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Review:Cherry Bear says:
Hey there! I'm terribly sorry for the delay in reading and reviewing this, and I have to say that I really enjoyed this. I'm a sucker for ambiguously-written pieces of writing, so when I read the author's note at the beginning I was immediately intrigued. And I loved your ambiguity - the slow trickle of information about Florence's life and her guilt - because it really grabbed and kept my attention.

I read because I wanted to know more about your Florence...and, now that I've finished, I still want to know more. There's a sense of incompleteness at the end of this, and I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I'm still a little confused about a few things. I think I get the general gist (maybe?) but I don't understand who she betrayed or who captures her at the end. But, then again, maybe I'm not supposed to...? At any rate, I may have to read that eventual other story about the events leading up to this, because I'm definitely curious.

I think, in addition to the ambiguity of your writing, I also loved the moral ambiguity you touched upon in this. Specifically, in this paragraph: "She should have known when it, for that is what it was to her now, told her that life and death were the same card that it was a lie. They were two different cards altogether, and although you can't have one without the other you most definitely can't trade a death for life. No matter what tales it told her." It's hard to find a good, thought-provoking fanfiction, but this part definitely made me think, and reconsider the difference between right and wrong.

Does any person have the right to decide someone should die in order so another person can live - to play God, like Florence admits to doing? And now I've just realized that Florence talks about her playing god and she's in a church and ah it just raises so many good questions about religion and blind faith and Voldemort playing god and now I really want to know exactly what happened to her sister and what made Florence think she was doing the right thing.

That's definitely another one of your strengths - you made me empathize with Florence. Even when I didn't know exactly what she had done, I could still see that she wasn't some 2D evil character; she had reasons for her wrongdoings and, because she could no longer justify them, she was now trying to seek forgiveness. It's definitely an intriguing theme and I'm surprised that that quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower inspired it, but I think it works. I liked your use of the quote as well - it fit with the story very smoothly, so good work there.

All that aside, a few criticisms for you. Please don't take them personally as I don't mean to offend you in any way:
- While I love ambiguity and inner musings and such, at times it felt like you were trying to cram too much character reflection and vague, stylistic elements into this. I don't really know how to explain this beyond that, at the end, I was left with too many questions and barely any answers. Which is all fine and dandy stylistically and definitely your prerogative as a writer, but it does make things confusing and there wasn't really a click moment for me, where I suddenly understood every vague sentence.
- Sort of similarly, the flow of this is a little bit choppy at times. You switch really abruptly between Florence's trains of thoughts, so that it reads almost like a stream-of-consciousness. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing (: It's just a little jolting and disorienting and, again, makes things a little more confusing.

Aside from that, I really did like this! Like I said, it was an interesting use of the quote and I really enjoyed the depth of this and the insight into Florence's life. It's so great that you're writing about such a minor character :D Minor character love ftw. Anyway, thank you so much for entering my challenge! I really appreciate it, and I'm so happy I had the opportunity to read and review your story.

Cherry Bear

Author's Response: oh wow! This is such a lovely review i'm floored by it really! I'm also really sorry how long it's taken me to respond!!

I'm actually planning another major edit to this which will cut down on the word count and highlight the actual story that is mixed in here so that it's a tad bit clearer to the readers.

She was taken by the Death Eaters (their shiny, metal masks). Who's she's betrayed is a bit trickier i suppose, i think it comes down to that she's betrayed everything she's ever known, her friends, family, herself by her actions that happened before this one-shot. It stems from her guilt from sacrificing the red lipped woman in hopes that it would bring her sister back. It's based on a myth/legend thing that i'm working on that with the sacrifice of one what was lost can be regained (this was touched on by the quote you actually quoted in your review) that will come up later in the story i'll be writing about her also, why she thought this was morally right will come into the that story. There is only so much i can touch on in this piece :D .

That is the basis of this and i'm happy enough with it being a bit ambiguous as this is just something that will point to this other story, an introduction and preview of the story itself so part of the ambiguousness of it is intentional as i don't want to lay it down point blank and make it incredibly easy for the readers to get what's happening. But at the same time I want the story to be recognizable.

Anyway, i'm pleased to hear that you found it thought provoking. I'm always a little worried when i put up a story that touches on a lot of moral and religious ideas that there is going to be negative backlash or that people will find it too heavy.

Anyway, thank you so much for your insight and your thoughtful response to this! I really appreciate it! I will be going to edit this to try and make that click moment happen where things do make a bit more sense and it hits harder. Thank you for issuing the challenge, it was a lot of fun to write.

-zayne++


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