Hi there! It's me off the forums with your review.
Almost straight away in the first chapter, you created enough dark atmosphere and lingering hints of Elodie and Scorpius's relationship that pulled the reader in. The confusing messages we are sent from both sides of the party, and the repetition of 'Will you marry me?' that is going through both their heads, is extremely pulling and really makes you want to find out what is happening between them.
This strange fascination is only heigtened as you further their complicated relationship, revealing their secrets and showing us their problems, all accentuated by your amazing descriptions that set the scene so perfectly, and are jam-packed with metaphors and tiny details that really put my teeth on edge, you create the tensions so well. The most obvious example of this is at the start of the second chapter, but it completely fits the scenario, and I think you have the perfect amount of anxious description running all the way through.
As both Scorpius and Elodie's characters were revealed more and more, we saw only more attachments to the outside world, and it was actually Albus's silent observations that taught us most about their past; their complete trust in each other, and their destruction. As we saw Albus's observations, we also got to learn more about him and his strange fascination with Scorpius and Elodie; you have it perfectly set up so that we can learn most about our main characters through others. This works extremely well, and I've never seen it done anywhere else before.
Your POV changes flow almost seamlessly, swapping into another person's head very easily, after some description of the person from our current POV (if that makes sense?). Your flow is quite a nice pace too, because although it is rather slow at the minute, it has built up a richly detailed emotional background for us to work with later on; the reactions of the main characters and their pasts are a lot more interesting than I would have predicted!
Overall, I absolutely love this dystopian web of secrets you have here; it's very different and extremely enchanting and pulling for you to read on. I would definitely want to read the next chapter to find out more about these amazing characters you have defined so well! 10/10.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to review. I appreciate it lots and lots. Really, you're fabulous.
I felt it was important to get the backstory in asap, so readers have some sort of idea what is going on. There's a lot of it: Elodie and Scorpius' relationship, Draco's disappearance, Astoria's illness and the state of the wizarding world etc etc. I wanted to get the balance just right - not too much so that people don't come back for more, not too little so that people get all confused. Having Stan and the newspaper article and, to some extent, the 'will you marry me's helped with this balance.
Aah, description. The bane of my existence. Too much? Too little? Too much backstory? Too little backstory? It was hard getting the tone right though and I had real problems with thinking that people would just get bored and skip the big chunks, possibly missing key points.
For Scorpius and Elodie, I was going for a Pip and Estella, as well as - a far less intellectual parallel though - Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl. Scor and Elodie once loved each other, but now fight and fight and cause each other so much pain that in end they realise it isn't worth it, and after the slight burst of euphoria/adrenalin at the other's pain, they just feel bad because they desire each other/are attracted to one another.
Albus was more difficult to characterise, simply because there are so many versions of him out there that I didn't want to fall into the trap of making him a massive cliche. He IS in Slytherin, which I know quite of people do, so I used the relationship with Arthur to make him more realistic and believable - lots of people can relate to relationship with grandparents that have passed away. In a way, I wanted him to be completely alone - something he could relate to Scorpius with, that and the whole hot sexy novel reading.
I was worried about POV changes, especially in omniscient third person or whatever. You have to get the balance and change just right in order for the flow to work properly. I'm so glad you think it worked though. Pace is really very slow - I'm getting a bit worried about it - I've written 20,000 words for two days in the story.
The main challenge I had with this story. I wanted to write something in third person, simply because then I could switch POVS. I know it's easier to write feelings/emotions/reactions in first person from writing my other stories, but I wanted this one to be different.
Thanks again for your lovely, lovely review. It really did make my day. :D ♥