Reading Reviews From Member: Unwritten Curse
340 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Unwritten CurseBreathe: i. Consequence

23rd May 2015:
Howdy, partner!

First things first, I love this. I love this so much and I don't even know how to begin this review because I just love it and my thoughts aren't coherent. I LOVE THIS.

Even though this is a short prologue-of-sorts, I am already in love. I'm guessing what Sirius is hinting at is the whole run in with Snape and Remus's transformation. I don't think I've ever read a fic that relates directly to the aftermath of that event. And I love this.

I also love Sirius. I think he might be my favorite character in the series. So I'm glad that he's narrating this. He feels exactly like the Sirius I know and love, and I especially like his self-consciousness while writing to James. It shows how good of a friend he is, and how real he is, and how lonely he is, and everything good about him, really. ♥

AND OMG THE LAST BIT. I adore the big paragraph that starts with "He lay awake in bed" and the long sentence that explores the different reactions Sirius received and how disappointment was "sharp" in Dumbledore's voice and the addition of "Sirius, how could you" and at the end, the "oh, Merlin, Remus" and *sigh* I have all the feels in my stomach right now, I'm literally giddy.

I can't even. How are you doing this to me with ONE CHAPTER? One 800-word chapter?!

I need to go cry now. This is perfection.

I'll be back.

-- Gina

Author's Response: Hey Gina! This review is awesome - thank you so much!

I am SO glad that you like this so much! I'm especially happy that Sirius is one of your favourite characters and you think that he's done well here. That really means a lot.

I don't even know how to respond to this! It's just so nice! Thank you so much, Gina!


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Review #2, by Unwritten CurseThe Orchard: Ancients

19th May 2015:
Hi again! I'm back for your third review. Sorry it took so long.

First, I have to get something off my chest… OMG REGULUS BLACK I LOVE HIM GAH. Okay, now I'm done.

But really, I adore Regulus Black. He's such an under appreciated character. So even though he's kind of being a jerk in this chapter, I still loved seeing him and knowing that he's part of the plot in some small (maybe big?) way. I'm really curious what the Slytherin boys are alluded to that happened in Mary's past. I hope I didn't miss anything, but I'm assuming you're leaving breadcrumbs and we'll find out in a later chapter.

You keep drawing me in with the Laura plot line! Why did she approach Mary? What was she going to say? And why is she in Ancient Runes when she isn't usually? I'd say you're doing a great job at sustaining the intrigue/tension. I'm certainly intrigued!

And Mary. Mary is the type of person I wish I was, but at the same time I'm grateful I'm not. Does that make sense? She's so organized and studious and she's a great friend and the "mom" of the group--all good qualities that will take her far in life. But at the same time, keeping everything together all the time is HARD. She's bound to explode one of these days, and I wouldn't want to be her (or be around her) when she does. She's kind of like Hermione in that way.

Anyway, I've really enjoyed reading these three chapters. If you'd like to continue this exchange and read/review three more chapters, just let me know on the forums. (Although I think you were asking to just read three chapters and leave a review at the end… Oops!)

-- Gina

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Review #3, by Unwritten CurseThe Orchard: These Walls

11th May 2015:
Oh, how eerie! I really like this plot line with Laura. It's so sad, but so realistic… to be affected by war in this way… it's just… *sigh* I don't know how you do it, but you create this tone that's spot on. I think it has to do with the details you add in--just simple ones, like the candles and the birds and Mary reading a book at dawn. I need to do more of that in my own writing, because those little details have really brought your story to life. I admire that.

OMG James. Sometimes I hate him and sometimes I love him, and this is one of the times that I love him. How precious that he and Mary were childhood friends. I love that they can now chat about things as serious as war, but in a roundabout way--through talking about Wilkes, who has changed. Again, such a *normal* thing--friends drifting apart--yet within the context of war it's haunting.

Also, part of me hopes there's some Mary/James action about to happen. But at the same time I don't, because of Lily. I ship Jily always. It's not my OTP or anything, but… I hate seeing them apart. But since they don't get together until, what, seventh year (?) then I suppose I'd be okay with some Mary/James action. Yeah.

And as to your questions at the end--I still hate Florence. Why are they friends with her? WHY? I just don't get it.

- Gina

Author's Response: I hope I can continue that plot with Laura and not mess it up. I find that carrying a plot forwards I have trouble with. Or feel like I have trouble with doing so because I meander my way through a story writing those descriptions and tone into it that I think makes a story move a bit slower.

