Reading Reviews From Member: SunshineDaisies
  
84 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SunshineDaisiesBruises: Terror

17th April 2015:
You have an astounding talent for creating really vivid images. I can always see the scenes you're describing in perfect clarity. And not only do you pay close attention to the imagery, but you capture the thoughts, emotions and general atmosphere as well. I can see what Caroline is describing, and I can feel her confusion and frustration and outright anger as well. You certainly take your reader right into the scene, and it really is a joy to read.

I think the idea of using ice pick lobotomies as a way to make Muggle born witches and wizards "normal" is really fascinating. I've never thought of it before, but it certainly makes sense. Of course they would target the mind. I absolutely love how despite the fact that they've mutilated her brain, she can still do magic, because it exists within her heart. It just seems so true to what we know of magic, and infinitely sweet at the same time.

I love the progression of Caroline's relationship with Sandra and Katherine. It was so nice to see Caroline for positive relationships with people, and I think it's very true to the relationships that form between nurses and patients during extended hospital stays. I think you always get a little attached to the people who care for you.

I think your portrayal of Caroline's parents is really interesting. I thought there would be some sort of primal connection between them, so Caroline would recognize them and feel relieved. It was way more interesting to have them appear as strangers. It really helped along the general sense of confusion and terror. How scary would it be to be sent home with people you don't recognize?

I love how Caroline's memory sort of fades back in pieces. There aren't huge moments of revelation, and that's so realistic. It's almost like remembering bits of a dream, they sort of fade in and out in chunks that don't make much sense. It's a complicated thing to explain, and you've portrayed it so well here.

The scene with Caroline's sister broke my heart. It was so lovely to see two sisters who really care about each other, especially as her sister is just about the only person Caroline has in this world. It's such a great connection and you've put it together in an impressively short amount of time. I really love that Caroline's sister is magic as well. It's sort of simultaneously terrifying and hopeful. I love Caroline's determination to protect her sister, no matter what.

I usually like to offer some critique, but I literally have none. This is absolutely wonderful. Fantastic job.

(I don't think I've ever gotten through a review without using an exclamation mark before. I think this is what happens when you leave reviews at 5 am.)

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Review #2, by SunshineDaisiesThe Wrinkles of the Road: Scorpius. --- Plans for the Future.

15th April 2015:
I think this chapter is an excellent transition between two character pov chapters. It picks up a little bit after we'd left off, but it starts with a scene different enough that it stays interesting. The first sentence really does a lot to tie the two together. It makes perfect sense for the story to pick up with him here, so we get more of a sense of him as a character and his thoughts concerning Rose and his family.

I think parts of this chapter seemed a little off pace compared to the previous one. It feels like it covers a significantly longer period of time, but in roughly the same amount of words. It makes it seem a little rushed.

This is most notable in the middle of the chapter, between Scorpius leaving the Potters and going to St. Mungo's. I love how you transitioned here, without using line breaks. It seemed very smooth and natural, but I ended up being a bit confused as to when the scene at Mungo's takes place. I wasn't sure if it was immediately after the Potters or if it was the next day. I think you allude pretty strongly to it being the next day, but I think a line or two of action would really make that clear.

I think this is a really good place to end the chapter as well. The scene is wrapped up perfectly and it's a great place to switch to a different scene and a different pov entirely. It's great.

Like I said in my first review, I think this story is so wonderful and I think this chapter was really great. And it really is so much fun to read! :)

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Review #3, by SunshineDaisiesThe Wrinkles of the Road: Rose. --- A Weasley Family Saturday.

15th April 2015:
Hi! So first off, I'm so sorry that I PM'd you about reviewing and then fell asleep. I meant to get to this much sooner! Sleep is just so tempting.

Second, I think this is a really wonderful start to this story! It's a great way to introduce the characters, and it's always refreshing to read a story where the couple is already together, rather than falling in love.

The whole premise of the story it's so interesting, I love it. It plays into all of my fic interests in a completely different way than I would ever imagine and I love it. So you know, thanks for requesting. :)

I'm sure you've heard all of that before but it never hurts to hear it again.

I'm planning on leaving more specific reviews on the next three chapters, but I wanted to give you a little general feedback as well.

I think that this story works really well from two perspectives. I think it's important to know what Scorpius's thoughts are, because I think it would be easy to pass off his request just from Rose's perspective. Definitely a wise decision to include the new chapters. :)

The main thing I've noticed is that chapters 3 and 4 don't transition as well as the first two. Chapter 3 starts before chapter 2 ends, and it made it a little hard for me to follow the chronology.

Other than that though, I think the chapters fit together very well!

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Review #4, by SunshineDaisiesFounders Four: Pillars of the Ages: Chapter Two: Every Beginning is an End

10th April 2015:
Okay, back again!

I don't have a ton to add to my last review, unfortunately (or fortunately? Depends on how you look at it.).

I did notice a HUGE difference in the characterization. Salazar definitely came to life for me here, and it was beautiful to see. I love how you've made him rather kind and compassionate instead of just cold and aloof. It makes him much more human, and obviously he couldn't be completely evil if the founders started a school with him. It's nice to see the softer side.

That said, I'm really excited to see his development into the Slytherin we're more familiar with. I think we're getting to the root of his prejudice against Muggles, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the cunning, ambition and resourcefulness he wanted in his students.

I think Godric is still falling a bit flat, but you haven't spent nearly as much time focusing on him, so that makes sense. I also think that once we really know his motives, what he wants from Ingvar and who he's working for, it will really bring him to life. That said, I sort of like the mystery.

Once again, I think the plot is fantastic. I am so excited to read what comes next, and to figure out how it all fits together. It's a very captivating story.

I did notice a few typos, mostly near the beginning, but nothing too major.

