Reading Reviews From Member: Jackson Robles
  
155 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Jackson RoblesWrong Feet: Wrong Feet

10th July 2011:
Hey there! I think (or hope, rather) that they're in Seventh Year. But it is possible they're in Sixth. I don't think that they'd be allowed to drink in school, which I think you touch on in this, but is also easily explained (they're breaking rules).

This story is right at home in fanon. And that's where it excels. At times quick and witty dialogue, and a strong reliance on the reader to understand who Scorpius and Rose are, and what they must look like (we have chapter images for that - and this one is a very good one at that).

Onto the actual review - this story is fluff. And as such it must be judged within that realm, so AS FLUFF, it's a wonderfully crafted story. Quick, doesn't drag on, and ends before any real drama starts. It's rightfully over the top (Scorpius's ability to send the cattle-like First Years to their very dorms by a simple look).

I wasn't a fan of this story personally, but I'm not one for fluff, so that's my problem, not the story's. Both characters fit into their niche's nicely. There were a few problems in narration that were the only ones that I saw - otherwise the story was perfect (I can't stress that enough) - there was a moment near the middle of the story where Scorpius chuckles (his action) in a paragraph of Rose. It should be moved to the paragraph below, but if it is, then the paragraph would read "He chuckled. Scorpius sighed..." which reads just as awkwardly with the paragraph break intact.

My suggestion would be to take out one of these actions. There's a little too much going on. And other than the idea that they're both in a Common Room and are sitting in chairs with First Years lurking about, I, as the reader, know nothing else, so keeping unnecessary action to a minimum is a must.

The story is a light-hearted endeavor, so I won't go too far in depth while reviewing it, so I'll repeat that I don't like fluff, but this is a wonderfully good, short, fluff story.
Thanks for requesting Bella,
Binx

Author's Response: Why thank you! And I definitely understand that you didn't really like the story. I've had to review stories whose genres I didn't like. :P

And I will definitely take your advice into account.

Thanks so much for your review! :)


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Review #2, by Jackson RoblesHell Hath No Fury: Hell Hath No Fury

10th July 2011:
They say? Specifically, William Congreve said. From the play "The Mourning Bride" --- never read it, but I do know it's usually attributed to Shakespeare.

Onto the review! First, I must be honest. I dislike second person as a POV, but I understand that it has its merits and things of the sort. It's the notion of distortion that must be the appeal. The idea that you must make a conscious decision to take yourself out of the story, because the narration actually throws you into it, but it is not you---and so on and so on. That's the appeal, that's got to be why writers choose this POV. To create a link between the story and the reader, extremely artificial, but at the same moment completely natural (since we are not the you literally).

The story itself is firm. It's quality. From the early paragraphs onward I'm interested in who this woman is and what might happen. Fury? It's such a peaceful and serene scene in the beginning, and we are in the middle of it. I feel calmer, but, to be frank, I'm a man, so the idea of me being the one who is pregnant is, again, a little disconcerting---but that's what's to love about this POV. A story is being told to us about us. What wonder!

Halfway through (whereabouts) I feel like I'm in a mystery! But I am... well, I'm not---she is; this woman. I'm nervous!... Onto the rest...

How horrifying. I must say that is quite the scene. Horribly dramatic too, but I assume an abortion through curse (I feel the incantation is adequate but possibly unimaginative), you've captured my attention with that whole ordeal. I feel it is intensely difficult to do what you did in the second part, get us to understand that it was not a dream yet have the character version of us (the 'you') mosey about thinking that things were no different than they usually were.

I liked this piece. It was a fun read and I am encouraged that you requested me. Overall, the story was horror/dark and in first person. I had to like and care for the character because, well, I was the character. The closeness of the characters to canon, however, caused me not to care all that much about what happened, but from a story standpoint, again, I enjoyed reading it.
Binx

Author's Response: Yeah, never knew where the quote came from, just always heard it around so "They" fit quite nicely for me.

I have to agree with you about the 2nd person POV at times. Before I embarked on this endeavour I looked around a bit and found that your viewpoint on the downside of 2nd person is a prevalent one.

I think that 2nd person can hold for a one shot. I don't know if I'd be able to read a whole novel set like that. The only book that I'd read like that were the "Goosebumps" books of my childhood.

Hey, sorry about you not being able to connect with being pregnant :P

Yay! Things are mysterious for you and it got horrifying. Yeah, it may have been an unimaginative spell but I wanted it to communicate and I was in a rush. So there.

Whew. After reading through some of the review, I wasn't sure what your overall opinion would be. Glad you liked it and understood on the canonness of the the characters. That's one of the things I liked about this though; the fact that I could slip it in between Chapter 36 and the Epilogue and still have it come off.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review this!

xChar


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Review #3, by Jackson RoblesHindsight: Who Said Hindsight Was 20/20?

9th July 2011:
Starting off: the banner is interesting---you've got everything expected; attractive main characters, angst apparent and a quote as well, which I presume to be the motif behind at least the first chapter. The tagline does draw interest, but I was more interested in your first sentence of the summary. Twice I missed the 'a' while reading it and found myself hopelessly confused. After a few more reads I understand much better now. I'm not sure what to make of the summary as a whole. It's like a frayed carpet rug. It sounds like there's a lot going on---or like a lot of smoke and mirrors. But my opening impression is interested, and that's all that matters.

Onto the story, I thank you for defining hindsight. I have never looked it up, so I suppose this has saved me both time and effort. I like the bolded title words as the top. I'm a fan of successful congruencies, and the repeated 'far' warms me to your story---I'm shallow, I know.

Besides feeling utterly thrown into the mix with less than my eyes opened to what could be going on, the language in the first few paragraphs flows very nicely, I especially like the sentence that starts with "Raising no higher than a sprinter's..." but not the sentence after that. It does well in telling very mundane things in an offbeat way, I'll give it that. 'Waiting for half a dozen's heartbeat' is imaginative compared to the usual alternative: 'Waiting for a moment'--but two simple phrases make the sentence sound jagged (especially aloud) "Waiting for a half a dozen"--it's the 'a' that rumples the sentence, no matter how grammatically correct it could be considered. Repeated articles is a no-no in my book. Also, trying to follow "as the sound of more rock shifted and tumbled"--it's beautiful sometimes and then again it isn't. When I read it I read it without 'more' I like it. I read it with 'more' intact and I start wondering about the rocks that shifted and tumbled first. I think (on a tangent of course) about what relation they might have, and why we are looking at the 'more' rock and not the rock without the 'more' and start trying to reconcile all the riddles and foreshadowing in everything up until now. But that's just me, and I'm pretty sure I'm an oddity here.

A vague antecedent is the only thing that strikes me as off about the last sentence, which is the 'his pursuer' before 'crushed him'---nearly crushed who is the only question I've got? Him or his pursuer? (And who is he?)

Not a fan of his thoughts---he's worrying about being disowned? Well, all in all that tells me what kind of character he is: must be a Slytherin. Focused on status and family, focused on himself and his position. Possible flaws in the character right? In which case kudos in showing so much about the character in so little time, but I don't like the character much yet.

Slytherins are hard to like.

"He stilled everything but his grasps for breath"? Did he do something to the walls to stop them from crumbling? Are they still crumbling---I'm still playing catch up with the tense the story is in. My only option is to assume he's just stopped moving but can't help breathing rapidly for all his running---right?

About halfway through I can see you love language. The extended sentences describing mundane details are in fact fun to read---like the bit about him putting the wand in the pocket closest to his beating heart. It's like from the mind of the poet---but I don't have the time to appreciate it yet. I have no clue what's going on.

I feel like they're in a coliseum running from ghoulies. But, again, I'm interested. The final moments of the flashback have me even more interested. I think that they're going through the glass of the observation deck directly (falling from a great height, right?) instead of going down some set of unseen steps like Al wants to, but I fear I could be missing something. You're language is langourous, bouncing along as if on clouds, and I enjoy the ride. But with this action---with your disinterest in giving too much away (rightly so, you never want to show too much)---I'm having to reread sentences and paragraphs multiple times to make sure I've gotten everything.

In contrast, your writing language does absolute wonders for the second part of your chapter. I want popcorn for it! I want to show my friends! (Besides the slightly occassional unnecessary extra word---something I know I'll never be able to rid myself of forever) This second part is an absolute joy to read. I haven't much to say about that, other than the fact that you've inspired me to take closer looks to my own writing to see what I can fluff up with beautiful use of language.

Overall I like the story, and ignoring the beginning, which from where I'm sitting is a 50/50 necessity, I would definitely be willing to read more.
Binx

Author's Response: Holy hippogriffs, are you thorough! I don't think anyone's ever commented on my articles before :o and anyone who can get that much out of a 'more' doesn't strike me as shallow. I see where you are coming from in the comments - it's so interesting to hear words you've written through someone else's interpretation.

Uggh, I struggle with summaries, as a matter of fact I'm updating the summary for my other story. I suppose I'll re-work this one as well. I tend to the obscure which probably accounts for the smoke and mirror vibe. I might be better off simply saying she's a seer who only sees the past and you wouldn't believe what a mess that can get her in ;) I'm glad you found it interesting, but no one should have to work too hard deciphering a summary.

I'm actually pleased to hear your take on Scorpius' thoughts. He is Slytherin (so is Al, but Al IS more likable- their relationship is not a best buddy friendship). Scorpius will always interpret things in light of how they effect him, but the fact that he is there does say something about their relationship. I just wasn't ready to specify whether Scorpius was coming through for Al or the girl in the time of need or simply there for ulterior motives. More smoke and mirrors, I suppose, and you're right, not wanting to give too much away makes it read so different from the rest of the story.

I'm very glad you like the second part. I'm waffling on whether I should be giving more with the opening sequence (you are correct, they break the glass to get to the girl faster) or leaving it and simply building from the incident that brings them in touch with the girl and thus on the path to the Arena. I'm now 50/50 with that too :P

Back to pondering. Thanks so much for the comments.

Take care!
~Ty


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Review #4, by Jackson RoblesLying Josephine: Promises, Promises

26th January 2011:
You are fantastic at writing. The three you have listed here have done well to push you into writing this.

Have you ever heard the term 'indicating'? And I HATE to point this out as a problem in your story, but it is rather slight and I'm hitting you below the belt to say this, but for your future writing and anything beyond, well, indicating needs to be quelled. The best of the best writers don't have to do it. We get such a picture through their narration and the events that occur in their stories that we don't need to author to tell us how things work in their story. I mean Josephine. And a prime (almost perfect, were it not necessary to move the plot along) example is the following line picked from an early paragraph:

"We talk this way; Fred speaks in long run-on sentences that form into monologues, asking questions that he in turn answers for himself, simply so I can listen and be entertained; not so I am forced to respond. He knows me well enough by now to know that I rarely do. I smile at the knowledge that I finally have a friend who loves and understands me so completely, despite my conversational flaws."

This works. The first sentence really kind of grates on the road as it moves along, but it works. However, if I were to ask you the question - what does this sentence DO? What is it's purpose? What might... someone say? "It lets us know the dynamic, point blank, between these two characters and how they interact." Yet you also show this through the narration within the story. Fred is not perturbed by her lack of answers - you write that in without having to expressly 'indicate' it. As my Fiction professor would say - you're writing on a crutch (he would have verbally abused me beyond that, but I love the guy) REGARDLESS! ... I'm getting sidetracked. Throughout the entire italicized portion of the chapter, you create this wonderful dynamic between Jo and Fred, but you also tell us how wonderful it is - like you don't trust us to get it on our own (honestly, I know that's not what you were trying to do and that's not how your paragraph reads, but that is usually the main cause of indicating). No one likes to be told something obvious. Imagine if, every time you opened your car door it dinged and informed you; "Your door is open."

