Reading Reviews for Black Sands
  
145 Reviews Found

Review #26, by academica In the Blink of an Eye

25th March 2013:
Hey Susan! I'm here to initiate the first of our swaps :) Since I've read the first five chapters but only now just started reviewing, I'm just going to leave some comments on what I read prior to this chapter first.

I've really enjoyed getting to know Helen. She's plucky and cynical and yet totally aware of the social conventions expected of her. She seems willing to conform as long as it suits her purposes, just as you would expect from a Slytherin; at the same time, she doesn't dull her sharp tongue in conversation, particularly with Moody. I think you've broken convention with her in a couple of different ways. For one, a lot of pureblood female OCs wind up pouting in their parents' homes or suffering as newlyweds in their arranged marriages. But Helen just went for it, left and carved out a life for herself, and with her struggles, the journey feels realistic. For another, you've done a good job of building up her character so that it doesn't feel forced or contrived to me to see Helen engaging in so much internal dialogue and sarcasm. It makes sense for her to reason with herself a lot, given all that she's trying to hide.

Oh, and Moody! I like how he's got that spitfire personality, as well as the contrast between his disdain of Helen and his fascination with her. I love it when a line of his dialogue pops up, because I know it's going to bring out Helen's worst. Hehe.

The premise for the story is obviously original, and I like the idea of there being this curse that isn't quite obvious to everyone but with which your main character is very in tune. It'll be interesting to see where Pharoah's wife comes in, and how she'll react to her husband's tomb being desecrated.

Anyway, on to the chapter at hand.

Helen is just full of contrasts, isn't she? She knows she's beautiful, and yet male attention seems to make her exceedingly uncomfortable, at least until she finds a way to use it to her advantage. I have to wonder if she's only pretending to be so perturbed by the glances she gets from Moody and Emile. I guess it makes it all the better that Moody pushes her buttons, to challenge her image making.

I loved the suspense in this chapter, too. I have to admit, when you first started describing the body as being without marks, I immediately thought of the Killing Curse. I wonder if this Egyptian curse is some kind of Avada Kedavra ancestor? Anyway, I like how you went from the confusion over the man's death to the incident with the boulder. The tension remained high throughout and pulled along readily to the end of the chapter. Great flow there. Same thing with Helen's realization from earlier in the chapter that someone had seen her Apparate. I wonder if it's the Pharaoh's vengeful spirit?

Nothing to critique in this chapter, or so far in the story. I'm afraid it will be challenging for me to critique anything of yours, but I'll try to be helpful where I can.

Very excited to continue. Nice work so far :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Thank you very much for coming in to read and review this story, Amanda! Your feedback means a lot, and it's wonderful that you had the idea for the long-term review swap. Maybe I'd do better with reviews if I updated more regularly, but with this story, the idea has developed so slowly that it doesn't even resemble my original idea. But it's strange how I keep returning to this story, even after setting it aside for a few years.

It's fantastic to hear that you like Helen and Moody. Writing them again has been a treat because they have this potential to be cliched, yet their speech and actions overturn the stereotypes of the action/adventure hero and heroine. After reading your review, I went back to the first chapter to add more references to the fate of most pureblood Slytherin girls. You're very right that Helen's choice differentiates her from other such witches - Pansy and Narcissa come to mind - because she's been dissatisfied by the idea of "settling down" from the beginning. It's not that she doesn't want to settle, but rather that she wants to settle on her own terms, not as an ornament and brood mare.

Looking back at what I've written for this story, it seems like I've spent more time building the characters than the plot. This isn't new for me - it's just amusing to realize that I'm only getting into the plot by chapter 9 or 10.

Moody is the more interesting character of the two, probably because we don't see into his mind. Although Helen keeps information back from readers, her narration is still very revealing. I love your point that Moody both feels disdain and fascination for Helen - I hadn't seen that, but it's the perfect way to describe him! A lot of this has to do with Helen's defiance of expectation - the juxtaposition of her appearance and her personality confuses him. Half of the time, I don't know if he says something because he means it or because he knows it will get a rise out of her. There's a fantastic tension between them. :)

There was a time when I had forgotten about the prologue, and another period when I wasn't sure if it was even necessary, but I've found a way of re-integrating those characters and "origin story" back into the plot. the problem has been finding a way to do it without making it sound corny, and it seems that with these kind of stories, everything has already been done. Oddly enough, my new inspiration for this story has come from my dissertation research! There are some very strange books about Ancient Egyptian mythology from the late-Victorian period, and I'm going to see how much of that I can incorporate here.

