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Review:LovlyRita says:
Alli!! I am so excited to come and leave you this review! I think that your chapter summary was great and I love the title of the story, it's just really interesting.

First thing of note: The imagery! Oh my goodness! I felt like when I was reading this, I could picture exactly what was happening. I love the way you mentioned the forest, and in the first paragraph whenever Sirius is pushing branches out of the way. It's just great with description.

One of the things that I really enjoy is your word choice. There are several instances throughout this where your word choice just...leaves me in awe, even though it's simple. For example, describing the jolt of exercise as "odd" which I'm sure it would have been for someone who was in Azkaban for so long! Oh and the way you describe the trees as swaying "viscously" I remember reading that when I was betaing and thinking DAMN I AM JEALOUS OF THAT DESCRIPTION. It was just brilliant, Alli, I loved it!

The thing that's so heart breaking about this too is the fact that the beginning section is totally a dream and of course Sirius wakes up to the drab walls of prison. I mean, when you're reading it, you're all caught up because you're like OMG this is the moment when he escapes! And the fact that he is still just rotting away in his cell, barely breathing, it's just so sad. I think you've done a good job with this transition.

I also love the metaphor you use about a lion running through London. I especially like it because of the symbolism of him being a Gryffindor, tearing through downtown London. That would be so frightening! But at the same time it would be much the way that I imagine Sirius running down the forest :P

Oh there's another word I like. "Boundless birds" genius.

I really enjoyed the detail of the plume of smoke that he can see from his window. Like just a hint of the outside world. It almost stands in for something you said earlier, something that makes him feel "human." Not that seeing smoke makes you feel human but almost like it was the reason for him to keep going, to know that eventually there would come a time where he could see something like that in person. Smoke gives him hope. It's such an interesting concept, and I really enjoyed the little exploration you did into that.

Ok, let's look at this heartbreaking little memory for Sirius. I love how he's like "Hagrid give him to me!" and Hagrid doesn't do it. IT's just so sad because I just think of how different Harry's life would be if he was raised by Sirius, you know? I like how Sirius originally thought Hagrid had a bundle of Lily and James' things and then JK IT'S HARRY!!! What a happish surprise! But again, reiterating just how very sad and broken Sirius is here, with all he's lost, and the fact that Harry can't come with him. It's so horrific and sad and you've done a brilliant job conveying that here.

Over all I think this is one of the best first stories I have ever read by any author ever! and you know that I read a lot of first stories :) You really have a talent for expressive description that doesn't go over the top. And again, I could gush about your word choice all day long. Perfect start to your writing career!!

I can't wait to read more from you!! :)

Author's Response: Ash!!

I really loved working on the imagery and word choice for this story so I'm thrilled you enjoyed it. I think picking the perfect adjective to help describe the scene in your story is really important, so I tried to focus on that in the beginning and really build up the setting Sirius was in.

It is so heartbreaking to watch Sirius sit in Azkaban and dreaming of the moment he will escape. Everyone always comments on how Sirius was able to remain sane in Azkaban after all those years, and the vividness of his dreams was a way for me to showcase his mental state and what he was doing to keep the dementors from destroying him.

I'm glad the transitions were improved! I tried to make the transition between the dream and present day more obvious by throwing in the 'lucid' comment, so hopefully that was successful.

I love that you mention the smoke! That's my favorite part of the story and really what ties the entire thing together. It's the smallest details in Sirius's surroundings that is giving him hope. I just love that it’s so simple.

Eep! Thank you for all of your kind compliments. You're too nice! You are such an amazing writer so it means a lot for you to say you enjoyed the story. Thank you for the review and for putting so much time into beta reading this for me!

Alli


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