I'm kind of blown away by the idea of Viktor Krum -- high-flying playboy former pro athlete -- being so handy. He seems to enjoy the work however, and it's low-profile enough that it isn't likely to blow their cover, so I'd say it's a good choice for him.
I loved your description of the jungle. Again, you did a perfect job of cutting through the fluffy, idealized, Save the Rainforest nonsense that you see on TV and getting straight to the essence of what a jungle is really like. (Not that I'm opposed to saving the rainforest, mind you. I just don't plan on moving there any time soon.) I loved the analogy to Molly's pea soup.
Viktor seems to have retained his strong physique and his roguish good looks from Over the Edge. I like the way that you've kept him quiet and a bit brooding. He'd seem to be rather sullen and withdrawn to the untrained eye, but that's just the way that he handles Rose. He waits her out and lets her keep talking until she finally tells him what he wants to know. I absolutely love the dynamic you've created between the two of them and how you've managed to bring it right back to life.
You gave us a nice little glimpse into their life on the run, both before and after they settled in on the island. If I was a witch or wizard, especially one that grew up in a magical family and never know life any other way, I'm pretty sure it would terrify me to give up magic. You've de-emphasized magic more than a lot of authors as you've told Viktor and Rose's story, but it's still always been there even if it was subtle. Now they're trying to live like muggles if at all possible, and I think it's going to be a very interesting challenge for them. So far, they seem to have been successful, but nothing very dangerous has happened.
She’d even tired chopping it all off, going at it with a pair of nail scissors in the bathroom of some cheap motel in a city whose name she couldn’t remember. But instead of turning her into another face in the crowd, the haircut had only served to turn her into her brother. -- When the film version is being shot, you must insist that this scene makes it in. The idea cracks me up!
“We needed somewhere to eat,” he’d said. “And now we don’t.” -- Classic Krum. He says a lot by saying very little.
Rose's panic attack felt like the last piece of the puzzle for the plot that you're setting in motion. It was a perfectly reasonable thing for her to suffer from, considering the circumstances of her attack. She was confined to a very small space when Regina tried to kill her, yet completely exposed and helpless. So when the panic attack happened, the world seemed to collapse in on her. You've set up a formidable challenge for her to tackle, and one that's easy to connect with.
Rose, in particular, had made quite the impression, her flaming red hair a point of interest for the local children, who’d taken to tucking strands of rust-colored seaweed into their own dark manes as a form of modest salute to their newest resident. -- There was something so endearing about that line. Such an adorable image!
It was a whole new way of life for Rose, an existence completely stripped of excess. And to her surprise, she found herself exceedingly well-suited for the task. -- I read this passage and the first thing that popped into my head -- and this is by no means a knock on your story. I just thought it was funny -- was, "Sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip..."
Once again, your descriptions of the village and especially the general store were amazingly vivid. It was easy to pain the picture in my mind and place Rose right in the middle of it. I know from your author's note that the entire island was your own creation, but I thought you nailed the details of a small, sparsely-stocked local trading post far form civilization. The woman who hands Rose the basket was another great creation, albeit rather creepy. For a moment, I thought I could feel Rose slipping toward another panic attack. Her world seemed to narrow around that woman, trapped in the suffocating heat of the store. It really left me wondering whether or not she imagined seeing Hugo's hair. Then again, you've always been great at keeping me guessing!
I saw two typos in this chapter, but otherwise your writing was excellent:
IIt was exactly what Rose imagined life would be like inside a simmering vat of her grandmother's hot pea soup. -- extra I in IIt.
It had been fa, far too long. -- fa la la la laaa, la la laa la :p
In a way, I'm glad I waited until you were three chapter in to really read through and start writing reviews. I feel like I have a better idea of what's important, even though I'm still guessing on a lot of things. Great job so far!
Author's Response: I hope the bit about Krum's handiwork doesn't come off as too out of left field. It's always something I knew about his character -- and I tried to introduce it in the first book with him working on his parents' house -- but I never really got around to spelling it out. I'm glad you're liking the setting though. I've never really tried using it to reflect a character's mood before, so it's been fun to mess around with.
I'm glad you weren't disappointed to see the "old" Krum. I'm definitely approaching this from the POV that he's finished his journey. He's found what makes him happy -- a simple, secluded life with Rose. This will be all about Rose and what she's ready to accept from life.
I'm never sure where magic fits into this story. I'm not really all that comfortable writing it period. I don't know how to incorporate it as strong as it is in the HP books and still fully flesh out real-life scenarios and obstacles for the characters. Others can do it no problem, but me... I probably shouldn't admit that too loudly on a Harry Potter fanfic sit, should I?
I'm really relieved to hear you liked the addition of the panic attack. I was afraid it might weaken her character somehow, but I really wanted to convey that there is more going on with Rose than simple homesickness.
Gilligan's island? Hahaha. I can promise you, more people will arrive on the island, but none of them will be named Thurston Howell III :P
Truth be told, I was starting to feel like I bit off more than I could chew making up an entire island and indigenous culture. It's nice to have total freedom to throw whatever you like in the pot, but I also don't want it to come of that I think people in this part of the world are backwards or simple. I just wanted something different to further emphasize how out of her element Rose is.
Only two typos? I'll take that as a win. Though now that I've seen it, I'm inclined to add in your festive fa-la-la-ing as opposed to actually fixing the word.
Thank you for this wonderful review. It's so lovely to get the type of feedback you can really chew on!