Just to return to Helen's character, she isn't pretending to be perturbed by Moody and Cadogan's attentions, or those by any man for that matter. She dislikes being seen as a sexual object because she knows that there's a lot more to her than that - she wants people to see beyond her appearance, and she only grows closer to the two men when she believes that they respect her as a person. It's one reason why she didn't want to be married off to whichever wizard came froward - if she's going to commit to a relationship, it has to be based on something more meaningful.

I hadn't thought too much about that curse (oops), but I like the idea of it being the ancient precursor to Avada Kedavra. Since it's the daemon who cast it, I'm not sure if it's a "spell" per se, but it has much the same effect as the killing curse.

Thank you so much for this wonderfully long review! ^_^


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Review #27, by Alexandra M. Camilleri In the Pit of Snakes

25th March 2013:
Greetings,

I originally read this particular story on the site fanfiction . net however I am was very pleased to see that you have continued to update this story on this site.

I quite like the fact that you subtly added more links to the Harry Potter universe by giving your characters, Helen Black and Alexander Moody, such recognisable surnames. I also must commend you on the excellent characterisation; I cannot help but feel exactly what Helen feels. And Moody is simply wonderful - I love the pairing so much. Helen is also a very likeable and believable. To me she is exactly how a noble lady on the run should act like; strong, independent, stubborn and slightly spoilt. On the other hand, Moody threw me off at first. I quickly wrote him off as just a secondary character whose purpose was to only highlight the paranoia our heroine feels and yet, his is an ever fluctuating and evolving character. I cannot wait to see fully the dimensions of Helen's and Moody's relationship. Your descriptions are vivid and yet not too taxing - there is a balance between the visual experience and any introspective thoughts that Helen might observe.

All in all, I hope that you continue with this story because, like you, I also enjoy reading adventure stories a la Indiana Jones and so forth. It is a well-written story with a unique plot and good characterisation. It also has the perfect set of genres: adventure, mystery, crime, romance, mythology and fantasy! What could be better?

Thank you for your time and patience.

Alexandra M. Camilleri

(I also love the fact that you used Ingrid Bergman to depict Helen in the banners.)

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! It is wonderful to hear that you've been following this story for some time - it has been rewritten to an extent since the old days on fanfiction-dot-net, but I keep coming back to this story, again and again, to continue writing it. To hear that you've enjoyed it this much is fantastic. I can't thank you enough for the compliments!

You have the story in a nutshell with that list of genres - it's one of those stories in which the author writes what they themselves would love to read: an Indiana Jones style tale with a female protagonist, but without the whole "tomb raider" association. I'm starting to add more occult and mystical elements too, playing with Ancient Egyptian mythology and the way that it revived in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. All of these things make me want to go on writing, and it means a lot that you enjoy this combination of genres. :D

Moody slips into the story in an exciting way because, like you said, he seems like a minor character, but he insinuates himself into the story and into Helen's life. I don't want to reveal more at the moment because their partnership does become central to the plot - they can only succeed by pooling their resources and skills, and of course by learning to trust each other. What's interesting about writing Moody is that he becomes more of a chameleon as I go on - only in the chapter I'm writing now does he start to reveal more of himself.

Thank you again for this review - I can only hope that the future chapters of this story continue be enjoyable. :)


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Review #28, by lia_2390 Prologue

15th July 2012:
I don't know why it took me such a long time to even read this! I can definitely see where you drew your inspiration from as you mentioned in your author's note. The Mummy was one of my favourite movies as a kid, and I share my parents' love for Indiana Jones.

Sometimes I think it's a bad thing that I watched the movie because you've painted Ankhesenamun in a completely different light. There's something heartbreaking about the prologue because you have your young bride who has run out of tears and hoping that her life ends sooner than later. Those are feelings, though I've never experienced myself, I can understand. It's unfortunate that she was surrounded by such malice in her time of mourning.

