YESSS! This was EXACTLY the kind of story I was looking for when I started my review thread! So smart, such a fresh take on the characters, and absolutely different from any nextgens I've ever seen.
So first things first: I love it.
The opening was an incredible shock, and immediately piqued ALL OF THE curiosities. I thought the internal dialogue Mr. Walker had was really well done, and rather a joy to read. And the prose throughout is really superb. There's a bluntness to it, and the narrative so far is absolutely *merciless*. MAGIC IS GONE FROM THE WORLD. ROSE IS OLD. HERMIONE IS DEAD. WEEP, FANGIRLS. And I do, I weep.
The bit where Rose revives Hugo was tremendous. I loved how you conceptualized magic, in fact, I wonder if you've read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? It does a really similar thing, and I'm really excited that there will be more analysis on magic. Also, this: "In its simplest form, magic is an idea. And a very good idea, mind you."
I really appreciated that your Rose was SMART. She's very often portrayed as silly, even frivolous, but she IS Hermione's daughter, after all.
And I haven't seen many stories here that shift focalizations so easily, even though that's common in a lot of fiction. I think that worked to keep the pace up, and gave you the space to get a lot across. Sticking to one POV at a time can have certain benefits, but it can also be constricting. I'm guessing this story will be a very involved plot, and I'm glad that you can dart between various interiorities to effect your narrative. Also, all of your characters so far are really interesting, so I'm glad that we can see inside any of them.
Vincent "The Head" Mysteryman is driving me crazy with curiosity, as his last name hasn't yet been divulged. I have to assume right now that he's somehow canon, but haven't got a single guess. I mean, Crabbe is dead, and I can't think of any other Vincents.
There were so many lines in this that I loved, but this one really stood out: "the fastidious expression of someone who was rarely ever pleased."
The bickering house elves were a GREAT concept. Mediterranean and Japanese food--hilarious! This is definitely one of the more serious nextgens I've ever seen, but you manage to include some very nice, very dry comedy.
The Head is really a fantastic character, and I can't wait to read more of him! I almost wonder if he'll end up being a reluctant father-figure, if only because of his marked "NO BOYS" rule.
And calling Voldemort "Tommy"--I feel like that said a lot. It was so irreverent, so familiar, so completely devoid of either fear or respect. I highly suspect that Vincent will prove to be a largely amoral, or at least, morally ambiguous character.
I know you said you weren't particularly vexed about grammar, but a few little things I picked up on. They are very tiny and trivial, and I only point them out because the writing was so great overall:
-"Energy that wizards use manipulate to perform various functions." I suspect you wrote "use" and then switched to "manipulate"
-"there are techniques in magic that are able to bypass." I think a word is missing here, and I had to read a few times to be sure I understood the passage.
-"lemonade of [on] a hot summer day," otherwise a great line!
-"He would have [to] crush that defiant spirit in due time"
All in all, a really REALLY wonderful story! I hope this review was what you were looking for--and hope you rerequest soon!!!
And seriously, if you haven't already read HP&MOR--I think you'd dig it. It's pretty wild, but has some startling thematic similarities with this story.
Author's Response: OH GAWSH.
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL REVIEW.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and I admit I've never read 'Methods of Rationality' but if definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy!
Glad you enjoyed my conceptualization of magic- I swear, it's my inner nerd's fault and because I refuse to believe thins just 'poof' out of thin air. It really lays the groundwork for the rest of the story and what happens.
Glad you liked my interpretation of Rose- she definitely has her mother's brains and nerve, but I wanted to give a darker and a more desperate edge.
I love that you picked up on everything I wanted to convey with the Head, and the very, very dry humor with this chapter. He's not canon- and that I avoid giving his last name is because I hadn't thought one up at this point in writing (and I totally poke fun at this later somewhere that it makes him a more mysterious figure, and thus, scarier to his subordinates). So yeah, the Head enjoys his ambiguity and I like your reluctant father-figure comment haha. I keep forgetting you've read ahead.
Thanks for the grammar tidbits and an overall amazing review!