I have to say, without being patronising or simpering- you are a very gifted writer. I'd said in my review of Heartache Squadron that your style reminded me of Douglas Adams'. With this piece, I keep thinking of Beckett's plays, Embers in particular (with the repetition and recurrence) and Eliot's poetry (with the flow and words). But I don't mean to be reductive; your writing is distinctly your own and it is incredibly stylish. I am amazed at how deftly you've moved between these two very different ways of storytelling: the humour, lightness and mischief of Heartache; the poetry, emotion and depth of Hourglass. Congratulations!
In this story, you're at your best when you pack complex thoughts into succinct sentences that leave the reader hanging on every word: short bursts and spaces to breathe. For this reason, I'd say that the paragraphs in (i) and (vii) to a lesser degree, did not hit me as hard as the rest of your story did. On a similar principle, I found myself wondering if (xxi) wouldn't be even more unsettling if you deleted from "it is the secret" until "you hear it." But then, I have an unhealthy fondess for unnerving/vaguely unsatisfying/ambiguous endings, so what do I know? :)
And, of course, it goes without saying that these tiny niggles in no way detracted from your wonderful story and skill. Thank you for sharing it! Report Review
I am intrigued by this story and you've done a good job of creating a complex and intricate world. I particularly like the small glimpses you've given us of Kestrel's family (I really like Finn!)- just enough and not too much. I'm looking forward to the rest of it. I think Kestrel's past has to do with the death of her mother, and with her being involved with it in some way (albeit unintentionally). There are two things I'm not entirely convinced by, though. Firstly, given that McGonagall is known for her sound judgement and integrity, why would she introduce and endorse the Hogwarts Cup when there are- as Harry has said- serious problems with it and a not-so-honourable agenda? Or is it someone else's decision and not hers? The second, and this the only constructive (I hope!) criticism I have for your otherwise engaging story: why Kestrel should have been chosen to compete. She does seem to be a gifted witch to be creating her own spells, but there's no other reference to any prowess, apart from her obvious agility in climbing trees. And you haven't really shown us the reaction of other students to her selection so I'm confused as to whether she was an obvious choice (the evidence suggests otherwise) and, if she wasn't, why there wasn't more of an outcry, and why McGonagall chose her in the first place. Report Review
Funny, I'm not being allowed to post a second review of the same chapter; I wanted to respond to what you said (thank you for replying, by the bye!)
I like Josie because I always gravitate towards the smaller, random character that zooms and zooms out. I love the others too, Daphne and Pippa especially, and I love them as a group- but Josie's someone I can expect to see in a Douglas Adams universe, hopelessly confusing everyone around her. Actually, something about your writing made me think of Adams (always a compliment) though you have your own distinct style, obviously.
Anyway, enough excited raving! Oh, and thanks for explaining the Gemma/James thing. And for all the tea.Author's Response: Ooh, yes, you're not, but thanks for venturing back on to the story!
I'm glad! I always like the more ambitious kind of characters myself - the evil geniuses and masterminds such as Gemma. In real life, unfortunately, I am much more Pippa-esque.
Of course! Thanks for sticking all the way through with the crazy girls! Report Review
So wonderful! You really have a gift for picking out the 'ordinary' things in a relationship and showing how there's so much charm and significance even in those. And what a great line/thought this is: "But if he had written it, he would have put only one line: no one knew what they're doing."
I love James and Ellian even though I've only known them for, like, 6000 words. So I hope you get down to writing more of them, and thank you for a lovely story.Author's Response: Eee, that means so much that you say that :3 The plainest seeming things have always been the sweetest for me. Looking back at my own life and all the stories I've heard about, it's kind of amazing how life and love really just a funny story so much of the time and there's so many small stories that fly by if I don't pay attention. If there's one thing I've learned, is that everyone is winging it; some are just better at seeming like they know what they're doing xD
♥ thank you so much for your review! ^__^ Report Review
I can't tell how much I wish you would continue with this. I realise the chances are incredibly slim, and I don't know if you even read these reviews, but I have to do my part in telling you how absolutely worth the effort it would be, right?
This is an incredibly well-written, well-rounded and enjoyable story. Nothing is cliche, nothing is overdone. Your handle on character and dialogue are remarkable- I've raved about your take on Lily in a review of your first chapter, but your James, Ginny and Brigitte are already so familiar to me and Charlotte is unraveling by the minute. The whole setting is so new and interesting: the sisters' background, the stay at the Potters' home (random note: I love your attention to fabric! Hehe), James' backstory. It's brilliant and believable and please-oh-please won't you get back to it?
I know it's easy for me to ask; I'm not the one who'll have to write it, to do the work, and what do I know of your reasons for stopping? And sure, our imaginations can take the story forward to some extent. But your dialogue and plotting are just so...refreshing, that we'd never be able to take it far enough, and your characters are so detailed that we'd never get to be surprised by the depth that you show them to have. So I just wanted to give you friendly nudge towards re-remembering your thoughts from three years ago and giving it a go. Rest assured, you'll raise the eyebrows of many excited readers if you do.
But in case you don't, thank you for a wonderful ride so far. :) Report Review
This was beautiful. Your characterisation of James is tremendous- heartbreaking, believable. But what I loved most is the fact that you've exposed the mechanics of the Potter-Weasley clan. How things work, who speaks to whom, and how reconciliation aren't instant and easy but worked at bit by bit, and negotiated. I loved this story, and thank you!Author's Response: Thank you so, so much. What a wonderful review. I loved writing this story and to know that people still read it a year after I finished it is lovely.
Thank you! Report Review
This was so much fun to read. I like Josie best of all, I think. I wish you'd have gone into slightly more detail about what exactly happened with Gemma to make them break up but apart from that, I can't think of any other constructive criticism. Thank you for a refreshingly super story!Author's Response: Thank you! :) I'm really glad you liked it! A lot of people seemed to like Josie the most...strange, because I didn't really focus on her much. As for what happened to James and Gemma, things were going perfectly fine. They were in a good relationship and Gemma thought she would be able to get James to propose soon. Unfortunately, soon after, he dumped her for no real reason (the truth of it was that he got bored with her).
Hope that little summary filled in a gap :) Thanks for reading!
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