Ok, relevant reviewing stuff. Setting - I thought it was quite lovely, actually. Any exotic location fits the genre perfectly. It makes the story more thrilling as the characters (and readers) are cast into an unknown place. Who knows what could happen?

Lia

Author's Response: It's always a pleasure to see someone new trying out this story. It's got a special spot in my heart, being my longest-running story, so it means a lot to hear that readers are enjoying it. :D

What's funny about being inspired by The Mummy and reading up on the history of Tutankhamn's tomb is that Ankhesenamun actually /was/ the name of Tutankhamun's wife, making for an awkward confusion of names. XD The Ankhesenamun of this story has no relation to the one from the movie, I'm afraid. One thing I do have to do when writing future chapters is try to work in details of this prologue - my plans for the story changed a few years ago, making the prologue less important, but it seems to be the chapter that people latch onto most, so I have to do some plot fixing, it seems. ;)

Thank you for stopping by to read and review! I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story. ^_^


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Review #29, by SnitchSnatcher Prologue

7th September 2011:
This is such a brilliant prologue that I actually let out a groan of disappointment when it was over. I was so immersed in it. I want more of Ankhesenamun's thoughts - they're so beautiful and tragic and addicting!

I felt like I was experiencing that moment in history first hand, and it was truly beautiful. Your descriptions are, as always, absolutely stunning. I'm really looking forward to delving into this fic! I've heard so many great things about it and even though I've only read the prologue, I can tell that I won't be disappointed!

Author's Response: Now I'm thinking that I should write a novel based on this prologue - it receives the most wonderful compliments from readers. ^_^ It was originally going to have more of a place in the story (a whole dreamscape time-travel plot), but now it's mostly a way of setting the scene with the ancient Egyptian magics, which I'm using a little differently from JRK, especially in regard to demons vs. curses in the tombs.

Anyway, I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed this prologue and its style - it means a great amount, coming from you. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story! ^_^


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Review #30, by NaidatheRavenclaw In the House of Black

17th August 2011:
One little typo (I think) I caught- "There are countless ways to tell this story, but only one can make sense of the events which occurred during the winter excavation season of 1923-1923." I think you mean 1923-1924 ;)

I absolutely love Helen's character. It's great to see a Pureblood who can stick up for herself. For a first chapter, I already feel like I know quite a bit about her character, which is definitely an accomplishment. And with your reputation, I'm not at all worried that she'll be one-dimensional :P

I have to comment on your dialogue. I think it's something that I often see overlooked in fics, but you clearly paid attention to it. I can tell, just by the way the characters speak, that this is some rich pure blood family not living in today's time period. And it's those small details that make your story that much better.

Another amazing chapter. You've definitely earned your reputation on this site!
-Naida

Author's Response: Thanks! I got to that typo right away - one of those silly things that I missed while editing.

It's wonderful that you like Helen! She's one of my insaner creations, and it always means a lot when readers compliment her. (By insane, I mean that she leans toward Mary Sue in many aspects, but I try to counteract these where I can.) At times, she's a challenge to handle, especially because, with the first person narrative, the story is focused on her all of the time. I have my fingers crossed that she'll continue to remain satisfactory.

Thank you very much for the lovely compliments! Wow, I'm speechless with that last one. The whole thought of having a reputation is frightening. *hides*


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Review #31, by NaidatheRavenclaw Prologue

17th August 2011:
Wow.

I've been meaning to come and look at your stories for ages, since everyone seems to love them, and now that I'm here, this definitely did not disappoint.

I'm in awe at the way you write. It's the perfect blend of description and simple sentences, of dialogue and actions. Seriously, this reads better than half the books out there today. And I can't comment much on plot based on a prologue alone, but it certainly seems to have a much better plot than half of the novels too. It's not fair to be THIS good at both writing and graphics :P

Being interested in mythology itself, and especially Egyptian mythology, this really appealed to me. And for fanfiction, this is so different. (And I mean that in an entirely good way) It has a basis in history, and the only other historical type fics I've read have been set in WWI/II eras, so I'm loving that this is so different. And I'm really interested to see how you use the Egyptian magic!

