Hey! Here for the 'Claw Battle. This is really interesting so I'm gonna go ahead and spam you with reviews and do all three chapters:)
I'll also be trying out the format (adjusted a bit) that DarkRose over on the forums suggested in a blog post...
So... Here goes!
General Opinion: This was a great idea. Really original! I enjoyed it a lot, it was humorous and well-written and just fantastic.
The only suggestion I'd make is that there are times when there are a lot of commas, and it can read slightly choppy. These are mostly places where commas are optional.
"She smiled, whether sinisterly or coyly, he couldn’t tell, and came in close."
Like here, it just seems a little awkward. I'm being really picky when I say that, though.
Grammar/Spelling: No problems I could see! Although it was captivating enough that I was reading too fast to notice anything...
Great Lines: Oh man. So many. Too many, or the entire 6000 characters will be quotes...
Sunlight danced along the banks of the Black Lake as students of
Gulping, he reached across the table, lifting a Gobstone gingerly and setting it into place at his opponent’s end of the board.
Though his insides trembled for fear of the repercussions, Lorcan kept his voice calm.
Motioning to her posse, she stalked away from the battleground, a wounded, malignant she-devil. Watching her exit made Lorcan feel light-headed, and it wasn’t due to some fictional latent attraction to the sway of her hips. He barely registered the encouraging slaps on the back that his mates bestowed upon him.
It was said that she was the illegitimate child of Grawp and Madame Maxime, raised by giants to cover Maxime’s shame. (That whole paragraph, but this line in particular!)
Plot: I already said it, but this is such an original, fun idea. You've got a great start. You've got an obvious conflict set up (the rematch), but also more complex ones (how will he face his fears?). The types of conflict varies from Man-(wo)Man, Man-Self, Man-Gobstone... okay, I don't think that last one in usually recognized as a conflict type...
Characterization: You did such a great job with this! Lorcan and Lysander are awesome! It's funny that Lysander has taken it upon himself to be his brother's therapist after being Sorted into Hufflepuff, because I've written two brothers, one a Hufflepuff, who acts as a therapist for his brother.
Okay that sentence was awful. I need a beta for my reviews.
When Lysander took about ten minutes to get over how funny he thought the Freudien slip... I laughed. He's such a dork. He's so cool.
Cassiopeia is awesome! I mean, I wouldn't want to be friends with her, but as a character... she's awesome.
Lorsan is awesome too. Both as a character and as someone I'd totally hang out with. He's awkward and perfect.
Descriptions: You do an amazing job with descriptions. This chapter is a great example of "show not tell". In my favorite lines, there are some great examples of descriptions.
Interactions: Yes! The interactions! That's really where your characters come to life. I love the interaction between the twins. They obviously care about each other, but Lysander seems to annoy Lorcan. Which makes it believable.
And Lorcan and Cassiopeia! She terrifies him and he turns into this bubbling little guy. She's so intimidating! She sent him to the hospital wing! Will Lorcan try to seduce her? I want to know. Which is why I'll be leaving you two more spastic reviews.
Style, Pacing, and Flow: Your writing is wonderful and easy to read. It moves quickly enough for a first chapter (I usually prefer fast-paced first chapters because... it's the first chapter. I'm too lazy to make a big commitment to reading a first chapter.) I really can't say anything other than that this was fantastic.
Closing remarks: Marvelous.
Author's Response: Hi! It's been an inexcusable amount of time since I've responded to reviews, and so now I am here, belatedly, to respond to your lovely, lovely, lovely reviews that you left on this silly little story! :)
First of all, THANKSTHANKSTHANKSTHANKSTHANKS!! Review spam=good spam. You are so, so sweet for reviewing ALL THREE chapters. Second of all, major props to you for trying the whole "SuperComprehensiveThoroughWonderfulLovely" Review format. It really means a lot to me that you took the time to do that!
Humorous and well-written?! You're too kind! I wrote this story while I was right in the middle of reviewing for my AP Psychology exam, so all of the psychology started flowing out of my mind and onto the paper! It was very, very silly and I enjoyed every minute of it. :)
As for the comma thing... I do that A LOT. Commas are my friends--like those friends that people have that are REALLY bad for them. Yeah, commas are THOSE friends for me. Thank you for pointing that out! One day when I edit this (probably a long time from now...), I will look over it for all of the unnecessary commas! :D
Hahahahaha, did I really write those lines?! It makes me happy that you liked them so much. I only aim to please! But actually, I think that I forgot about writing them, because reading them in this review was like reading them for the first time. Hahaha, I'm too forgetful, I guess.
I think that Man vs. Gobstones should DEFINITELY count as a source of conflict. There's so much tension, so much riding on one move of the game pieces! Trololol, just kidding. But again, THANKSTHANKSTHANKS for saying that this is an original idea. I really like being original. (And I also like the use of the word "really," apparently. Sorry about that!)
Really?! You've got two brothers--one who acts as the other's therapist?! What a goofy coincidence!! Yes, Lysander is a complete dork, but I wouldn't have him any other way. His favorite color is purple because he thinks it goes well with yellow. So that should give you some idea about what kind of a silly goober he is. :}
Cassiopeia is definitely something else, that's for sure! I wouldn't want to be friends with her, either, but while I'm being honest, I might as well say that I sometimes feel like her. Especially when I wake up at 7:00 am to go practice the oboe and the music building is closed. (So she's partly inspired by my bad moods, I guess.) Heh heh. :p
Amazing job with descriptions?! Again, you are just too kind. I try and try to get descriptions as accurate as possible, but sometimes I can't find words for what I'm seeing in my head. And sometimes my descriptive powers go away when I'm trying to work my way through dialogue, but that's another problem entirely, I guess. Thanks so much!
Oh yes, the twins will never NOT get on each other's nerves. They definitely love each other, but in an odd, dysfunctional sort of way. Cassiopeia is a nightmare--Lorcan's nightmare, mostly. Lorcan may or may not try to seduce her, but I assure you that if he does, it is for purely unromantic reasons. :D
You're so, so, so wonderful for leaving me three awesome reviews!! I will go and answer the other two now. Again, thank you ever so much for these!