James is fun. I think it's interesting writing him from Mary's POV because we see another side of him we don't if this was in his POV or Lily's. We just see the side of their friendship and how they interact with one another. It also helps that they've just known each other so long that they are incredible comfortable with one another, even if they don't hang out all the time anymore. It's a bond that won't disappear. Furthermore, we see, perhaps, the softer side of James. He's still a bit of an arrogant toad and prankster, but people act differently or show different sides when they are with certain people. We see him this way with Mary. I have no comment on Mary/James :) That would be an interesting thought.

Thanks for the review! I hope you warm up to Florence, but it's okay if you don't. She can be really terrible. It's always good to know I can write a character realistically that people hate, so I can take that away from this :) Thanks for stopping by!

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Review #4, by Unwritten CurseThe Orchard: Welcome

11th May 2015:
Hi there! Here for our Swap. :)

I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just ramble off the things that I liked:

- The bit at the beginning about Hogwarts having lost its "magic" for Mary. That felt so real to me, yet I'd never considered it before--that students began to feel the drudgery of school and forgot about the excitement of their earlier years.

- When Florence threw the nail polish out the window. I died.

- The small details, like the Slytherin boys swishing their robes at her, and the gold and red sparks coming from a compartment on the train, and the fact that the girls were painting their nails on the train. It's such a *normal* thing to do. It made the characters feel real.

I'm quite curious where Laura was and why Lily was so concerned. Did something happen? Or was it just the reflection of their paranoia, what with being on the bring of war (at least I think so--is my timing right?).

I do have one question for you. And maybe you answer this later. But I'm really curious why Mary and Mafalda are friends with Florence. She's AWFUL. Like, a serious downer and a cynic and sometimes downright MEAN. She doesn't seem like any fun to be around, so I'm wondering if she's just an old friend they've hung on to or if there's some reason I'm not seeing why they're friends with her.

Anyway, I'm off to the next chapter. Enough of my rambling! :P

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina,

Thanks for reading this story! I can imagine it happening to some students. Perhaps earlier for students who'd grown up with magic who weren't so enthralled with it. It was a normal part of their life so school was just an extension of that. Muggleborns may never because it's something that's so new and so different from their everyday experience. They knew what it was like without magic.

I wanted to focus on the normality of the scene. How they were just girls getting ready for another school year. Their world couldn't be filled with just odd or strange happenings. Some of it is just sitting around petting a cat or doing your nails.

I think it was a mixture of Lily being Lily (at least the Lily in my story) where she's paranoid and obsessive about certain things. She doesn't like not knowing something. Also, I think any strange happenings would, at this point, contribute to the fear of the war that was happening.

Florence. I love her. Not in the you're a good person sort of way, but the fact that she is fun to write. She IS awful sometimes. She... there's a lot of words I could use for her, but she's interesting to put into the story. I'm sure that probably says something about me, but I do enjoy her. I think you'll warm up to her as the chapters go on. She isn't always awful. Their friendship is also explained more as the chapters go on. It's probably a mixture of her being their friend since first year and so now it just sort of 'is' and the fact that there are good things about her past her cynical and mean personality that make her 'good'.

Thanks for your review!!

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Review #5, by Unwritten CurseAtonement Is Coming: The Dungeon

7th May 2015:
Gah! They better not kill Kingsley. Or McGonagall. What the heck?!

McGonagall's a smart witch. If she has a strategy in place, I'm less worried. I feel like she'll pull of something miraculous, especially since her captors are so freaked out about wandless magic. That's got to be foreshadowing of some kind. *crosses fingers*

Now I'm going to be impatient until you update! I'm curious what the trio are going to do when they're pulled into this mess, and what the bad people want from McGonagall. Are why they went bad in the first place, considering they were good at Hogwarts.

Anyway, I'm glad that I joined this Red vs. Gold Battle and that I got the opportunity to read your stuff. Now I have a new WIP to look out for. ;)

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina!

I can assure you that they don't have any intention of killing McGonagall or Kingsley. At least, not for now. :D

McGonagall is definitely a smart witch. I think this scenario will really put that intelligence to the test. Is it foreshadowing though? Or just a Red Herring?

I'm hoping to update this really soon. I have the next two chapters written. I'm just waiting for another story to clear and then I'll be submitting chapter 4!

I really hope you'll get a chance to check this out in the future...although I should warn you that I'm painfully slow with updates on WIP's for some reason. I did enroll in the Complete That Story Part 2 Challenge with this story, so the goal is to finish it by September!


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Review #6, by Unwritten CurseAtonement Is Coming: A Surprise Announcement

7th May 2015:
Hi Kaitlin! I'm back again for more. :)

I LOVE THIS CHAPTER. It's so sweet. I especially appreciated Harry's musings about how the night would've gone had the war never happening--everyone gathering around, joking, telling stories. Ah. How I wish that could happen.

