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Review:TidalDragon says:
Howdy again! Resuming my quest to review all the Golden Paw nominees and it's no surprise I've found another one of your stories!

It took me a bit to adjust to the rather unique style and flavor of this one, but once I got into the rhythm you established for James's thoughts and emotions I thought it was well-executed.

The questioning in the beginning was natural and in retrospect I think it was a nice accomplishment that you stayed true to the characterization throughout rather than caving to giving it more artful and showy language. As James's understanding accelerated though, so too did his emotions and the pace of his thoughts. You did a good job with this, leading right into the moment where his worst fears hit him like a ton of bricks and everything slows again.

The dynamic between James and Lily was interesting in the latter part of the story. Lily's presence definitely brought more clarity to James, while he certainly brought her comfort and reassurance. I will confess though that I did find Lily a bit too accepting and logical about what happened. Sure she expected to die, having already decided to sacrifice herself for Harry, but I imagine it would have been equally if not more jarring for her. Obviously we don't see her suffering (though it is shown that she wept heavily) since the story is from James's POV, but it just struck me a bit how at peace with things she seemed so soon. Shrug.

Regardless, I thought it was a good job (per usual) of tackling a really difficult plot, so props to you. Good luck!

Author's Response: Hi, there! I have to say I'm really impressed with your dedication to reading all of these.

This was my second experience with writing an in-the-moment, first person narrative style. It's always tricky for me because you are trying to sort of sync up the reader's experience with the character's. I'm glad it started to work for you.

Believe me, it took some editing to keep James's voice -- both internal and spoken -- in that same characterization throughout. I also have a tendency to drift into more flowery language at times, but that couldn't happen here.

I definitely hear what you're saying about Lily's emotional state. In my mind, I saw her as having already cried herself out. Her emotions were so overwhelmed that all she was left with was the logical part of her brain. After a traumatic event, I've noticed some people who simply wall off their emotions because it hurts too much to feel, and that's where I mentally had Lily. She does help James put it all together. Between the two of them, I always imagine her to be the deep thinker while James is more quick to action.

I'm really pleased that you liked it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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