|Review:||nott theodore says:|
I'm actually ashamed by how long it's taken me to get round to reading more of your stories (there have been times when I've visited your AP and not been able to decide what to read because it all looks amazing) but I decided I couldn't wait any longer! I was so intrigued to see how you interpreted Scorpius and Rose as Romeo and Juliet - it's been ages since I read a story about them because they got a little boring, but none of your stories seem to be cliche, so I have high hopes for this. And then you're using influence from Wuthering Heights, which is one of my favourite books - I was so excited to read this before I even started!
Your description is so beautiful, and it's so lovely to read; there's so much imagery and symbolism in your writing that it amazes me. There was something very Bronte-esque (is that a word?) about your descriptions too, and I thought it helped build up the idea that this story is going to be intense and tragic - and not fit the mould of a fluffy next gen - really well. The way you wrote about both Rose and Scorpius falling in love was great too, as if it was something that would ruin them and seal their fate, much as it does for Romeo and Juliet and Cathy and Heathcliff. Although I often find it hard to believe that two people can fall in love so quickly, it makes sense when tied into the Romeo and Juliet play and the fact that they're both teenagers - it could easily be a sort of infatuation that they're both happy to believe is love, rather than the real thing.
This ties into the imagery and description again, but I loved your use of pathetic fallacy as well. "Thunder rattled the windows, shaking the castle to its very foundation" - thunder AND windows! I cannot tell you how happy that makes my Wuthering Heights loving heart!
I loved your characterisation of the different people who appeared in this, but particularly Rose. She has such a strong, vibrant personality here and it's strikingly different to the sort of character I often see her portrayed as, but again reminds me of Juliet, and more particularly Cathy, in their non-conformity and almost formidable.
The chess game was a clever idea as a replacement for the (rather cliche) sort of party or ball that Romeo and Juliet met at. Despite this being written in a completely different style to normal next gen stories, you still managed to capture the interactions between the different characters and the dialogue seem realistic and believable, and appropriate for the actual time.
I can't wait to see what happens in the rest of this story, so I'm off to read on!
Author's Response: It has taken me a terribly long time to respond to these reviews, and I'm sorry for that. They were fantastic to receive and equally so to read and read again. This story, while far from perfect, is still an accomplishment I'm proud of, and it means a lot to hear back from readers on what they thought of it. It's a lot of fun to write different interpretations of Scorpius and Rose because there is really a lot one can do with them - we know only the most basic information from the epilogue, the rest being what we think they could be like based on their parents and the environments in which they grew up. What's sad is how quickly fandom constrained them both in very particular characterizations and in a very particular relationship - this story in particular defies fanon, challenging readers to see other ways of understanding these characters and their potential relationship. Scorose so often gets played as a forbidden love sort of relationship, so what I did here was exaggerate it - and what better examples to follow than Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights? :D
While writing this, I was reading for my Victoian exam, so I'm not surprised to hear that it's filled with Bronte-esque style and symbols - I worked through both Vilette and Wuthering Heights at that time, the two heaviest, darkest Bronte novels. It's wonderful to hear that the influence is evident. Those early chapters of Wuthering Heights have haunted me for years - they were all I remembered of my first read through the novel when I was like 13 or so. They're such powerful descriptions, and I can't help continue to be fascinated by pathetic fallacy.
The falling in love part is very difficult to do without it sounding contrived. All I can think to make it seem less so would be to suggest that they had noticed each other before - certainly that excuse works for Scorpius, would is the perceptive sort, and I can imagine him watching Rose and being curious about her. But like you said, it is part of the required structure for this kind of story - it is far more of an infatuation than real love, a desire for the thing that one shouldn't want. Without that history, would they have ever tasted that curiosity? Perhaps not.
Rose did turn out a lot like Cathy. She's difficult to pin down because she's so turbulent and unpredictable and overwhelming - it makes her very interesting to write, but also challenging because one can never be sure how she'll react to the plot and other characters. She is very strong, but I would also say that she's weak because of this turbulence - she really has little control over herself, her mind raging, her ambition limitless, her empathy almost non-existent. What kind of life could she ever lead, except within a tragedy?
You know, I never before thought of the chess game as a replacement for the ball - it's really silly of me because it works in that same way. I thought of it more as the duel that takes place prior to the ball in the play, except in ihs instance, it's Romeo and Juliet who duel, rather than Romeo and her cousin. In this way, Rose takes more of an active role in the action, rather than being relegated to the romantic object. If anything, Scorpius becomes the romantic object of Rose's desire. I'm really pleased to hear that you liked how the story has been adapted for the next generation, so far! I look forward to responding to the rest of your reviews. ^_^ Thank you again!