Hi there! Hereís the review you requested, Iím so sorry itís stupidly late. So anyway... I have to admit that I didnít expect to like this as much as I did, or that you would be as good an author as you are, and that is because I think your summary is a little weak. Thereís a lot of expressive punctuation in it, which to me made it seem like the writing would be a little immature. I couldnít have been more wrong, so I think perhaps that is something you should edit a little.
Right. The story. First of all, I love the way you write. Itís a very humorous style, quite witty, and I really liked that. I think it added a great little dimension to the idea of the dodgy dealer, making them seem not quite so bad as the title of Ďdodgy dealerí suggests. I think it also hinted at a great story to come with many more funny moments and made me really want to read on.
However, I do think your dialogue generally was not as strong as your narrative paragraphs. I think the cause of this is that you donít combine your dialogue with the narrative, with your characterís actions and observations. I think that if you threw a few of your narrative lines in amongst the dialogue, it would be much better, much more enjoyable to read and produce a better flow to the story.
So, the plot itself. One thing that made me frown a little was the fact that Cillian was selling unicornís blood at ten Galleons a vial. In HBP, Slughorn says that he could sell unicorn hair at ten Galleons a strand. The blood is going to be much, much harder to get hold of. I also question the likelihood of people actually selling it anyway, considering the idea of killing a unicorn is apparently a major taboo (from what Firenze says in the first book). Iíd suggest that if itís not important to the plot, substitute it for something else, perhaps unicorn hair. I also find it a little odd that Lily, the Ministerís daughter, wants to go and stay with people sheís just met, people, moreover, who frequent Knockturn Alley. True, the characters donít seem all that dangerous, but there is no way that Lily could know that. I get the idea is kinda important to the story, though, so I see why you have included it, I just personally donít think it was the best way to do it.
As to your question about the characters. I think theyíre very interesting. I said above that they donít fit the stereotypical skulker-down-Knockturn-Alley and I like that. The humour as well adds something to Cillianís characterisation. Theyíre likable, which adds a bit of conflict because theyíre obviously not the most moral of people. Iím interested in where the story is going, mainly because of the characters, to be honest. I want to see what happens to them, and if theyíre the ones who kidnap Lily, how that comes about and how they deal with it.
So, overall, I really enjoyed the story and your style of writing. I'm interested as to what happens and how the story develops and will be keeping an eye out for updates. Feel free to re-request a review for further chapters!
Author's Response: Oh, don't worry, you are not late at all! You obviously give very in-depth reviews, so it's more than understandable that it would take a few days to get through them.
Hmm, I guess I can see how the summary may come off a little silly or something, but this story is a little silly, so I guess it's not really something I'm overly concerned with. I guess I don't really understand your comment about expressive punctuation, though, because I only used one exclamation point in it, which doesn't seem very excessive. Regardless, I'm glad that you have taken the time to give me all of this critique with the review.
I'm glad you like the way I write! Definitely one of the biggest points of the story is that just because they're making their money off of something illegal doesn't mean that they're bad people. They're pretty fun, really.
I can see how the dialogue doesn't always come off as strong as the narrative. Narrative has always been a stronger point for me; I've always found it easier to capture a wide range of emotions with it.
You know, the currency conversions have always been a bit tricky for me. I did try to find the information regarding what you pointed out about Slughorn, but I couldn't find it online and I don't have the books with me at college, so I had no way of looking it up in there. And yeah, killing a unicorn is definitely taboo, but it is the black market, and you don't necessarily have to kill the unicorn to get some blood from it. In the context of the story, it's definitely a rare item, though. It's not something these people would come across very often, even in their line of work. And they don't get it direct from the source, so to speak. In regards to Lily, well, she doesn't have a whole lot of common sense. Yes, these people are strangers to her, but it doesn't bother her. She's not much for thinking things through - at all. She's definitely an impulsive character and because of these things, she wouldn't really see an issue with her idea. She's risky.
I'm glad you like the characters. They're a lot of fun to write. And yeah, I definitely didn't want them to be stereotypical of what people think criminals like them to be. They're unique in that sense. The explanation of the 'kidnapping' happens in the next chapter, which I think is where the excitement really starts to build.
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the story and the characters. This was quite the review and I really appreciate it. Thanks!