Hello there, my name is Deana (aka: RoxiMalfoy from the forums) it is so nice to finally "meet" you, lol! :p Susan, isn't it? I tagged you in the "Review the Person Above you" game about a week or so ago, but then RL got crazy and I never had time to come back here and review until just now. I am SO very sorry that it took me so to get here hun, hopefully you didn't think that I had forgotten about ya tho... Anyhow, I will try to make this review well worth the wait, haha!! ^_^'
Starting with: OMGosh, how have I NOT read or even heard about this story before now?!? I mean, I know I was gone from HPFF for the majority of last year, but dang! This is already an amazing story, right from the start, It's no wonder you've won so many awards and gotten so much recognition for it!! I must be honest, I have been a secret admirer of your artwork over at TDA since I first started making graphics of my own back in Dec. of 2010, but I have never once even been to your author page before now. I've heard about your writing, of course, but I've just never had the time to come by here and check it out. And I've been on here for going on 3 years now, so I guess that it's about time, lol!! XD
Getting into the more technical aspects of this review now, I have to say that the way you described everything was simply astounding! It actually felt like I was right there in the room with Lucy, seeing everything that she seen. I especially loved the description in the sunset part, that scene was probably my most favorite. I also really liked how you described the pain she was feeling from her injury. My leg even started tingling a bit while I was reading it, that's how good it was! It made me feel so bad for her, poor Lucy. I wanna know more about it tho, like how she hurt it, and when she hurt it, and if it'll ever be fully healed again... As far as everything else goes, there was not one grammatical or spelling error at all, at least not that I could find anyway. Which honestly comes as no surprise, considering how awesome you are, lol! :p
Everything about this beginning chapter boasts of originality. It's not too often you come across a Next-Gen where the story takes off in Neville's household, or even mentions him and Hannah at all. And I like the fact that is is Lucy-centered, rather than James or Al. Half the time it seems like people forget that Harry & Ginny had a daughter as well cuz Lucy is always thrown into the background. So kudos to you for choosing her as your MC and giving her some much needed love!
And clearly this story is a time-travel tale, but I really like the idea that you are not taking the predictable approach and using a Time-Turner. It is very original and it completely surprised me. I never considered vanishing cabinets to even have that power before now. But now that I think about it, it's totally plausible and it makes me all the more excited to read more and see how this all pans out for her! Am I right tho in assuming that the Vanishing Cabinet there at the end is in fact what is going to take her back in time then? I guess I will just have to read on and find out for myself, haha!! ;)
Oh, and speaking of the Vanishing Cabinet, that just reminded me of another thing. I love, love, LOVED the Narnia reference in here, lol!
"It reminded me of those books Aunt Hermione had leant me once, the kind of wardrobe that one could walk through to another world. It was a silly idea, really, probably based on a faulty vanishing cabinet that whisked one off to Merlin-knew-where."
That quote there was pure genius!!! From a magical world standpoint, I could easily see that as being in cannon. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Ron calling "Cinderella" an illness in the books. I don't know why, but there you go, lol!! VERY well done. :)
It's not just that one quote that stood out to me tho, there was way more. Your attention to ALL of the seemingly small details was amazing! Like, for instance, the way that she caught herself nodding at the phone, the way that you described the labels as being too old to really read, and the description of the jewelry box was super great as well. I was very intrigued by the ring. I feel like the first words may have been "you must" and then something about the "future" perhaps... Gah! Idk what it all means. Must. Keep. Reading. Haha!!! I have already added you and this story to my favorites, so expect to be hearing from me again later. I cannot wait to see how this all unfolds. Great, great work Susan, really!! You are truly a fabulous writer!! =D
Author's Response: Wow! I haven't known how to respond to this review, and I'm sorry for taking so long with it, Deana. You've given a huge review for the first chapter alone! I've never gotten so much back from a review tag before, and I'm still stunned to see it - it's often easier to expect little, but when you get something big instead, it's just amazing, worth far more than the wait. Thank you so much!
This story has been flying beneath the radar - it's like a critically acclaimed movie that no one has seen. :P I'm glad that you've liked it, though, more than liked it, even. That scene when Lily watches the sunset is one of my favourites too - I just love the vision of it, how there's all that beauty in the world and she can't get herself to enjoy it. She tries, but her disappointment keeps getting in the way. That scene really helped me better understand her, or to at least know what kind of character I was dealing with. I put her together so fast initially that her development over the period of the story occurs as I slowly figured her out. It was a "oh need female character", "why not Lily?", "okay, let's go" kind of situation. XD
It ended up being more fun to use a vanishing cabinet. They're so... handy, at least within the context of this story. Unlike a timeturner, it's more set in place and would more likely be owned by a single family than passed among multiple people. It made the plot work out a lot more logically. It's also a very haunting piece of furniture - big cabinets/wardrobes like that have this menacing quality to them, probably because of their height, so it looms over Lily like this monstrous villain, forcing her through time whether she wants to go or not.
Thank you very much for the compliments! I don't know what else to say in response to them. It's wonderful that you've enjoyed the first chapter, and I really hope that you enjoy the rest of the story too. ^_^