Hi WTM! I've just finished reading this on my Kindle, so I hope a long review at the end is alright. :)
I'm seriously asking myself why I've not read this story before. I've heard a lot about your bounty-hunter Rose series and I'm glad I've finally managed to read it!
Rose is sassy and sarcastic and Scorpius is laid back and an artist. They made a great, although unusual, combination. I thought Rose's characterisation was well thought out, and I was so glad she wasn't a carbon copy of Hermione. I liked Rose's interactions with her family a lot. She didn't mind asking, or bribing, her cousins for help in skills she was lacking. I'm glad you didn't forget her parents either. Next gen characters always have scenes with their siblings and cousins, but more rarely with their parents. I love the relationship Rose has with her dad; she's a proper Daddy's girl.
I certainly didn't expect Scorpius to be an artist and I'm curious as to why you decided to make this his profession. It was a pleasant change not to see him forced into a profitable career by his parents, and instead find something to do that he loves. I thought about Scorpius quite a bit while reading this story. I wonder how he feels that he isn't able to provide for Rose as much as he'd probably like to. And whether it's made him consider finding a regular job at any point. I look forward to finding out more about his character in the further stories.
One of the aspects of your story I liked the most was how your described Victoire's family, especially the kids. Johnny's behaviour was amusing and realistic. I love that Johnny played a part in the finale. He's so adorable (when he's not throwing a tantrum) and I could just imagine him charging at the baddies who were going to hurt his Auntie Rose.
Now that I think about it, all the minor characters have individual personalities of their own, even though they feature only a little in the story. I think Louis, Fred, and Hugo are three of the characters that come to mind. This is down to your brilliant writing. I love authors who slip in hints about a character, like you did with what the Hogwarts-era characters did after they left school.
The overall plot was very enjoyable indeed! There was action, plans, surveillance, and even a kid being a manticore! I enjoyed Rose's mishaps a lot. Despite her unlucky streak of blowing things up, she finally got there and stumbled upon the criminals. The twist on Brutus Knappers being a partially unwilling participant was surprising and I felt a bit sorry for him that he was forced into hiding. The other two got what they deserved.
I thought it a nice touch that you ended the story the way it began, with Rose going after Pyxis Parmenter. I'm sure he'll pop up again in a future sequel.
I'm definitely going to keep reading this entertaining series. I'm interested to see what Rose is up to next! :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for coming to leave a review! I really appreciate it :)
I enjoy Rose as a combo of Ron and Hermione (maybe with a little extra Ron) rather than a carbon copy of Hermione. I dislike the rude-and-crude Rose that became popular for a while in Next Gens, so while she's sarcastic, she's not mean. A little ditzy maybe, and rather lazy... ;) I adore writing her scenes with Ron (and Harry and Hermione as well), but I adore Ron in general!
I've seen him portrayed as an artist twice aside from my stories: JLHufflepuff writes the 11 year old Scorpius as being able to draw quite well and prophetically, but is otherwise vastly different from mine, and there's another story I haven't read where he's an artist. But I wanted him to be a slacker too. He actually doesn't mind letting Rose be the bread-winner while he takes care of everything else, until they're about to be evicted of course, when he'll get up and get a job. At least long enough to pay the back rent ;) They sometimes bum money off their parents for rent, but neither likes doing so. Anyway, I'm not sure why I made him this way, actually. It just sort of happened. I started writing him and I wanted him to be a foil for Rose, sane where she's crazy and flamboyant enough to match her as well. I gave him artistic qualities - the singing and painting - and it just seemed to fit him well. I have two one-shots from his POV (A Weasley Christmas and Free, both prequels to this story so you can read them anytime), and his POV is used in Next Midnight (which falls after A Weirder Shade of Midnight and Sparks).
The Lupin kids are a lot of fun to write. Johnny is so horrible that he comes out the other side into awesomeness XD He's such a brat. And yet he's so cute too. Louis is probably my favorite cousin for a cameo. He's just so insane, in the best way. Terrible, terrible taste in women. As Hugo says, he'd find the only woman in a gaggle of nuns that would steal him blind and leave him naked in an alley. Poor Hugo having to be the responsible child ;) Fred I picture as rather dorky, and James's sidekick. Ah I have fun with the male cousins. I quite like the female cousins too. I kind of want to do a spin-off for Lily, actually, since I have such a clear picture in my head of her but haven't really gotten to add her to these novels much.
This was my first time writing a mystery! I really liked it, actually, well obviously since I'm now on novel 3 in this series. It's different than the Unsinkable stories, the plotting is a lot more complex but I really enjoy it now. It was my first time writing in first-person POV here too. Ah poor Butrus, he did get the raw end of that deal but I think he had it coming too. The other two, yes, definitely got what they deserved!
Pyxis Parmenter haha... Ah yes, he does pop up again in the next book.
Thank you again for reviewing! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you like the next Rose stories!