Totally random comment, but I loved it when the ladies were joking around about pregnancy--how they were bumping into things and couldn't see their feet, etc. It was precious. And it felt very real to me. I can imagine when you're that pregnant, it's all you think about!

Oh, and I adored the part where Harry echoes Dumbledore by saying he'd trust Hagrid with his life, and then Hagrid bursting into tears when he found out he was godfather. Seriously, this whole chapter was so very sweet without being over-the-top. Really, really well done.

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina!

I'm so happy that you love this chapter. It was honestly a really hard one for me to write. It was tough balancing all of the different characters in it.

I've never actually been pregnant myself, but I have lots of friends who have and this is pretty much what it's like when they all got together.

I felt like that little section with Harry mimicking Dumbledore was really important. I think Hagrid is one of those people who is 100% loyal and I think it's nice to think he was rewarded for that. I know that being a Godfather would be very important to him.

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments on my stories!


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Review #7, by Unwritten CurseFalling Out: Not About Love

5th May 2015:
Hi again! I had to read something else of yours because I loved the first piece so much. And I think I love this one even more, if that's possible.

I haven't read many songfics because I often think that the song is irrelevant or sometimes it takes away from the plot--like, the plot couldn't exist without the song, which isn't a good thing in my opinion. BUT yours is SO well done. The story could exist without the song--it stands on its own. But the song supports it beautifully, so beautifully that I can't imagine them apart.

I was a little bit worried when I saw this was a Rose/Draco, but you handled the age difference tastefully. I love the bits of conversation you threw in, and the detail about their faces at the end--Rose's being fierce and Draco's being weary--was so well done. It all felt very real to me.

Oh man. You've made a fan of me, that's for sure.

- Gina

Author's Response: Hello!
Oh yes, I wasn't going to be CASUAL about that age difference ;) This is no fluffy pairing to be shipped, more to shake one's head over and go "oh boy, what a mess."

I know what you mean about songfics, and I definitely didn't want these lyrics to just sort of sit on top and enhance the story. In my first draft I actually had them all woven into the story itself, but then realized that was against TOS. It worked because the song is itself a bit of a story, but vague enough that I could create my own specific scenes to draw it out.

Thank you so much for the review! If you ever want to long-term swap something, let me know!


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Review #8, by Unwritten CurseWolf Like Me: O here comes that moon

5th May 2015:
OMG. This is beautiful.

Favorite lines:
- "Mooney, the monster in the Man Suit"
- "We are young men made monsters, feeding on our fevers"

Bah. Seriously. This is incredible. It's lyrical, visceral, and sort of heartbreaking. You explore what it's like to be a werewolf at the same time as what it's like to be in love, what it's like to want. And every word matters. That you managed to create such a vivid story in 500 words is incredible. Now I sound like a broken record, but I mean it.

Really well done. If I have time today, I'm going to have to come back and find something else of yours to read.

- Gina

Author's Response: Hello and thank you so much! I'm like SO STOKED on your writing rn so it means a lot that you liked this piece!

Remus always seemed to sort of despise his lycanthropy, and was always so mannered and cautious, and I had a weird amount of fun writing him in wolf form and seeing a more animalistic side of him.

Thank you again so much for this review!

(PS: I forgot to mention, but I hope you do add another chapter to your Hermione/Krum story--I was SO into it! I actually requested a really similarly toned story from Teh Tarik recently because that's EXACTLY the kind of thing I want to read more of)

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Review #9, by Unwritten CurseAtonement Is Coming: A Shadowy Threat

5th May 2015:
Hi! I'm back! And this chapter has totally lived up to my expectations. :)

What intrigued me the most about this chapter is that the "bad guys" aren't bad. Penelope, Michael, Roger… these are the people that were on Harry's side in the war. These are the GOOD guys. I'm wondering what happened to make them target purebloods and what their intentions are. To kill them? I hope not.

Once again, the writing is clean and easy to follow. There were a few moments when I felt like I was reading JK Rowling--the styles are very similar, which was a treat.

Well, on to the next chapter!

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina!

I'm so happy that you chose to read this story. It's really my baby of sorts, so I love to hear people's thoughts on it.

The bad guys in this story definitely were not the bad guys in the series, but I promise that there is a realistic reason for how they got to be where they are now. It will get revealed piece by piece as the story continues.

Wow! That is an extraordinary compliment. I'm really flattered that you think I sound like JKP in parts. I don't even know how to respond other than Thank you.

I hope you like the next chapter just as much!


