Here with your requested review and for the review tag! (also known as killing two birds with one stone xD)
This was a great opening chapter! I really enjoyed the dialogue between all the characters. Sometimes I felt that there was a bit too much dialogue in some places, so breaking it up with some description would help.
I really liked the way you started the story with Ellie's gift. The way her great-grandmother told her about her gift was believable, though I think another thing that could help with the believability aspect is making Ellie a few years older in that scene. If she was a few years older, I think it would be easier for her to grasp. I also wondered why Ellie wasn't allowed to tell Chris about her gift, since they both seemed pretty close to each other. I hope that if Chris finds out about it later in the story, he won't be too upset with Ellie.
Ellie seems like a great character so far, and so do Chris, Rose, Albus, and even her dad. I loved Ellie's wit and her Cake Sense! I wish I had a talent as cool as that. The banter between Albus and Ellie was great, and I'm interested to see how their relationship progresses! The love/hate thing is a tad bit cliche, but I think you'll end up pulling it off nicely. The only thing that I thought was a little unclear was the reason they hate each other, but that'll probably be explained later in the story.
Another piece of constructive criticism I have is that I felt that this sentence "There was a drum kit in the far corner, a double bass and cello near the floor-length window, at least three guitars scattered around, an open violin case lying on top of a hall table that Chris had "acquired" from the actual hallway where it belonged, lying next to a haphazard stack of music theory books, and what might have been a flute, was hanging precariously off a single timpani, all amongst other music-related paraphernalia, such as reeds, bows, various types of drumsticks, a broken keyboard, a very old amplifier, including electrically unsafe leads, a music stand or four, and sheets and sheets of music covered with Chris' large, cursive handwriting in purple, and my much neater and smaller handwriting in green." was a bit too long and rather list-like. I think if you broke it up into two or more smaller sentences, it would flow much better and hold the reader's interest more.
I loved the scene with Madame Cassandra. I think it had a lovely blend of both humor and ominous foreshadowing, and it definitely makes the reader want to read on, if only to see if her predictions are true. Overall, there are a few small things that I felt could be improved upon, but this story has a ton of potential, and you already have a distinctive style with it. Great work!
Author's Response: Ah, description, description, description. How art thee the bane of my existence? Thanks for the heads up! I know it's an area in which I seriously need to work!
I wanted to make Ellie a little bit too young to fully grasp what was going on. I wanted to give her that learning experience which affects her even today. And Ellie's insecurities concerning Chris become more apparent as the story unfolds!
I'm glad that you're enjoying the characters! For me, they either make or break a story, so it's super important that they're readable! And I wish I had a Cake Sense as well! I'm not sure what I'll do with the cliche relationship at the moment, but we'll see where things will lead!
Yes, that sentence... requires a revision, I agree! A full stop or three would definitely not be amiss!
Thanks for the review, both wonderful and helpful!