This has to be one of the best prologues I've ever seen. I wish I could be more constructive in my review, but everything in this was so flawless, it was impossible for me to find anything to critique :P Excellent!
-Naida

Author's Response: Oh wow, it's shocking to hear that people have talked about my stories in that way, but it's great that you came to read something of mine, and even better that you enjoyed it, or at least this prologue. I'll warn you that it's different from the rest of the story, though the information from it crops up throughout - it was great to help me think through how the ancient Egyptians would have used magic. It's interesting to explore a very different magical culture. :)

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this prologue, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story! ^_^


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Review #32, by Skit Skit In the Pit of Snakes

28th July 2011:
Brilliant chapter as always. Moody the Cursebreaker, eh? Love it. And I particularly liked this line: "His face as it was in the shadows before he kissed me, his pale skin reflected in the mirror, crowned with fire." Update when you can. :)

Author's Response: Haha, something like that. :P He's a slippery one, even worse than Cadogan. I wonder how Helen ends up in the company of all these smarmy fellows, but maybe Moody will turn out to be better. ;)

Thanks very much for reading and reviewing this story! It's wonderful to hear that you've been enjoying it. ^_^


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Review #33, by SunSation Gal 07 In the House of Black

18th June 2011:
Sheese, I feel for Helen. and once again, you write brilliantly Susan. and now off to Egypt, where I'm sure Helen's real problems will begin. ;)

Author's Response: It's great to hear that you feel sympathy for her - admittedly, when I first started writing this story, I didn't like her at all and I was afraid that it was showing through. I like her a lot better now, but it was the strangest thing to dislike one's own first-person narrator. XD

Thanks again for reading and reviewing, Lee! I hope that you enjoy the rest of this story. ^_^


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Review #34, by SunSation Gal 07 Prologue

18th June 2011:
this had been on my reading list for a long time now and with the review blast at TGS, the opportunity to finally read it came about! and it did not disappoint! not at all, only made me wish I had started this sooner. and now I must go onto the next chapter so I can see what happens.

Author's Response: Thank you, Lee! It's great to hear that you enjoyed this prologue (though it's rather become redundant to the plot, but whatever - I like the way it sets the atmosphere), and that this was on your reading list! It's a very obscure sort of story in terms of character and era, so I write it mostly for my own amusement. :P

Which reminds me that your stories are on my reading list... *hides* I've been looking forward to reading them for some time. ;)


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Review #35, by Skit Skit In the House of the Goddess

18th April 2011:
I love the way your writing just flows and I'm in envy of your mystery telling skills! I do hope you update soon because this is such an awesome story! Can't wait to see what happens next! Btw, is Cary Grant "Moody" in the chapter images? Because every time he's mentioned I just hear Cary Grant's voice saying "Moody". Ha. :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much! *blushes* It's a wonderful compliment that you like both my writing and my mystery plotting skills. I find mysteries the hardest type of story to write because they require so much detail and complex structuring, so it means a lot that you're envious. ^_^

And yes, that's Cary Grant. :D I've been imagining his voice while writing Moody, and it's good to know that it's showing through, haha. He's just perfect for the part.


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Review #36, by SamanthaNicolette In the House of the Goddess

13th February 2011:
Well, didn't see that one coming!

Where are you, Moody?! We need you and your wonderfullness! AhhH!!!
Please, ease the aching and post an update! Pleeaaasssee :) This is a wonderful story and I can't wait to see where you take this!

Author's Response: I know! Where is Moody when he's actually needed? He's always there when he's not wanted, of course. :P

I'm glad to have surprised you with this chapter, and it's wonderful to hear that you're enjoying the story. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #37, by miss_aurora In the House of the Goddess

5th February 2011:
I'm a bit confused, Cadogan is dead? But how? Or has he been dead for quite a while and for some reason he is still alive at the same time? I have too many questions at the moment and I know that most of them shouldn't be answered now or it'll spoil the fun. So thank you for the fastupdate and can't wait for the next one :)

Love,
Go

Author's Response: Oh yes, he is dead. I like your third question - it was something I deeply considered, making him a zombie-esque character, but I did change things around a bit in order to complicate Helen's character, so no, alas, he was alive until he went onto the deck of the ship that morning. ;)