I'm excited to read the rest! I'm sorry this review is so short!:/

Author's Response: Thank you, working on chaper three now. Hit a little snag during an action scene, which when doubled with homework ate up a big chunk of time. Don't worry, the mystery will be solved fully next chapter or the one after. Depends on legth and where it feels most natural to leave off at. But it's coming, as well as Godric's characterization. Trust me, there's going to be plenty of time for that...ominous sounding, isn't it?

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Review #5, by SunshineDaisiesRace Against Time : Chapter 1

8th April 2015:
Hello there!

So I haven't read bruises (yet), but I do think this is a beautiful start to a sequel. You've given me, a completely new reader, enough information to really catch on without having to read the first, but also left enough out to make me want to read it. Very good exposition!

I think the start to the plot is very interesting. I've always wondered a bit about Remus's reaction to hearing that Sirius had escaped, and I think it'll be even more interesting to see it from the perspective of his former girlfriend!

I love what I've seen of Emmeline so far. It's usually hard to get a grasp of a character from one chapter, but you've done an excellent job here. I can tell that she's tough and passionate, and she reads very much like a real person. It's wonderful.

I like what you've done with Remus as well. Obviously he'd be devastated after everything that happened, and I think even the way you wrote his apartment portrayed that very, very well.

I think that this is an excellent start to a very interesting story! Great work! :)

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Review #6, by SunshineDaisiesSilent Rumors: A Letter

5th April 2015:
Hello hello! Here for our swap!

What a fantastic start! I really enjoyed the first chapter of Atonement is Coming, and the fact that you chose Ernie Macmillian (a Hufflepuff!) to focus on caught me right away. After reading this I'm even more interested to know what happens!

This chapter has set up the atmosphere for the rest of the story very well. Right from the first paragraph there's this great suspenseful, creepy feeling. You've set the whole thing in excellent detail, that really paints a picture in the mind. I can clearly see this playing out as I'm reading it. The description is absolutely wonderful.

I also really liked the way you've written Ernie. We didn't see much here, but I still got a sense of his character. I'm looking forward to seeing how he reacts to this.

I touched on this earlier, but I really am excited to see how this plot progresses. It's a very interesting premise! I'm dying to know who is sending these notes, and why they're attacking pureblood families like the Macmillans, who fought on Harry's side and have always been in favor of Muggleborn rights. I am both excited and slightly terrified to find out what happens to Ernie and his family. I'm already connected to him and his wife and the children and I want this to turn out well for them!

This is a really wonderful chapter and I'm very pleased I read it! :)

Author's Response: Hi Katie!

I'm so happy that you stopped by to read this particular story. It hasn't seemed to be getting much attention. :(

My hope with this little story was to kind of set the scene for the beginning of Atonement Is Coming. This is where the rumors start building.

I'm happy to hear that the description is working. I always try really hard to imagine the scenery and then describe it as I would if I was speaking to someone.

In the books, Ernie is always presented as a bit pompous, but likable and friendly. I imagine that mellowing out a bit as he gets older and I think he would be a very dedicated husband, father, and business owner.

There won't be too much of a reveal in this particular story. We'll find out a bit about why the letters are being sent, but the rest of it all really starts to develop in Atonement Is Coming.

Thanks for swapping reviews with me!

~Kaitlin


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Review #7, by SunshineDaisiesto the end of time: New Friends

5th April 2015:
OH MY GOD BABIES. THAT WAS SO CUTE.

Okay, now that I've calmed myself a bit, I can leave a proper review for our swap. I loved this. You've done a really excellent job of setting up the atmosphere. Having the girls continually interrupted by the cheering tables really worked well for that. You've really managed to capture the feelings Parvati was experiencing and conveying those feelings to the audience.

You've also done a really spectacular job with characterization here. I got a real sense of all three girls' personalities. I love that you made Parvati a bit more nervous than her sister, despite the fact that she's the Gryffindor. Of course, I think that a lot of Gryffindors tend to be a bit more timid than the stereotype would suggest. I liked Padma's sort of calm demeanor, and I think that Lavender's bubbly personality really showed. It lines up very well with the picture of her we see in canon.

I also really like how each girl really seems to demonstrate the characteristics of their house. Parvati very much seemed a Gryffindor, as did Lavender, and Padma's rational and calm thinking just screams Ravenclaw.

This is absolutely fantastic! Good work!

Author's Response: Hey!

I'm so glad you liked it so much! I love writing these characters, they've just exploded off the page and have really taken on a life of their own. Parvati, especially, is a character I never thought I'd love or relate to this much. I know that she is portrayed in the books as really similar to Lavender, but I see her as the toned down one. She's still as brave, but just not as bold, so I'm really happy that came across here!

I'm so glad you liked this! Thanks for the review!

Claire


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Review #8, by SunshineDaisiesFounders Four: Pillars of the Ages: Chapter one: The Beginning

5th April 2015:
Hi! Sorry this took me a few days, the forums didn't tell me you had replied to my thread!

I absolutely love the way you started this! I really love when narrators talk to the reader, I think it's a really great technique for drawing in the audience. It also makes it a little reminiscent of a fairy tale, and I don't think you can ever go wrong with that.

I did enjoy the language you used throughout, it fits very well with the era and helps set the tone of the story. However, there are some places it feels a bit forced. I think this comes from the use of too many commas and ellipses, and putting similarly structured sentences too close together. For example, you have several paragraphs very similar to this.

Although...it could be his sword that caught their attention, he mused. It always did attract unwanted eyes, even with it's relatively plain design. Inhabitants of a small town such as Florin could probably hardly afford daggers for protection, so many just weren't used to someone carrying such a big weapon around, he supposed.

"He mused," and "He supposed," are very similar, and make the sentence structure very similar, which makes it a bit boring to read. There's a few where you've added parts to the beginning in a similar fashion. I would try to keep track of that, and mix it up a little more. I also think that a lot of your sentences work perfectly well (if not better) without the phrases tacked onto the beginning or end.