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Review #10, by Unwritten CurseSilent Rumors: The Warehouse

4th May 2015:
Dumbledore's Avengers? What? Oh am I intrigued! Now I suppose I'll have to read your novel. I'll put in on my list. :)

Obviously I have a million questions but I'm going to focus this review on your writing, mostly because I want to compliment you on a well-written story. The writing is so clean and natural. I was never pulled out of the story over awkward or confusing syntax. And the tone was strangely melancholy without being over the top. I'm not sure how you managed that--it's such a delicate balance--but you did it beautifully. I bow to you!

Oh, also, your dialogue. The bit where Lydia asked Ernie about the warning note and instead of answering her, he spoke to their kidnapper--that felt SO real to me. My reaction as a writer would've been for him to explain to his wife why he had ignored it, but you'd already done that in the narration, so that would've been redundant and it wouldn't have moved the scene forward. Your choice was spot on.

Great story. I think this prequel does exactly what it should, which is to inspire me to read its sequel. This isn't the last you've seen of me!

- Gina

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Review #11, by Unwritten CurseSilent Rumors: A Kidnapping

4th May 2015:
Oh no! Clearly it wasn't just a prank. Oh my.

I love how you were able to make me fall in love with his family in such a short time. You know exactly how to pull the heartstrings, which made their kidnapping (and Ernie's, in turn) so, so sad. The part in the note about his wife's brown eyes… eerie.

I also loved the end of this chapter--that Ernie prayed. What a sweet gesture, one that I often don't see in HP fan fiction. It seems that magic trumps religion, but I don't think that has to be the case, so it was a nice moment of characterization when Ernie thought to say a prayer.

I'm just rambling now. I'll continue on to the next chapter. :)

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina!

It definitely was not a prank! Too bad Ernie didn't take it more seriously. :(

Ernie is one of my favorite characters to play with, but this was my first time really attempting to write his family.

I'm glad that you noticed Ernie's gesture at the end. I'm not a particularly religious person myself, but I've never understood why there is no religious representation within fanfic. I mean the Muggle world is diverse, so it would be only fitting for the magic world to be so as well.

Anyways, I'm glad that you're enjoying the story so far. Thank you for the lovely reviews!


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Review #12, by Unwritten CurseSilent Rumors: A Letter

4th May 2015:
Hi TreacleTart!

I am always attracted to stories about minor characters. There's so much untold that NEEDS to be told! Anyway…

I love what you've done with Ernie here. He seems to be the hard-working family man, owning a business, yet making sure his wife and children are well taken care of. There's also a sadness about him that I can't quite put my finger on--even before the mysterious letter appears. The way you wrote his reaction to the letter was spot on, by the way. That his mind first went to Dumbledore's Army and then Death Eaters. Part of me hopes the "revenge" is petty--like a rival potions shop or something rather than a threat on his wellbeing/life.

I'm going to continue on to the next chapter now. I'm intrigued. Well done!


Author's Response: Hi Gina!

Minor characters are some of my favorites to write.

I'm glad that you like how I've characterized Ernie. I just sort of wanted him to be a normal, happy family man. There definitely is just the slightest hint of sadness. I mean he did survive a war after all, but I think overall he's doing well.

The DA seal on the letter definitely threw Ernie through a loop. I wish it could be a petty revenge too, but alas, poor Ernie.

Thanks for reading and reviewing. I hope you like the upcoming chapters!


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Review #13, by Unwritten CurseOf Final Thoughts: How to Say Goodbye

24th May 2014:
Hello! I saw that you had entered the Second Person POV challenge and just had to read your entry!

Sorry in advance if this review is incoherent. That ending really got to me, so I'm having a bit of trouble formulating words...

You took such a creative angle to this challenge. Using second person and first person made this piece so chilling. I don't know much about Dearborn as a character, but I found myself feeling genuine pity for him--that he's speaking to Moody as he's dying is so… I can't find the word for it. It shows how desperately he seeks Moody's approval/looks up to Moody, and also how desperate he is not to die, that he's speaking to a man who's not even there. Just rambling until he can't ramble anymore. Ah.

As I said, it was the end that really stuck with me. The idea that Moody won't ever hear this story. He won't know for sure whether Dearborn died a coward or a hero. That is what is so chilling. The notion of an untold story, of the unknown--you made that so real.

Such a beautiful piece. Good luck to you as well and thank you so much for doing this review swap with me!

-- Gina

Author's Response: Hey there!

I really didn't spend much time on Caradoc's character, especially right off the bat, but I kind of wanted to make him feel like the reader should already know him (if that makes sense). Since you were able to make a connection with him, feeling pity towards him, I suppose it was a mildly effective method.

"Rambling until he can't ramble anymore" is exactly what I was going for. It was meant to be some sort of goodbye to Moody in combination with dwelling on what could have been.

Thanks so much for the lovely review, and for the swap!