You're right to question anything that goes on with Cadogan, though, as there's a definite trick with his death. :P That's all I'll give away.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing! :D


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Review #38, by miss_aurora In the Dream of Night

31st January 2011:
Now I also wonder what Cadogan is. He seems really familiar with Wizarding world and he holds some kind of mysterious power. I'm really curious. And finally there's a new update. I've been waiting, so thank you so much for the update! Love this! :)

Love,
Go

Author's Response: It's good to wonder what Cadogan is. ;) He's many things, and wonderfully elusive, never fully-formed, even in my head. There's something very much off about him, though, even if he is a wizard, but it will take a while for Helen to figure out just what that is. :P

Thank you so much for following this story and for enjoying it! That means a lot to me, as it's my favourite to write. ^_^


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Review #39, by Romina Stephanie In the Teeth of the Lion

8th December 2010:
I've finally caught up! And it gets better and better with every chapter. I think what I've come to love more and more is the setting of the story; your way of describing the scenery and atmosphere is so realistic I feel like I'm there. I love how you write the mystery aspect of the story too, especially in the previous chapter, and I'm really looking forward to where you're taking this. And a note on Helen/Moody: ugh, love their moments so much. Moody is my favorite character in this story; he feels more dimensional than Helen, a bit more complex. And I love their interactions so much! I'm also excited about the whole Cadogan mess - he's an interesting character as well and I want to know more about him and really want to know how Helen is going to handle it :) Anyway, enough of my gushing. I'm loving this, Susan!

Author's Response: It's great to hear from you again, Steph! And equally great that you're enjoying the story. I'm certainly having more and more fun writing it, getting into the characters. I have a weakness for Moody - he's perhaps the one character I've fallen too hard for. :P He's my favourite character in this, too, and I'm so glad that you like him!

Helen is a little flatter, and maybe it's because of the first person narration? She doesn't let that much of herself show through - she's very controlling of her own story, and that's probably flattening her out. I'll think about that for the next chapter, though, as I spend so much time thinking up witticisms for her that I must be forgetting to write HER.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! ^_^ I have some of the next chapter written, so here's hoping I can finish it during the holidays.


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Review #40, by spreaddapoo93 Prologue

17th October 2010:
Wow... My golly, this is... BRILLIANT! Well... other than the fact that it's Ancient Egypt (a subject I've LOVED since fourth grade), it's completely tangible! I am mesmerised by the cohesion of each bit of fact and fiction (merged so well, I can't differentiate between the two) and... just WOW.
Awesome work!!! Can't wait to see what's next.

(P.S. I think there is one typo: (third paragraph)
"A bitter sigh escaped, Ankhesenamun, queen of Egypt,"
The first comma shouldn't be there. It should be:
A bitter sigh escaped Ankhesenamun, queen of Egypt,)

Author's Response: Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! And doubly thank you for pointing out that typo - me and commas didn't used to get along. ;)

Wow, what compliments! It's great to find someone who loves Ancient Egyptian history so much - I first learned about it in fourth grade as well, and it's a love that's stayed with me all these years since. :D I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story as well!


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Review #41, by DarkLadyofSlytherin Prologue

3rd October 2010:
So for a really long time I've planned to read something of yours, and finally I decided which fic to start with.

I really like the beginning here. Though, to be honest, it made me think of The Mummy movies more so than Prince of Persia. Especially since the main character in this chapter is Ankhesenamun, which I believe was the same woman in both The Mummy and the Mummy Returns who had fallen in love with Imotep.

Granted, even with the slight similarities between this and the movies, I really enjoyed your prologue. I like that she was really in love with Tutankhamen, that she would never really love anyone other than him. It was bittersweet, really. I don't know what is fact or fiction in terms of this chapter, but I like it all the same.

