With NaNo happening in less than three hours for me this might be the last review in awhile unless I manage to squeeze another in tonight.
Your description of the boat and the aftermath of the death was really brilliant. You caught the silent eerie air I would imagine that death would cause and it was do chilling. I thought Helen's thoughts in that section went well with character. She almost built up a wall around herself so to cut off emption and mainly seemed to be acting for herself and that worked really well.
Ooh a thing I've been meaning to mention for a while is how you have such a small cast of named characters, Helen, Moody and Cadogan, yet I never bore of them. Admittedly, one is now dead but I doubt it will change much as both of them have such intriguing personalities there will always be new aspects of them to explore.
I found it really interesting to watch how Helen is reacting to the death. She runs to Moody and is desperate to talk to him and gain his trust, a big change as she appeared to strongly dislike him before. Then there's the steadiness of it with the way she closed herself up and tried to rid Cadogan from her memory. I still don't feel as if I know the real Helen and in a way I doubt I ever will.
I never anticipated that Helen would get arrested! Her thoughts, emotions and descriptions of things there was brilliant. It had a deteriorated air about it and that matched her thoughts as they became more and more ludicrous and laughable. The note about her not being on British records was really interesting as I never thought of that consequence before.
The dream scene with the tomb was really interesting and I can't help but wonder whether it symbolises what has passed or what has yet to come. Well, at the moment luck seems to be on her side with Moody showing up and defeating the major it's just a question of how long for!
Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to read and review again! ^_^
It's fantastic to hear that the atmosphere I wanted came through - that scene was one of my favourite to write, and I wanted it to be very striking for readers, just as it was for Helen. You're very right in your reading of her - she's hiding behind masks and walls, both in her behaviour during the story and her narration of it, if that makes sense. Who is the real Helen? It's a question you could ask about anyone because it's impossible to ever really ever know a person, or even to know oneself.
You know, it's strange because many of my stories have small casts of characters like that. I've only started to branch out in my next-generation fics, and I will try to introduce more characters in this story, especially other women for Helen to interact with and learn from. Part of this is a result of Helen's isolation - she really keeps herself to herself, which is why, when she's in trouble, she ends up going to Moody, the only other person she knows can help her. It also explains why she got into the mess with Cadogan - she was so desperate for company, for an equal, that she ended up choosing very wrongly, her naivety showing through.
At the end of this chapter she reaches her lowest point, and from here she can only go upward and forward. She's tried to do things on her own and it hasn't worked out very well, so now it's time for a change of scene and a change in how she's approaching the problem. What she needs is to set aside her fears and, to a degree, her pride, and go back to the magical world. The point about her records only underscores how she can't escape the magical world - it's the place where she belongs, and it's there that she can find the help she needs.
Thank you again! ^_^ It means a lot to hear from you!