I'm not sure what your editing process looks like, so forgive me if this is something you already do, but reading things out loud (especially to another person! or an inanimate object. whatever.) really helps to catch those sort of awkward sentences.

As for characterization, I feel like we haven't gotten much just yet. The characters just don't seem to jump off the page, which is definitely part of what makes them believable. I am a big believer in using a lot of detail to help create characters and atmosphere. You've done well with the atmosphere, but you could do a bit more with the characters. For example, when Salazar is startled in the tree, we certainly get the impression that he was immersed in the books, but even adding a sentence like "he was ripped from the world he had escaped to by his mother's voice..." would get that across better, and it gives us a better idea of Salazar's character. When we meet Amara, we sort of get a sense of her from her description, but we could get even more from her body language, what her clothes looked like (was she covered in flour because she was baking? or dirt from working in a field? etc.)

When I first start writing characters, I try to remember that just about every action they take can help to characterize them better. Obviously some are more important and more obvious than others, but it's the details that really drive it home.

I think your plot has been set up very well. I'm really interested to see why Godric has come back and why he needs to talk to Ingvar. I'm also anxious for more back story! You've done a really splendid job of exposing just enough to keep the reader interested, so very good work there!

I'm also super interested to see how Salazar and Godric become such good friends. I haven't read a lot of founders era, but I don't think I've ever heard of one with such a large age difference between them. Very unique.

Overall, I think you've done a very good job starting us out. :)

Author's Response: Thank you, the second chapter puts more detail on characters, I think. I feel like the first chapter is more of an introduction. There's definitely going to be more fleshing out, especially with Godric and Salazar. That's coming in chapter three.

Amara and Ingvar, of course, won't be around the enrire story, so I won't have as much time to expand on them, but I'm trying. They'll also probably going to be expanded upon more via second hand information, not from them but from Godric and Salazar and a few others in passing. That way I can attempt to avoid information dumps, which cluttered things. I find it much more effective to give information out slowly, little by little.

I didn't notice the awkward sentence structure, so thanks for letting me know. I've probably edited both of the chapters as a whole at least thirty times by now. And no, that is in no way an exaggeration...my OCD just tends to show most when it comes to writing. Which, for once, is a good thing...besides the time it eats up, of course.

I do use a lot of commas and eclipses, a little habit I can't seem to shake off.And yes, it always bugs me for some reason when they put all the Founders with so close age wise. I don't know, it just seems too coincidintal.

We already know they all came from different corners of the British Isles, so it would be hard to believe them being childhood friends like many paint them as. Of course, it also seems unlikely that they just met up at a tavern because they've all heard of how skilled the others were and decided to build a school.

I feel like there has to be some larger chain of events, something darker and more by situational bonding, something has to have happened to all of them to make their bond as strong as it was before the conflict, as we were led to believe. I think it would be like dominos, one thing leading to the next and the next along a string of events until everything falls into place.

Well, I've rambled. Probably didn't need to know all thatz but writing it gave me some new ideas as well. Thanks for the feedback. :)


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Review #9, by SunshineDaisiesThe Crofter and the Snake: The Beginning of the Year

29th March 2015:
Hi Vicki!

So first off I want to say that I thought this was really interesting. I've never read the Battle of Hogwarts from another perspective, and reading about seventh year from the point of view of a Slytherin was really intriguing. I really enjoyed it!

Here's what I think can help you retain readers.

The first thing I noticed was the length of your chapters! They're definitely on the longer side, which I personally enjoy, but puts others off. Reading on a computer screen tends to hurt your eyes after a while, and shorter chapters makes it a little easier on them. I'd recommend trying to make this two chapters. The break between "You've got me," and "In the weeks that followed," seems like a good place to cut it. I haven't checked the word count though, so if it's heavily skewed I'd try a different place.

The next thing I noticed was that you're a bit off of canon. Draco didn't go to Hogwarts his last year, he had reached full Death Eater status and was at Malfoy Manor with his parents. Defense Against the Dark Arts was also made compulsory for students this year, and this is where Neville says they were made to practice unforgiveables on the younger students. As this was class work, it seems more likely to me that Howe's detention would consist of him being practiced on, rather than practicing the curses himself. DADA is also required for Healers to take. I would double check the wiki to fact check, so to speak.

As for your specific questions, yes, unfortunately very minor characters and ocs are inevitably less attractive to readers. I didn't know who Tracey Davis was, I had to look her up. Unfortunately, that means you'll get less traffic in general.

As far as characterization goes, I'd like a bit more in general. I didn't really get a clear idea of who Tracey and Howe were as people. Usually in shorter stories that's okay, but in this case, it makes their relationship harder to believe and root for. If the reader really knows the character, they'll want them to get together more, and them falling in love will seem more real. Right now they both feel a little generic, so it's hard to get invested. I like to sort of analyze every action my characters take, to see if I can somehow use it to characterize them. It happens more often than you might think! Even something as simple as brushing their teeth can tell you a lot about them. Do they just sort of do the bare minimum? Or do they spend 15 minutes working on it because they need everything to be immaculate?

We also didn't see much in the way of flaws, which makes them seem even more realistic. We see Tracey being rather self-preserving, but nothing of Howe's. Flaws help create a more well rounded, and therefore more believable character. Compelling characters make for compelling stories!

As for Tracey specifically, I'd like to see a bit more about why she was placed in Slytherin. We see her being worried about self-preservation, but not much else that would lead the sorting hat to place her there. Having her have similar traits to her housemates, but vastly different values makes the piece more interesting.

While I'm talking about characters, I did read ahead to the next chapter, and I think you should look at Blaise and Nott. Nott's father was a known Death Eater, so it feels more likely to me that he'd sneak back and join Voldemort. Blaise seemed pretty close to Draco and that group, so he might also share those values.

I also think mentioning Mandy in this chapter, even in passing would be something to consider.

