Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
523 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AphorideBetter Now Than Later: Better Now Than Later

18th January 2017:
Hey there! :) Dropping by for the BvB review tag :)

Okay, first of all - that ending. Wow. It's such a great portrayal of that kind of explosive, firework-style family argument, where both sides are totally convinced they're right and neither one is prepared to back down. The insistence, the way it can so quickly end up a huge shouting match, the peace-maker relative who tries to calm things down but doesn't succeed... it's so true to life, and I love that. I also love how they both have points, you know - 17 and jobless is hugely young to get married (though I was confused by the age thing - if she's 17 shouldn't she be at Hogwarts? She'd be in 7th year, right? Coz you leave Hogwarts at 18?) and hugely precarious. Yeah, she has Roger and they've been together for much longer than her parents think and when people are in love that's the main thing, but practicality is cold and has to be considered at some point :P

I love how supportive Roger is about the whole thing - how he reassures her when she's worried her dad will never calm down, how he helps her through the argument and advises her to tell them early to give them time to adjust. I love that he seems to sort of understand why they're upset, even if he doesn't agree with it - it's always so much easier to do that on the outside, you know?

Your characterisation is also so lovely :) We never learn much about either of them in the books and you've given them lovely, fleshed-out personalities in this beyond the books. I love how capable and responsible Roger seems, and so caring of Marietta, and how Marietta is so highly-strung and so emotional - how she flares up so angrily (and fair enough, really!) when she thinks her dad is accusing her of not being faithful, and how she regrets accusing him in turn of controlling her. It's that kind of natural swing of emotions in an argument and you do it so beautifully - none of it feels rushed or random or anything :) It's really impressive :)

Your writing is lovely, too - you have a lovely flow and a great voice in this: it suits the characters so well :) Your dialogue is also so good - it feels very natural.

This is a lovely story! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review :)

I was trying so hard to make the shouting match realistic, so I'm glad that paid off :D I had totally forgotten Marietta was supposed to be 18 when she graduated-clearly I need to work on my maths :P

I think Marietta is sometimes thought of as a traitorous character and nothing more, so I tried to show that she could also love someone and have passion. The ending made me sad even when I was writing :(

Anyway, I'm so happy you liked the story, your review was very encouraging :D

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Review #2, by AphorideLiar: Children

20th September 2016:
Hey there, Chiara! :) So I just had to stop on this because a Remus/Peter friendship/romance story looked so interesting and so unique - I don't think I've ever seen a story with Remus/Peter before (or even, you know, with Peter as part of a romantic pairing). But I do think it's a shame more people don't write about him, so I had to stop by :)

I have to say that I love the way this starts when they're really little kids - how they grow up in the same neighbourhood not long after Remus has been bitten, how their mothers knew each other from school and seem to get along well too, how they get this great friendship growing so early, which then presumably they remember and get back into once they're at school. It makes so much sense as to how they met and how Peter got adopted into the Marauders, and gives this lovely extra addition to Remus and Peter's friendship :)

Ahhh little!Peter is so cute, too - I love how you've given him such a real and 3d personality: how he's so innocent and so loyal to Remus, even to the point of shunning the other neighbourhood kids in response to them hurting Remus, and how he's surprisingly brave in standing up to the kid who was kicking Remus, even though he knows he's so much smaller and only putting himself in equal danger. It makes it so clear how he got into Gryffindor - he is brave, even if he doesn't really seem it later, and he is loyal. I loved, as well, the hints of darker aspects of his nature, with the dark look crossing his face when he said he hated the neighbourhood kids. It's pretty scary, because he's only a kid and he's worrying his mother with that kind of expression, but it's so good, too, because it makes it so easy to see how things go wrong for him, you know? And I love that kind of subtle, simple foreshadowing :)

Your Remus is utterly and completely precious! Poor lamb... I just wanna cuddle him and protect him, haha - but I love the way you wrote him as getting angrier and harsher after the bite, how he doesn't like questions and keeps telling Peter to 'go away' even though he's only trying to be friendly and understand - it's a really ordinary reaction, I think, and one which is totally understandable, but so horrible for Peter, because he doesn't get why he's being pushed away. (I'm expecting some nice apologising when Peter finds out about the whole werewolf thing ;) From Remus, I mean) It kinda shows just how cut-off Remus was or felt he needed to be and how badly it affected him. It's so horrible, but it's so realistic, given how stigmatised his condition was meant to make him, you know?