I'd die. Or hurt the car. But so far as I can tell you don't indicate much, but it is a dangerous habit to form and a tell tale sign of experienced, but slightly flawed writing.

Here is another indication:

"This silence carries tension."

. And again, that's not fair. I'm going through the chapter looking for instances where you think for the reader. And every writer does that quite often. Sometimes I'll just be reading something I've written and it'll dawn on me. I'm usually horribly embarrassed. It's a hard thing to catch, you know?

Stating that 'he quips' a few sentences down is a bit of another. I hate overly critical reviews, so don't you dare think I'm telling you to change anything. I quite like the story. I'm just making observations.

I've decided to leave 'indicating' behind and focus on other aspects of this chapter. . Wait. Did I just...? Noo.
I have never heard of anyone being 'okay' with unrequited love. In fact most people die because of it. What was that bookWutheringHeights..? Right! Anyway, I love the fact that Jo has convinced herself she doesn't need George. And that loving HIM from afar is a privilege. Powerful use of words. Which allows us to get into her head wonderfully. It's not just a nice summer's day she's enjoying. She's enjoying the fact that there is a day to enjoy. It's a very different viewpoint, and you've definitely broken a norm there I think...

"I haven't with a stranger, an acquaintance, or an old roommate, and most certainly not with George..." --- foreshadowing?!?!

omigosh I loved the paragraph about Fred lying in a box. I feel like it's offset in a cheesy way by you telling us it's an oxymoron, so I read it without that sentence Jo likes to be clever. I'll let her have at it then. hehe

Back to the indicating thing, though.. sometimes it is necessary. Most times not - it's finding a good balance, you know? In al aspects of good writing. Adjective use, sentence length, sentence style, character voice, tone, theme... yadda yadda.. and that balance is by far the hardest thing in writing, and it really is only perfectly visible (not to achieve) to the writer. We as readers only have what we know. It's YOUR story, you know?

But once I got into the funeral I got into it. I LOVE 4000+ word dramas. And you've inspired me to pick up the pen for mine again. Because it's the characters that matter. Sometimes people complain of length or of things dragging on, but feeling the characters out comes so well in this long chapters.

And, honest to God, there is a perfect idea of Jo in my head. She's as canon as any HP - more so than some - and it's been just a little while. I accept her. I like her. I think she has flaws - but that makes her HUMAN. Thereby making me like her more.

I think I had better wrap this up. I'm worried this will get too long. I liked the short sentences again. And I hope you keep up with this. You really should.

Author's Response: Jackson! :-D

*blushes* Wow, thank you for that opening to this review! I'm completely blown away because I have the highest esteem for your reviews! So thank you, truly.

Wow. See, this is why I love your reviews: because you go beyond the basic level of reviewing a story by bringing in the technical side of things, and I love it! I've never taken a writing course, so 'indicating' is a new concept to me, but I'm completely fascinated. And you're so right! Now that you've pointed it out, it's like 'duh!' Of course, when I think back on writing all those moments you pointed out, I remember honestly thinking that I needed them there, because what if my writing without that indication wasn't strong enough or clear enough to get those points across? It's not that I don't trust the reader, it's that I don't trust my writing - especially when no one has read it before hand to tell me that they already feel the tension BEFORE I tell them there's tension! Does that make sense? Seriously, you've just opened up a whole new door in my mind as far as writing is concerned. Thank you!

Ah, unrequited love... It definitely tears a person apart, but with Jo, I just have this vision of her where, like you said, it's not that she's enjoying the day, it's that she's enjoying the fact that there simply IS a day to enjoy! And it is a privilege to her! I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed that spin on it!

Hahaha foreshadowing indeed! ;-)

LOL I love that you love that part! And I actually played around with the oxymoron bit a lot; still not sure how I feel about it, but I'm afraid staring at the same words over and over again hasn't cleared my opinions at all, so I've given up on it, haha.

The funeral scene I also enjoy more and spent more time with, to be honest, so I'm glad that you really got into it by then! And yay! I'm so excited to have inspired the great JacksonRobles to continue! And the actor in me knows just how important characters are, how much characters matter, so I'm right there with you. And I was a bit worried that this chapter would drag, seeing as it's pretty long for having only two parts to it, but Jo is my character and I want her to be known, and I'm glad that it's coming across the way I intended!

Yay Jo! I love her, I won't lie. And wow, what a compliment that she feels so canon to you! :-D I'm so happy you like her, that's very important to me, and especially with her flaws, because she's very real to me, very three dimensional, and I'm thrilled to hear she's coming across as so!

I do love writing those short sentences, haha - it's great to hear you still like them! And I will continue the story, I promise!

Thank you so much for the review, Jackson, and for all the thought you put into it. It's incredibly appreciated!

xTanya :-)


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Review #5, by Jackson RoblesSecond Chance: Wake up.

24th January 2011:
All right! I'm here, what's up? See, I'm actually pretty proud of how soon I managed to walk over here from the forums. You wouldn't believe the amount of distractions one finds from your link to here! :O Anyways... I've read this about two and a half times (best not to ask about the half ;D)

The first time I read this fic, I realized that I really didn't notice the POV change from her to him all that much at all, which is surprising, considering the powerful emotions that wrack the entirety of Hermione's internal monologue. And I know 'wrack' has an odd sort of negative connotation, but we're going with it.

While lying in bed before getting up for class this morning, I was thinking about a lost love of mine (this pertains, just wait for it) and how there are some things I could say to her. I could say that what I MEANT by what I said was that she was more important to me than all that. I was telling her how I felt about her. And then I thought about how that might sound if I wrote it into a story. That translated into: a character in a story telling another character how they were suddenly going to change their life. And then that translated into an internal monologue. And then I thought about how poor of writing that would be. We're telling a reader exactly what they should be thinking. "Oh, from now on they're going to act like THIS because of THIS." When, if we've done our job, they should surmise that information from the story as it plays out.

Now! To link my review of your story and that story I just told. I feel like this story HAS to indicate in certain places how we should feel. Because you're breaking canon - Hermione never had these thoughts in the books, and because your right angling our thoughts (turning them from the path they should be on), you need a bright and glamorous statement to change our point of views. Thusly, you are given a bit of leeway in your sentences and the statements you make with them.

BUT! I've GOT to call out the absurd statement made when Hermione thinks "No matter how hard I tried, I never managed to ignore it and I knew that, sooner or later, I would end up falling in love with him, even if it was not something I wished." I mean... think about saying that to someone you loved in real life. I love quite a lot of her thought processes, but I have to tell you I cringed a bit when I read this. (Not to mention it's a realy long sentence when read aloud)

Though I feel like we need some sort of sentence like that. As though we NEED to be broken free of the ties to Ron that Hermione has, and this suffices that purpose actually rather well, if it isn't a bit over the top. :)


Time to move on though, as I feel I'm getting long winded again. The story has very viscous language, like wading through a pool of syrup to read, which isn't a critical statement, really. Joseph Conrad wrote in this style, saying every word he could think of and then some to convey the setting and feeling and taste of the story, almost like we can't help but be there and experience what the characters are experiencing - and this story has the same taste to it. Intermittent melodramatic statements aside, your language is sufficiently poetic and if the final paragraph isn't testament enough, then Hermione's last is as well.

Which reminds me, I feel like Hermione is genuinely OOC in this story. That is to say, as though she is meant to be a little different and not that it's a flaw. Her obsession with Harry is so very real and slightly disturbing that our lovable Hermy from the books seems left behind. It's like the life these two have led (the life we don't know about) has turned her mind loose and unhinged her slightly. Like the war didn't end in May of that year and that they've seen so much.

Which is another wonderful aspect of this story. There is truly so much that could happen - it's like a frayed rug, on with all it's threads tied together in small bunches. We could spend hours speculating on all that might have happened, what is happening and what might happen - all the wonderful things a really powerful story needs. One that sticks with you, you know? :)

Long story short, I'm an H/Hr shipper on the inside (Harry/Pansy too, but that's not important) - and I like this. I felt this was less about the ship and more about the individual characters as well. I mean, Hermione's mind state alone is a maelstrom. And I like that. I like this. Thanks for requesting Nashira. :)

Author's Response: SO! I had to read your review twice lol, seriously I think I was too sleepy the first time I read it, because I didn't understand a word and I thought it was a mean review lol and the second time it made a lot of sense x)

First of all, thank you for reviewing! I was so happy with it that my cheeks didn't stopped hurting for like an hour or so... just kidding, but it did make me happy.

I never thought about Hermione being OOC! But your reasons are valid enough, lol. So I guess she is, but I guess I'm talking about a Hermione that has seen too much, that is tired of fighting and that just wants a normal life. A Hermione that has also been hiding her love for her best friend for so long. Besides JKR never truly got us inside her mind ;) lol

As for grammar, I'm mexican, blah, blah, need to improve, more blah, story has been beta-ed and I'm waiting for it to be validated :D and blah

Anyway, I think that will be it, again thank you so much for reviewing!


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Review #6, by Jackson RoblesA Sin With No Name: True Colors

17th January 2011:
So I've got a better way to put it! It's like you cast a line to us - the reader - like you're fishing. And we're the fish. And we're coming to the hook, ready to bite at the worm. But then you retract it! Right as we're about to bite - and instead of feeling cheated and left to twist in the wind, we're relieved and surprised! It's like you played a bit of a joke on us and we're left grinning, feeling oddly at peace. (If that makes ANY sense!) haha

So where are we. Obvious strife, and a bit of communication error where people assume this (people meaning Vic.. and maybe to some extent the Rose/Cort fiasco) wrong idea and all that goes along with the whole extortion ;) (I'm watching Return of the King while writing this.. so if some of the wording seems strange it is because I'm watching Gandalf scold Pippin...) RIGHT! So after an hour, I'm back to writing! (Good stuff though)

I think what I really like, for me, about these chapters, is their like pictures (worth how many words) - we're getting glimpses, and I don't exactly feel as though the story has started up quite yet. And while I don't see that as a bad thing, I really do like this 'picturesque' style I've found you writing in.

You continue with those powerful sentences - a wonderful tool to use. It is exemplified right off the bat when you are in Vic's head and she over and over and over implies that THIS TIME it would be different - THIS TIME it would work - and then there's the sentence - just a lone sentence - that contradicts her entire thought process. That's powerful, poignant writing at it's best. And I love it.

I also adore those short, bright sentences that take control of everything, and the best example of those is the sentences that end this chapter. It's powerful - he tries, she rejects him - he seemingly rejects her. And the slamming door means so much! .. I mean, quite a lot does, and I find myself reading the first romance that I'm not already predicting through to the end - or bored with, you know?

Her reaction seemed kind of blatant - and not really at first, but then when she said "Well I don't feel like your wife" - that feels blocky to me, like she's indicating, I suppose, you know? And I HATE to say this - but who really talks like that? It struck me as a form of melodrama, but I guess to me it sounds like that.

Uhm. I hate to end this review on a low note, so I will say I enjoyed the character development. Rose strikes me as a romantic, but regular, girl just trying to connect with someone she has a good time talking to - but losing her patience wit him (and being unable to figure out that early on that the relationship just can't work). Teddy feels stagnant in that he really is supportive of his wife and is unbelievably forgiving - though it's HER mentality that ruins most of it. Her controlling personality just causes her to become so emotionally frustrated at not being able to control one of the most important aspects of her being.

So! I liked it :) If that wasn't clear at all.

Author's Response: Thank you so much, Jackson! I really adore your reviews--you open up a real conversation about writing as a craft, which I really appreciate!