I'm looking forward to reading more of it as I have time.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for taking a gander at this story! It's one that I've been working on for so long now, and it's always wonderful to hear people's thoughts on it, even though this prologue has a lot less to do with the main plot as it originally did five years ago. I guess that's the problem with taking so long to write a story. XD

Anyway, "The Mummy" is definitely an influence on this story. It came out at just the right time in my life, and I think I've seen it at least ten times by now. It's such a fun movie, and the sequels never caught my admiration as much as the first did. However, Ankhesenamun is a real historical character - the young wife of Tutankhamun, and I think a relative of his too. She's definitely not the same girl as in the movie. ;)

It would be very nice to hear your further thoughts on this story, if you're interested in continuing, of course. Thank you again for reading and reviewing this first chapter. :)


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Review #42, by Reyes91 Prologue

7th September 2010:
Interesting, a historical story. Never read a fully historical fanfiction before, I don't believe. I'm interested so far.

The characters speak very realistically for that time period. Well...realistic enough considering I barely paid any attention in my own history classes to know exactly how people spoke back then. Also, I have to touch on your description. It's wonderfully written, my friend. You definitely made me feel for this character in such a short prologue. I think I may have to read on so I can see how you're going to mix this up with HP magic. Seems hard. Well, for me it does since, once again, I suck at history and things like this.

And the spell that Ay dude performed gave me a bit of a chill. It just lets you know that something bad is going to happen to someone who will go in there. Something really bad.

Nothing for me to critique, dude. This was a very good start and definitely drew me in.

-Reyes91

P.S. Oh, and I like that name you picked for your character(Ankesenamun). It's so...cool sounding. Can't even pronounce it, but I like it. :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much for reading and reviewing! It was a challenge to make the Potterverse work in such a historical period, but I've got a strong interest in Egyptian history, ancient and more modern, which made at least the research aspects fun. :D I'm glad that you like Ankesenamun - she's actually a real historical character, the wife of Tutankhamun, and it was great to finally give her a voice, as she often gets forgotten in history, married off to another man after the death of her husband.

It's great to hear that you've enjoyed this chapter! :)


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Review #43, by Alopex In the Teeth of the Lion

6th September 2010:
Another chapter! Yay! :D

I got quite a kick of the description at the very top comparing Moody to some wild west sheriff. Haha. (I actually like westerns, both reading and watching them.) I still can't figure out who or what he is, exactly, other than that he always seems to turn up at interesting moments.

I am coming to be quite suspicious of Sir Cadogan. You have hinted that he just "appeared" in Egypt. Helen is being warned against him. Also, he's said the boat is larger than it appears . . . much like the magical tent Harry & Co. live in during book 7. Lastly, Helen hints that he was inside her mind. Even if she is attracted to him, which she is, and even if she does get sea-sick, and even if the heat is stifling and dizzying, I'm still suspicious about the whole scene, particularly with that comment of hers. How is she going to escape, indeed?

And when is Moody next going to appear? I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him yet. Very, very intriguing . . .

Oh, as usual, I quite enjoyed Helen as the narrator. She's a wonderful character.

Author's Response: It's been long enough, right? I'm thinking about this story a lot more recently, and I've almost got the whole thing planned out, which is impressive after five years of work. ;) It means a lot that you're enjoying the story and Helen's narration. It's strange to think now that I disliked her when I started writing this story.

You like westerns? That's not something people usually admit to, but it's great that you liked that reference to the sheriff - Helen has a very basic knowledge of Americans, and it seems like she still thinks they're stuck in the Wild West.

It's good to be suspicious about that scene, and even better that you haven't guessed anything yet. There are a few possibilities as to what he could be, and I'll try playing around with that for a little while longer, if I can. And Moody. *sigh* I'm in danger of falling in love with him, which can't be beneficial to the story in the long run. He's an intriguing character - but then again, so is Cadogan. :P

Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! I have a chapter drafted, but I think it needs dividing into two parts, so it might be a little while longer until it's out. *hides*


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Review #44, by evil little devil In the Teeth of the Lion

