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Review:academica says:
Hi Manno! I'm here with your requested review :)

I think it's cool that the first chapter turned out to be a story that Valeria is writing! It's neat to see you transition back and forth between the time periods and sets of characters, and I think it makes this a really original and interesting plot (one that I wish I had time to follow without the help of a thread). I like the characterization of Alphard and Valeria for the most part, particularly in that you focused on their quirks and the nuances of their relationship. I also liked the "out of character day" theme; it was like Valeria was pretending to be Sherlock Holmes as she tried to figure out why things were topsy turvy at Malfoy Manor that day.

Couple of critiques here for you -- one, the beginning of this chapter was a little jarring for me. At first I thought it was an author's note that you'd forgotten to put in a different font style, and I had to read it several times before I felt like I really understood who was speaking and where it was coming from. I'd recommend finding a different way to begin, perhaps by adding something else, something more concrete to set the scene before you start in about Valeria writing the story.

The other critique is Valeria herself. I just really struggled to place her. I eventually kind of deduced that Alphard was Scorpius's brother, but I was thrown by Valeria. Why is she so comfortable at the manor that she refers to Astoria by her first name? How old is she? What is her relationship to Alphard--friends, girlfriend and boyfriend, etc.? I can appreciate wanting there to be a little ambiguity, because I sense that was a theme here, but I do think some more concrete detail needs to be added to make it so that Valeria makes sense. Overall, I think if you work in more of those concrete pieces, that will improve the flow of the chapter and finish filling out the characterization.

I did really like your description in this chapter. I especially liked the part where Alphard was reading Valeria's manuscript and she was studying his facial expression, as well as the imagery related to the Manor's garden and all of its natural beauty. I would say imagery emerged as a strong point here.

Nice job! I hope this review is helpful :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hello Amanda! Thank you so much for coming back! :)

I'm glad you think this is a good idea. To me, it's insane and I know it'll be hard to work on at some points in the future, but I'm always happy to hear it's working out so far. So thank you!

As for your critique, I do suppose you are right. I'm not entirely sure how I can make a better opening for this chapter but I will most certainly take my time to think about it and try to alter it.

I'll also try to work on Valeria and see how I can make her fit better into the chapter and provide enough information about her that she's easier to understand.

And the descriptions worked out? YAY! It really means a lot to me that you say so, considering description is one of my biggest fears.

Thank you so, so much for this wonderful and helpful review! I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to be here once again. :) -hugs-

-Manno


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