I'm honored by your fishing metaphor!

Thank you so much for your comments on my writing style. I experimented with playwriting and screenwriting which are more visual, and I am very happy to see that this same sort of picture style of writing works in prose too.

Thank you so much for your critique! I hope to take another look at this story and rework it.

Thank you!


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Review #7, by Jackson RoblesA Sin With No Name: Prologue: Over Coffee

17th January 2011:
Right! So that two week turnaround has hopefully been thrown away and most definitely ignored completely. I am Jackson and I'm here to look over this lovely little prologue that introduces your story - A Sin With No Name! I enjoy that, it makes me feel like this story will be a tale of adultery - now, I know that's giving the sin a name and I most definitely DON'T enjoy adultery, but you will definitely have to excuse my rambling...

Let's start out shall we? I haven't reviewed since the Summer, so we'll see how this goes, right? I'm going to start off with little ... bit of observation. I don't have much of an opinion on whether these things are good or not (I'm not THAT guy) haha, but they did stick out to me.

You have a slight affinity for rather interesting sentence structure. You withhold what is perceived as the interesting (and in most cases a bit of irony, as I feel like the clever aspect of your writing is portioned in those cases) I mean these:

"The drapes were, in fact, shower curtains; the young couple couldn't afford the burgundy ones that fit Victoire's liking."

(twice in the following sentences)

"Picking out their home, too, was a decision on which Victorie had the final say. For Teddy, life would be about making his new wife happy.

At the moment, he knew what that meant."

The latter sentence exemplifies it perfectly! I haven't had a straight up English class this semester and I forgot the literary term for this style, but it is very potent when used sparingly, and in this instance it manages to condense itself in such a way that it makes reading feel like ... a report, but creative and pulls me in most easily.

Muggle, I think, should be capitalized. At least in the American HP books it always shows up as a capitalized word when I read -I suppose.

I liked the repetitive start of the final three sentences. A sincere sense of romanticism is changed then to foreboding just by those alone. That, I think, is my favorite part of this chapter. The switch from narrative back and forth wasn't adherent to the plot or flow at all! In fact, I much liked it. It felt, to me at least, like we were getting just the facts and quick points of a newspaper article, but in fact much better written than a newspaper article. ;)

Even the POV, though it was subtle, the piece was obviously through the eyes of Teddy and Rose. Which, considering there's a pairing listed as Teddy/Rose - I find that compelling. Also! Cort... such an interesting name to me. I think of 'court' - then I think of tennis and it goes into a list of Roger Federer and Andre Agassi (I think that's the spelling).

So! Structure was very interesting, especially concerning most sentences - it really added to the start drama (as it should, since you are introducing a heavily dramatic story). Characters are obviously well defined, although Rose is still foggy to me.. Cort is obviously a very good guy (in this prologue), Teddy was outrightly defined, as was Victorie... and it all works very well. I want to know more, and I have a feeling I know a slight amount, but I can see there's plenty I still want to know!

So.. good job? XD A very good job!

Author's Response: Wow, this is a wonderful review! I am so sorry I sort of dropped off the planet for a while. But I sincerely appreciate this review! You touch on some sophisticated things that I was hoping someone would pick up on. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your review!

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Review #8, by Jackson RoblesSwan Lake School of Magic: Swan Lake School of Magic

31st August 2010:
Hey Schoe! I've started this bugger about three times now, gotten about halfway through and then by some fluke have either been pulled away or the browser defenestrated. I'm not entirely sure if it'll work this time, but I'll apologize for the week or so it's taken to get to this piece. And I apologize for some of the things I might say - they aren't meant in a negative way, I promise, there are just a few things I wanted to comment on, you know? All in all though, I see that you have most definitely igven this school some serious thought, and it most definitely feels like it could be a real place in Bavaria - excuse me, Germany. ;)

The bit about having whole curriculum guides from the start of school to finish actually sounds really interesting. I like the idea, much like Percy, and the bit about the school's funding coming from tourism - not to mention the exclusivity of the school, well, it's great. The name suffices. I don't much like 'aptitude', but maybe it comes from the translation from German to English, you know?

However, the interesting and fully developed school aside, I've got some comments about the narration and methodology of this piece. You are grand at descriptions and definitely give a full feel for the characters, but the events and some of the things that they say strike me as a bit stilted. The story doesn't flow very well to me, in fact sitting together like blocks, where each paragraph is either completely interdependent of anything around it, or linked by some Elmer's School Glue hastily applied. The story also just feels like a simple fluff piece. There's not a single element of conflict or real drama whatsoever, and I feel slightly as though I am reading off of a list or a newspaper article about the Dow Jones's current disreputable state.

Now, I know better to make such claims (and claims is a loose word, I would more like to say statements, as they are just what I think... but anyways!) without giving any examples of what I mean. Or what I'm trying to say, I suppose would be a good way to put it.

Let's start with the notion of not a single instance of conflict. I know this is just supposed to give us a resemblance of a school in some far off land, and can't exactly have You-Know-Who blowing up ramparts, but I'm not just looking at this story in terms of the challenge. You asked for anything I saw fit to comment on. This story goes from complaining about climbing up a hill, to talking to the Headmaster, to getting drunk, to waking up and talking to a smiling Kingsley - when we find out the surprise ending - this whole thing was for Percy's own good (or at least a chunk of it). I kind of had that figured, oddly enough. Just the use of inebriation and all that jazz, it felt as though Percy was being intentionally overwhelmed, which sounds a bit strange, but Percy had a diamond gaze on his face the entire time, you know? No complaints there. It was a scene between two people the entire time. Percy and the headmaster and hungover Percy and Kingsley, but it still felt just like someone was reading a report. And it had mild points of interest, like I said, but I will repeat what I said: it was like reading a very long newspaper article in story format. We were getting a fantasized version of the report Percy was writing you know?

Onto the lack of flow. There were many jagged changes in writing. I saw quite a few notable block paragraph changes really early on. I could see we were on Percy's shoulder the entire time, but the way the story began made it a bit hard to get into. We thrown face first into a story that knows where it's going, but I felt constantly reminded that there was an author's hand behind everything Percy thought and was shown to - the Headmaster was basically your left hand in showing us this school, and I'm okay with the large role of indicating that he fulfilled. Granted I don't think I could do better on this piece, but sometimes we get a hard topic. I really think this one was. You definitely fit the criteria, but I just feel the story to be a bit belittled, you know? The comedy felt forced and I wasn't amused - but those are my tastes. I have a different sense of humor than other people.

I will say that Percy felt in character. Kingsley seemed like a younger Dumbledore, which I'm sure he would have become (at least I think...) and I'll repeat the fact that I had very few problems with the characters. Narration brunted on me. Dialogue fuels the piece, and it goes back to the notion that it feels much like a list.

It's hard to have good flow with so much dialogue. The narration's thought processes relay too much information rather than thought to provide for good flow. So it is not as though I'm necessarily blaming you. I don't want to do that, actually, as this review seems far too harsh to me, and I really don't want it to sound like that. It's a good bit of story, but like anything there are a few problems. Just the level of depth I'm trying to go into them I guess I'm going a bit far, so I'll let it go.

I'd give this a solid thumbs up if they wanted to read about a magical school in Germany. If they wanted a riveting tale of magic and adventure - no. But that doesn't matter, I'm critiquing this as though it was SUPPOSED to be one of those, you know? So I'd give this review a thumbs down! At any rate, I better wrap this up before I go any further down the path of bad reviewing.

In conclusion: Swan Lake feels real, as do the characters. Narration is a bit rigged and fights to flow correctly, lack of interest as this feels like a list, but that's okay because it IS a list. No conflict needed. I need to work on my reviewing, and thumbs up to this piece.

Cheers!
JD

Author's Response: I deeply thank you for your honesty and will keep your critique points in mind. I'll take a look and see if I can tweak some of the things you mentioned in regards to dialogue and watch out for that 'list writing'. You do have a valid point there.

I do appreciate the part that Swan Lake feels real! This means I've done a good job of describing this place where I've actually been, which I consider a huge compliment and that was my ultimate goal when writing the piece--perhaps why less attention was paid in other areas.

I found your review extremely sincere. No sugar coating, I appreciate the feedback immensely!


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Review #9, by Jackson RoblesLying Josephine: Introduction: Boxes

23rd August 2010:
Hi. I was perusing Joop's review thread (because that's what I do, though Joop is one of many a-victim of my pseudo-stalking) and I saw this story. You sounded honest to God passionate, so I wanted to take a look. And you want honesty, and I've been in that position before, so here goes. :)

First bit, about Josephine (I assume) crying. The bit about her actually crying seems to drag on and snags on its words a bit. It's definitely a good image. One tear, then many, then collapsing and sobbing uncontrollably. There's definite power and emotion there, I can feel it, but it also feels like you're running the scene through a pile of rocks - not a nice pool of water like it should be, you know? The description itself I think should be stripped a bit. Because the simplicity is great, and so early on trying so hard to get an emotional reaction is counter productive to your goal. And just getting an emotional reaction so early on in the story is a hard goal to strive for, you know? The final line of narration in that part is the best I think, and that formula should be taken throughout (at least this part). Simplistic, but vague and hard to grasp without a bit of prior knowledge (like a Radiohead song ;D).
The second sentence seems like it drags on a bit as well. The part about lying her way through this life to the greatest family she's ever known. I hate giving criticism without any ideas to change, but with that sentence, it might be a necessary evil. haha ;)

I think you might have the same problem I (and I'm very sure most writers, professional or otherwise) fight through on a daily basis. The word, oddly enough, if wordiness. Writing more than you need to in the attempt to convey a certain idea, thereby clouding the idea with semi-useless labels and adjectives.
Unstoppable Lord Voldemort is an example. See, because there's nothing wrong with it grammatically, but reading the sentence out loud you get the feeling there is more there than there should be. You know? haha

Your shortest sentences are when you're at your best. They hold the most weight with me. The rest seems a bit filler to me, wrapping haphazardly around these really poignant lines.

"Please donít judge me too hastily, just yet." - is a prime example of the wordiness! (And I know I'm beating the horse to death with this, but it's important and takes time to work on, I know - you can just ask Alopex. We spent a year killing mine - nearly - but you are nowhere near as bad as I was.)
This sentence could simple read, 'Please don't just me just yet.' and be completely fine.

It should really be pouring down unforgiving raindrops, accompanied by harsh winds, blindingly bright bolts of lightning and unbearable claps of thunder.

^Overlaod. haha Okay! Now, in moderation, this type of adjective use is great! But each noun gets its own adjective and the sentence drags.

If we tweak it a bit - "It should really be pouring down rain accompanied by harsh winds, bolts of lightning and unbearable claps of thunder." I dunno, it reads differently. I dunno if better, I mean I think a bit - but in the end it's up to you.

And that's very important! I'm just voicing what I thought! And my opinion really doesn't mean much - it's up to you. I don't mean any harm. I'm not the best at being nice, but I do try very hard. :)
Now, writing aside, can we look at the story? The plot and all that god stuff? Erm, Fred having a best friend that WASN'T George? But then again, Fred's allowed to have more than George as a friend. While they were usually inseparable, I think it's viable for Josephine to have been ol' Freddy's friend.
But for the beginning, well, it was a beginning. I liked it (that's very important in a rare from me, I mean what I say, I'll have you know). And I will most certainly be watching for the next few chapters to see how the story and writing looks. Both equally entertain me, you see. And this story so far has entertained me.

