|Review:||Cherry Bear says:|
When I read the title for this story, I immediately thought of that rom-com movie with Sandra Bullock. Then I started reading and realized that it was nothing like that movie and I WAS SO HAPPY BECAUSE THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT MOVIE COULD EVER BE. Seriously.
First of all, I love that you chose to write this about Mad-Eye Moody. I feel like there's so few fanfictions that focus on him - I've at least never read any - and I'm kind of amazed that it's never occurred to me to wonder how exactly he got captured, or what his earlier life was like. It really makes your story stand out, especially because you write Moody so well. He doesn't seem like a particularly easy character to pull off, but you do. Especially in the first chapter - his safety reminders and guidelines and just everything that he had thought about and planned for (the wand pointed away from him while he's sleeping, the secret back door, the rooms in the house flowing together instead of turning everything into a maze) made him very believable to me. I think J.K. Rowling would be proud.
But I think the greatest part of your Moody is that, in addition to using what Rowling has already told us about him, you've also made him your own character. I really enjoyed the childhood you came up with for him because I think it fits very well with his character. When I was reading, my brain kept going, "Of course he would have had a lonely childhood, of course his father would've been a Auror-Spy (which, by the way, totally brilliant!), of course his family would've traveled a lot" even when none of these things had ever occurred to me before reading this story. And that is what I consider really good characterization, so I have to applaud you for that.
Overall, I thought the writing in this was very good and the pacing was fine too. The only criticism I have for you is that sometimes your sentences are very long and go off into little tangents and it can be a bit confusing. For example:
- "One person, a woman who kept her black hair cropped close to her head and her robes trimmed even more snuggly to her body since she maintained that leaving them flapping the wind was a death wish, barked something other than a greeting." While I appreciate the vivid picture you paint of Mirabelle, the detail about why her robes are trimmed so snuggly to her body does seem a little unrelated to this story at this time. If it is related and I just don't see it yet, then it might be better to include that detail in a different way. Maybe it's just a personal preference thing, but this just seems like one really long appositive. It is, of course, your prerogative as a writer to keep it the way it is, so if you see no problem with it then don't listen to silly old me :)
In addition, a lot of times while I was reading, I felt that the details Moody was providing were a little unnecessary, or they could've been given to the reader in a smoother way. For example, both uses of the parentheses here: "Gathering the few supplies he needed (Auror training was generally hands-on, in which case the equipment needed was already in the exercise room, or just lecturing. In that case the trainees were expected to provide their own parchment and paper), he once again walked through the desks to reach the trainee room located just outside the actual department. Walking through the unlocked door (the trainees were welcome to arrive early), Alastor placed the attendance on the available desk at the front of the room and flicked his wand so that the title of the lesson was written in big, bold letters across the chalkboard". It just seems like a lot of irrelevant details to cram together into a couple sentences and it was a little tedious to read.
Sorry if any of my criticism offends you, because that's definitely not my intention at all! I genuinely enjoyed this story and that's actually the only criticism I have for you. Otherwise, I found this remarkably well-written and I think you've done an excellent job so far building up my interest in the story.
And, since this challenge is all about the Perks of Being a Wallflower quote, I suppose I should mention that the way you used it worked very well. It was slipped quite effortlessly into the dialogue, so that I actually didn't even notice that was the quote until I saw the little asterisk after. I may be reading too far into this, but when I read that quote I thought that there was a certain irony in Moody saying it - like maybe he had been trying to- hard to control everything in life. If that is what you were going for, that's a very interesting approach and I hope you'll touch on that more later in the story. And if not, you still used the quote wonderfully (:
I feel like I should gush a bit more to make up for my delay in reading and reviewing this (sorry!), but I honestly can't think of anything else to say. This is really, truly brilliant and I hope more people find out about it because it's not getting anywhere near the praise it deserves. Thank you for entering my challenge and giving me the pleasure of reading and reviewing this, and I hope you enjoyed writing it.
Author's Response: Wow- thank you so much for this massive review! And haha- this story is definitely NOT a rom-com. :) I'm so very very glad that you enjoyed it!
Yes, there aren't many stories about Moody, are there? I've seen ones where he's mentioned or where he has a minor role but never one where he's the main character. To tell you the truth, I hadn't thought much about how he was captured or what his early life was like until I started writing this story- which I got the idea from as I was trying to find an idea and character that would fit the quote. I'm so very very glad that you think that I did a good job with his characterization! He's definitely an interesting person to write, since he has a very definite manner that can easily become a stepping stone for humour.
I'm glad that you liked the history I gave Moody. It was very interesting deciding what moments to include in the story and what his life might have been like, to produce such a notable individual. A few of the incidents were canon, others were taken from knowledge about his life and the earliest ones were just guesses at his life. I'm glad that they all worked.
Thank you for pointing out those problems. I guess I do have a tendency to go on little tangents within my sentences, which is definitely a problem... I have to learn how to incorporate those ideas into other sentences instead of fitting them inside the ones already there... And your criticism definitely didn't offend me! One always needs these things pointed out if they want to improve at all!
I'm so glad that you liked how I worked in the quote. I actually built the whole story around it, so it's great to hear that it fit in just fine.
Thank you once again for leaving such a brilliant review! It's not a problem at all about the "lateness" of it- I completely understand about real life completely taking over your life. :) I definitely enjoyed writing this and exploring Moody's character so thank YOU for creating this challenge! Without it I probably would never have written this story.