Your writing is so lovely, too - I love the way you write Remus and Peter as kids. I think I've said this to you before (maybe?) but writing kids is something which is so, so hard to do and do well, because they have a very particular mindset and a way of seeing things that we don't really get as adults, and somehow, you just seem to do it so easily and so naturally and it's a real gift. I love, as well, the way you do your dialogue - whenever I read a line, I just know who's saying it, because the voices of the characters are so strong. Also, the way you change the style of phrase and the language every now and then for the kids is so clever and so good - it makes it feel so real, you know?

Ahhh this is such a cute first chapter, and I'll totally try and remember to come back for the rest of it because I'm so curious to know what happens once they're at school and they meet again and how they both become a part of the Marauders - and then, the romance! :P

Thank you so much for the swap - I really loved it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi, Aph!
Okay, so... this is like the fifth time I start to answer this review... Let's see if I can get to the end... :P

I love Peter. Like, Siriusly do. I know that sounds crazy, but I've grown affectionate to him while writing Marauders' stories. He is surely a fascinating character to explore and write and I agree with you that he should be represented more. Anyway, I'm glad you were attracted by this story, because it's one I'm very proud of. :D

I'm glad you liked their early friendship. It was actually something that I mentioned in my other story "All the truth about Jimmy Portman" (this is sort of a prequel to it).

Little Peter is definitely cute! And yes, there must've been a reason if he was sorted in Gryffindor, right? I've always thought that it was a mixture of resentment and feel unconsidered that eventually led him to the betrayal, more than his fear. I'm glad you caught that glimpse of his darker side, foreshadowing was exactly what I was trying to do there.

Remus... I adore Remus! Poor child... he has to deal with so much from such an early age... it always breaks my heart... you can cuddle him, he needs the cuddles! I'm glad you found his reactions understandable. Poor Peter, though...

I love writing children. They have this simple, spontaneus approach to the world... I actually find them quite easy to write... guess I'm a bit of a child myself... :P

I'm so glad you liked the dialogue and the writing style, too! Thank you so much!

I would love to know what you think about the rest, so feel free to come back anytime!!! :D

Thank you so much for the swap and the wonderful review!!!
Lots of love and snowball hug!

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Review #3, by AphorideHero: One Day at a Time

7th September 2016:
Hey there, Bianca! :) Dropping by for review tag! So we've chatted about Tom a lot and things - and I should probably admit that I read the first few chapters of this ages back because I was curious but didn't review :/ - so I thought it was really about time I stopped by here :)

I gotta admit as well that I remember being a little nervous reading this the first time because I'd read a bunch of Tom-era OC-led stories before and they were all super cliche and I wanted yours to be so different - and, you know, I think it pretty much only took this chapter to make it really clear that it's nothing like that. Hero is such a great character and the way you introduce her to us is amazing! I love the way you drop the bits of information about what happened that summer to Noah throughout the chapter, and how it's affected her so badly - worse than she thinks, at this point, I think. It just gives her this depth which I don't think that many OCs really have.

Also, I love the mystery element to this and how dark it is. It's really appropriate considering both the time period (WWII) and that it includes Tom and the purebloods. Plus, you just write both so well - the mystery especially. You just seem to drop pieces of information here and there and make it work, or have little pieces of conversation which have clues as to what happened with Theo and why it would upset Emory dotted through the chapter so the whole thing is so good. I don't know how you do it, but I love it :)

Also, I gotta say that I love how you included the train journey and the platform so well - a lot of people try to do that and it doesn't always work, but as with everything, you make it look so easy, almost obvious.