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Review #14, by Unwritten CurseLove in Three Acts: Act 1: Friendship

24th May 2014:
Rose! Thanks for doing a review swap with me. :) I saw this story and simply couldn't resist!

I have nothing but good things to say about this first chapter. I adored the introductory paragraph--you are such a pro at setting the scene and then diving into action, all within the span of one paragraph. It's succinct and informative. And can I just say that Mrs. Potter is adorable.

I'm also a fan of Peter in this piece. I like that he's not the pity friend, but actually part of the group, and that you showcase his attraction to the "dark side" without going overboard. He's a character in his own right and that was great to see.

Now for the fun part: OMG REMUS AND SIRIUS ARE PERFECT. I LOVE the awkward friends-but-maybe-something-more that was happening throughout the chapter. The hand on the knee. The fear of sleeping in the same bed. Fighting together during the water fight. It made the kiss at the end feel like FINALLY.

Oh, I do have one question/suggestion: I had a bit of a hard time focusing at certain parts because the point of view seems to weave in and out of Sirius's thoughts and then Remus's and then a more general perspective. It wasn't a stumbling block or anything--the action is clear and the story progresses cleanly. I suppose I just wanted one perspective to cling to, or at least for their to be a distinct divide between one perspective and the next, just to tighten things up and clarify certain sections.

But seriously, I loved this. Your writing is so clear and you convey the story with such ease. I was hooked from the start.

xx Gina

Author's Response: Ah! Your review is just too nice. *hugs* The first paragraph was a moment of inspiration when I sat down to write it. Starting off with Mrs. P and her reaction to having that many boys around was a fun way for me to get into the action. I thought they needed a bit of context before going on random adventures together, lol.

I can't stand it when people leave out/muck-up Peter. He's never really a huge character when I write but I like to make sure he's there and an equal. I'm so happy you noticed that. :D

hehe, now to the yummy part. I was so worried that their tentative romance was awkward or too subtle (or not subtle enough). I've never written about people in the midst of becoming a couple - at least not like this.

I agree that the narrator is a bit random in this chapter. I meant it to be a bit more nuetral but spent more time in Remus' head then sporatically went to Sirius. :-/ I'll have to poke at this again sometime to see if I can straighten that out.

Thank you so much for such a delightful review!! i'm really glad you liked this!!


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Review #15, by Unwritten CurseSeverus Snape - No Turning Back: Severus Snape - No Turning Back

29th April 2014:
Hi there! Time for my promised review on your entry.

First I have to say thank you for taking such a unique route with this challenge! I think yours is the only entry to explore a character's death from the perspective of another character. Kudos for that!

My favorite part of this piece was actually the bit where Snape discovered that Harry would die, too. Despite his hatred for James/his bitterness whenever he saw Harry, learning that Harry would die (even though he didn't, in the end) and feeling the sorrow he felt was so moving. I genuinely appreciated that part.

I also liked the part where he was pondering how he thought Dumbledore would always be able to escape. That he'd always find a way out. I thought so too, reading the series. He seemed invincible. So for Snape to be so surprised that Dumbledore could--and would--die was perfectly believable. I actually smiled at that part, because it made Snape seem childlike in his reverence toward Dumbledore. Good character development.

Anyway, thank you for entering this challenge. It was a joy to read your piece!

-- Gina

Author's Response: Thanks very much for such a kind review, and for sharing your thoughts about this piece. I really enjoyed reading them. I'm glad I don't have to judge the entries, because I've read and reviewed nearly all of them myself so far, and they're all so wonderfully creative.

Thanks for offering such a terrific challenge. I've never done a writing challenge before, but the minute I read yours, the idea for doing this moment for Snape jumped to mind and I started writing on the spot before I lost the inspiration. This isn't my usual writing style either. All my other stories are normal story plots with dialogue, so it was nice to deviate for a change, and have something in a different style to post on my author page. Thanks again, and have fun judging!

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Review #16, by Unwritten CurseInside: Inside

29th April 2014:
Hi there! I have finally got around to reading and reviewing all the entries! Woo!

First, I have to say that I'm so glad you chose Broderick Bode for this challenge. I wasn't familiar with his backstory so I looked it up and it's so fascinating (and heartbreaking). That he was finally starting to get better when he was killed by a "present" from Death Eaters. So sad.

I think you handled the situation very well. His frustration at feeling better yet being kept in the hospital, paired with his desperation to remember what happened was authentic and moving. I'm not sure what happens after a wizard recovers from the Imperius Curse, but this was a compelling interpretation.

Seriously, I just love minor characters. There is so much left open to explore. So thank you for going a lesser-known route. It made this piece all the richer. And thank you for entering the challenge. I genuinely enjoyed your entry!