6th September 2010:
I've actually just re-read the entire story so far because I'd forgotten what happened - I was confusing it with Kali's Saharan Lies, just because when I see sand I think Sahara and when I see Sahara I think sand XD
It's amazing how versatile you are as an author. You write the more romance style stories so fabulously and then I come to this which is equally as amazing. I was intrigued from the start, the prologue was wonderfully mysterious it drew me right in.
And then, of course, Helen. I rather like her as a character, you've developed her wonderfully. She's still got that inherent Black snobbery about her, but her independence and willfulness rather endears me toward her. Both Moody and Cadogan intrigue me as well. The description of Cadogan in this chapter regarding his hands - maybe it's just because I'm a pianist and therefore biased, but I found it incredibly beautiful. I could picture him in my head sitting at a piano playing Moonlight Sonata, or reciting great poems in a sunlit dusty room.
The reaction Moody instills in Helen amuses me to no end. I'm now wondering where that bond they now have between them because of him saving her life will lead.
You build up the suspense wonderfully. The slow revealing of the cave, she's only been a few steps in and only once, yet I'm so fascinated by it already. Has Cadogan done something to her by any chance? I'm not sure what, I'm dying to find out though. How is she going to escape this mess? I'm utterly intrigued, I can't wait to find out.
Excellent story, I'm such a sucker for ancient history even though I know next to nothing about it, and of course I love Harry Potter, so the combining of the both has me squeeing rather nerdfully. Your writing is stunning, and I love the atmosphere you've created throughout the story, it has a sort of timeless mystery about it.
Needless to say, I loved it :D

Author's Response: Haha, I have to re-read it when I start writing a new chapter - it's usually so long between updates! I mean to change that... or rather, I keep meaning to do that, but it never seems to happen. ;)

It's a fun story to write, probably because it's very different from my romances (I'm glad that you like my romance style, by the way) and it's a fresh change from writing them. I'm still trying to work through how I'll relate things more explicitly to the prologue, as I've changed some plot points since writing it, but I like it too much to get rid of it. As for Helen, she's another reason why I love writing this story - she's got the best first person voice of all my first person narrators, being as opinionated and snobbish as she is, though she would never admit it. XD

Cadogan and Moody are very strange to write, and I'm glad that you find them intriguing - they're not meant to be entirely trustworthy, and Helen will bounce back and forth between them, flirting with a love triangle that will never quite work out for any of them. ;) Cadogan has an aristocratic delicacy to him that appeals to Helen's snobbery, and being a pianist herself, she can't help but admire his hands. With Moody, she has more of the hate-hate relationship, and that's always hilarious to write. :D

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! Your comments have made me blush and I don't know what else to say in response other than thank you again! ^_^


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Review #45, by Leah Kesrii In the Teeth of the Lion

5th September 2010:
O_O You have me captivated. More, please!

Author's Response: Great! Thank you very much! :D

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Review #46, by momotwins In the Teeth of the Lion

5th September 2010:
A few spelling nitpicks:
sherif = should be sheriff
he rock = should be the rock
to cheerful = should be too cheerful
back now” = should be back now."
so concerned about Cadogan. = should be a question mark
not to many = should be not too many
Would it had continued = should be would is have continued

And now on to the good stuff. The connection from his saving her life forming between them - great job inserting a bit of obscure canon. I adore this description of the Aswan dam too: "Its loss stood for the wonders of British Muggle technology, destroying in order to create." Absolutely beautiful and yet tragic, in the way that very true things often are. I love the rug making the trunk shake, too, that made me smile.

Oh jeez, has Cadogan got her under an Imperius? Or Legilimency? This was a very disturbing chapter! I feel rather freaked out about what's going to happen to Helen. And is the thing that made the marks on the stone the same thing that scarred Moody? Who's a wizard and who's not? Dying here! Extremely fascinating, and I'm dying to read more, as always :)

Author's Response: Oh wow, that's the most typos I've had in a story for a while, so thank you for pointing them all out. My fingers are giving me trouble lately - too nervous, I guess - and it's showing now. *blushes*

Finding information on the Aswan dam was heartbreaking. I'd heard that Philae and Abu Simbel had been moved, but I didn't realize that was a more recent event. That they'd left those monuments in the water for so long is incredibly stupid. They're so important in Egyptian history, yet what do the colonizers care? I thought also that it'd be more of a Muggle thing to do - the wizards would have found another way that would have saved the monuments. Surely the Temple of Isis would be useful to the wizards. :P

It's great that the chapter turned out well - I wasn't satisfied with how it moved the plot along at all, it seemed like one of those filler-ish chapters. I'm tempted to just keep writing this instead of moving to another story. There's still a good bit of the plot left to go.