On that note! I had better wrap this up before it gets too long. I like the premise of this story, it has a hitch (good thing), you know? Anyways, have fun writing, I'm sure I'll talk to you again soon.
JD :)

Author's Response: Hey there, Jackson Robles! Well, I have to say that I am SO glad you chose to stalk Joops thread, then, because this review has been very helpful! :-D

That first bit, now that you've pointed it out as being more effective with just a bit more vagueness and even more simplicity, makes total sense! It seems so obvious now that you've mentioned it - the story should reveal itself in time: I don't need to give the details during that moment because that is supposed to be the mystery of the piece! Duh. Haha, thank you! :-D

The 'unstoppable' description and the 'too hastily, just yet' and the whole storm/weather scenario all definitely make sense, because you're absolutely right - my writing is most powerful when I feed it in smaller lines, less is more, that whole thing - so why am I overdoing it every once in while?? No idea. lol And I'm really glad that you agree, because it's my favorite technique in other author's as well - I love simplicity, so it's a true compliment that my simplistic parts are the most powerful! Now I just need to bring that to the rest of the fic. haha

You're not good at being nice?? Well, this certainly seems nice enough to me! I asked for true, honest responses and you gave me exactly that and you did it in a kind, logical, understanding way without sounding condescending or negative at all! This is what I wanted and you did that - and I didn't even ask you to! You took that initiative all on your own, which I truly appreciate! (Do you like how I'm reviewing your review now??? bahaha) ;-)

As for Fred and Josephine's friendship - simply don't forget that all I said was that Josephine's best friend was lying in a box - that doesn't necessarily mean that Josephine is Fred's best friend! George is Fred's number one, but... well, if you continue to read, you'll understand the relationships here! 0:-)

On a similar note, I SO hope that you do come back for later chapters, as your feedback has been very helpful! It seems to all be focused around the same principal, too, which makes it easy to edit on my own! And now I have more to look for in my next chapter as well, I'll know what to concentrate on!

I'm glad chapter one has entertained you and that you plan to watch for the next few chapters - and seeing as you are a self-proclaimed rare-to-please type reader, I am very grateful that you're even considering retuning and that my first chapter has you interested!

Thank you again for the wonderful review! :-)
xTanya


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Review #10, by Jackson RoblesA Lost Cause: A Lost Cause

17th August 2010:
Hey Lia - I'm here. Can you believe it? I apologize for how long it's been, I really do. I took a bit of a break from HPFF. I think I've read this a good three or four times through, and I promise to do my best and cover everything. I liked this. While those are generally loaded words on HPFF, I promise I'm completely honest. For me it filled in a profile for an obscure character. Bella a bit as well, as I don't have much of her on my mind regardless.

And I would like to put out the idea that while I like something that doesn't mean it's perfect. And for me liking is about as high on the chart as you can get - unless I love it, but I didn't even love the books (don't tell anyone!) so you're in good company ;) Anyways, long winded introductions aside, what say you we get started on this here review? You say you want a revolution? Wait.. no, you say you want a review that tells you if the story makes any sense or if the characterizations are all right. So let's go.

I'll start broad spectrum and talk to you about the writing in this piece. I think writing definitely changes from work to work and as you get better with time (at least, that rings true with me), so for this, there are only a few instances of your narration that strike me as unbecoming and slightly cumbersome to read. XD That unbecoming thing was a joke, by the way. The last part was.. well, a glorified truth. Okay. Now let's point out these instances. I can use two sentences rather early on that, well, there is nothing really wrong with, the style and the way they look set off a bit of... uneasiness.

"It wasn't difficult to detect the sarcasm laced in his voice but she said no more."
&
"Whipping my head around, I saw my wife gripping her shoulder then I hit the ground."

Right. These could easily, very easily, be ripped apart. The different clauses within each of these two sentences. They feel and look jagged, and I think that's what is supposed to be conveyed. Rodolphus has his eyes on Bella and then he falls, all very abrupt like I'm sure it happened. The first line I quote, about detecting sarcasm and how she said no more, feels a bit, well, rushed. There are thoughts that are trying to be conveyed and they do a good job, it just has a bit of a ragged feel, and while I wouldn't change it, I would consider maybe in the future just cutting those into two sentences you know. "He laced the sarcasm on thick. Bellatrix stayed silent." It isn't as obvious that she's purposefully ignoring him, but it is definitely there. I dunno, this, of course, is just a thought. I'll move on before I begin to get long winded.

Oh! And on a technical note, in the books they never substitute 'Merlin's' for 'God's'. It was pointed out to me in a forum somewhere, and when I went to reread GoF - well, it's true. They say 'For God's sake!' - they don't see Merlin as a heavenly figure. They DO, however, say 'Merlin's beard!' when they're surprised, I think as a euphemism for swearing. Just for future reference. =)

'Areas of Concern' time! Let's see... what're we looking at? Rodolphus's and Bellatrix's charactization and if the story makes any sense. From the story we see that there is a goal of ol' Roddy's. (I don't think that's an acceptable nickname for Rodolphus, but we're going with it) He wants his love's.. well, love. And we can see that he had it at one point in time. Bella followed him to the gates of you-know-where, that's not something somebody does all willy-nilly, but it looks like he took that love for granted and now it's his only solace, one that he can't find. So, for characterization and the character as a whole, I thought you did fine with him. It does feel like there is a small gap somewhere, and I agree to an extent with BB about Roddy feeling slightly absent compared with Bella, but I definitely think he's a lot less flat than Barty Jr. (that's a sentence ending period ;D) Jr.'s only got two lines, character wise, I'm okay with him being rather in the background, because he his. And Roddy is the narrator, we get into his head just by the way and the words he's speaking. I think you did a good job there, and now we move on to Bella.

What can I say? I like this. Bella actually loved someone. And of course she did, while she idolized the hatred of Voldemort, she definitely wasn't the same person. And this story gives me the impression that it was Roddy that drove her away. In short, I like Bella's characterization, it follows well with her obsessive nature and she's different, in Hogwarts I mean, than when she was an adult, something I never thought of before, but something that most certainly makes sense.

The story did make sense. I had no problems with the section changes or any of that. It was easily followed and while some the sentences were a bit lax on the flow, the whole thing was definitely leading somewhere. Once again, sorry about how long this took me to do. I hope you forgive me, and thank you again for requesting me, I enjoyed this.

Jackson

Author's Response: Hey Jackson!

Nothing is ever perfect, regardless of how you feel about it so I understand where you're coming from. Lol, I don't mind your introduction, most people get straight into it so this is refreshing...and hilarious! I would reply to your Beatles reference but I can't think of anything witty enough...sucks, huh? This summer was particularly different in terms of how I respond to reviews. If I see that you're making sense then I wouldn't take offense to what you say. Besides, constructive criticism never hurt anyone.

I do understand what you're saying about those sentences, especially the second one. To tell you the truth, that one always used to bother me for some reason. Anyway, yes, I will remember that point, thank you. Ooh, well ok. Honestly, I try to avoid using blasphemy so that's why I use Merlin. Since you told me that then I'll use another alternative.

Haha, well, Roddy is waaayyy better than Rod! That's an interesting way to put it. I've never thought of him taking Bella's well, 'love' for granted at all...it's something for me to think about. Rodolphus Lestrange has always been a character of interest for me, especially in his pre-Azkaban days with his wife. Sometimes I used to think he followed her to the gates of you-know-where and not the other way around.

Roddy being slightly absent than Bella or do you mean Rabastan? Well, yeah, he and Barty Jr are meant to be background characters anyway but seeing that Rabastan is Roddy's brother, he would play a bigger role, if you can call what I've given him that. My intention was it to be Rodolphus' prime moments in his life which indirectly included Bellatrix; the latter just happened actually. It's like she took up all of the space when she was with him, so much so that he can't see himself not including her or making reference to her in some way.

You're right. Of course she did. She wasn't always a homicidal maniac, was she? You really think he drove her away? I'm curious now, lol. I'm wondering what on earth did I write to give you that impression. I dunno, if you read this response and have the time, please drop me a PM.

I was rather surprised to see I had a review on this story and even more surprised when you said I requested it. That was ages ago but don't worry about it! It took me a while to give a decent response to this anyway.

Thank you for reading and reviewing after all this time and leaving some insightful opinions and suggestions!

Lia.


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Review #11, by Jackson RoblesRule Breaker: A Sickening Discovery

15th May 2010:
Holy DarkRose! Nice to see you again. Sorry about the short hiatus before writing this - I read it after I wrote the last review and got side tracked! But I'm here now, and ready to offer my opinion, you know?

Right. So rereading a bit, that is a definite mystery there, isn't it? At first they thought it was real blood (I dunno why, but it struck me as kind of odd they needed to wait for Slughorn to find out if it was blood or not. Isn't McGonagall a competent Headmistress? Not a big deal, just something that kind of made me sit and thank haha ;D) - ANYWAYS! At first they thought it was real blood and then it goes to dragon blood. Something more valuable and rare! And fresh!? What on earth, that is most certainly a mystery, you know? Somebody GETTING dragon blood, and then just throwing it in the hallway. Oddly enough, I wonder if that was a distraction or something. I mean, it's certainly starting to get Hermione obsessed with Draco, isn't it? At least she's now feeling dizzy and shaken - and we're actually looking at DIFFERENT love interests - I mean, it's a Dramione, so Ron's out - but it kind of seems like one of the Slytherin boys might be worthy of her affection you know? Of course it'll be Draco overall, but c'mon! I just see it building! And then one of them dies. It works, I tell you! It works! ;]

Grammar wise, well, it's great! Very nice. And I kind of want to talk about this story now, since we're six chapters in, and my opinion overall so far. Okay, it's a bit ... well, here we go right? Something that I noticed was a bit of a lack of setting. This story relies solely and its characters' interactions with one another and Hermione's thoughts. We don't have a paragraph up there over three lines, which is a bit of a superficial testament to what I'm talking about. Sometimes I get the feeling that you could combine some of these extremely short paragraphs and make them into longer ones, but really, when it comes down to it, paragraph length is at the writer's discretion.
And! For a quick example (and I'm not saying this is something you need to change by any means, it's just something that I noticed ;P)
"
Draco's eyes widened and then narrowed.

He leaned closer to her, a glint behind his steely gray eyes.

"Granger," he whispered menacingly, "you don't know anything."

With those words, Draco smirked again and swept down the corridor without looking back.
"
This could all work easily as one paragraph, but it kind of seems as though the second you get done writing a sentence you hit enter and begin anew. While it takes nothing away, working on paragraph structure and 'dealing with it' (as I call it, because sometimes it can become hard - at least for me) is definitely a good way to grow as a writer, but it's all up to you, and I kind of get the feeling you use the enter button to help with readability, which is nice, but I mean, myself, I always go to the text size thing and turn it to 14 (why hurt my eyes) and usually go to Times New Roman - I wish I could save that preference, but it's not like it's a huge hassle haha - And on 14 these paragraphs do seem longer ;D

I think so far that's all I can really comment on. Theo would do her good, I guess - as Ron's rather stagnant and cliche annoying in this fic - and Draco's certainly very mysterious and who knows what's really going on. (I'm still waiting for those social engagements! Bring on the dances in the Great Hall!!) Voldie's still out there somewhere, and I'm curious where that's going to go.

All in all a good chapter though - I haven't found time to mention that yet haha :D But there it is now! We're moving along nicely plot-wise, and I wonder where on earth we are heading. So again, good job!

Jackson

Author's Response: You seriously make my day. :] Everytime I read one of your reviews, I can't help but smile. :D

So... let's see: I'm glad you liked it! I really am terrible for my continued delaying of writing the next chapter, but as soon as I have it, you'll be the first to know. :]

The plot's definitely picking up and two chapters from now will be the most major moment of mystery (that was crazy alliteration... :D ). So I can't wait to get there and actually write it.