I think you're biggest problem is probably in the plot. This chapter seems to lag a bit, because there isn't much going on besides the relationship developing. That's important, of course, but I think you can add a bit to make the story more exciting. Maybe try a scene if DADA where they're meant to be learning dark magic. Show Neville being punished for rebelling. Show the Gryffindor students disappearing one by one into the Room of Requirement. (This is sort of the real reason I recommended you cut the chapter into two parts.)

I think I'd also like to see a bit more emotion from Tracey regarding Howe. More explanation of her feelings as they develop, and some mentions of butterflies in her stomach, or a racing heart, or any of that sort of cheesy stuff that makes you giggle a little.

Leaving this chapter on a more dramatic note or a cliff hanger will probably also make people want to stick around. :)

I hope that was helpful! This is a really interesting story and I enjoyed reading it!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! This is exactly what I wanted! You have given me so much to work on. Of course this means that the whole story will have to be rewritten, but I will get around to it (if not instantly) because I value these characters and their story, inadequate as they are right now.

I wrote this story for a romance challenge at another site, where all the entries were one-shots, but I had to split it into two chapters because it went over the 10,000-word limit for a single chapter. I guess the lesson learned is that it is hard to be successful writing a one-shot about unknown characters because there's just not enough space to get to know them well, so this tale needs to be a longer story with more development.

I have printed off your very kind analysis and will keep it by my elbow as reference while I write my new, improved version of The Crofter And The Snake, incorporating all these wonderful suggestions.

Thanks again.

Vicki

P.S. Also thanks for answering my review request so quickly. That was faster than I had hoped for.


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Review #10, by SunshineDaisiesThe Shadows Within: Chapter 4 - Gryffindor's Quidditch Team

28th March 2015:
I read the rest of this through in one sitting, average length chapters are just so easy to breeze through ;)

I was going to go back and start leaving reviews on every chapter, but I had to start here because this chapter is SO GOOD.

I'm going to start with James because he is perfect. I love the way you showed his insecurities. Far too often he's portrayed as actually being overly confident, and I don't think that was really the case.

I was happy to see more Aurora in this chapter! You're introducing her very well, and I like her a lot! The other OCs are still a little difficult to keep track of, but I like the little details you're adding to help us remember. For example, Pippa getting Claire's Hufflepuff boyfriend. I don't even think that was in this chapter??? BUT I LIKED IT.

I'm still excited to see more of the characters and more of the plot you've got going on. I'm super excited for when the war stuff really kicks off :)

I love the way you expanded the scenes a bit more! It paints a much clearer picture! I still think you're a little narration heavy, but I think part of that is style as well.

This review feels like it's all over the place, but I'm pretty all over the place today, so it's not surprising. Sorry! I hope you have a great day!!!

Author's Response: Boring normal chapters. So fast! haha

Thank you for such a lovely review! I'm glad you were able to read through them all quickly and that you enjoyed reading them so far. Aurora is definitely the best developed at this point, because she's Lily's best friend, but I'm working on the others! (I also may have been influenced by my other favourite author, who seems to think MORE IS MORE when complicating things haha.)

Your review made me smile. Thanks again! =)


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Review #11, by SunshineDaisies1981: Winter

28th March 2015:
Hi Chiara! Welcome to Hufflepuff! I'm Katie and I wanted to leave you a welcome review!

I am obsessed with the Marauders, especially when they're out of school, so this was an amazing find for me!

I love your use of second person. It's one of my favorite things, and you've used it very well here! I think it really helped the reader step in and sympathize with the characters, especially Peter.

I think your Peter is pretty spectacular here. You've captured his fear, and his sadness, and I think his general mindset. You've made him a really sympathetic character, and it's very difficult to do with him. No one likes a traitor.

James and Sirius were pretty spot on too! You captured each of their emotions, and their reactions to the war excellently.

You have some grammar mistakes here and there, mostly small ones. Nothing a beta reader wouldn't be able to fix pretty quickly.

Good work!

Author's Response: Sorry Katie, if it took me a while to answer...
Oh, thank you! A welcome review is such a sweet thing!!! That's why I love you Puffs so much!!!

I'm obsessed with the Marauders, too! I'm so happy you decided to stop by this story!

Thank you. Second person made me a bit nervous, actually, but I thought that it could help emphatizing with the characters (my first draft was third person, but it just didn't work...) I'm so happy you felt that way!

I love writing Peter. I think there's so much to explore about his character. I hate him for his betrayal, of course. But at the same time I can't help but symphatize with him. To me, he's just a scared and deceived boy who's faced with things that are just too big for him... Or at least, that's how I think he started. He became pretty horrible later on...

I'm glad you found I captured James and Sirius well, too! It's really great to hear!

Oh... I'll have to check... English is not my mother language, so I suppose it is not perfect... Thanks for pointing that out :)

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so happy to be a Hufflepuff!!!


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Review #12, by SunshineDaisiesThe Bronze Feather: Chapter One

28th March 2015:
Hello! I'm Katie from the Hufflepuff common room on the forums! I wanted to stop by and give you a welcome review, and I'm so glad I did!

This is fantastic! It's a really great opening chapter. You have completely caught my attention and I am dying to know more!

And the writing itself is just wonderful. All the detail you provided was great. Just enough without getting too involved in the dissection of the hippogriff. I really liked the transition from the description of the feathers, to the revelation that he was selling the parts. It was very natural and I think that doing it in any other way would be really shocking.

Overall, this is a great start! I'm excited to see more!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the description. I really wanted it to be a surprise and really just want the plot to unfold over time so I hope this comes across. It's really nice to hear people excited to read more!

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Review #13, by SunshineDaisiesTake the Tumble: Memories of Madness

28th March 2015:
Hey there!

So I cannot get over how much I love Rose's voice in this. It sounds so natural, which is so impressive on its own, but it's also really funny! It makes it so enjoyable to read.

