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Review:academica says:
Hi Shelby!

I do want to make a few comments about chapter six since I didn't get to re-review it. I really loved that you touched on the significance of Christmastime for Eileen. The winter imagery, especially in the cemetery, was just beautiful. I also loved the normalcy in the interaction between Eileen and Tobias - the sense of partnership they share as he helps her is really nice since all we get from canon are hints are unpleasant, possibly even traumatic memories. My original review for that chapter was much more eloquent and detailed, but I'm sure you get the point. Time to move on to the latest update :)

Gosh, I really don't know how to feel about Penelope. On the one hand, I totally understand her wanting to rebel and break free and her tendency to look at everything that's happening to her with a negative lens. The whole engagement ceremony was quite over the top, and you made it clear that the purpose of all this is just to make sure the blood line stays pure and sell the children like commodities to other wealthy families. (I did like how you made it seem like the groom was almost as much a victim as the bride. Was that intentional?) I mean, that whole thing with him making up a plate for her made me feel embarrassed on her behalf. Poor girl.

On the other hand, though, Triamour doesn't seem like that despicable of a person. I could see Penelope falling for him over time if she'd allow herself to do so, and I could also see him being a decent husband, particularly with his comments about liking her wit and wanting her to be herself in private with him (or was that meant to be condescending and I just missed the point?). I get the sense that maybe he doesn't deserve to be hated or to fall victim to her mysterious plans.

Speaking of those plans, I honestly can't fathom what she's going to do. It doesn't seem like she'll have a whole lot of time to herself, but maybe she's got a trick or two up her sleeve. I'm definitely curious to read on and find out more.

Great chapter, as usual!

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hello Amanda!

I'm so, so sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to your review! I do sincerely apologize!

Oh yes, the chapter six fiasco. Haha, I still cringe. Thank you! Christmas is something special for Eileen, even with the hints of all the terrible memories. I really wanted that to shine through. I hope you continue to enjoy the interactions between Eileen and Tobias. While they're not going to fall apart any time soon, they will get worse because I do want to stick to canon toward the tail end of the story.

I love that you're questioning Penelope instead of taking her on blind faith. I think we tend to do that to our main characters, especially if it's from their POV. I would call Penelope an unreliable narrator and so your hesitancy towards her is completely on point. The engagement is a bit ridiculous and exactly how I always pictured it back then. What hints we get from the Malfoys and the Blacks suggests such grandiose measures. Oh yes, definitely intentional. The groom is almost always a victim as well - I'm going to generalize here and say that the men adapt much more quickly that then women.

Yay, someone else who wants to give Triamour a chance! I too think he would be quite a good husband. Of course, we know from chapter one that things don't turn out as they should. Penelope really needs to give him a chance. No, he wasn't condescending, he was being genuine. "I get the sense that maybe he doesn't deserve to be hated or to fall victim to her mysterious plans." - You are so right on the money here. I hate that we hardly ever see the male perspective when it comes to victimization and I want to show that he's no Voldemort - he doesn't deserve scorn when he has done nothing to garner such hatred.

Once you find out what's up her sleeve, I think you'll be disgusted. She's devious!

Thank you so much for another wonderful review! You're too sweet! :)

Shelby


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