|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello :) I'm here for the TGS review exchange!
This is the first fic I've read in which a female character is being initiated into the Death Eater circle - and gosh, this is intense. You've really gone into some detail to create a very dark, horrifying sort of atmosphere, and I really felt your character's fear, disgust, contempt for the whole ritual, for the other masked Death Eaters gathered there. This really makes me curious as to how she arrived at the decision to be initiated into Voldemort's inner circle. She sounds like such a normal person - young, with a happy past etc. I can't wait to find out more about your character!
Loved the way you began this story in the thick of the action. The story really absorbs you from the start, from the first few sentences. There's so much tension and suspense and it just thickens as the chapter progresses.
I really loved how you portrayed the shift in your character's thoughts - there's something lighter in the earlier paragraphs as she recounts some of her memories, some of which are a little humorous e.g. the pumpkin pastries. There's also the bit about vomiting on "them" and the best angle at which she should tilt her head in order to maximise chances of hitting someone with her vomit...these are little light-hearted moments, and they feel really bizarre in such a dark bleak situation - but it's this bizarreness and strangeness that I really like, and that really shows me a bit about your character. Also, the tone shifts quite quickly and the humour drops away as the reality of the situation hits her. I know you were trying to incorporate humour into this chapter, and I think it sort of works because the humour is controlled and not too over-the-top, and instead really strengthens your characterisation.
I really enjoyed the last couple of paragraphs. Gah, they were so disturbing and you've portrayed Eleanor's state of mind so convincingly. This is so tragic...it must have been a tremendous loss of innocence for her, especially if this is the first time she's done something so horrific. This sentence really struck me: I opened my mouth again and heard it utter those two deadly words with my thoughts focusing only on why I was here. You've done a great job showing the disconnect between her thoughts and her actions, or maybe Eleanor is deliberately trying to disassociate herself from her actions...whatever it is, it's very well-written and there was just so much emotional impact there. I think you've definitely written her shock and trauma very well - to kill someone would be like splitting your soul, which must be what poor Eleanor is going through...
OK, I hope you don't mind if I offer a little critique...if it bothers you please let me know.
I think you need to be a little careful with your tenses. The narration is mostly in the past tense, but there are moments when you somehow start using the present tense, e.g. He looks like he fancies a little present. God, I feel sick. So sick. What am I doing? I honestly think I've gone off kilt, finally gone around the bend.
OK, one final thing, and this is very minor and not important at all...but near the beginning where your character starts thinking about the past and has some flashbacks - these memories were sort of marked by certain sentences such as I breathed in deeply and tried to force my memories away. as well as the following sentence, used to signal an end to the flashback and return to the present: My stomach lurched, bringing me back to the present. I think such sentences aren't really necessary; it would be a lot smoother if you took them out and embedded the flashbacks more naturally into Eleanor's narration :) But this is a very very minor thing and you need not take me up on this :)
Anyway, I've really enjoyed your story! Such a fantastic and utterly gripping opening chapter...I'm definitely going to come back and read more :D Great work!
Author's Response: HeyTeh!
Sorry for the late response! I've been having massive issues in responding to reviews recently! So i'm sorry but i appreciate you comments!
First of all i don't mind critique, i really appreciate it and i know i have issues with tenses. Thank you so much for pointing that out to me! I shall go and fix that up as soon as i can!! :P Also with the pushing memories away and such - i think i've gotten in a little bit of a habit with that, especially with this story because Eleanor does tend to be stuck in her memories a lot and i haven't wanted to confuse anyone as i've had some who commented on some things being less clear. However, i think i will try and tone it down for sure and trust that the reader can figure it out.
Thank you so much for the rest of your review and seeing the tension in it. And humour. I added those bits in because there is so much angst in some stories and in moments like these that sometimes it makes it seem overdone. I understand that this is a big moment but people disassociate themselves from trauma in different ways. Eleanor uses humour and sarcasm to try and distance herself from it. I'm really happy that you thought it worked and didn't hinder the story!
I think you've really got this chapter and Eleanor trying to distance herself from the event and trying to see that it isn't her who's doing this. I really love the quote you pulled out with that comment and it's the biggest show of her loss of innocence. Things won't be the same for her after this. She can't live thinking she's a good person because she's just done something that is so dark and unforgivable. She's split her soul. I really liked how you used that to describe that moment and i think it hits perfectly with what she's going through.
Anyway, thanks so much for your review! I really appreciate it!