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Review:SilentConfession says:

I'm here to start on my reviews. Since we were also paired for the review exchange i'm going to do more than I would regularly do for my thread (which is two each request). :) So expect at least 4.

I need to comment first on how i'm shocked I haven't read this story before now. Or any of your work. There is a really beautiful quality to this and it shows how much you are in control of your writing. It is something I very much admire in writers. I think that's because i'm so not in control when I write. I'm far too impatient and distracted. However, I love all the small details in this chapter. It really gets me into the story. I can literally feel her emotions and the descriptions of her surroundings really help a reader get into the mood of it. For example, describing how the dew from the grass soaks into Albus' trouser's, or describing that whole scene with Wren and her animals. There was something so simplistic about it, but it really seemed to capture this whole leaving your childhood behind and being thrust into the unknown.

I already feel like your characterization is strong. I get a strong feeling of who Wren is with this first chapter and I feel connected to her life. Which is saying something as it is only the first chapter. I like how, at the moment, she is so focussed on the past (who wouldn't be in her position?) but I like how that it seemed so contrasting to her currently situation. Like how you focus on if her Gran was here she'd go investigate or she'd go and tell her to be practical about it. It gave a really beautiful sense of how much is changing around Wren. It made me feel really sad for her to see her life ripped apart so completely. The scene with the animals nearly made me cry because she's so compassionate with those animals and yet she has to let them go before they're ready. (the line i absolutely loved the most 'Fly. Be free.' because it seemed like that was how Wren was feeling herself.) It was such an emotionally charged moment and ending it with the bunny 'disappearing' or what have you with the flash of light made it that much more poignant. It immediately grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to read more because we're so involved and caught up in that moment.

On to your concerns of story dynamics. I've brushed on this a little, but at the moment it feels very in control. I don't think you have much to worry about with this first chapter and I don't think it confuses readers at all. There is a sense of suspense and foreboding in it, but it doesn't get convoluted or twisty in ways that would make it difficult to understand.

The only thing I found a bit off were those few paragraphs near the beginning introducing the problem with Gran and her grandparents. It seemed a bit convoluted with a lot of repetition of Gran and grandparents. For me, it was hard to keep it all straight especially since it was the introduction of it. It made it hard to focus on the details of what was wrong. I think if perhaps there was a bit more clarity of the difference between the two (as Gran and grandparents are used so interchangeably it almost felt like they were the same). Even if it was something as simple as using Gran Augusta once to differentiate them and say who you're actually talking about. It would probably make the rest of the chapter go smoother as well.

Overall, I think you have a powerfully written first chapter, there is mystery and suspense that you want for a firstie as well. I'll continue to keep my eye out for the story dynamics you asked about, but for now, it is looking really good. I am a fan of a bit of ambiguity and I think how you've introduced the story really leads to interest rather than confusion.

By the way, i really, REALLY hope that it isn't Albus that the summary is referring to!

Author's Response: Hi there!

I know it's after the end of the month, but I really want to get to the last two posted chapters of your story. RL is banging me over the head at the moment, so just know that I'll be over there by the end of the week. :)

Wow, so I am in control of something? That's great! I'm so glad you get a solid feel for Wren and where she is in life.

I struggled with the Gran vs grandparents thing here, as you could see... so did my betas, but I like the idea of adding "Gran Augusta" somewhere. That would definitely distinguish her from the others. I'll try that when I tidy things up a bit.

It's good that you're a fan of ambiguity. So am I. But I've learned that too much of it makes the story difficult to read, so at the same time as I'm developing the mystery, I'm also keeping a firm eye on my clarity. Since you weren't confused much, I assume that it was okay here.

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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