Hey there - stopping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry for the delay - I injured my wrist yesterday and haven't been able to type until this afternoon, but here I am! :)
So, I love the idea of the orphanage, and a boy from an orphanage finding out he's a wizard and all that jazz. And I love the fact that you've included a pair of hugely minor characters - Miranda Goshawk and Billy Stubbs - in it as well. Plus, an appearance from Professor Neville! :) It's all good...
I like Damon's character so far. He's an odd, complicated, hypocritical sort of child - which is good, because it means he's real. He doesn't want to be adopted, but then he does; he wants to be successful, but doesn't really seem to understand what that means. I also like the fact that he doesn't understand Romeo and Juliet - that comment made me laugh :P Why would a boy die for a girl, indeed... :)
His relationship with Miranda Goshawk is great, too. I like how she's more uptight in public and more relaxed at home, how she's hiding her magical identity, and how she seems to like Damon - presumably, she knows he's a wizard, I'm guessing ;) The one thing I did find a little strange is that you said that at seven he was sent over to help her. Now, I'm not an expert, but I did once apply to help out at a care home and they're really, really tough things to get. I highly doubt anyone - even a grateful orphanage - would send a seven year old boy, who has no idea about first aid, about health and safety and is nowhere near strong enough to lift her if necessary to help out an old lady. That being said, it's actually a little unclear what you mean by that. If you expand, it could work - if he's helping out by cleaning things, or going on errands for her, that sort of thing. As it is, it's a bit unbelievable and ambiguous.
The detail in this was great - I loved the little cultural references, like Jedi, and Goshawk's comment about her being successful and his utter confusion at what she means. Of course we know, but that's what makes it fun ;)
I just have a few things I want to say quickly. I'm not totally sure why Goshawk would want to create a savings account (I doubt it would be a bond, tbh - bonds are debt security and transferrable) or a trust fund for him? You don't really show that they have a close enough relationship for that... you show they get on, but it seems a little odd. Also, if the church is nearby (which is must be), then why wouldn't Damon know if he's a priest or a reverend? Since he goes there - even if not to the actual service - it seems like something he would just have picked up from other people, like Goshawk or the other kids (you know, talking about Reverend Clive or whatever his name is). Lastly, you have a slight comma issue :P You use them a LOT: in place of semi-colons, in place of full stops... I would recommend sending this first chapter to a quick beta on the forums, and having them check it over for you - they will be able to point it all out to you and explain to you how it works (just make sure to mention it to them! :D), since this review might get a little long otherwise ;)
The flow was great - you have nothing to worry about there, and it doesn't get dull at all. You're introducing us a bunch of new characters, and a whole new situation which hasn't yet got to the world we really know well. Even though there's not much action, it's the descriptions and the information about him and his life which is needed at this point. So, no problems there!
But yeah, I liked this. I like Damon's character, Miranda Goshawk is a great character and a nice inclusion, the detail was great (the mentions of the 'strange green substance', the champagne glass with a rat's tail, the jedi robe), and it was a good introduction :)
I hope I didn't come across to harsh - I just want to help! - and feel free to re-request! :)
Author's Response: Hey there, let me start of for saying thank you for taking the time to review, and thanks for such a good one!
I'm making a few changes at the moment, little things that you've pointed out, and as soon as I'm done I'm sending it to a beta :) I'd also like to thank you as before now I never knew about quick betas and was scared of getting an actual beta!