I know I'm a paragraph-spaz in fanfiction. I'm actually not like that in my personal writing, which is weird. I can't really understand why I do that. o.O But I'll see if I can lengthen things up just to switch the world around a bit.

Again, I thank you so much for your review. :] You're wonderful.

--Emily


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Review #12, by Jackson RoblesRule Breaker: Just a Saturday Afternoon

10th May 2010:
XD I skimmed the last line at first and then read your AN to see it was a cliffhanger. Had to go back and check! Hmm, wonder what it was that Sam indeed found. Could it be a pool of blood? The dead walking again?! Peeves crying?

You never know. ... Well, you do, actually. It's just me that's in the dark. And I can't even apologize for how long this has taken me. I've been kind of on the fence with things lately and haven't had much store for really anything but forum lurking you know? XD But that's over with!

And we must look at this chapter. I chuckled at the use of histrionically. Not a bad use. Did you know the word? Synonym? Or had you learned it from psych? That's where I knew it from anyway... Grammar wise, well, I wasn't looking much. I think I noticed one comma at the end of dialogue that probably should have been a period, and while I do notice it it's not like I'm angry and hounding at my keyboard because of it :P I just see it and point it out! Promise.

But content wise this is an interesting... path we are taking, most definitely. I mean, Harry and Ron friends with your pack of OC Slytherins? And Hermione in the midst behaving like a regular gal?! I'd never heard of such a thing. Not saying I don't buy it, but I think you've hit 'near' originality there. I mean, because I can't say it's original - mainly because I've never read a Dramione... or MANY Dramiones, my bad. XD

Talking about the piece, I think that it's interesting you have Draco keep coming back and talking to her. He's been avoiding almost everyone else, or at least ignoring them (and in Mandy's case ragging on them) but to Hermione he talks, smiles and taunts. It's interesting. Makes me believe that this has something to do with the story. And I can flush it out a little bit more than that because we do know this is a Dramione, so Draco can't be the real bad guy. He can't, murderer or not, he's got to come around to their side eventually. And Sam + Mandy/Harry + Ron maybe, if Theo and Garrett are killed. I just see it working. And then at least the Trio'd be shipped off (cue pun music) to Slythies! Mandy/Ron by the way, but we'll have to see how it goes. That's just a shot in the dark. Maybe Harry'll die and he won't find himself a gal. Maybe that's what Ginny's for. But... Ginny? Who knows, this is a novel/la right? Means we got a lot of time to work on this. :P

Plot wise, well, it didn't turn out to be just a Saturday afternoon, did it? Well, at least, it looks like it might be something dangerous. Also liked how Samantha asked for McGonagall instead of Slughorn or Snape. Just kind of... bridging how gaps early on, I suppose. And hard to believe we're just on Chapter Five! Wonder what might start happening you know? I can see the murder, but I can't see past it you know? Are they going to try and solve it? Everyone'll probably think it's Draco, but will Hermione know the truth and have to figure it out herself? Who knows! I sure don't. :D But you do!

And I wonder, well, that's for the next chapter! So I better get hopping on it! See you there, yeah?

Great chapter by the way, if I haven't said already!

Jackson

Author's Response: Oh Jackson. :D You make my day. :]

This review (coupled with my 32 on the ACT) has seriously made me smile so much it's ridiculous.

I'm so glad you liked this one! And I absolutely love your speculations! I hope you'll read chapter six soon (if that's what you were saying you were off to do). I think you'll like it.

We're starting to pick up plotwise and it's gonna get really awesome, really fast. Hahaha, or at least, I think it will. Though you probably won't like chapter seven when I crank it out. It's pretty cliche. :P

But anyhow... I do love the word "histrionic." It's one of my favorites. :] I don't really recall where I picked it up, but I use it often.

Thank you so much for reviewing and making my day. :D I'm sure I'll hear from you again sometime.

--Emily


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Review #13, by Jackson RoblesUndoing: Talking

9th May 2010:
Come on now! What's with that! I want to know what had happened! Talking! More like Prelude to a Conversation! You know what I mean? haha, but nothing negative meant by that! Just that you totally got me with the title - but it works, you know? It is talking. And when you are talking with someone it rarely feels like you are getting anything done. You are talking about regular things. How was school? How've the kids been? Did you get that job? oh? Oh how's work been then? You and your husband/wife getting along? - You know? Questions you couldn't really care less about the answers to - you are just going through the motions, getting the conversation out of the way. And it's not even as though you don't like that person, or you don't care about then, just that you aren't riveted.

But that's far from all talking is - talking can be more. Conversation, I guess we can call it. Talking can turn into a conversation. It can turn into something real, something you'll remember, something you'll think about, something that will change forever, even if you talk to them about it, how that person looks at you. Note it's not always a bad change, or a good one, or even either of the two, but that is not to say that it doesn't change the way this person views you.

That's what the next chapter will be. Dumbledore's opinion in this chapter of Lily is left fairly intact. It isn't going anywhere. But how it changes so easily. The things Severus and Lily said before the wedding. Things they talked about - that has the potential to change things. The potential to move them.

And we'll just have to wait to find out what those things are, won't we? As the next chapter's being anxiously waited on by I'm sure than just me! C'mon now! hehe, but I understand how things can be, busy, don't have the most time in the world to do the things we'd like. So I can wait. :P

And what else?! What else, well, I can tell you what else. Dumbledore is Dumbledore again - he's a person, and we see into his mind. He is hungry, a bit of a coward - as he admitted to being several times to Harry in OP and HBP - he's grounded, and understands that the task will lay ahead, he just may not enjoy whatever comes toward him, the things that he must see and deal with. But he can deal! You know? He can get the job done! Well, at least he'll try. Whatever happens happens... and Dumbledore will try to help the sway of things, but even he can't change fate, and we learn that.

So what does that last sentence have to do with anything? Whatever Lily's talking about is big. It'll affect not only her life but that of James and perhaps Harry. At least that'st he sense I get - and I definitely understand where you're coming from about me jumping the gun. My bad haha

A few, erm, grammar updates! You used the wrong 'there' in a sentence of Dumbledore's speech I mean. "They just need to know there is someone there to have THERE back" - you mean their?

hehe, and, to end on a bad note, I'm sorry, but I loved it! Well, love's always a strong word, but I think it works. Got me all thinking what it could be that's going on and where who is what when and why?! You know? :P

Great job PP! Be proud! Stand tall, and yes, thank your beta, but you did write it, so again, raise them arms high and cheer, hehe. I'll have my gold star now please?

XD

JD

Author's Response: You get a MAJOR gold star for leaving this amazing review!

I can't believe I used the wrong 'there'!!! *fails*

Dumbledore's opinion of Lily won't necessarily change in the next chapter, he will just know both sides of the story (remember that he has already spoken to Snape). So the pieces will come together. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Again, I really tried to capture Dumbledore as we know him from the books. It's a bit easier for me to write him than to write any other character...mostly because I understand him and I appreciate him and positively adore him.

The next chapter will hopefully have more action (and conversation).

Ttyl!!
PP


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Review #14, by Jackson RoblesUndoing: Walking

8th May 2010:
Hola PP! Sorry about the longish wait to this, I really wanted to get to it sooner :/ but. things kind of came up, and they shouldn't really have stopped me from reading this. so again, sorry! ♥?

Hehe - but! We've gotta take a look at this story, don't we? Mhm! Mhm, mhm, mhm, very important to look this over. Few grammatical questions to begin with, just because it's always covering up the fun stuff and I want it out of the wayyy!

Lollypop? Is that a Britishism? Lollipop? It has to be a Brittishism... what weirdos. and then there's the 'muggle' 'apparated' and all that noise. Like Gryffindor, I was always taught those words should be capitalized. Is there a particular reason you didn't want to capitalize them? Or... am I being a dork right now? hehe - whatever! S'all I'm worried about grammar and spelling wise. Beta's to the rescue! Not saying it was all her, but you gave her credit so I figured I at least should do that much, know I'm sayin'?

And content? Well, we've got to look at characterization of course! Like for reals. Big time look at that characterization, as it is a rather large deal, you know? And who've we got to look at here? Why! None other than Albus Dumbledore of course! Come on now, this is serious! PP I thought he was great! Funny, eccentric, a little odd, and serious as well. He was Dumbledore, and there isn't any higher praise I can give you. It was a very unorthodox first chapter, you know? Not bad by any means, but it was stagnant you know? (I know that's generally used in a negative sense, but I can't think of the other words that mean that... so don't think of it in a bad way, kay?)

Dumbledore looks, curses, paces, craves candy, leaves, walks, gets candy *takes hour to do so*, leaves, catches Lily walking and sees McGonagall's Patronus with a message - then dreads. *END*

hehe, well, when it's worded like that it kind of seems negative doesn't it? But it isn't! Don't worry about that! I said it was an unorthodox chapter and I mean it - it was a prologue of sorts, setting the mood in a different light - in both senses of the word :P A strange topic to think about, you know? Because this is a serious story, the hints at the end seem to strike it where Dumbledore's about to tell Lily about the phrophecy... or that he thinks they should go into hiding, I'm not 100% on it, but that's the gist that i got - and you've got him pining for candy and thinking about the past. It's a good dichotomy, I think, very good. The lines drawn between death and candy are far and few between, hehe, and it kind of seems like you've done that here, you know?

This is also a different writing style than I've seen before. And for a first fanfic, I can see the ... bit of naivetť to your writing that's very subtle, but a lot better than most just starting out. Not saying you're just starting out! And not to belittle this work or anything like that! But I mean it's innocent? ... Not corrupted?! It's NOT a bad thing! I swear!

And on the note of your writing it's very nice. Clear cut, very straight forward and easy to follow. So I ask the question: what's not to like about this? Nothing! And it seems like it'll be on an obscure topic rarely covered in fanfic! So definitely + marks for that. + marks for writing behind Dumbledore. + marks for the straight forward nature of this fic! It was grand!

So be proud PP! And smile! Right? hehe

Great chapter, and I was more than happy to read this! I'm glad you recommended it. I like good reads, you know?

JD

Author's Response: Wow okay so first off thanks for even taking the time to read this. It means a lot to me.

Yeah Lollypop is s Britishism thing that I decided to put in there...not that it matters much either way, it's just a sweet treat. As for capitalizing muggle and apparated, I didn't know that they HAD to be capitalized and neither did my beta (she brought that up too) so I just left it as is.

Yeah others have commented on my great characterization of Dumbledore. I am soo proud of him. I worked really hard to get him to seem like the actual dumbly in the books.

Yeah I didn't want to come out and say it was a prologue...but I don't think of it as a chapter either. It just has to be there in order for the story to continue.

I won't comment on where you think the story is going (I don't want to give away the plot now do I). But you are a little ahead of yourself (hint hint: think time line). This moment isn't exactly in canon, but I think it SHOULD be.

Thanks for liking my writing (I think that's what you meant). But I seriously am considering doing some editing of this after school gets out. I'm thinking of combining the first two chapters into one. What do you think??

Thanks again!!!

Love, PP


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Review #15, by Jackson RoblesUnder the Eye of the Snake: A Portrait in Remorse

5th May 2010:
I liked it. I always start out with this however, and a few caught me. In the third or fourth paragraph the word 'imaging' should definitely have been 'image' and the word 'remembered' in the last paragraph certainly should have been 'remember' - and besides that this is a very clean one shot! And well written as well. I was pleased, to say the least, and impressed at the information and ideas left in such a short chapter. It was grand.

A kind of summary about the current happenings and where we are, you know? Like a snap shot, it was fast and well written.

