's story, set in sixth year. Note: This story has been picked up again.
It's so refreshing to see a story about Neville; I'm glad you've taken this story on.
This is a great opening chapter, it moves the readers right into the story, and familiarizes us with the characters and plot. I think you have a very nice writing style, very consistent, strong descriptions, nice flow, not dull or redundant; you need a bit of fine tuning, but that's something we all learn with coming chapters. Great start.
The biggest problem I had with this chapter, is the characterization of Neville's gran. I understand she's a very stern woman, but you have her painted like a Nazi *chuckle* - I think she'd be more understanding of Neville's plight, considering the situation with the war, and I think she'd act kinder and more patient where Frank and Alice are concerned, and I don't think she'd grumble so much about Herbology. I don't think you should soften her up very much - but I think you need to show a more caring side of her. She's too 'evil stepmother', here.
I grumbled a bit with the H/Hr scene... I don't think they're relationship could have developed that quickly. Harry has so much more to worry about.
I enjoyed the flashback scene, and you have portrayed Neville's feelings for Hermione very believably and accurately. I think it's lovely - I already feel myself rooting for him to get the girl. Or maybe get over the girl and get another one. I don't mind - as long as he's happy.
I have to wonder over your wand choice... is that random, or is there more to it? *pokes you* I can definitely sense the formation of a plot here, which is, unfortunately, a rarity among many fan-fic first chapters - so I definitely applaud you on that.
Overall, this is a very good first chapter, and a nice idea for a story. Keep up the good work.
Summary: A slightly twisted, but highly realistic, possibly humorous, and very late, look at the Marriage Law Challenge. Mentions character deaths (but not HG or SS) and has some possible squickiness in passing that results in an "R" Rating. No house-elves were harmed in the writing of this ficlet, who I cannot say the same of Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic.
This story is a comically brilliant gemstone, and I am truly pleased to have discovered it. Even your summary and disclaimers are wonderfully funny.You're writing style is quite flawless, and it allows the reader to be wrapped in the wonderful story itself without distraction.
I loved the Marraige Law, and Snape and Hermione's proposed alternatives and Hermaphrodite Conceptus potion. All not only inventive and clever, but displaying an informedt and perceptive understanding of Jo's Wizarding World. Something not found among fan-fiction authors as often as we would like.
If I were to make any single complaint, it would be the 'not bad for a Hufflepuff' line. It seems you kind of pushed aside the Hufflepuff tendency to be loyal and just, and implied that they're a bunch of duffers. *tsk tsk* I don't like to see the badger's trod upon, I think they have a lot of potential. But it's all in good fun, so *meh*. I'm just touchy ;)
The Wizengamot scene was uproarious, from the entrance of Fudge's grandmother and her story of the milkman (I also hope the house-elves remembered to keep feeding him, poor chap), to the entrance of Misters Crabbe & Goyle with bouquets of roses, ready to woo the Minister.
I loved your characterization of the corrupt Fudge. Not exactly how I'd imagine him in canon, but I seriously doubt that was your aim. It was very enjoyable - 'one boot in each camp', along with his visits to Narcissa = excellent.
I even found the references to Harry's vegetative state and Ron's tragic death by Golden Snitch worthy of a chuckle, though I did feel a bit guilty. (*ashamed blush*) It just got better and better, not slowing down, even in the epilogue. Mischevious and sexy glances between Mr & Mrs. Severus Snape? An immensely entertaining story, without a dull moment. Great job,
Author's Response: Will you marry me? I've printed this review out so I can be reminded of it when I get to reviews that are less than... happy. Thank you so much! And the bunny says "Cheers!"
Okay, so I at least remembered reading every word of this chapter before -- a good sign. But I read everything again, just to make sure. [This is what you get for updating once a millenium].
