GUBS! So I finally got around to reading this next chapter and I'm afraid it could be a while before I read the next one because I'm completely swamped with homework. BUT I can't just read it and not leave a review, can I? As you said, they're very tiring but so worth the effort, these mega-SAYS-fantastical-rambling-pinpoint-everything reviews. And if you scroll down you can probably see that I'm trying to outdo myself with a new record long review. :D Okay, wow, I don't even know where to start.
This chapter, I think, was a bit different from the others. It went at a bit of a slower (and almost maddening!) pace. Don't get me wrong, I'm just excited to see where this story is going and this chapter almost seemed like torture! It's definitely not filler - far from it - because so much happens even though it's not really plot-related. But I'll get to that in a minute.
I LOVE the beginning how you start out with Brian and Tabitha Jenkins - a very fitting and believable aspect to the story that lent itself wonderfully. It's really nice to see an outside perspective, someone else's take on the happenings of this story that kind of tightens the plot line and sort of summarizes it at the same time. If that makes sense. :P And then you utterly outdid yourself with diction that flowed seamlessly and eerily. My favorite lines: "The same lyrics drenched in toxic treacle, burnt sugar, light and airy and disturbing. The voice of ten years ago was too twisted to be saccharine." It creates such a vivid picture with subtle imagery and truly admirable syntax. LOVE. Oh and for some reason I am ridiculously fond of this line: "Somehow, Astoria stumbled through the remainder of spring, the entirety of summer, and autumn." Stumbled. It's just so EFFORTLESS. Not only is your vocabulary and grammar impeccable, but you just make it sound so easy and perfect! :))
Another lovely line full of delicious anaphora: "A little touched in the head, granted, but how could she be anything less, having been conceived by a madwoman, suckled by a madwoman, raised by that very same madwoman?" I'm pretty much loving your portrayal of Astoria and I'm just squeeing to see this story through to then end!!! And what I meant about it not being solely plot-based was that this chapter focuses very much so on Astoria's character and her struggles and how her mind works. A very interesting insight into her character, which might I add is completely essence of Gubby seeping out because Astoria is basically an OC. :))
I'm a big fan of your tone and mood and feel and whatever else there is to call it, but I felt that something was just a touch off in a few places. I know that you're sort of going for a fairytale feel and that's great, but the mix between passive and present especially in Astoria's case isn't completely seamless. I just felt like it lacked a proper transition. In most cases I would harp on about overusing passive verbs, but for this story, as I said, I think it's part of the fairytale feel. At least I think that's what you were going for?
So then there's Draco. Love your portrayal, obviously. He's seems so like himself and I feel like your writing is really effortless - something that's no easy feat to come by. And although HE seemed effortless, a few places that are difficult to pinpoint seemed a little forced as if you were merely drudging along for the sake of the story. But that's only in a few places. For the most part I can tell that you're enjoying writing and that's all that really matters in the end, isn't it?
As always, my criticism is minimal. I was hard pressed to find anything constructive because your use of the English language is just so... flawless and seamless and... pure? that you can pretty much ignore everything else I said and know that you're a fantastic writer. :D And don't you forget it!
ANDDD one last note before I bid thee adieu: the last line is absolute LOVE. But of course you know that. "How ironic it was, then, that in the dim light, his pure blood looked like mud." It's just... so eloquent and perfect and I've long since run out of adjectives to praise you with.
Can't WAIT to see where this will end up!
LOVE YOU GUBSTERS,