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Review:academica says:
Hi Zay! I'm here with your requested review :)

I love the complexity you've extended to Hannah here, which is something I can always appreciate with a minor character. In a way, you also gave some to Susan by contrasting the two, which is very interesting. I thought it contributed a lot to the emotion that permeated this piece. To answer your question, I do think you painted Hannah's emotions in a poignant and realistic light. She seems to be suffering from a classic case of survivors' guilt, if I interpreted things correctly, and you did a wonderful job of showing us how painful that experience can be. I could really feel like she's got nothing left except the memories of those who are gone forever, and along with them her innocence and her belief in the pure curiosity and wonder of magic, having seen its true form. I thought the line about how she and her friends knew what they were signing up for and yet didn't really expect to die was especially compelling. The students all wanted to fight back and help their hero, and yet for many of them it was the last decision they ever made, and their families are left with the knowledge that those children are gone forever.

I really liked your imagery, especially how the cold from the stones seeped into Hannah's skin and chilled her along with the memories she can't erase. In fact, if this had been my story, I probably would have called this "Cold Stones" or something along those lines. I felt like the story made sense, but to me, the last line didn't have the same gravity as the rest of the story, and it didn't fit well for me as a result. So if I were to make a suggestion, it would be to go back and try to integrate the cloud theme (and/or the dancing theme) a little more throughout the piece. One way might be to focus more specifically on clouds when you're talking about the heavens toward the beginning of the story, but that's just one idea, and this is naturally just my impression of the story.

All in all, the flow here is nice, and I didn't spot any major technical errors, which is always good. I think this was a nice contribution to the body of work concerning the aftermath of the war, especially with your creative use of minor characters. I really enjoyed having the chance to read it! :)

Nice job! I hope this review is helpful!

-Amanda

Author's Response: Thanks for taking the time to do this Amanda! *hug* I really appreciate you words and you've really nailed the feelings that Hannah was going through. I'm pleased that those shone through in this. It's always something that i'm interested in is the pure emotion in some of those really intense moments of the series. I'm amazed at all the things you picked up with this, some of it i hadn't even consciously tried to write. I love when readers find their own interpretations in stories :D

You've also nailed the very thing that i was worried about. I wasn't entirely sure if I got there with that theme. I actually played around with a title very very similar to your title. I chose this one simply because it played nicely with the story that it bounces off of. But i will be going back to make that theme more prominent! I love writing and exploring minor characters and Hannah has always been particularly interesting to me. Thank you for your thoughts and words again! Seriously, i appreciate them so much!

-zay


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