-- Gina

Author's Response: Hi!

I like minor characters. A lot. Bode is not the most obscure I've done! I could tell he wasn't one of the really obscure ones when I found myself having to rethink bits of the story to fit canon :P (like he apparently believed he was a teapot)

By the way, he was actually recovering from being forced to touch the prophesy - not just from the Imperius Curse. And of course he felt better but he wasn't - he still had very little control over his body.

Really glad you enjoyed it - and if you love minor characters I have plenty! (Hey, I wrote 5 chapters on the first muggle-born minister for magic, who only appears on Pottermore!)

Thank you for the challenge - it was great fun to enter! (I did start this story straight away, then shelved it for a while until I could panic over the approaching deadline...)

- Leonore

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Review #17, by Unwritten CurseTime, Space, and Blunt Force Trauma: for old times' sake.

29th April 2014:

Just kidding. Don't stop. Because then I wouldn't have any more of your stories to read, and I would be quite empty if that were the case.

I came to review for my challenge and then forgot this was a challenge halfway through. The narrative swallowed me, as your writing tends to do. I'm afraid that this review is going to be another indecipherable squee. Please don't hate me.

Okay, so my favorite part of this story was the whole thing, but my favorite favorite part was actually when the Order was heading to help Harry and co. at the Ministry and Sirius was making giddy smalltalk while the others were essentially brushing him off. It's Sirius to a tee, because he's relieved to finally be out of his house/slightly mad for being turned prisoner again/anticipating the excitement of battle. I loved the complexity in that simple scene. It was magically done. That and the scene with the wine glasses and Kreacher. (I laughed aloud at the "Two hundred years later")

And your language. Oh, Nicole, your language. I would quote my favorite line, but, again, I'd be quoting the entire piece. Such creative turn of phrase. You make even the smallest, simplest moments into something memorable.


Oh, I can't end this review without asking you one question re: the ending. Was the "I am, I am, I am" a wave to Sylvia Plath? I read it as such and for that reason was in tears.

Thank you for entering this challenge.

xx Gina


♥ ♥

Eep, eep eep what do I /say/ to a review like this! THANK YOU. I could NEVER hate you, lovely. Your squees made me squee myself, and I'm honestly so pleased you enjoyed this! I've been wanting to write a fic on Sirius's death for a long time, and your challenge really helped kick-start my dormant plunny into life.

Oh, I'm glad you like those reckless Sirius scenes, where he seems unable to take things seriously (oh dear, excuse the pun!). Yeah, he is indeed relieved to be out of that suffocating house; I also like to think that he's lost touch with reality a little. Or that he's been so isolated that he's determined to throw himself out there completely, without a thought for the consequences. I do feel that, if he'd thought a lot more about Harry and what would happen to his godson if he, the godfather, died, he wouldn't be so reckless.

Aww, I love what you say about the simplest, smallest moments. ♥ I /love/ writing about the mundane things of life; I like to analyse them and observe them and possibly find special things in them, so your words are just such a massive compliment.

Yay, you're the only reviewer to think of Plath! I was definitely thinking of 'The Bell Jar' when choosing those words, but I was also thinking of Tobias Wolff's short story, 'Bullet in the Brain', which influenced this story. His story ends on a similar note, but his words are 'They is, they is, they is.' I can never hope to emulate either of these writers.

Thank YOU for setting this challenge and for reading and for reviewing and for being such a wonderful friend! ♥

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Review #18, by Unwritten CurseApogee: Waxing Crescent

29th April 2014:
Wow. I loved this.

I'm here to review your challenge entry and I find myself at a loss for words. This was beautifully written and beautifully felt.

I am surprised to hear that you don't normally write in first-person! It seemed very natural. And the voice was perfectly Remus. I easily fell into the sweep of the narrative and was captivated through to the end. Oh, and the dialogue? Brilliant. The scene in which Remus and 'Dora are talking/fighting about him leaving for the Battle at Hogwarts was masterfully done. I could feel the complexity of the moment and their personalities/loyalties clashing.

I appreciated that the actual death scene was short, because the build up was what made this piece sing. The close-up snapshots of Remus with his family made his death poignant.

I really don't have anything bad to say about this piece. I genuinely enjoyed it. (I tend to love sentimental pieces, so this was truly right up my alley) I do have one question though: Did 'Dora come with him? Obviously in the books she did, but it was unclear in this piece.

Anyway, thanks for entering the challenge!

-- Gina

Author's Response: Howdy!

Thanks for the kind review! I'm glad you liked it! Your challenge was awesome for pushing me to write in a condensed format and a different perspective than I normally do.

