|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
It's going to be very difficult to help you with this story and your writing because both easily come under the scope of "quality". This is a very well-written, original story that leaves me with many questions as to what will happen next and perhaps more importantly, how have the characters come to this point in their lives? It is something that most writers don't think to include, probably because they begin at the beginning rather than in medias res. But I'm captivated by the mysteries you've built into the story, even just within this chapter (I did read the prologue too, since I'm going to read the whole story). Your way of constructing the tension between the Malfoy men and also between Scorpius and Lily was highly effective - how the characters negotiated these relationships revealed much about their personalities in a single chapter so that they leapt from the page. It was wonderful just to get lost in this story and appreciate the amazing writing.
Your descriptions particularly stood out in the first part of this chapter, not only because they created beautifully vivid images of Malfoy Manor and the cliff tops where the Malfoys walked, but also because, through them, I gained a greater understanding of Scorpius's characterization. Although you noted that you weren't interested in hearing about the characters, I do want to mention that your version of Scorpius is the best I've read. Your exploration of his mind, from his thoughts on his mother's death to his contemplation of edges and endings (and thus death as a whole) was wonderfully done. That part of this chapter is nothing short of perfect in its balance and imagery, making it a brilliant introduction to your novel.
The second part is also very good, of course, but I felt in places that it was too long. It dragged in places because you were trying to cover a lot of ground - the relationship between Scorpius and Lily, Scorpius and the Potters, and the Malfoys and wizarding society -and it prevented this half from flowing as well as the previous half of the chapter. Perhaps there are details that could be deferred to later chapters or somehow made implicit, revealed through small hints rather than in exposition. The action in this portion of the chapter is excellent, but I suggest cutting back on the narration.
I'm going to be reviewing more chapters of this story, and if there's anything specific you would like me to look for, please let me know. It's a fantastic story so far and I'm kicking myself for not having read it sooner - it's one I've been eyeing for a while because the summary is so intriguing. It's excellently written with an exciting plot and very interesting characters that I'm dying to learn more about. Thank you for asking me to read this!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you for such a lovely review! Hopefully it's no secret that I think you're an AMAZING writer, so it just makes your feedback all that much more special.
I really do try to come into stories at some sort of midpoint. The big action is still to come, of course, but I think it can be just as fun as a reader to learn what has already happened as to guess at what's going to happen next. I hope it helps to keep the characters from feeling too one-dimensional.
I'm so, so happy you liked Scorpius here (and I certainly don't mind if you comment on the characters; I just am always hungry for the kind of critiques that can translate across stories, so I don't list them as a major area of concern). I really wanted him to be someone who was different from his father and grandfather, but also someone you could still believe had been raised by them, perhaps with the benefit of them having learned from some of their past mistakes. I'm really glad to hear that the imagery worked to enhance his character. Creating atmosphere isn't necessarily my strong suit, but I'm really pleased that the descriptions worked to highlight Scorpius's somewhat disturbed state of mind.
I can totally see where you are coming from with the excessive narration in the latter half. Since this is the only chapter from Scorpius's POV, I think I may have over-compensated in areas. This was also my very earliest attempt at Next-Gen, and I probably got a bit carried away in wanting to address questions like were Scorpius and Albus friends at school, etc., which, like you said, could have either been addressed later or cut altogether.
I'm so glad you're liking the story so far. Thank you so much for leaving me this wonderful review! If you review more, please feel free to comment on anything. I'm open to any and all feedback -- good or bad.