I also very much like the idea of Moody's scars. It never entered my mind before, yet it's very interesting, and very possible. He's a mysterious one, to be sure. ;)

Thanks very much for reading and reviewing this! It means a lot to hear your opinions on this story. ^_^


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Review #47, by Leah Kesrii In the Blink of an Eye

26th April 2010:
o_o this is amazing. i like that helen seems to be warming up to moody (a tiny, tiny bit. okay fine, maybe a slight hint of camaraderie? lol). can't wait for more!

Author's Response: Haha, maybe a wee little tiny bit. :P Or she just feels that it's necessary to work with him in order to get the answers she wants. But either way, it's too much fun to write them together. ;)

Thank you very much! It's wonderful to know that you're enjoying the story so far!


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Review #48, by morgana67 In Conversation with Madmen

18th April 2010:
Oh, my God, the plot thickens! So both men appear to know that she's a witch and she has fallen for Mr Cadogan? I'm still very much wondering who they all are, plus the mystery of the attackers is still to be revealed. So intriguing, honestly!

Great job so far!

Author's Response: What you've said about the attackers reminds me that I should either bring them back into the story or reveal who "sent" them to get Helen. I've forgotten them, admittedly - it's something I do way too often in stories. It's the downfall to writing too many at once and not updating them often enough.

Anyway, I'm really glad that you liked this chapter and how the plot is progressing. I have a huge soft spot for this story, so it always means a lot to hear praise of it. Thank you! :D


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Review #49, by morgana67 In the Temple of Luxor

18th April 2010:
Very intriguing chapter. I really have no idea at this moment in time who Helen's attackers could have been or why they set on her. I suppose there are various possibilities but I get the feeling that there is some vital information that you haven't released yet; which is good since it maintains the suspense.

I really like the fact that Helen can go from being very well spoken to actually very direct and also use the odd swearing word. I get a very good idea as to what she's like actually.

And Moody? Well, another very intriguing character I must say.

This story is very, very addictive.

Author's Response: Addictive? Ooh, I like the sound of that! It's fantastic to hear that you're enjoying the story that much. :D

One thing I'm trying to do in this story is work on keeping options open for the plot so that the reader has to guess at who's doing what or, more importantly, who's the "bad guy" causing all the problems (or is there more than one?). As plotting is my weak point, I'd love to be able to pull off some successful plot twists and suspenseful moments.

Helen has that mask-like facade of someone who's had to pretend she's someone else quite often, even before she left her family. She doesn't take her mask off to many people, if anyone, so that it happens in front of Moody is pretty significant. ;)

Thank you for reading and reviewing! I really appreciate your reviews. ^_^


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Review #50, by morgana67 In the Valley of the Kings

17th April 2010:
It seems very fitting that the next part of your story commences with the opening of the tomb by Carter.

Helen's character really comes to life here. Okay, I always thought that her perception of all men as predators might have been slightly unfounded or perhaps a little exagerated. Although she's evidently a very strong and courageous woman she appears full of fear in this regard (well, not just fear of men, of other things too) and I wonder if there is a further backstory here.

The untidy American is very mysterious. I'm pretty sure that he will play an important role in Helen's life.

The way in which the Muggle and magical worlds interact sounds very realistic in the way you describe them. So, was Helen the only magical person amidst that crowd?

Author's Response: You're probably right that her perceptions about men are exaggerated, and it really comes out in her narrative voice for some reason. I'm still working on the reasons for it and trying to make it more plausible - there is a backstory there, but the details still need working out. It's like I'm shutting the gate after the horse has left; however, a lot of Helen's narration can't entirely be trusted - it's the fun to the first-person narrator, and it's something I've wanted to explore further with Helen's character.

Showing the interactions between the Muggle and the magical is something I love doing in stories, and I'm glad that it sounds realistic. To answer your question: no, she wasn't. Curse breakers aside, at an event like that, there's certain to be someone from the magical world in attendance. ;)

Thank you again for the review! It's been wonderful to go through them and respond - it always helps me to come up with new ideas for the story. :D


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