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Review:CambAngst says:
Hi, there! Gryffindor Monthly review exchange is going down!

I thought this was a really neat start to a story. The idea isn't something I've ever seen before. Post-Hogwarts is my favorite era to read because there are so many interesting possibilities and directions to pursue in the aftermath of the war. Every character who survived would have had some sort of story to tell, considering that the entire wizarding world was being rebuilt from the ashes. Your main character should have a really interesting view into what happened at Hogwarts in those intervening years.

And that's not the only reason she's interesting. I really liked Emily's back story. I do agree with your author's note that there was a lot of it. Perhaps you could have held onto parts of it and worked it into the narrative or dialog of future chapters of the story. But you're four chapters in already, so I think the chances that you'd want to go back and rewrite everything at this point are fairly slim, so I'll leave it at that.

I really liked the idea of her being a muggle-born witch who seemed to have more than a couple of close brushes with danger during the war. I really hope you give yourself more chances to explore those events and the effects they had on her life and her mindset as the story unfolds. In her current situation, she seems to be in quite a rut. I wonder whether the malaise she find herself in has anything to do with the relative lack of excitement and challenge in her life, compared to what she went through to survive the war?

Let's see, what else? The opening scene was absolutely brilliant. The way you took her so low and then, with the question about using the loo, you managed to take her even lower. I also thought you did a really good job of capturing Professor McGonagall's voice. It's not an easy thing to do. Not at all. But you wrote her commendably.

The reason I'm focusing so much on your plot and characterization is that I couldn't find a thing wrong with your writing. I didn't see a single typo and everything flowed beautifully. Your word choice was really good and nothing sounded awkward or singsongy. The chapter had a good mix of dialog and narrative -- especially for an introductory chapter. Once I settled into the flow of the chapter, it was really engrossing and it was over before I knew it!

I was really pleased to draw you as a review exchange partner this month. I see you around the forums a lot and you seem like a really active, really interesting person. I'll be back for chapter 2 soon. :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review :)

I hadn't seen anything quite like this either and I wanted to look at what the ramifications of the war would be like for a regular witch or wizard. At the same time, I was also curious about how the wizarding world dealt with the treatment of mental illness...not like what happened to Gilderoy Lockhart or the Longbottoms, but actual depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress etc. Wizards might have advanced healing techniques but they aren't immune to psychological pain.

Yeah, there is a lot of information in this first chapter, but it's really only a base for the information about Emily. It's a kind of starting point for our understanding of her situation, but I'm not sure what I could take out. There will be a lot more information being revealed about Emily as the story progresses too.

I think the muggle-born aspect is so interesting, because it creates this automatic tension between the two worlds a witch or wizard is forced to live in. It frustrates me when an author has a muggle born witch or wizard but then practically ignores the muggle aspect of their life. I wanted to include some interaction and connection to the muggle world for Emily, which will come up in later chapters. But I also thinks it makes an interesting backdrop for her experiences during the war...which will be explored further as the story progresses :)

Oh I'm glad you like that opening scene. I wrote that a long long long time ago and it just sat there on my hard drive as this random plot bunny until one day I got the inspiration to write the rest of the story! Oh and McGonagall...I am so worried about her. She's going to be a fairly regular part of this story so I hope I do her justice.

There will be more action in the coming chapters, but I hope you still like it :) Thanks again for the great review! I was really happy to get you in the review swap too!


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