The main thing I definitely wanted to capture was the deep complexity in Lupin's life from his relationship with Tonks, to the idea of family, to society, to himself. To that end I took the snapshot approach to a lot of those issues and hoped the brief death scene along with that would come off exactly how you described.

As for Tonks, another reviewer actually broached this same issue, and unfortunately my books are now packed up because I just moved so I can't look back again. I really try to stay true to canon though, and my understanding from the books, the Lexicon, and the Wiki was that Tonks actually arrived at the Battle after Lupin (though we don't know exactly how long after). If I'm mistaken, hopefully it did not detract, but in any event, that is why Tonks accompanying him was not written into the story.

Thanks again for the thoughtful and detailed review! Your kind words are much appreciated!

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Review #19, by Unwritten CursePlaying Pretend: The Last Remaining Fan

29th April 2014:
Hi Amanda! I'm here to review your challenge entry!

Ah, I love your writing. So beautifully crafted. You never cease to impress me on that front.

This is such a sad piece, but not overwhelmingly so. I was surprised that I felt sympathy for a character who is so frustrating in the books. You managed to make him pitiful here, what with him slowly being forgotten while also slowly forgetting. There were some great details in here--like the bit about his favorite author being Gilderoy Lockhart (himself), and how he sometimes believed that the adventures he read were his own, and the connection he had with the little old woman who was his last fan.

It just felt like this story had to be told. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for entering the challenge, Amanda.

xx Gina

Author's Response: Hey Gina! Thanks so much for stopping by!

It was very interesting to write about Lockhart. I agree that he's not usually a target of sympathy, and I found him very annoying in the canon series. I kind of wanted to take his downfall and turn it into something beautiful, give him a kind of dignity that he tried but could not achieve in his youth. I liked the contrast between the fame he achieved in the first part of his life and the way he sort of faded away here, with only a small memorial left behind. I guess his name was always more than the real person underneath it.

I worked hard on the details and I'm glad that you enjoyed them! It's always fun to take little things we learned about a character in canon and try to make something out of them when you go to do your own work.

Thanks again for your sweet review!


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Review #20, by Unwritten CurseUnexpected: Death.

29th April 2014:
Hi there! I've finally got around to reading and reviewing the entries to my challenge. I'd already read yours in the queue, but it was so nice reading it again.

The risk you took in splitting this up into two narrative threads paid off, I think. There was some slight confusion, but I think that was intended--when I finally realized what was happening, it was all the more heartbreaking. Plus, with the action interwoven with sweet moments with his family, it made the ending more powerful.

I just love Teddy in this piece. Could he get any sweeter?

And Dominique?! What a twist! That was totally unexpected. But what is that saying... Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. It seems that Dom is almost deranged in this piece. Quite a chilling depiction. I appreciated the originality.

Thanks for entering the challenge! I'm hoping to have results posted by this weekend.

-- Gina

Author's Response: Hey Gina.
Thank you! It was a brilliant challenge and I really enjoyed it. I'm enjoying reading the rest of the entries now. I love the Lupins, so thank you. Haha, deranged is a pretty apt description for Dom :D

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Review #21, by Unwritten CurseHeading Out to the Highway: Decompression

11th April 2014:
Howdy, there! I'm here from the Review Chain in the GCR. :)

Let me just say, I love Sirius. I love JKR's version of him and I can totally see that reflected in this one-shot. He's bitter and adventurous with a bit of humor thrown in. The humor was especially needed because this is a rather angsty moment in his life--so those momentary light moments were necessary breaks before we plunged back into his troubled mind. Very well handled.

I also especially enjoyed his thoughts on Regulus. I'm also a huge fan of Reg, because of his ultimate redemption/sacrifice, and I think you've portrayed him so well here. Sirius's concern for his brother who he acknowledges is not the murdering type is palpable.

And the race--perfect Sirius moment. Oh my goodness. I loved his descriptions of the man in the ascot and his sheer lack of fear and how he'd taunt the man. And the stunt at the end, where he pretends to fall off the bridge only to reappear beside the man, and how he wanted a camera to capture the moment... so delightful. This is Sirius to a tee, as is the song you chose to pair with the story.

I just genuinely enjoyed reading this. I look forward to reading more of your work!

-- Gina

Author's Response: Hi, Gina!

I'd never tried to write a song fic before this one and I agree completely, this song fits Sirius perfectly.

I think you have to have all of those elements to write Sirius well. He's a brilliantly funny guy who's gone through some things in his life that have left him pretty embittered. You have to maintain that balance or the character just doesn't work.

I can't imagine Sirius ever completely giving up on his younger brother, and I thought there would definitely be some feelings of guilt or at least missed opportunities.

