I was really excited that you requested a review from me! I've been wanting to read your stories for a long time, but there are so many, and they all look so promising, that I've only just begun Blunderland. :3
Wow, one sentence in and I'm already hooked. Whether done intentionally or not--and I have a sneaking suspicion that it was--I love that you've taken the "love-at-first-sight" cliche and turned it on its head. (You do the same thing in Blunderland so I believe it's true here, too!) The fact that the only reason he even saw her was because her watch glinted, and even then he only saw the back of her head, is brilliant. The mention of her tweed jacket and the musty bookstore is really wonderful and unique imagery.
You tell us so much about Astoria with so little words. The fact that she probably only owns one jacket, that she bought a book solely because of the typeface. Brilliant. The idea of Draco working in a used bookstore is so unique, too, that I had to double-check that he was really the main character in the story description. Really nice.
My only criticism is that Draco seems to go under a strange transformation that isn't really addressed. We see that he's in a repetitive cycle, filled with ennui, but doesn't feel strongly enough about it either way to change anything. So we get the impression that he's become this passive person, willing to give up the mansion and the Ministry job and whatever his father had lined up for him. (Which is not the criticism; I actually love this very unique characterization of him.) But then he suddenly starts forming these opinions about Astoria (like "avoid at all costs," and that her tweed jacket was stupid) that contrast with his indifference to everything else. As I'm writing I'm beginning to think that maybe this was your intention, and if so then I suppose ignore me? It just struck me as a little jarring.
There are also a few punctuation errors, mostly within dialogue, where you write "hi." he said instead of "hi," he said. (A particularly creative example, I know, haha)
Your description of Draco's and Pansy's breath in the air was beautiful, and I loved that he even said "Whatever, Pansy was a better poet." I love their complicated relationship, and that you aren't portraying her as the pug-faced wench that Harry was only capable of seeing. She obviously had some human qualities if somebody could have feelings for her.
This is such an interesting take on the children of Death Eaters, post-war. Your ending was so haunting and desolate. Beautifully written. Adding to my favorites. :)
Author's Response: And I was really excited to /get/ a review from you! hehe.
To tell the truth, I didn't plan this story very thoroughly before writing it. I think I just had this idea of characterising Astoria from the outside in, if you get me - as Draco sees her. It was good fun. Especially seeing how she turns out...
I'm glad you picked up on Draco! He's fiendishly hard to write, so anything you have to say about him in this story would be much appreciated. Yeah, I think you've got an excellent point there - I'll be sure to focus on that when I edit.
(A teeny confession: I do ship Draco/Pansy. Kind of. A little bit. So I could never cast her as that, ahem, 'pug-faced wench', haha!)
Thank you so much for your review! ♥