There were a couple of places where the actual dialogue didn't seem quite as natural. For example:

"Oh ew Malfoy... I would rather marry the giant squid. You disgust me!"

I think this would flow a little better if you cut out one of the last two sentences. The first two sentences sound pretty final, and adding a third one makes it a bit bulkier. Almost as if she wouldn't have enough time to get all three sentences out, if that makes sense.

And while I'm sort of on the topic of flow, THE MEMORIES. They were so well done, Ellie! I love the fact that you didn't use flashbacks, but instead just changed the tense of the narration. It goes back to the conversational style you've got going here, but I don't think it always comes across as well as it does here. It was not at all awkward or choppy, AND THEN you had a memory within a memory and it just worked! It just made perfect sense and flowed really well. Great, great work.

Okay, Rose. I love Rose. I'm not sure I would want to meet her in real life (she is a little bit scary), but she is a fantastic character. I love how you've made her "one of the guys," in a sense, but haven't done it at the sacrifice of her femininity. And I love how she pretty much owns her sexuality, and doesn't get judged for it. At least, not too harshly. I am not super fond of her violence (why hasn't anyone put a stop to that yet??? I am disappointed in you, Hogwarts.), but I'm also a pacifist. So that's a personal thing rather than a critique. I actually really like that she's got something like that, I really think it sets her apart from pretty much every other character I've read, especially in fanfiction. Basically, she is a really excellent character who is not necessarily a great person. Which makes her an even better character.

I'm less sold on Scorpius. I think because the story is being told by Rose, we're not getting a complete picture of his character. I do like that he showed he could be a decent person at least, but is still kind of a jerk. I suppose we'll see as time goes on.

Enemies with benefits is one of my favorite things, and I'm so excited to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Hey,

Thank you so much for reviewing for me again. You're awesome. I'm glad you like Rose's character so much. I've read a lot of fics where Rose is either really perfect or really meek and I wanted to really set her apart from the others.

And don't worry on Scorpius. You'll end up falling for him. Everyone does. By the end you'll be cursing Rose for everything she puts him through.

xx-Ellie


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Review #14, by SunshineDaisiesNot Backing Down: Prologue: The Den of Wolves

26th March 2015:
Hello hello!

So first off, as a Hufflepuff I just want to tell you that I am 100% not insulted. It's fairly obvious you're stereotyping all of the houses, and it seems that they'll all learn to love their houses in the end. At least, hopefully they will.

This was an absolute delight to read! Sorting and houses and applying the houses to characters personalities is so interesting to me. I'm really excited to read a fic about it! This looks like a really promising prologue.

I love the way you've set this up. I love the structure of this in so many ways I'm not really even sure where to begin.

Okay, so I like how you wrote the piece symmetrically, so that you started and ended with the same house. It makes the whole thing feel very symmetrical, to the point where I thought there was more symmetry than there actually was! That's a good thing, of course, as symmetry is naturally very pleasing.

I also like how you mostly paired up canon characters with ocs in the houses, and when you put two ocs together, they're in the house we're most familiar with. It is a great way to introduce the ocs in a way that readers will respond to. Good work!

I think the characters are wonderful so far! I think you've done an especially good job with Lee. Her personality is just radiating from the text here. I have a pretty clear image of who she is as a person, and I love her already.

The other characters were less memorable, but we spent so little time with them that makes perfect sense. I would have liked to see a bit more personality from each one, but they're young and nervous, so it also makes sense that they'd be a little shy. And maybe Lee just has the strongest personality of the bunch. :)

Anyway, I think the characters are all very distinctive, likeable and interesting. I'm very excited to learn more about them!

And I'm sure you can tell, but this definitely keeps me interested.

Overall, this is a very, very good start! I'm excited to read more!

Author's Response: Sorry about the delay on responding! Your review just left me without words.

I'm glad you liked the structure! I planned it that way on purpose- everyone was in the order they were in for a reason ;)

Thanks for the OC remark! Although I did change one OC to a canon character, I hope you still feel like they're good, considering that there's now one OC and one canon character in each house.

I do feel like Lee stands out, doesn't she? Although in the next chapter, they're older, and their personalities /have/ changed over the years. Hopefully they each become memorable in their own right!

Thank you so much for reviewing!


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Review #15, by SunshineDaisiesTake the Tumble: The Beginning of Everything

26th March 2015:
Hello my dear!

So I love this. I normally don't like first person narrative, and I usually don't read next-gen, but this is just fantastic! I love the idea of the brood, and I love the dynamics between all of the members! By that I mean, they're very well written, interesting and natural. I do not like how Albus is being treated by his family. Like, I spent a significant amount of time mentally screaming BE NICE TO ALBUS. HE HAS IT BAD ENOUGH WITH HIS NAME OK. That is very much a testament to your writing, we're one chapter in and I'm already attached to your characters.

I love Rose so much. I think you've done a really excellent job with her! I like that she's not a mini-Hermione, but still takes after her mom. After all, Hermione is pretty ruthless, so it makes sense for her daughter to be similarly so. And I think she takes after Ron and the other Weasleys as well. She's so realistic. She acts like a cocky 16 year old, when normally teenagers in fic act like 12 year olds or adults, depending on who's writing. It was refreshing to be taken back in that sort of way. It was also horrifying, but I digress.

I feel like we got less of a sense of Scorpius, which makes sense, given that this is all through Rose's point of view. I'm looking forward to seeing how her interpretations of him change.

And if you couldn't tell from earlier, ALBUS. I love Albus. I want to give him a hug.

I think Ron might have been a little OOC. He doesn't strike me as the type to ever threaten to throw his child out of the family, even as hyperbole. Especially in light of how Molly reacted to Percy leaving during the war. Loyalty is one of his defining traits, and the Weasleys are such a loving, accepting family, that it was really hard for me to believe he would threaten to cut her off. Of course, he did totally drop Harry during the Triwizard tournament, and while I like to think he grew out of that sort of thing, sometimes old habits die hard. So just some food for thought.