The race was a blast to write. That was wide-open Sirius Black at his best!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #22, by Unwritten CurseMottled Blue: One body.

5th April 2014:
Kiana! I'm finally here! I kneel humbly before you in apologetic supplication. ;)

Ah, the second person narration is chilling. That was so very well done, because not only does it bring us into the twisted mind of the murderer, it also means that you didn't have to mention a name, and thus his/her identity is anonymous. I've always admired people who can pull second person off so well. Whenever I try it, it seems gimmicky and unnatural, but yours is so... obvious. Like, it couldn't have been written in any other point of view. Gorgeous.

I also really liked the discussion of the body, and how to refer to it. The murderer him/herself seemed to have a moment of guilt, perhaps regret, in seeing the body as a person, as a female, before deciding it didn't matter. That was beautifully done. And then with Lily, the body is a piece of a puzzle... until the end, when she sees her cousin and OH MY GOODNESS that was so chilling.

Seriously, this chapter is barely 1,000 words and there is SO MUCH happening that is brilliant and chilling and compelling and I'm running off to the second chapter to leave you another (very late) review.

xx Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina, and your review is fab so don't worry at all about it!

I'm so glad that you liked it as it was a lot of fun to play it. Haha, it's not too hard once you write it a couple of times and it definitely helps in things like murder mysteries as it reveals a lot less than other points of view do.

I'm glad you liked the thoughts about the body, as the murderer's conscience becomes less and less apparent as the story progresses and writing this lack of empathy was really different to most characters. Haha, she'll get used to seeing bodies of her cousins' by the end of it :P

Aw, thank you so much for this amazing review it means so much to me that you liked it and don't worry at all about it being late!


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Review #23, by Unwritten CurseEvery Last Page: Hope is never lost

7th March 2014:
Hi there! I'm stopping by with a review for your new story!

I have to say, I've honestly never read a Crossover. Usually I avoid them because I'm not familiar with the other fandom that is included which makes the story confusing and hard to follow. However, in this case, I am familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, so I'm intrigued to see how you combine the two! I'm guessing that, at the end, when the leaves rustle, it will be Peter that appears. I'm curious how Hermione will respond to him--certainly he won't look like a Death Eater. Will she speak to him? Will he somehow find them and help them? Ooh, the possibilities!

Thanks for sharing this story! Please feel free to hunt me down on the forums when you continue.

-- Gina

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Review #24, by Unwritten CurseOld Men's Games: Chapter 1

6th March 2014:
Hello! I thought I'd stop by with a review!

First, let me just say that your language is great. I loved the image of the "steepled" hands and Albus sucking on his lemon drop. The images you create are very pleasing to a reader and I appreciate your attention to detail. It made the story come to life.

I'm a bit confused as to the "trap" that Nick sets. I think I understand, but I'm not sure. Did he trick Dumbledore into admitting that the Potters had gone into hiding? If so, why is this a "trick," per say? Dumbledore trusts Flamel, yes? But anyway, that's really just a small quibble, because the idea of these two old men--who are both brilliant but also both a bit cooky--playing mind games. They are truly each other's equal.

What an enjoyable piece. Thanks for sharing!

-- Gina

Author's Response: First of all, thanks for your review! It was rewarding for me to read, and I thank you for your praise.

The story's actually set before Harry's first year. Dumbledore's mind is failing him, and Nicholas sets that trap to bring that out. It's actually early 1991, but Flamel catches Dumbledore thinking it's a decade ago. The headmaster's not doing very well.

I guess I put in a bit too much show and no tell, there. Maybe I'll go back and give it an edit.

Thanks again for taking the time out to review!

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Review #25, by Unwritten CurseRaven: Raven - Chapter 1

6th March 2014:
Hi there! I thought I'd stop by and give your story some love since you don't have any reviews yet.

I have to say, Aubrey has had a very sad life for someone so young! I don't blame her for being quiet and to herself with that much grief to bear. It's hard to relate to someone who is grieving if you haven't dealt with that amount of emotion yourself, so it makes sense that she's somewhat invisible to her peers (and even the teachers). I'm glad that Dumbledore (I'm guessing it's Dumbledore) let her stay at Hogwarts over the summer. If Dumbledore is still alive at this point in time, I'd love to see him come into the story and pay attention to her. He has such a kind heart and he seems like the kind of person who would be there for her.

Also, I love that she's a shy character. I rarely see shy characters in fanfiction, which is sad, because shy characters can be so dynamic. Plus I can relate because I was painfully shy as a kid. I'm curious to watch her transformation. I imagine it will be difficult for her and full of obstacles, but certainly entertaining!

Good luck with the story! Hopefully I can come back and read more soon.

-- Gina

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