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Review:CambAngst says:
Tagging you from Review Tag.

My overarching impression of your story is that you have a really interesting idea. You've taken a minor character -- one who we know suffered a tragic and premature death at the hands of the Dark Lord and his minions -- and set up a really neat premise around her. The idea of her retreating from the war-torn magical world, trying to hide with her muggle friend, seemed really clever to me. What I think you need to work on is your execution of the idea. I'll elaborate a little more below.

I liked your characterization of both Marlene and Keira. Marlene shaped up for me like a very smart, very cautious young woman with a few interesting twists. She doesn't want the attention that her association with the Marauders draws from the Death Eaters, so she gradually pulls away from them. Some might consider that a bit cowardly; she just thinks of it as being practical. At the same time, though, she spends lots of time around her muggle friend. If the Death Eaters have already taken notice of you, there's almost nothing more dangerous that you could do.

Keira comes from such a structured world. Her mother is so intense about maintaining their garden. Her records are precisely organized, as is the rest of her room. Her brothers know exactly how to get to her when she grasses them up for taking one of her mother's flowers. She even accepts the mystery of Marlene's moving pictures without asking too many questions, just agreeing to keep the secret. It seems like she has a strong capacity for compartmentalizing that which does not fit her structured world view.

I think you struggled a bit with the HPFF editor. I saw a lot of places where it seems like you lost the spaces between your words. It's tricky sometimes to copy and paste text in from other editors. I also had some problems following the flow of your writing, especially the transitions from descriptions of one character to another. If you went through and straightened out all of your formatting, I think the story would flow a lot better.

One other thing I really liked was the way you wrote the confusion of the Death Eater attack on Keira's home. First off, I'm sure that Dementors were involved, but there was no way Keira could have understood that. So you stuck with the physical manifestations that she could see. Beyond that, you maintained a great feeling of confusion and fear and franticness. Even the physical effects of her tumble down the stairs were well done.

To sum it all up, I think you have a good plot concept and you're definitely good with your characterization and descriptions. If you work on your editing more -- maybe find a good beta reader to work with -- then you'll be well on your way to writing a winner!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for taking the time to leave such an awesome review, I really enjoyed reading it and I'm sure that Janelle will too.

Janelle (LilyLou) wrote the first chapter (and I wrote the second) so you can thank her for the really good characterisation.

I think that the gramatical and formatting errors have been edited by Janelle but I'm not sure. Thanks for stopping by!


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