Hey, it's Whiseky from the forums with your incredibly belated review...You must have requested months ago, so I'm sure this will come as a surprise :P But here I am, haha!
Well, I do love a historical fic, especially since the role of witches and wizards in Muggle history remains mostly unexplored, to say the least. I'm very curious to see how you will tie the two worlds together!
I loved the way you structured the beginning of the chapter. As a film student, I could really picture the way the different character entrances would look on screen :D Your writing style supported this very much, since you made sure to give us only the kind of descriptive details that go a long way to convey meaning, despire being so brief.
As someone who enjoys giving as much CC as possible (I know I like reviewers to have a critical eye when reading my stuff, so I like to return the favour), I'm not sure where I stand on some of the decisions you made for this first chapter. On the one hand, there is an interesting progression of depth from section to section. You start out with minimal information and get the reader hooked on the sheer action of the proceedings. But as we read on, with every new character we get to delve deeper and deeper into the problems of the world they are in and their personal baggage. I think that is a great strategy.
And yet, I must admit I did get a tad lost among all the characters towards the end. I began swimming at Simon's part, to be honest. Suddenly, there was no location description to hold on to (at least not at first - and we never do find out what the room he is in looks like). And also, there are memories of some other people although we hadn't even met the one remembering them..
But, as I said, I like the idea that we delve deeper and deeper into the world with each character instead of just getting superficial introductions to all of them. But what seemed to be missing was a common thread. With the first three, we had a mission, a location and a few difinitive aspects of the new character. It was easy not only to follow, but also to connect to the previous section. I suppose a good cheat sheet when introducing many characters at once, it's important to contrast them against eachother, connect them somehow.
I know I'm spiraling a bit here, but I'm just not sure what to suggest...:P Maybe find something that would lead the reader from one section to the next - either an object, or a theme. Another things that helps is having the new characters each think/talk about a characer that remains "off screen" for the time being. This way you give the reader something to relativize the new characters against.
Yeah, so actually, I loved this chapter :P I think your writing style was wonderful, you pick just the right words and you've set a great pace. Your characters seem complex and intriguing, as does the world you've created for them. I think I'll review a few more chapters :)
Off to the next!
Author's Response: Hi, and no worries for the delay -- I mean, look at me answering three weeks late, I'm barely one to speak.
You're a film student? That's really cool! I'm even happier, in that case, that you thought the beginning worked well.
Right, Simon. We've already discussed this a little via PM, but I can see why his section would be confusing. Obviously, in my head it makes perfect sense, but I tend to forget readers aren't there with me. I'll see what I can do to clarify things a bit more.
The idea of a theme is also one I'll delve into, but after all, this is only the beginning, so things become clearer as the story moves on -- or so I hope!
Thank you for the review, and for all the very helpful CC :)