But it's hard to keep going on and on about such a short piece, so I'll just summarize: it was good, nearly perfectly clean, and well written.

So for the beginning of the Badger fic, well, not bad!

Jackson

Author's Response: Thank you for the in depth review, especially for catching those mistakes. We at the collaboration greatly appreciate it!

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Review #16, by Jackson RoblesHeart: Siriusly!?

5th May 2010:
Hehehe - missing a period and a quotation mark at the end of Slughorn's paragraph near the beginning ;) and again, just beginning reading that . . . the writer definitely has a firm grasp of their story - in this case you - and does hard work to show it off. In some places a more . . . trained eye can catch the author behind the story, but it's nothing bad or blatantly obvious. So it's not exactly as though you should be looking over your shoulder for the fanfic police or anything like that. Like I said, you have a good hold on this story, I can see that, and you definitely 'know' where you want to take it, even if you can't get your head around 'how' to get there Miss Super-Slow-To-Update ;)

And isn't Siri such a nice guy? Figure he should be though, in that kind of situation, as his nice, same-age-as-him cousin got the same treatment for a very different reason. While he was in Gryffindor and hung out with a Potter and didn't behave like a Black, poor lil Andie couldn't lie to her pops. Ah, well, when you think about it - maybe it wasn't so different after all. It's sad to be sure, but even though she's grown with that family her whole life, thinking about being a part of such a thing so disgusting - well, I'm sure she'll regret what happened a little in the long run, but you can't really be expected to pine for something that wasn't really good for you in the first place - so long as you can see and understand how bad it really was in the first place.

And it was a nice ending to the chapter as well. Good old Siri taking in Andie and letting her sleep soundly by the fireside in the Gryffindor Tower Common Room. How sweet. If I was a girl maybe I'd swoon? I dunno. I don't have a single qualm about telling you I don't get any... crushes people have on the Marauders - be it James/Sirius/Remus (because was all know everyone just hates Peter and wishes him the fiery torment of a thousand suns and would never swoon for his fat little sake) I don't get it. Maybe it's the being a guy thing, but wouldn't anyone in that situation have to sit down and help their cousin? Seem like a right awful git if they don't.

And I feel like bugging you about this is all right - but near the end of my semester I met an author. A very good author, but slightly unknown. And he talked to me (Padgett Powell - Walker Percy's successor, and if you don't know who that is, well, you should get to reading Keros - Percy's the author of my favorite book after all) about how younger and up and coming authors give away far too much in their stories. They point things out to the reader and clamor for the reader to notice things they've done. For the reader to GET what they're doing behind the scenes. And ever since then in any fic I read I've always been drawn to parts of fics and stories that I read where that is indeed the case many times throughout. And throughout this chapter I see it plenty. As a reader, we can put two and two together to figure out that it's kind of funny that Andie's a Black sheep and her last name is Black.

But I'm not bashing everything you kind of pointed out to us. Knowing that Andie and Siri were born on the same day is a helpful thing to know, so no qualms there. And I'm on the fence about giving us the exact date in Andie's thoughts. And! Not to add insult to injury, but December fourth was the full moon correct? Right - I looked it up. Well, funny thing - if the Marauders were out helping with Remus - or playing with him, however you wanna call it - wouldn't it have been December THIRD that needed the full moon, as December fourth's night hasn't happened. And you did say that it was 1 in the morning on December fourth, so I just assume...

Not to get technical miss. ;)

But understand I wouldn't change really much about this chapter! With that bit about pointing things out pointedly (was his terminology, not mine) to your readers it's fine by me. I'd leave it, as it does follow in style with this fic. But I would change the date a bit and that first paragraph of Slughorn's to add some punctuation.

All that and I haven't really even gotten to talk about it. It was great Keros, really. I liked this chapter. Andie and Siri have a very nice relationship it seems, suddenly 'conjoined' by both being outcasts. And it called back to that idea about misery loving company. I mean, Remus gone because of the full moon - he wasn't missed all that much - and the Marauders seem plenty likable. Peter wasn't made out to be a horrid human being either! What a happy time of it I'm having reading - but I wouldn't expect you to fall into that fangirl style of writing. No, you have too much respect for yourself and the fics you write ;)


I can't help but wonder if that bit about Narcissa might come around. I know she's out of school, but I think that might be a driving force of Andie a bit. You know, Cissy's gone, yeah, but Andie and her were friends. They would want to see each other again. Then there's the whole Slytherin/Black outcast thing which I know'll come into play soon. Andie seems a little more down to earth and Siri and might not take it as well as he did. I mean, the gal did love her father and was brought up with all the 'right' Black values - even if she was a bit lax on upholding them (I'm talking about her friendly relationship with Siri) - which means it'll be hard for her, I'm sure.

*cue trumpets* But that's where we have Ted.

Good ol' Ted.

JD! (nice chapter, if I haven't said it enough yet :P)
JD

Author's Response: hahaha i love you JD.
Very nice and tiring review to read actually. I scrolled down it and was like 0_0.
Anyways. Thanks for all your points and of course I am taking those on board and changing when I post up the next chapter (possibly tomorrow) Thanks again JD! I probably had something else to say but I can't remember :p


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Review #17, by Jackson RoblesHeart: Chapter 1: What you see is what you get.

5th May 2010:
You're a tard. In the best possible way :D Right! So first off - JK's words, or most of them at least, need to be capitalized as you use them.

This includes, on the very first paragraph, the word 'Disapparating,' Know what I mean? Just a bit of a suggestion. AND! Take off the Prefix (Chapter 1:) From this chapter. We know it's chapter one. There's a little 1. mark before the chapter 1. I'm just saying - OR, to be consistent - ADD a Chapter 2: before SIRIUSLY?!?!!? Okay?

But I haven't finished, I just wanted to bug you. So there's the bugging. I have to see what Cygnus is talking about! CHOCOLATE WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME KEROS! I swear I'll eat her hair. It's not chocolate! I don't know what all of you keep talking about! If it were chocolate I'm sure it would have melted in the fire light.

Ahem.

I'm usually, very, very professional. But I see at least sixteen references to hair and eyes being chocolate a day when I get to reviewing, and the hammer of doom gets raised angrily. Don't you worry, I calm down, but it's still dangerous. I'll have you know.

And that's not a BIG deal, just a pet peeve of mine :P Okay! Back to the dinner. Oh noo! Narcissa's sad. Poor Narcissa. But it is a just cause. Bellatrix is lost. Money and power glint behind her eyes - nothing else. But Narcissa? PREGNANT Narcissa - now that's different. Hopefully she sees the light. I mean, in canon I don't have much of an inclination to like her now do I? But as Andromeda's sole tie to the family - well, hopefully that blonde head gets slicked back in the right way, and she doesn't follow Bellatrix done this sordid path. But then again, following Andromeda into exile's not the greatest idea either is it? I mean, the Black family is so fickle in its mind state. What with all the burn marks on that family tree and everything. It just makes you shake your head with some of the 'nobility's' actions, you know? But that's the way of life. They exile because they say they love them - but no eloquently and for putting Chapter 1: in front of the chapter name. Well . . . maybe the last part was a little ridiculous, but you get the idea.

And what a strange chapter. I mean, I know it's King Lear, but it's a strange way to open a story. Not bad, of course - interesting touch with Rudolphous's (I don't even care how it's spelled) eyes making him appear not really there, by the way - but just the whole dinner thing about dividing up his estate you know? It was odd. Most stories just have the main character narrating about how strange their life is. Andromeda could have done that here, and she had her moments in italics, but you choose the third person. You get to look into Bellatrix and Narcissa's eyes as well, which is a nice touch, and I personally like the third person narrator here.

And I have no clue where the story could be heading. I mean, to be exiled BEFORE she ran off with Ted is an interesting idea too. I like it for it's strangeness, if that makes any sense. I'm sure it does. And what else? It's got to be a romance. We're looking at Andromeda back at school where all her Slytherin friends start talking to her about what she's done - maybe it'll be like an outcast sort of thing, because I honestly can't see this taking the same twists and turns as King Lear. The beginning was interesting to use with it, but I don't see it following this fic around.

And that's reminds me! The Marauders are in this aren't they? Same age and all that, aren't they? Hm. Makes me interested to wonder how and where they'll all come into play. A fitting chapter title. Just - for me - when you edit this take off the prefix and capitalize the thing correctly. 'What You See is What You Get' not 'What you see is what you get' - another pet peeve of mine :P

Beyond that we're clean though. Nothing I really need to talk to you about. It's good. Written with a stroke of a good, but tentative hand, and with the flair of someone that wants to tell a story, so I'll definitely look forward to you writing more than just two chapters of this fic. Gladly looking into the next one. And if I haven't said it yet - good chapter Keros! ;)

JD

Author's Response: JD I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry :p
Thanks for the review anyways though. Yeah I still need to edit some bits in that. Did I mention chocolate? That annoys me too so I'll need to go back and change that. Oh yeah, and the chapter thing, meant to change that so it was the same as chapter two hehehe.
Yeah I wont be following King Lear for the whole thing, just for that first chapter and the Marauders come in the nest one.
It's not going to be your traditional outcast type story either because as you know I'm weird and therefore anything I write is not going to be conventional :p
Thanks so much for the review though and when the next chapter is done I hope you like it XD

Kero


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Review #18, by Jackson RoblesSecretive: Sorted

3rd May 2010:
Hi Esseffle - quickly, before I forget:

"are forbidden.

I think, rereading that, it should be 'is forbidden' - with the other quotation mark on the end :P

And! Do you get why I'm calling you Esseffle? Your name! SearchingForLuna is just tooo long!! *cries* - Nah, not really, but I can't help but think it'll take up too much extra space to sit there and type out your name. And to be more creative than going SFL - I've sounded it out!

Because I will be reviewing every chapter until this story's over with, I figure we should get that out of the way. And why not?! This is an interesting fic. This chapter is good, and it works! Sammy's a Gryffindor, I knew she could be. I mean, she had Harry's mind state about Slytherin, which I kind of saw here... you know? You could be great you know - and Slytherin can help you on your way to glory! But she didn't want it - but it was definitely for a different reason than Harry, eh?

Although, if a bit of a downer side to this review, I kind of felt McGonagall truly let Dumbledore down in her opening feast. Perhaps it was me, and this is a definite possibility, I just thought that the bit about Argus Filch and the Forbidden Forest felt rushed and a little strange. I did like the little bit about Sammy swearing she rolled her eyes hehe

And this chapter's got me curious - do you have Victoire and Teddy in the same year? I always thought Teddy was a year up on her? Or maybe two? Although I'm not totally sure if Teddy is up here... Just - hehe - like I said: curious :P

This is another good chapter though! There are a few grammar touch ups that might be made, but really, it's nothing to be seriously concerned about ;), as you really do have a good grasp of grammar, which is intrinsic to writing anything, as I'm sure you well know :P

I'm a little put off by the huge gaps between the paragraphs - they weren't there last time, right? I mean, it's nothing huge, but I dunno, consistency is nice hehe :P

Oh! And I wonder about:
They dance for Bulgaria when they make it to the World Cup.
Teddy says this! Is he being the dork that he is when he says this - or does he actually think Veela's only use is to dance for Bulgaria when they play for the World Cup... kind of made me snicker.

Hmm... what else? I dunno. I like Hagrid being Head of Gryffindor. Is Neville there? ... And does McGonagall teach even though she's headmistress? (I know, I know, I'll wait until I read - don't wanna ruin the fun now do I? :P)

Anyways! Great chapter! I quite liked it, and I'm off to read some more! *in a superhero voice* To the next chapter! AWAAAY!