Let me randomly muse that I just realised how much you love to either a) get Ginny pregnant or b) have her get married in secret without parental involvement/permsion. Hehe. And strangely enough, rarely do you write both instances in the same story [usually it's a horse/carriage type thing]. Well, there's one "You know you're reading MJ when..." for the book ;)
Thank-you to Jenna for helping me yank poor Hermione back into character in the Ron/Hermione scene. You know -- I don't even remember what I did there. That's how long it's been... *snort*
This feels all rather pointless, but I'll carry on anyway. I think that this chapter should be a model of how you should handle rape trauma in fic. Not only did you write it believably and sensitively, but you went as far to carry it to the next time Ginny had sex. That seems to escape a lot of people's minds [how, I don't know, because it seems to be of obvious importance.]
Obviously the two of them had crossed that line a long time ago and were on to bigger sins. I love that line. I snorted out loud at it, and you may have actually heard me since you're ten feet away :D
In other news, I basically like the entire arrangement of the chapter, and your ability to address a series of different situations and PoV's and not confuse the reader [well, depends on the reader, I guess.] I also like how Molly's PoV and Neville's PoV come together to tell Ron and Hermione's part of the story, and yet do their own task of telling Ginny's tale, too. Nice organisation :D
Okay, moving on. I'm not sure if I'll just read/review or read and then review erratically. It will be fun finding out. ;)
This is the first time I've read your writing, and I chose this as opposed to ASL, because two chapters just seemed more inviting at the moment. Hehe
Nice so far. I remember reading the excerpt with the snakes a while back on the forums, and there's something about that paragraph that just catches me, because it is so well written. The tone and rhythm and everything, just superb.
I like that you too it from Sara's PoV, then did Rhea in the middle, and finally added Harry onto the end. It really makes the reader feel at home with the idea of the family, and creates a familiarity with how they each feel in the current life they are part of.
I can already feel the hint that things are about to change, or that their quiet world is to be upended. Not just because it's how a lot of stories work, but because there is just a subtle feeling of a calm before the storm. Nicely done.
Harry's new Muggle life is very interesting, and it really grabs my attention right away, because not only do I want to know more about the present, but I want the story to move forward, and at the same time I'm intrigued by what has happened. I'm not sure which direction I want you to go in!
As for crit: I'm not really fond of randomly placing character information/backstory into narration. I prefer to have it revealed in a less direct fashion through the characters' dialogue and actions, so some of this felt a bit forced to me. Whatever floats your boat, though, right? I guess it's all about style preference, and this isn't really mine.
Overall, nice prologue; great for peaking reader curiosity, which is a truly desirable quality in a opening chapter that a lot of writers can't acheive. Looking forward to more :)
Author's Response: *sighs* I don't think you're going to want to read ASL now... The writing on this story is a little more polished, I think. As for the backstory, I'm not sure what you mean. This prologue and much of the first chapter is narrative by necessity and there is some backstory that comes out as a matter of course. The style of writing in this chapter is certainly quite a bit different from my usual writing, but I assure you nothing was forced ;) The whole story is a bit off the beaten path, so I hope you'll bear with me as I experiment with a different style and such. Thank you for rounding out my reviews... you know how much 19 bothered me ;)
Ooh, I really liked this chapter. I enjoyed the style with which you told the story - it was simple. You didn't go out of your way to bring in a flashback scene, and I'm glad. You just put it right there for us to read, and it worked out fine. It felt natural. Hurrah! I felt a lot of my questions being answered including why Harry left (though I admit, I did already have a good idea, already having knowledge about the backstory from the lovely MJ herself, but it was nice to get the info in context) and whether or not his wife knew about his wizardness. I still have some more questions though, mostly dealing with how his old friends are doing and how they feel about his actions and disappearance.
Childish delight in the taboo subject had caused him to begin reading and morbid curiosity had seen him through to the last page. This characterization is so perfect, it's so true. Not much more to say there, as it speaks for itself, I just had to point this out.