I'm so excited about the rest of the brood! I enjoyed what we saw of them here, but I'm really looking forward to really getting to know them! I'm hoping to see a little of all 26 before the end :)

The foreword was really a nice touch. There are SO MANY characters here that it's a little hard to follow, and even more so when you add in OCs. Having the list makes it so much easier.

Now on to your areas of concern!

You have nothing to worry about re: reader interest. This is a complete 180 from ANYTHING I usually choose to read, and I'm totally captivated. I'm so glad you requested this!

Not too much to say about the overall plot just yet, but I am excited to see what's coming. I think you set up a really interesting introduction to the journey Rose and Scorpius are about to take. As for the plot of this chapter, it was great. I thought the fight was sort of hilarious (and a great glimpse into their relationship), and I love that Molly stuck them literally together. I think it's one of the best usages of that trope I've seen so far.

The flow is terrific. The beginning is slightly choppy, but not at all jarring, or even distracting. Introducing yourself is always a little choppy, I think, and as Rose is introducing herself to the audience, it makes perfect sense.

Which brings me to OMG THE VOICE. ANGELS ARE DESCENDING FROM THE HEAVENS SINGING THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS I THINK YOU HAVE RESTORED MY FAITH IN THIS POV. So you know, it's pretty good. I love how conversational it is. It sort of feels like I'm sitting down having a cup of coffee while Rose tells me all about her day and that stupid Malfoy boy. You've incorporated so much of her personality and character into the narration that I feel like I know her already. And it's so much fun to read! Rose is kind of hilarious.

And I have to commend you on this: my number one rule for writing is to show more than you tell. I've always felt that third person lends more to showing, and first lends more to telling, but you have done an EXCELLENT job of balancing the two. I am very impressed.

I didn't notice any grammar issues, but I'm also terrible at catching them. And you're using first person. It's conversational, you don't need perfect grammar. (This is my excuse for if someone points something out that I didn't notice.)

You do have a typo in the foreword, there's an 'a' in George when Roxanne is listed, but other than that, there is nothing.

In sum, HOLY COW THIS IS AWESOME. Great, great work.

HAPPY SNITCH HUNTING

GO PUFFS

(that could be a cheer. i need to stop typing.)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for doing this review for me. I've been super paranoid about this fic, I mean, part of me knows it's good after all the reviews I've got on the other site, but on this one it wasn't getting much love over here so I was beginning to think that no one liked it. It's nice to hear you enjoyed it and that you're already emotionally invested in the characters.

Thank so much for reviewing for me. I'll totally be back to re-request with chapter 2 and the rest as the story progresses.

xx-Ellie


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Review #16, by SunshineDaisiesStill Into You: Need you now

23rd March 2015:
Hello hello! Here with your requested review :)

So the first thing I noticed is that the writing in this is GORGEOUS. It's very poetic and lovely and it makes it very pleasing to read. I especially liked this line.

For hours she had not moved. For days she had not eaten. For weeks she had waited for his owl. For months she had knocked on his door. For years she had relived the horrible day in her dreams over and over again. But he had not come back. (i hope the italics work omg)

That is just beautiful.

The second thing I noticed was OH MY GOD I WANT MORE INFORMATION. I have so many questions after reading this. I want to know more about their relationship and what happens to Victoire after this and EVERYTHING. But, my guess is that the lack of information was intentional on your part, and even if it isn't, I think it's very powerful. I think adding much more would take away from the piece as a whole.

As for your concerns: I think the plot is very good. Simple, but it suits this piece. The focus is more on the emotion than the plot. I think a bit more detail would enhance the plot, for example describing where the firewhiskey came from in more specific terms rather than just the kitchen. Was it in the cupboard? The fridge? On the counter because she was drinking it earlier and the bottle was already halfway gone?

In the same vein I think more detail would enhance the emotional part as well. Did she have to avoid things on her way to the kitchen because her apartment is a mess? Or is it excessively clean because it helps take her mind off things?

You also talked a lot about pain and broken hearts, which tend to be very general terms. Describing it in more detail would help make it that much more powerful. Does she have a constant ache in her chest or the pit of her stomach? Can she feel her heart being torn to pieces? Was seeing the picture like feeling salt in the wounds of her heart? Specifics.

I think your description is pretty spot on. As I said earlier, the writing is gorgeous. I just want more detail.

But I always want more detail honestly. Take that as you will. :)

Have a great day!

Author's Response: Hey! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing.

I am glad you enjoyed it, found it poetic and liked my descriptions.

The lack of information was definitely intentional - I try to go with the "less is more" policy in one-shots, especially these sort.

The focus is definitely on the emotion and that's my intention.

I think you make a fair point about the little details such as the place of the fire whiskey, state of the kitchen etc. as well as about going into more specifics with the pain. I'll definitely use these comments when I'm editing =)

Thank you so much for your helpful review!


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Review #17, by SunshineDaisiesLove is for Fools: Not a Fool

20th March 2015:
I've been trying to read through some fellow Puffs work for the Keckers, and I couldn't not leave you a review on this.

I am in awe. You wrote this very emotional scene in exactly 500 words while starting every sentence with the next letter of the alphabet without making it feel forced or taking anything away from it. The skill you have with language is pretty astonishing. I'm very impressed.

Anyway, I'm not usually one for Remus/Sirius, but I can appreciate when it's well done and this is SO WELL DONE. I love the description of their relationship, how they were friends, but more than friends and not at the same time. I think you grasped the emotion of losing someone like that, a friend, lover, brother, someone so important to you that you don't even have a word to describe it, absolutely perfectly. And I think Remus is perfectly in character. Calmly bereft and hoping that heaven is like Zonko's. Absolutely beautiful.

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Review #18, by SunshineDaisiesDark Birthright: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

20th March 2015:
Sirius as Padfoot with Julia is so amusing to me. I giggle every time it happens.

