I realise this is one of your older stories but I really wanted to read this so I could read In the Red and consequently, Breaking Even. (I'm really big about reading stories in order, and I have to read preceding stories first!) I also really wanted to just read more stuff of yours in general because I know you're an awesome writer and I have shamefully only read your ScoRose novella and a few chapters here and there of one-shots or whatever! Ahem, anyway, to the actual point of this review.. I really enjoyed reading this novel! I've never read something like this before - a story about someone who actually has a crush on Snape of all people. So I found that it was definitely a super original idea for a story!
I thought that throughout, each chapter was developed really well and I loved how you weaved in the canon details that we know - making the map, Snape finding out about the animagus and Remus, the growing tension/conflict over blood purity.. it made it all seem more realistic and believable. I also thought Beth was an interesting character, and I really enjoyed how you characterised the rest of the Marauders!
There were 2 things I was a bit uncertain about with the story. Firstly, Beth's actual crush on Snape - I don't think you ever talked about exactly what Beth found attractive about Snape? (So sorry if I'm wrong lol). I feel like that missing element made it a little harder for me to believe in Beth's crush itself (as in.. was it his physical appearance.. or something about his character/the way he acts?). Okay, secondly, I was a little uncertain about the way they all 'join' the Order - it just seems a little unrealistic to me that all of them were only recruited by chance because of Sirius' eavesdropping? I can see why you did it though, and it is probably a good way to introduce the Order as part of them since I feel like the trilogy will go on beyond their Seventh Year at Hogwarts..
Anyway, I did really enjoy reading each chapter of this! I really liked how the "relationship" between Snape and Beth slowly developed and wasn't too rushed (I did feel like there were perhaps a few more-than-normal chance encounters between them though) :P I also really liked seeing parts of this from Snape's thoughts - as in, getting to hear what Snape felt about Beth and his thoughts about his 'friends'. All in all, you are definitely a talented writer, no doubt about that - I found myself so engaged in the story. I'll definitely be reading the sequel to this now! I can't wait to see what you'll do from now on.. especially how we all know in canon Snape is a double agent because he forever loved Lily.. and I'm really looking forward to how Snape and Beth will both turn out! Awesome story and really well written! :)
Author's Response: Char! ♥ Oh, it's been ages. Absolute ages. And I would totally be the same way about reading stories in order -- and this one you really sort of need to, especially book 2 before book 3. So it makes perfect sense to me! I'm sorry this response is a bit delayed. I'm trying to keep on top of things!
I'm so happy you enjoyed this, too! There are a few (probably more than a few) failings, but this entire trilogy is so ingrained in my writer-ness that it's hard to do anything but love it. Hardly ANYBODY writes Snape/OCs, especially not when the love interests are at school, and most of my novels come from gaps in the market. ;) Weaving in canon and making it believable, even with the inclusion of Beth, was something that I was very conscious about, and it makes me so happy when readers mention and appreciate it. Really! And Marauders is now my favorite era to write, solely because of this. The boys are awesome, full stop.
Beth's crush on Snape really isn't as developed as I'd like it to be, and I'd probably do that differently now, but it's just sort of implied she's attracted to him on a physical level, mostly, since they've never really had a proper conversation. As for how they join the Order, it's so vague on how that comes about, and that was a big struggle in this first book. It's clearly not common knowledge, but how do a band of misfits find out about it and sign right up, you know? Sirius would be obnoxious enough to keep pressing the point after overhearing something, so that's why it came out like that. :) The trilogy does go up until late 1981, so the Order's a big part of books two and three.
The relationship between Beth and Sev is basically slower than molasses. Chance encounters or no, it'll take a while for ANYTHING to really happen!
I can't wait to hear your thoughts on ITR and BE. ♥ I'm so happy right now, reading over this review! And immensely flattered by your compliments. ♥ Thank you so much for reviewing!!