Only in the home of a Dark Wizarding family would there be such a foul book in the library I love that you added this line to the end of that first *flashback* - great foreshadowing. I do wonder if the Order had it there for a reason, or it did simply belong to the Blacks.
I really liked the use of the word 'nefarious'. Something else I just *had* to tell you.
Harry gasped in dismay and recalled the book he’d read the previous summer. Ick. This line threw me off. I noticed that you could have just left it out, and the two surrounding sentences would have flowed together very nicely. I just got a feeling that you were explaining things to your readers, and that it would have been more effective to just let us put the pieces together; experience the exact feeling that Harry felt as the realization clunks into place as the words from the book echo in our minds. It's like when they dumb up movies in Hollywood for the masses of unintelligent people who will be watching; I prefer it when the audience has to put some of the things together themselves. Here, especially, it would have worked better, I think.
Voldemort had been defeated, but at a horrible cost. An awesome line. Very simple, but powerful. It's resounding. And a small nitpick: Harry's 'drawl' - ack, that actually made me laugh aloud, because I imagined it and it just did not work for me. I would have preferred for him to keep the Brit accent, and perhaps have Rhea pick up on some of his Britishism. Or at least give him a plain American accent, with small Britishisms. But drawl?
As darkness changed to light, a myriad of colours filled the sky and Rhea was overwhelmed by the magic of the world that surrounded her. Another great sentence, for the imagery, use of 'myriad' and that last reference to the' magic of the world' - very nice, indeed.
Hedwig's entrance at the end just topped it all off brilliantly. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this very well written chapter, and am anticipating all future chapters. ;)
Author's Response: *Claps hands with giddy glee* Wow! Thanks! Okay, let me address the two problems you had with the chapter. As for the "extra" line, you were absolutely right... so I deleted it. It fit fine in the orginal version, but there was a lot that was added and shifted around after it was beta read. With all of the additions, you're right, it was completely superfluous. As for Harry's drawl, I expect to take a lot of heat for that... *braces self* It's a personal preference, really, and I have plans for that drawl ;)
Should I tell you about how Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy prepared me for a virgin sacrifice? Can I be incredibly immature and Jennaesque and say "Oh, yes please!"? [Though, I have no interest in Bella's part...]
Neville sighed and grimaced. “One word at a time.” Okay, I love that line. Neville, overall, seems a little "Camden", but really, I can't think of another way of dealing with that scene. I hardly feel sensible telling you know that maybe Neville seems a little too strong, and maybe that's what's giving off the Camden vibe. But more importantly, it's just that the scene has a general feeling of fluffiness [angsty fluff, perhaps] to it, and that in general sets me off. So, it's not that you didn't write it well, just that it's not my kind of content. [What I like to call sexual content]. [/roundabout pointless criticism-but not really]
I love the entire Hermione/Ron/Luna bit. I mean, that just sucks, doesn't it? The irony. It's classic "Guy is stupid and moves on verymuchtoosoon", [oh god, not a cliche in an MJ fic?!] -- normally something I mentally shoot characters for. I think I've lost some of my "ARG" because I know where it ends up going, or because I'm not watching the scene unfold, and therefore it's easier to appreciate the sadness of it, instead of just shaking Ron and being like "WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?" [Maybe that's a sign of an involved reader, but I hate that feeling, *blush*]. So if that didn't make sense at all: I liked it.
“You know, a drug addiction would have been easier to handle.” *snort* ... No pun intended.
The last scene was powerful in a frightening way. I like love that you can do so many things in a single chapter. It's... awe-inspiring. :) Did I mention that this is a fantastic story? I'm just awful and dealing with anything chaptered... *sigh* Especially when there's a bazillion years between updates. You realise when I catch up, you're going to have to deal with me literally prodding yout update, right? Well, You brought it upon yourself, I'm afraid.
Author's Response: *dies* Being prepared for a virgin sacrifice is NOT supposed to be erotic. Damn Jason Isaacs... >.>.