|Review:||Penelope Inkwell says:|
Wow. So to begin with, you’re very good.
Very, very good. Your vocabulary and sentence structure are as top-notch as any I’ve seen here--really phenomenal.
To directly answer each of your questions: Yes, your characters are quite likeable. Lorcan is an adorable ball of quivering knees and deep-seated neuroses, and I like him very much. Lysander is funny, with his obsession with psychoanalyzing his twin brother. And, though I don’t know the inner depths of Cassiopeia’s heart or anything, she’s very well drawn as the big, bad Gobstones monster. I thought there was plenty of dialogue. Usually I like when stories err towards more talking, and there was certainly more description than words in this chapter. However, your description is just so good (and, in many places, amusing) that I did not mind at all. I didn’t even notice that there was less dialogue, initially, so in my mind that means it’s very good the way it is.
First, thanks for making her a Gryffindor! I’m so sick of all the antagonists being Slytherins. I mean, I know there’s a certain amount of precedent for it, but it is nice to mix things up ever so often. I’m also glad to see a girl being the big, scary bully--it’s much less common, and I love to see literary tropes subverted. I also LOVED your ‘rumors’ about Cassiopeia. I was laughing out loud. They were really cute and, also, hilarious!
I had to dig a lot deeper here, because your writing is really incredible (just trying to drive that home. You are SO good!), but I did notice a couple little things:
-Consider re-establishing their age: I was reading closely, but I somehow initially missed what year they were in, as from what I can see it is only mentioned once, and kind of tucked away in this sentence: "As soon as he had been Sorted into the house of the loyal four years ago, he considered himself Lorcan’s personal therapist.” Since age is kind of important to a non-romance (as it indicates their maturity level), it would help if you could mention what year they were in at least one other time.
-You say that Lysander developed his Freud fascination when he joined “the house of loyal”, and became a Hufflepuff. I was just wondering what loyalty/Hufflepuff-ism had to do with wanting to be a psychologist.
-What’s the Deepwater Horizon fiasco? Is that explained later?
But those are the only things I found, and obviously I had to get pretty nitpicky. I can’t get over how well you wield your words. I’m going to have to read more of your stuff, so that I’m exposing myself to more excellently structured reading.
-"The faintest whiff of danger was enough to drive him into a swoon. He wasn’t the type to vanquish dragons and sweep damsels off their dainty feet—not that he’d want to, of course, since girls were creatures of madness and disorder.”
-“Someone’s got a fixation! Someone’s got a fixation!”
-"But if Lorcan were to be very honest with himself (and he wasn’t often honest, as it usually led to weakness of the knees and shortness of breath), the only injury he was still suffering from was (and Lysander would be proud of him for admitting it) a purely psychological complaint.”
And the whole bit about Cassiopeia being the shameful love child of Madame Maxime and Grawp, and threatening the Sorting Hat.
Author's Response: Hi!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful review!! :)
Top-notch sentence structure?! Oh, really, you're too sweet! I'm so glad that you liked my characters and their crazy personalities. Cassiopeia was my personal attempt to create a bully who was a girl Gryffindor, just for the purpose of undermining the Slytherin norm. I'm so glad that you caught and appreciated that!!! :D
I totally agree with you that I need to reestablish the ages of the twins and Cassiopeia. It would definitely give them a more solid foundation as characters! Also, Lysander's love for psychology was derived from his love of helping people, and being Sorted into Hufflepuff made him turn a bit obnoxious about "helping people with their problems." I really need to illustrate that so that it's MUCH clearer--thanks for pointing that out!!
The Deepwater Horizon fiasco was an oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. I threw that in just for my own laughs, and I didn't really think about my audience. (Bo, me!) I will need to decide whether or not to take that mention out. I am SO glad that you brought up your confusion--it never would have occurred to me that there was a problem otherwise!! :D
Awww, favorite quotes?! You're so wonderful! Thank you for taking time to pick out a few from the lot! And reading more of my work?! I would be honored if you would do that! You've made my entire day with this review. :)
Thanks so very much!!! :D