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Review:Cherry Bear says:
Hey there! Me again.

Is it weird that I've just noticed this story is in second person? I mean, obviously, I noticed before, but it didn't really click in my mind because you pull it off extremely effortlessly. All of your writing feels that way to me - completely effortless - and I especially love your descriptions. I even have a favorite paragraph from this chapter:
"For a fleeing second, she looks amused, before it melts into a superior smirk that lingers, smeared with condescension. It's the kind of look that you hate because it works so well, making you feel inferior and small and utterly, utterly weak. Even though you're taller than her, you don't feel it at the moment - you're not aware of it. All you can see is the smirk. You look away, down at the grass."
I love how you reveal so much about his character here (but I'll get to more of that in a sec) and I especially love the phrase 'smeared with condescension'. I don't know why, but it strikes me as really poetic...not even like, nauseatingly forced-poetic like most poetic stuff is. Brilliant-poetic. And I can't even talk about when Louis is describing the scenery - so pretty! You're amazing.

A couple criticisms (observations? Mostly things that confused me). I was a little confused by the sentence in the beginning of the chapter that said, "As it is, however, you are only supposed to be all of those things because none of them have materialised so far this day". Maybe I'm just especially slow today, but I didn't really understand what he meant. Also, for some reason, I started this chapter assuming it was going to be narrated by a new character named Gwenog, so it took me awhile to understand that this was still Louis but that he wasn't at his desk job anymore. So, like I said, I could just be especially slow, but maybe make it more apparent that you're rewinding back in time (I think)? Oh, and also, one grammar mistake with dialogue punctuation. In the paragraph:
"'This,' she says, sweeping her arm in an expansive gesture, turning to one side to indicate the emerald lawn spread out before you, reaching out to the horizon, a fuzzy black line on the very edge the only indication that anything other than grass even grows here. 'Is the home of the Fountain of Fair Fortune.'"
I think there should actually be a comma instead of a period after 'grows here', and then the 'Is' should be 'is'.

But, anyway, like I said, I truly think you have something of a knack for building characters subtly. Instead of outright telling readers "Louis likes ponies" or something like that (I have no idea if he actually does, but you get what I mean), you establish his character through subtle phrases like, "According to the guidelines you'd memorised right at the beginning of the training course" and his desire to be liked even when he's supposed to be arresting Gwenog. And then I also like how you have a little bit of internal dialogue with Louis, with him reminding himself that "Curiosity is dangerous", so that it almost seems like there's a little conflict between rule-following-Louis and the other, more wild, dangerous, curious Louis. I could be imagining things but, regardless, I think you're good at showing instead of just telling, and isn't that what all writers strive for? (:

Much like in the prologue, you also do an excellent job of building up mystery and intrigue and "What exactly is going on?!" moments in this chapter. But, unlike in the prologue, you actually give some answers here. Huzzah! I like how you slowly let us know exactly what Louis was doing and how this plant got him (for some reason, every time you mentioned a plant, I thought of those piranha plants from Mario...weird) and he was following this girl for his job. And I find extreme irony in the sentence, "Adventure is all very well, but not if it causes you to lose your job", considering that apparently he eventually decides that adventure is worth being sentenced to a desk job. And I absolutely adore how Louis perceives the house as something inherently innocent and you contrast that with Gwenog's suspicious nature. Like I said, your characterization rocks.

Anyway, I don't really have much else to say. Still not really sure what's going on, but I'm starting to think that's part of this story's charm. For some reason, I'm oddly reminded of Once Upon A Time (perhaps because of the whole fairy tale mentions) and, even though I've never actually sat down and watched that show...if this story is anything like it, I'm sure I'll be hooked. Very excited to see what happens next (:

Cherry Bear

Author's Response: I have no idea, to be honest, lol. I've never read anything in second person - not before starting writing in it and I've barely read anything since. Thanks so much! Everything I write is really description-heavy and I always wonder if I put too much in - so thank you so much for saying that! :D It makes me feel so much better! I quite liked writing that paragraph too ;)

Ooh, yeah, that sentence is quite confusing. I tried changing it - playing around with words and clauses, but it was really difficult. I'll take another look at it, though - thanks for pointing it out! Haha, yeah, a lot of chapters which have a name as a title have that character narrating it. Hopefully as the story goes on, it'll become more obvious that the name is just the name of someone who will be used in that chapter, whether mentioned or whatever. It's all Louis' pov ;) Really? No way! I honestly didn't know that you were supposed to that with commas and capitals... huh. Amazing. I'll remember that - thanks! :D

Haha, Louis likes ponies! Sorry, but that amused me so much - was that your intention? Possibly... anyway, it was funny. Yeah, Louis very cautious, in that he wants to go romping off through fields and forests hunting horcruxes or whatever like so many of his relatives, but at the same time he's scared of what might happen, if that makes sense. I'm so so happy that you got that, though - I thought that it might be a bit too contradictory when I first wrote it. Thanks so so much! :D

Mario! Yeah, the plants are a little bit like that. Personally, I imagine them just as very thick vines, a bit like Devil's Snare. Just... not. Louis is so trusting! It's so adorable! Thanks so much! Thank you!

I know what's going on, lol! I'd be pretty worried if I didn't, tbh, but more answers will come in the future. I think there's a couple more in the next chapter... I've actually never seen Once Upon A Time either. I've heard it mentioned a couple of times here and there, but know absolutely nothing about it! Sorry! :D

Thank you so so much for all the compliments! This was such a lovely and helpful review - it was wonderful!

Aph xx

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