Jackson :D

Author's Response: Hello Jackson!!! Aha--I get the Esseffle thing now. Thanks for catching the "are forbidden thing; the quotation mark is actually not supposed to be at the end since the next paragraph is still McGonagall's dialect, but you were totally right about the is-are thing. Thanks!!!

Yeah, speeches aren't my hot spot. And a lot of times I just don't really understand McGonagall, probably because I didn't create her. Oh well.

Hmm, harrylilyjames pointed that out to me too. And I thought I was being so canon. *slaps forehead*

Teddy's just being a dork like usual. Glad you snickered...:)

I might not have enough memory to include these guys later, so yes, Neville's teaching Herbology and McGonagall is still teaching Transfiguration. (I wonder if Neville should be Charms instead...)

Yay! --L


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Review #19, by Jackson RoblesSecretive: An Unceremonious Arrival

2nd May 2010:
Hola SearchingForLuna - I'm thinking Esseffle. ;) It works.

Anyways, hi! What an interesting story. Well, that's a bit of a stilted statement to make after just reading the first paragraph, but then again, it's an interesting beginning (how's that for rewording?!) Anyway - Mr. Shorb... and then Samantha Riddle. How ... curious. Very curious. She doesn't resemble anything of her family now does she? She's petite, not blonde, and most certainly not plump - so what does that mean?

She's obviously not their daughter. Now I don't know what kind of people the Shorb's are - whether they know all about Sammy's past... but they must, as they seem like wizard folk... so does that mean they're Dark Wizards? Blonde... instantly makes you think of the Malfoys - but then again, Sammy DOESN'T want Slytherin. Is that her 'family's' reasoning or is her worry about her last name. Samantha Riddle in the footsteps of Tom Riddle? Maybe... and where could she have come from anyhow? Hmm... I'm very interested to see.

I like coming in when Teddy and Victoire are young-ins! A different look at the Next Generation - how refreshing! And the control over the narration is nice! No mess ups or stumbling descriptions, so the reading was fun and easy going as well! What a treat :P

Samantha's a character as well isn't (and yes, I have just stated the obvious) - but OC... ically speaking? You know what I mean... anyways, Sammy seems kind of... hard to peg so early on. Which is a good thing, I suppose - definitely suppose. :P

What else can I say? I'm off to find out what's going on! What a teaser chapter! Give us Vicky and Teddy and then throw Sammy Riddle in the mix with a sister with the last name Shorb and very little knowledge of magic all together - we're going to have fun on this bumpy ride ;)

Nice chapter Esseffles! Looking forward to the next one, Jackson

Author's Response: Oooh! Another lovely long review!!! :D ... Esseffle?

It's nice to see you puzzling things over. Don't worry, the Shorbs are just ordinary (and sweet) wizarding folks, a Hufflepuff family... no relation to the Malfoys. And they know ALL about Sammy... trying not to say too much...

Oooh, I hope you review the next chapter! I loved this review, super duper helpful and long and wonderful... --L


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Review #20, by Jackson RoblesThe Unbreakable Vow: Chapter Three: Oh, the Nonexistant Joys of Being Sorted

28th April 2010:
Oh she's so in Gryffindor. I'm calling it. Suspense, sushmense. :/ If that's the right one.. hehe

Hi Akabara! I told you I liked this fic, and Peyton, as incredibly bothersome as she is, can't HELP but grow on you. You know? And I kind of did get the feeling she was heavily compensating. For emotions in general I suppose would be what I think. And a little direction was all I needed I suppose. I can usually peg things pretty well while reading. Peyton was an interesting nut to look at. There were two ways I could have gone I think, and I was teetering closely on either side. I fell on the >:( one instead of ;) you know?

But what are we looking at here anyhow - story wise! A very interesting first take on Hogwarts. And it was done lovely... ee. Well...? Yeah. It was done well. And it WAS lovely. See - there we go! Knew I'd get it down eventually. I have an ongoing battle with words, you see. Sometimes they win, sometimes I win - but oi, even if I do I'm confused afterward anyways... so in a way, words always seem to win.

REGARDLESS! Can we just take a look at the chapter please? What's with all these unrelated tangents that keep cropping up all over the place? Grrr! Colin! He's back... er, Dennis's son is. But still, he kind of reminds me of Colin (which yeah, you don't have to tell me, it's a weird thing to say...) from the books! But he's that ... hero's nephew isn't he? And Ira Finnegan! We're looking at an interesting ensemble of kids here aren't we?

I'm rather itching to read more, or rather, waiting impatiently to read more. I want to see! What happens? Where's this going? What's Conan's problem? I think I have guesses, but I'll keep them to myself in case I'm wrong, so I'll just have to wait and see where this all goes down hill and where we come to at the end, right?! Right.

I had the feeling that walking up all those steps was going to get Peyton's blood sugar dropping. Good thing Albus took those things off the train with him - good thing he was such a pig, actually, or else we might have a girl passing out in the middle of the hall!! Which would not be funny at all, but a serious problem considering that she... well, you know. hehe

(you know who / left this review) that rhymed. I'm amazing.

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing!
Gryffindor seems to be where most people's bets are...
Lol Peyton = nut. She would be insulted. I, on the other hand, am very glad that she has started to grow on you. Good use of smileys there. :D
xD Lovely.
Haha yeah, Colin. I don't know why I decided on that- it was a random thing. And yes, Seamus' son makes an appearance.
Lol I do the same thing- don't tell anyone what I think unless I think I'm right.
YAY Albus saves the day! Who ever knew that shoving sweets in your pockets could help so much?
Oh wow. Rhymes. Nice.
Thanks so much for all the wonderful reviews!

-AKABARA


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Review #21, by Jackson RoblesThe Unbreakable Vow: Chapter Two: Potters and Weasleys and Malfoys... Are Annoying

27th April 2010:
Peyton has got to be one of the most annoying narrators I've ever read. People too, probably. (And to clarify, your writing is great. Makes me hate her - and it is really good. I just can't take this narrator much longer) - I still think it's that superficial - take on the world - I don't need help - I don't need anyone - I can take care of myself - defense mechanism, but that's... not enough for me. I mean, it's not as though I'd deny you another request, it's just I'm actually very happy that someone has killed her, if that makes sense?

Odds are though she's still alive. Well - at least someone told her one for! (or is it fore? ... No - no, it can't be...) I will say I'm shipping Conan/Peyton though. Dunno why. I think he's a good guy. And of course Peyton would think they were annoying. She thinks everything's annoying. Everything's bad... and it's a little much. At least for me. I've gotten a few stories with this kind of narrator. I will say you do have the best grasp of your character. She deigns the things around her, not the other way around, and that's a very important distinction. You know? Most of the annoying, all pessimistic, hate everyone girl narrators usually are ... victims of their environment. I don't want to say that... no. It's more like... I dunno. Peyton has a better grip on what's going on than I've seen before... if that makes more sense.

And I do mean that this is well written. Properly in the head of a detestable human being. And the Next Gen crew is clear cut as well. Albus, Scorpius, Rose - all of them. The cat was a nice touch - most of these characters do the author justice. And the story is also a very interesting concept. Interesting and good - I mean, a Huff as the new Dark Lord? I get the vague feeling that some of this is meant to be funny... but if it is - it's not my brand of humor. Which again, sounds kind of a like.. 'meh I hate this and everything about it' but not really. I hate the main character but I do like the story (and I was just saying that her narration splits my mood not my sides... you know? :P) I just, like I've said... wish it was 3rd person or something.

I can give two poignant examples of what had me cringing:

"He knew me so well. Which, of course, was annoying."
and
"Well, I sometimes listen to him. But that doesnít mean I care or anything."

Just... to much. The last sentence of both of these just as me going O.O really? Like last time. Did you HAVE to say that Peyton? I wonder if Conan killed her because of her attitude? Or TRIED to kill her.

That's the LAST thing I'll say about Peyton. I'm rambling... trying to make my point clear without sounding like a jerk at all. Because I'm not trying to bash or demean, you know? Just be creative ;) I would probably give this a 10 out of 10 for writing - and then likability (for ME - and that's a huge thing, because of the many stories I have read, this one really is well written Akabara, I can't stress that enough), maybe a 6 out of 10? I feel like posting another stick out tongue face, but I'll refrain because I don't want to beat a dead horse like I did with the Peyton thing. I think the reason this is so long is because I don't want you to think... I dunno. I do like it okay? I do...

*sigh* Jackson...

Author's Response: Wow! Another great review!

Glad you don't like her. ;3 It makes total sense, by the way.

I think I get what you're saying there with the "victim of society" thing. It's like Peyton doesn't have a real reason for being like that, she just is. She's not a victim or anything, she's just mean. XD To tell you the truth, she's a lot like me, minus the friendly and with the meanness jacked up around 20 notches.

Glad you thought the Next Gen. characters were good. I'm always nervous about messing up canon stuff.

Also yay you mentioned Hoenheim. No one's done that yet.

A Hufflepuff being the next Dark Lord is indeed intended to be funny. It's bad, of course, because he's evil, but it's also odd enough to spark a little humor.

I do intend to have a few third person moments in this story. Not very many, though. Sorry lol!

Peyton said "Which, of course, was annoying," and "but that doesn't mean I care or anything" because she came to close to showing that she just might care. It was almost fondness in the way she said "he knew me so well," and heaven forbid she even show that she might actually care about Teddy! Haha she's just trying to be distant...

Lol rambling's fine as long as it's about my story. XD

Hey, it's no problem. As much as I love "oooh I love your story," I also love, "I didn't really like..." People's opinions, good or bad, are very important to me! :D

Oh no there's a dead horse?! :O (I am kidding, just so you know)

Thanks so much for the fantastic (yes, fantastic) reviews!

-AKABARA



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Review #22, by Jackson RoblesThe Unbreakable Vow: Chapter One: The Vow

27th April 2010:
CONAN THE BARBARIAN!!! ON NOM NOM NOM!

Totally what I thought first time I read that. But you've taken Peyton and Conan and (while a TOO built Arnold Schwarzenegger will always be brought to mind - and a TOO good NFL quarterback as well) you've made them your own. Conan's in love with his little friend and its cute. And I think it's your avatar on HPFF and the many 'anime-y' (but I've heard people more savvy with Japanese cartoons calling it 'manga art') but I kind of see the story in that light. Like it's an anime - you know? These two little kids just playing... it's sweet.

Peyton grates slightly against my nerves. She's a little annoying. And that's the story itself, not a writing problem (which... if you look at it the wrong way... sounds kind of worse...) - so no real worries there. Peyton's dialogue and especially her nine year old narration just has me... O.O really? And not in a bad way - I need to clarify that right off the bat. I don't dislike Peyton - she's just annoying - you know? :P Conan too, in that little kid kind of way. But then again, I'm not a fan of little kids - and Peyton's... just - nasty? Mean to Conan, harsh on Teddy. And we obviously don't get a straight shot to her thought processes, as we kind of get the surface narration from her - after all, she is kind of young, isn't she?

You know, when I read that bit about the Unbreakable Vow, I couldn't believe the wordiness they used! Dorks! That's dangerous. I mean. 'Will you never kill her?" - "I will" - the next thing I totally would have said is - "You will what? Never kill her? Or kill her?" And maybe that grammar mix up will come into play later. Maybe I'm looking more into it than I should - but either way I did find it interesting to look at. I love word things like that, you know? Maybe he'll get confused and think he has to kill her. What I was thinking at first was that he was going to have to - but then I looked it over a few times. Wrote it out (because I'm insane! *maniacal laughter*) and figured it all out. The 'I will' refers to the middle of that sentence 'will you never' - 'I will never' - so he can't kill her.