I stand by what I said last chapter, these two can definitely be combined. They're pretty similar in topic, and we don't get any more information about the reason she's there, so I think combining them would make it feel like less waiting time, if that makes sense.

Despite not mentioning the mystery much, this chapter was still so interesting! I loved the introduction of Sirius and Padfoot makes me giggle so hard. It's interesting to watch Julia find her way around a magical house without any help.

I really like your interpretation of Sirius so far. I haven't put much thought into him during the series before, but I think you're doing an excellent job. It's fairly obvious that Sirius was very damaged by the first war and his years in Azkaban (and maybe it's the social worker in me talking, but I'm pretty sure we can see some evidence of mental illness in him even prior to the war starting. But I digress), but I never really see it approached. Topics like this can be very sensitive and hard to pull off well, but I think you're managing spectacularly.

I'm so enjoying this story. And I was glad to see your chapter got validated! :)

Author's Response: Two in one - thank you so much! I suppose I should think about combining the chapters, but I won't make any edits of that magnitude until it is all posted and finished.
I think that JKR gave some rather undeveloped indications of Sirius' instability and depression but she didn't develop it - as she didn't develop a lot of her characters.I suppose that's why we do it. But yes, he is in a very dark place, poor Sirius.


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Review #19, by SunshineDaisiesDark Birthright: The House at Grimmauld Place

20th March 2015:
Hello!

So I review in chronological order, which is why I'm here, but I don't have a ton to say about this chapter. It's shorter than the others and there's not nearly as much going on, I think it could've been combined with another chapter. But no major criticisms or anything! I was dying when Sirius made his appearance.

Anyway, the point is I'm going to go leave you a real review on chapter 4!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I suppose it is a short chapter. I hadn't really thought about it to be honest. There is not much dialogue and it is description- heavy, so it probably felt longer when I was writing it!

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Review #20, by SunshineDaisiesThe Shadows Within: Chapter 1 - Hogwarts Again

20th March 2015:
SURPRISE! Finally here with the other review I promised :)

This is a very good start to a Marauder's story! We've got a good introduction to the main cast of characters and to the situation outside of Hogwarts. That paired with the prologue promises excellent things to come. I'm very excited!

I think my favorite part about this chapter is the characterization. I think you've gotten all of the canon characters right on the nose, and that isn't commonly done.

Lily is so good and I am very, very picky about Lily. You see her sweetness here, but you've also given her the ferocity that she's so often missing in fic. Her interaction with Snape was spot on. I'm so pleased with it! You've also made her seem very real and very relatable (who likes the first day of school? Lily is not Hermione), I like her and that doesn't always happen either. I do like Lily and James to be a bit friendlier in sixth year, even at the beginning, but I think that is a matter of personal preference.

You've also given Peter an actual personality! He isn't just shrugged off as that weird kid James hangs out with, which is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. I'm really hoping for some Peter/Lily friendship because FAVORITE THINGS.

I'm really looking forward to seeing more of your OCs. They seem great so far, even though we didn't get to know them too well here. Of course, there's a lot of characters to introduce, and giving too much away here would be overwhelming. I am assuming (and hoping!) that we'll get to know them a bit better as the story goes on. A suggestion for doing that is to have each of them have a one on one conversation with Lily over the next few chapters. I have no idea what your plans are for that, so I thought I would just throw that out there. I'm really excited about these OCs though. I love interhouse friendships SO MUCH. I'm really so excited about that. And HUFFLEPUFFS. I'm so excited about the Hufflepuffs.

I did notice that you spent a lot of time in this chapter "telling" rather than "showing." I think part of it comes from the fact that it's a first chapter and there's some history that you need to orient the reader to. However, I think a lot of it can be done in more interesting ways.

So for example, when you're describing the war going on, you've got a nice paragraph explaining it, but you could also show the war going on. Earlier in the chapter, Claire grabs a newspaper. What's the headline? Are there any articles about the war? Does the group go straight for the obituaries? You also mentioned the DADA professor having to go into hiding, which is good information, and definitely helps set up the war, but I think you could probably work that information into a conversation.

The other big place it stuck out was during Potions. You said Lily worked hard to try and beat Severus, but that could have been shown in how Lily meticulously prepares the ingredients or reads the directions fifty times. It takes a lot longer to write out, but it makes it so much more interesting to read.

So basically, DETAILS. I feel like people think being a really detailed writer means describing every clothing choice or facial feature until it's almost painful, but forget about the other stuff. Adding little things can really do a lot of work for you! Paper headlines help set the scene in a very natural way, and every time a character does anything is a chance for more characterization.

Just don't get so caught up in the details that you forget about the plot. :)

(I've given this advice in about 75% of my requested reviews over time. It is my number one rule for writing.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this and I look forward to reading more! I hope this excessively long review was helpful instead of obnoxious and rambley and I hope that you have an awesome day!

Author's Response: Eek, what a awesome long review!

Your comments about characterization made me smile. Like you, I am a big Lily fan so I wanted to try to do her justice. I'm glad you also liked the OCs and Peter. I have read more than my fair share of Marauder stories and Peter disappears so often or is just a loser following them around, so I am putting extra attention into making him have his own personality and strengths.

Thanks for the comment about show-don't-tell. I think I tend to default into that sort of narrative voice, but I will try to keep my eyes peeled for situations that I can change it. Thanks for giving concrete examples of things you would like to see as well (ex. paper headlines, potion making)... it is much easier to take the suggestions to heart when they aren't abstract!

Thank you for the lovely review! =)


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Review #21, by SunshineDaisiesThe Love You Never Knew: The Love You Never Knew

19th March 2015:
Hello! It's Katie from the Hufflepuff review thread! I've been meaning to get over here and read some of your stuff for ages, so I'm glad I finally got the chance to do it!

