|Review:||Jackson Robles says:|
Starting off: the banner is interesting---you've got everything expected; attractive main characters, angst apparent and a quote as well, which I presume to be the motif behind at least the first chapter. The tagline does draw interest, but I was more interested in your first sentence of the summary. Twice I missed the 'a' while reading it and found myself hopelessly confused. After a few more reads I understand much better now. I'm not sure what to make of the summary as a whole. It's like a frayed carpet rug. It sounds like there's a lot going on---or like a lot of smoke and mirrors. But my opening impression is interested, and that's all that matters.
Onto the story, I thank you for defining hindsight. I have never looked it up, so I suppose this has saved me both time and effort. I like the bolded title words as the top. I'm a fan of successful congruencies, and the repeated 'far' warms me to your story---I'm shallow, I know.
Besides feeling utterly thrown into the mix with less than my eyes opened to what could be going on, the language in the first few paragraphs flows very nicely, I especially like the sentence that starts with "Raising no higher than a sprinter's..." but not the sentence after that. It does well in telling very mundane things in an offbeat way, I'll give it that. 'Waiting for half a dozen's heartbeat' is imaginative compared to the usual alternative: 'Waiting for a moment'--but two simple phrases make the sentence sound jagged (especially aloud) "Waiting for a half a dozen"--it's the 'a' that rumples the sentence, no matter how grammatically correct it could be considered. Repeated articles is a no-no in my book. Also, trying to follow "as the sound of more rock shifted and tumbled"--it's beautiful sometimes and then again it isn't. When I read it I read it without 'more' I like it. I read it with 'more' intact and I start wondering about the rocks that shifted and tumbled first. I think (on a tangent of course) about what relation they might have, and why we are looking at the 'more' rock and not the rock without the 'more' and start trying to reconcile all the riddles and foreshadowing in everything up until now. But that's just me, and I'm pretty sure I'm an oddity here.
A vague antecedent is the only thing that strikes me as off about the last sentence, which is the 'his pursuer' before 'crushed him'---nearly crushed who is the only question I've got? Him or his pursuer? (And who is he?)
Not a fan of his thoughts---he's worrying about being disowned? Well, all in all that tells me what kind of character he is: must be a Slytherin. Focused on status and family, focused on himself and his position. Possible flaws in the character right? In which case kudos in showing so much about the character in so little time, but I don't like the character much yet.
Slytherins are hard to like.
"He stilled everything but his grasps for breath"? Did he do something to the walls to stop them from crumbling? Are they still crumbling---I'm still playing catch up with the tense the story is in. My only option is to assume he's just stopped moving but can't help breathing rapidly for all his running---right?
About halfway through I can see you love language. The extended sentences describing mundane details are in fact fun to read---like the bit about him putting the wand in the pocket closest to his beating heart. It's like from the mind of the poet---but I don't have the time to appreciate it yet. I have no clue what's going on.
I feel like they're in a coliseum running from ghoulies. But, again, I'm interested. The final moments of the flashback have me even more interested. I think that they're going through the glass of the observation deck directly (falling from a great height, right?) instead of going down some set of unseen steps like Al wants to, but I fear I could be missing something. You're language is langourous, bouncing along as if on clouds, and I enjoy the ride. But with this action---with your disinterest in giving too much away (rightly so, you never want to show too much)---I'm having to reread sentences and paragraphs multiple times to make sure I've gotten everything.
In contrast, your writing language does absolute wonders for the second part of your chapter. I want popcorn for it! I want to show my friends! (Besides the slightly occassional unnecessary extra word---something I know I'll never be able to rid myself of forever) This second part is an absolute joy to read. I haven't much to say about that, other than the fact that you've inspired me to take closer looks to my own writing to see what I can fluff up with beautiful use of language.
Overall I like the story, and ignoring the beginning, which from where I'm sitting is a 50/50 necessity, I would definitely be willing to read more.
Author's Response: Holy hippogriffs, are you thorough! I don't think anyone's ever commented on my articles before :o and anyone who can get that much out of a 'more' doesn't strike me as shallow. I see where you are coming from in the comments - it's so interesting to hear words you've written through someone else's interpretation.
Uggh, I struggle with summaries, as a matter of fact I'm updating the summary for my other story. I suppose I'll re-work this one as well. I tend to the obscure which probably accounts for the smoke and mirror vibe. I might be better off simply saying she's a seer who only sees the past and you wouldn't believe what a mess that can get her in ;) I'm glad you found it interesting, but no one should have to work too hard deciphering a summary.
I'm actually pleased to hear your take on Scorpius' thoughts. He is Slytherin (so is Al, but Al IS more likable- their relationship is not a best buddy friendship). Scorpius will always interpret things in light of how they effect him, but the fact that he is there does say something about their relationship. I just wasn't ready to specify whether Scorpius was coming through for Al or the girl in the time of need or simply there for ulterior motives. More smoke and mirrors, I suppose, and you're right, not wanting to give too much away makes it read so different from the rest of the story.
I'm very glad you like the second part. I'm waffling on whether I should be giving more with the opening sequence (you are correct, they break the glass to get to the girl faster) or leaving it and simply building from the incident that brings them in touch with the girl and thus on the path to the Arena. I'm now 50/50 with that too :P
Back to pondering. Thanks so much for the comments.