If he does, well, bumer. Poor guy. I kind of can't tell what he might grow up to be like (we all know what he aspires to - but beyond that... he's an innocent little boy. Teddy can see he's a good kid - but beyond that? I wonder what might happen. And yes, for some reason this is in a parenthesis. I don't understand it either - sometimes). He seems to mean well, like I said. And to put up with Peyton. What a good kid.

Anyways, I can't wait to see how else you name your characters. On to chapter two!

Jackson (PS - good job. Did I say that yet? I might have gotten side tracked :P)

Author's Response: Whoa! Thanks for the long review!
Arnold played a character named Conan? (oh, sad ignorance of pop culture, what havoc have you caused now?!)
I love manga and anime, yes. I find it to be a great compliment that you have related my story to anime.
YES!! Hahaha. I love it when people don't like Peyton. I want her to be a character that some love and some hate. You don't have to be so nice about it! I made her that way on purpose; you won't end up insulting me or anything. Little kids are also just generally annoying, so...
The looseness of the Unbreakable Vow will come up later. It becomes a big part of Conan's plan. He puts that big brain of his to work trying to find out of the Vow was even valid.
Haha Conan is a good kid to put up with Peyton. Deep down she really cares about him, and Conan knows it, so he can deal with her constant berating. (but for how long...?) (sorry I couldn't resist foreshadowing)
Lol I have some more interesting character names coming up, though I don't think they have anything to do with famous people.
Thanks so much for the spectacular review!

-AKABARA



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Review #23, by Jackson RoblesDudley's Tale: Knowledge is Power

26th April 2010:
Oh the joys of AP tests. I could never take more than four - and even then for some reason scheduling only allowed me to actually take three classes. Both Junior and Senior year I had to study for an exam on my own. But Gov and Lang? Bah. Easy peasy - as you well know ;)

Let's see... today is April something? Yeah. 26th. That means that they're getting closer. So good luck! Basically. I'm sure they'll be a breeze.

But who cares about that? We're talking Dudey's Tale here! Aren't we? You know, I was just thinking the other day about how some people might arrogantly bash your portrayal of the stout boy. Saying he would never act like that. But, I mean, when you think about it, he's got a 'muse' to his changed behavior. You explain it - and even beyond that - you've got that one, very provocative line where Dudders gave Harry that lovely little line about how he never thought he was useless -or whatever it was (it's hard being so involved in HP when you don't have any of the books... oh well, term's over on Friday anyway) - you know what one I'm talking about?

Feedback... well... hmm. I'm in a good (yet very drowsy) mood. So there hasn't really been much critique lately. I can give you some, if you're interested.

Hazel - ? Well, we've got a bit of her story. Extremely beautiful girl that just reads. She's small, but amazingly beautiful, and apparently smart - as she reads all sorts of lovely little books most people wouldn't bother with. Now does that make her smart? Well, it gives her the impression that she's smart. So, in a way, it does (as anyone that reads those kind of novels inevitably goes around, sipping tea from elegantly carved China while discoursing loudly on the pathetic state of literacy in South Africa - overbearing, basically) - but for some reason Hazel's innocent. Well, oddly enough, her character strikes me as cliche. But not for HP fanfiction. For original fiction. She is the character all those bookworms like to write. That beautiful bookworm that's truly nice and earns herself a guy that just loves her for her... self - that petite, mild (her worry at the outburst she thought she had toward the two boys) girl who nice guys (you do throw it up a little bit with the use of Dudley as her knight in shining armor though - not a dashing man in a Versace suit)

But, when thinking about the characters it must be said you keep them in well rather well. Owen's craziness coming out in excitement instead of angry outbursts - keeps him in line with his brothers. And I must say they aren't vague in any sense. Justin's a bit left out, but we haven't seen that much of the story yet, have we? (or have we...? No, I don't think we have) Lunet is that fiery little 'sister' that I've seen maybe a couple times before - Nesta, that very attractive, very abrasive girl that just goes and goes - Dudley, bad trying to do right - Owen, well, I'm still a little skeptical about his person. Does he like Hazel? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not. And why was he up? And what's around that corner?

Like I said, the characters are very poignantly drawn out, which is a writing feature that a lot of HPFF artists leave out on more than one occasion. And I don't want you to change Hazel or anything. I mean even real - haha, not calling you fake, but you know what I mean ;) - authors take their own flak. Like J.D. Salinger. Catcher in the Rye . oi. There are so many things that can be torn apart in that novel. It's scatterbrained narrator that really doesn't stand for anything but angst - and Salinger's inability to truly give meaning through that kind of narrator. (Edisto by Padgett Powell makes Catcher in the Rye look like a joke - have you heard of it?)

So no worries there. Hazel's a nice character. I like her - and I'm sure that nerdy, beautiful bookworm will come out with some qualms soon.

... Man I've gone to town on this review haven't I? NOT DONE! Nope. You know? Apparently MLA changed their rules? Books are to be italicized now, instead of underlined. :P

Okay, now I'm done. I. think. I might have lost something in the rambling. I mean - it's an interesting little chapter isn't it? I mean, the library sounds like a pretty cool place, doesn't it? And Dudley flirted! Kind of... you know?

Anyways, I'll be checking up on this story come May 13th ;) - most liberating feeling in the world, knowing AP exams are done. Well... maybe not most, but I'm sure it's up there :P

Jackson

Author's Response: "Old Hickory" (or perhaps "Young Hickory"... I'm pretty sure you're birthyear is before 1767, thus making you significantly younger than the president)

OMG! And I thought you said your reviews were going to get shorter! Wow, you definitely had fun with this one! I'm going to actually read it now... :P

I'm in 4 APs this year... I was REALLY stupid and let my guidance councilor talk me into it... Thanks to a joint effort between her and my mother, I'll graduate with 10 APs... I may die. I'm not to worried about the exams, oddly enough... The exams are never as hard as the actual classes at my school.

I was hoping to incorporate more of Hazel's background with her father & half-siblings later in the story, thus hopefully making her a tad less cliche. I am already painfully aware of how superficial the reader's knowledge of the character is... this is partially because Dudley really knows almost nothing about her and the story is primarily told from Dudley's point of view.

Can I just comment on how amusing it is that you mentioned Catcher in the Rye in this review & I mentioned the book in a response I just wrote to an earlier review of yours? The coincidence made me smile.

I have not heard of Edisto but I'll put it on my summer reading list... If my local bookstore has it, I'll pick it up and put it in my "to read" book basket (I'm weird and keep a basket of unread books by my bed... don't judge me, I know it's probably bad for the books)

No worries about rambling... If everyone was focused all of the time, the world would be an incredibly boring place and I wouldn't have such a long wonderful review from you! I totally get what you're saying about AP exams though... It may not be the MOST liberating feeling... but when you're actually done, you feel like no feeling in the world could top the freedom you are experiencing at that moment.

Thanks for the reviews... sorry it took me an eon and a half to respond :P

- Black


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Review #24, by Jackson RoblesDudley's Tale: The Joys of Telepathy

26th April 2010:
I think we've reached the point that my reviews are going to drop in length. I do try to keep them rather long. It's hard though. You know? It's not like I'm SEARCHING for things to say - it's just I don't want to repeat anything I've said, you know?

Ahem, anyway. I do like the idea of Duddykins and Lunet as good friends. And the POV change was a nice little shake up as well. Lunet's fiesty, but she means well, which is probably what makes her so likable. You know what I mean?

And good ol' Dudley. Least he's not a horn dog for Hazel, which leads me to believe he really does like her. Justin and Nesta? Well... I'm sure that'll go well... yeah...

And what of Owen? I wonder if we'll be seeing any more of him in the near future.

Like this chapter? You got to show off a bit of your Italy knowledge. All that stuff sounded familiar. Oh the joys of studying the renaissance (ever since Euro I've always pronounced that Ren-AYE-saunce - you know? :P) And I'm sure they were quite the entertaining pair in the middle of St. Mark's square - could everyone understand them?

There were actually LESS screw ups in this chapter (not that... being called screw ups is a bad thing - though it does kind of throw things in a negative light, doesn't it? How... about... typos? Eh. Hold the same weight with me)

Mr. Jackson ... *middle name to be figured out later* Robles

Author's Response: Mr. Andrew Jackson Robles (may not a middle name... but perhaps now I could call you "Old Hickory"? haha!)

Italian knowledge comes from many a summer escapade into Venice with my lovely cousins. St. Mark's Square is ALWAYS crawling with tourists, most of whom speak English, either natively or as a second language. Most Italians I know are also required to learn English in school. So it is probably safe to assume that there were plenty of people who could understand the two. And even if one didn't understand English, I'm sure they would find it QUITE bizarre to see two teenagers making such a scene.

Oh yay! Fewer "screw ups"! Lets call them "unfortunate mishaps of the grammatical sort" UMGS, for short :P.

-Serious Leigh Black (I've decided I like the middle name)


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Review #25, by Jackson RoblesDudley's Tale: The Morning After

26th April 2010:
DONE! Loved it. I just do. There are a few ... wording errors that I see where things make me raise my eyebrows, but I'm not your beta so I won't go berating you about it. (you should've seen the things Alopex said to me when we were fixing up ATAS! But I will say I helped my writing grow by leaps and bounds so :P)

And as an example as something that just didn't look right:

"He looked her cream heart-shaped face up and down" - or something to that effect. I was kind of like o.O whaa? And had to reread it to fully understand what was going on. It's not a big deal, like I said, but things like that... I'd be killed for. *cries*

But seriously, it's great! I do like the oddity of Lunet being a mind reader. And Nestia liking Justin. And Dudley of course likes Hazel! Called the mess out of that. *nods*

So what are we looking at here? Obscure magical creatures! I mean, really, they were in Books 3 and 4 - but I mean, who's written a fanfic with them in it? Maybe one or two people - tops! I'm just saying. And it was well written. I totally forgot what a hinkypunk did before Lunet came and saved Dudders.

Lucky Dudykins. And speaking of lucky - he seems to be doing well earning Hazel's affection. And that's love, that is. Wanting to be a better person after meeting someone. Well - it can be. We kind of have to think, you know what I mean? Why is he wanting to be a better person? Because of her, or for her? To earn her affection, or what?

If it's to earn her affection... well, that's not exactly love, but it's an important, selfish, step on the road that leads there. And if it is because of her, well, buddy's head over heels. And definitely even more so after talking so easily with her.

We're building conflicts! Did you notice. Nestia =/= Justin. Lunet's ability to hear things. Vernon (this one's minor) and his Confundedness. Dudley's affection for Hazel. Things! Things are moving.

And it's going well, I think. Sure the edits are going to help wonders (just saying :P), but at the moment it's not bad (:P again).

Mr. Robles

Author's Response: Mr. Jack-and-the-beanstalk Robles (I'm having fun with naming you)

I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. As for the magical creatures... I have a weirdly specific memory for random details (like the creatures students faced in Lupin's obstacle course final)... For example, I could tell you that Holden Caulfield buys the "Little Shirley Beans" record for his sister... I don't have a clue why I remember that, but it is literally engraved in my memory for some unknown reason.

That he wants Hazel to like him, does not mean that Dudley is in love. He certainly does not realize that he might have strong feelings towards her as he is not quite mature enough at this point. He knows he feels something.

Never fear, mass edit begins April 13. No sooner because I'll be taking the 12 (my last day of exams) to sleep & veg, making a general slug out of myself, as a reward for studying. But right after that, I'm grabbing my "Strunk & White" and smiting these mistakes with the sword of grammar!

-Serious Leigh Black (like my new middle name?)


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