So first off, I was drawn here by your sig on The Golden Snitches - I was fascinated by the quote about how 'The enemy is anyone who's going to get you killed... no matter which side he's on.' I clicked, came to the story page, and was similarly drawn in by your summary. Awesome. I love brilliant manipulative characters.
I don't know about you, but personally the most difficult characters for me to write and to read in fanfiction are OCs. Writing them is difficult because they must be realistic and fit in the universe, and reading them is difficult because beside the canon characters, they often don't feel as fleshed-out or interesting. On the other hand, a well-written OC can be a wonderfully novel character, somebody who lends new depth to a story and brings out new sides of the world or the established characters. Julienne Macnair is one such OC. In under two thousand words, you convinced me that she was interesting and that I wanted to know more about her, her situation, and her life in general. Lines such as
'...marriage to her once-loved Walden...'
are very good, hinting at a past which we may never get to see, yet add depth to both the characters and the story. I felt a connection to Julienne, and the description of her despair was creepy in the best possible way.
I was, as you may have noticed thus far, very impressed by the fact that you really made me care about Julienne's life and situation. The faltering nursery rhyme was a very clever way to weave in her uncertainty about the world she lived in, being as it was apparently rather exclusive to the Pureblooded culture. I was wondering at first why you changed the words, but it was well done.
Your writing style is excellent. It draws the reader in, provides a good balance of description and emotion, and really made me able to envision the scene in my head. I felt it got a tad wordy at times, but it was nothing too serious. Technically the writing is very well done; I didn't spot any mistakes, though I was quite caught up in the emotion of the chapter, and thus wasn't looking as closely as I might normally (I can be a bit of a grammar nazi, you see).
I'd like to mention that I think the image for this chapter was perfect. The woman in the picture looks much like I was imagining Julienne; beautiful, but distant and with a smile that doesn't touch her eyes. Good call.
In summary, this is a great introductory chapter, introducing a believable and sympathetic character who (if my assumption is correct) isn't even the protagonist, and using some extremely well-written third-person prose - I've read published books whose writing wasn't near as polished as this. I'm definitely giving this chapter 10/10, and I'm off to read the other two.
Author's Response: Ok...so I totally thought that I responded to this a million years ago. I fail at life, please forgive me XD Anywho, this is one of the most FANTASTICLICIOUS reviews I have ever gotten on HPFF. I'm printing it and plan to hug it lol.
So...where to begin officially! Uhm, your review leaves me aghast! It is the sweetest review ever and you praised everything! My summary, image selection, prose, characterization, OC, writing, on and on everything! I'm so floored by your response to my work that I can only hope (and potentially beg) that my next chapters can live up to the standard I seemed to create for myself with this prologue. Please, let me know -I love CC btw.
But in all seriousness, thank you so much for this review! It makes me feel so fantastic and mughy (I don't feel this often about my writing) and I just don't know what else to write in response to you.
Thank you so much, Reuben! I'm glad you enjoyed the prologue :)