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Review:academica says:
Hey, here with your requested review!

Wow, this was really impressive! I adored how dark you went with Tom's characterization. You can see him spiraling into the bottomless pit, and I'm not sure he could turn back now even if he wanted to. I definitely picked up some good antisocial personality disorder (that's the formal name for what we call psychopathy) symptoms, namely his lack of empathy, his thrill-seeking nature, and his glib outer persona. For example, the thing with picking out his own birthday present - I got the sense that he would just steal from someone else if he saw something he wanted, and without a second thought about it. Clearly he was a thrill-seeker because he needed to up the ante every year, and sometimes (like with the Chamber) even that wasn't often enough. It was intriguing how he really lived in his own head, saying whatever he needed to and using others at will but pretending to be the "golden boy" so that no one would even suspect him. You wrote so many layers to him and I'm impressed with your accuracy and the obvious research here. For future reference, if you ever want to consult on mental disorder symptoms, I'm happy to help :)

Slughorn was great as well, very in character with his joyful attitude - and he's obvious beside himself to be spending time with a student as impressive and composed as Tom Riddle. The mention of politics was a neat touch as well, because I think Slughorn probably thought he'd get as much out of that career as Tom would, with favors and special invitations and whatnot. I love Slughorn but rarely see him written, and I'd love to read/write more about his complicated and regret-filled relationship with Tom.

I like the quotes and they clearly connect with the themes in each section. However, I had some trouble figuring out their significance. My first thought was that maybe they were from the books Tom was reading, but those were probably more likely related to dark magic or Horcrux creation, right? If you're worried that they clutter the piece, I think it would be okay to take them out. I also didn't feel that they detracted from the piece, so leaving them in would be fine too.

I was just really impressed by this. It's easy to see how you wound up winning an award in the duel. I will definitely recommend this if it's not already listed on the forums. Nice work!

I hope this review is helpful :)


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