This was adorable! I love how Molly immediately accepted Harry into her family, without ever really meeting him. Not because he's Harry Potter, but because he's Ron's friend and he doesn't have anyone else. It's such an enormously kind thing to do, especially for the Weasleys, who have nothing, and she did it without even a second thought. I think that sums up Molly perfectly. It's not very often you find something that so wholly captures a character in such a limited number of words. I know that wasn't your intention here, but it's impressive nonetheless.

Bravo!

Author's Response: Hey Katie!

Thanks so much for reviewing for me. I'm glad you liked it. This just popped into my head one day and I wanted to pay homage to how wonderful Molly really is.

xx-Ellie


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Review #22, by SunshineDaisiesPrincess: Princess

19th March 2015:
Hey Cassie! I've been meaning to get over here for ages to leave you a review, but I'm so glad I came when this was posted!

I absolutely adore this! I think the effects of the war are really overlooked in fic, and I'm so pleased to see it done well! I love how the language you used toward the beginning and end is a bit romantic, and reminiscent of a fairy tale. It's very fitting for talk of a princess, and then in the middle the language is more war-like. I love it.

I think it'd be interesting to see more aspects of Astoria's PTSD interspersed throughout, to give us a little more than a glimpse at her life post war, but then again, it's sometimes nice to have stand alone scenes like this. Just a thought. :)

Hope you have a great day!
Katie

Author's Response: Hi Katie!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this story! I've never written something quiet like it, and definitely haven't explored PTSD in a character, so I'm really glad you thought it was done well! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a great review!
Cassie :)


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Review #23, by SunshineDaisiesThe Shadows Within: Prologue

17th March 2015:
Hello! Sorry I'm so terribly late. Life got much busier than anticipated.

So this is an extremely interesting start to a marauders story! I haven't read many that put any emphasis on the Death Eaters, let alone start off with one. I'm very interested in seeing how the rest of the story plays out from here.

I didn't have any issues with Voldemort, he is a very tricky character, and I think you've done a very good job with him!

I also didn't catch anything else, which makes for a terribly short and unhelpful review, unfortunately. I think this is an awesome beginning and I am very excited to see where it goes from here!

Author's Response: Don't worry about the lateness. Back in the day I had a review thread and, well, life has a tendency of getting in the way of things. I don't focus on the Death Eaters the entire time, but I try to bring them up, what they are doing, etc sporadically. It is a war after all. I'm glad you're interested so far and thanks for taking the time to review! =)

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Review #24, by SunshineDaisiesDark Birthright: A Meeting with Dumbledore

17th March 2015:
Okay I definitely read this chapter immediately after the first because I was so intrigued and I was going to leave you a review, but didn't get around to it. I'm so glad you rerequested!

So my first thought about this chapter is WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE'S A MUGGLE??? Which is very much a compliment. It makes me want to keep reading and discover what is really going on here.

And then there's all this information being given in this chapter, which left me with about a hundred thousand questions.

So for your main area of concern, yes, this is definitely intriguing enough to keep me reading.

I think the plot you've set up here is absolutely fascinating. I love tying the muggle and magical worlds together like this, and I think you're going to do an absolutely excellent job of it. I'm so excited to see how it all comes together.

I can't think of anything constructive to say at all, so I'm sorry this isn't more helpful, but I think you've done a pretty great job so far!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for such a positive and complimentary review, it is very much appreciated!

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Review #25, by SunshineDaisiesEsto Perpetua: The Last Vestiges Of Peace

17th March 2015:
Hello! So sorry it took me so long to get over here. My week ended up being a lot busier than I thought it would be.

Anyway, I'm so excited you requested this story! These are some of my favorite stories, and I'm interested to see where you go with it.

As for your areas of concern: I really like the feel of this chapter. I think you captured the end of the school year haziness very well, and what's more important, the bit of innocence that's still there. Things seem very normal for the boys, but you've hinted at much darker things to come. It very much has the feel of the calm before the storm, and I think that is a beautiful start to a story about the war.

I do wish you had included a bit more of what's to come. The adage says "start where the action starts," and this chapter seems to be just ahead of that. It does a great job of setting up the tone of the story, but I think a few hints about what's going to happen could do a lot to draw in readers.

As for the POVs, the first two sections are definitely distinct, the rest are much more ambiguous. There are definitely sections I had trouble determining who the section was meant to be following. I think a bit more of the characters thoughts and interpretations will help clear that up. After a closer look, I noticed that you do have this throughout the chapter, and the bit that's throwing me off is the very detailed actions of the other characters. For example,
"Remus looked up from his worn trunk, in which he was arranging the last of his clean socks. Hed just finished reading the well-thumbed copy of The Taming of the Shrew, and it lay next to the trunk on his bed, ready to be returned to Mary the next morning,"

reads to me like something from Remus's point of view, when actually it's in Sirius's. When writing in character specific third person, I like to keep the focus on that character, and include only the details they would notice. In this case, adding a bit about Sirius assuming the book would be returned to Mary, or something similar. I think this will help make the POVs a bit clearer.

I think the voice of the two POVs is definitely different enough to really distinguish the two characters. They very much come across as two different individuals rather than carbon copies with different thoughts, which can sometimes happen with narration like this.

(And as a note, the more I reviewed the more I realized the earlier confusion about POVs might have had more to do with me than with the writing. I apologize.)

Overall, I think this was very well done, and I am very excited to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Thank you for your review. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Initially, the first chapter was written in response to a challenge on another site, thus the "everyday" sort of feel to it. I did include several hints of whats to come - the Knights of Walpurgis, Andromeda's letter to Sirius, Remus and his career advice - but nobody has really picked up on their significance yet. I've been told that I'm not being obvious enough with the hints, so it's something I've hopefully fixed in the next few chapters.

My limited third-person is rather broad-range, so I can easily see why a reader might get confused, especially when Sirius and Remus follow each other closely. I'll be sure to pay more attention to that hereafter.


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