Your writing is lovely, but I think I've said that before - anyway, it deserves restating ;) It really is - and the voice you've got for Hero is so strong and so lovely, and all of your characters are so well rounded. I love the way they're all so different. Hero and Finn are so normal, especially compared to the glimpses of Tom we get, and so real in the way they approach things and deal with them, and I love Finn's disaffectedness about whatever's bothering Hero. It's so cruel and callous, but it's very teenage sibling :P

Anyway, I love this, I should have been here sooner, and I'll definitely back :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so much Loz! ♥

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Review #4, by AphorideRosemary Lane: Rosemary Lane

16th August 2016:
Hey there! :) So I gotta admit that I've read bits of your work ages ago when I first joined the fandom - Ivory Child and I started Seven Hills but never got very far with it because of life - but it's been so long so I was so excited to get a chance to come back because I remembered your writing being so lovely.

And, naturally, it still is ;) I love the way you mix description and dialogue so easily and so naturally - it's something I struggle with so much so I'm always so impressed by other people when they manage it. There's this kind of effortless sense when it comes to your writing - there's no tension in it other than what's meant to be, you know, nothing which sounds or feels odd - it all flows so perfectly, and the emotions come through so beautifully.

Speaking of, I love your characters. Minerva is one of those characters I love and have always wanted to write, but find so intimidating and so difficult to write because she's so particular, you know, so I love how well you do her here, getting her voice so well, with the brusqueness and the sensibleness, and how she's secretly jealous of her sister because she'd never really thought about love, it seems, but she wants it - and now her sister has it and she doesn't and everyone's telling her it's too late, and there's that little voice saying 'what if they're right?'. And, you know, I love how you bring those kinds of views into this - because they were so true and so real for women of that time, and it's just not something we think about today, in the West. But I love how even Minerva, who's so strong and forthright, sort of falls prey to those kinds of ideas, and it's kinda sad - but then, ofc, she meets Roger and it's all that bit happier :P

Also, I loved Roger - I loved how he was so calm and polite, and like her but not quite, with the wooden leg from WWII, and the Muggle law career, and how he thought from the beginning that she was a teacher simply because she was happy, and no other reason. They fit, you know, as a couple - they seem like at least they'd be great friends, and I like how Minerva sort of comes to understand Metis a little bit more, with her realising that Roger doesn't expect anything from her, it's just idle chat and she likes that. It's such a simple thing, but it's so profound for Minerva and so sweet.

Anyway, I loved this story so much - it's so sweet and so lovely and your writing is so great! :) I'm so glad I got a chance to stop by on this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello Aph!
Your review is nothing short of fabulous. Really, I think you have a better grip of these characters than I do, because you summarize everything so eloquently, even the bits that worried me as a writer you seem to understand and are able to explain to me, of all people. I feel so honored to have this lovely review from you. It's so beautiful and your words are so kind, I appreciate every one of them. In short, you flatter me! ;)

There were so many parts of this story that worried me from the beginning. Firstly, I was concerned about writing Minerva as slightly weakened by her role in her family's hierarchy. Her sister is about to marry, yet she remains the studious spinster. As you stated so thoughtfully, it was more of a challenge for women at the time than we are fully conscious of now. I honestly didn't know if I could make that conflict a reality in this story, because it seemed so at odds with Minerva's strength. Therefore, as I wrote this fic, the whole thing had an awkward tone that I couldn't shake in my head and totally undermined my confidence as far as this piece's story-telling ability goes. Your review, however, made me feel so much better about this one-shot and I honestly cannot thank you enough for that.

Secondly, I'm glad you enjoyed my characterization of Roger Bishop. I personally love OCs, so it was hard for me not to include one. And when developing him, I knew I wanted him to in some way echo the emotional weakness Minerva was feeling, so I gave him a physical component to deal with (his leg), which I hoped would compensate for his talent in drawing Minerva out just by talking to her. I did not want them to be the perfect couple either. I mean, I knew Minerva would be a little sour and stiff, while Roger would be charming enough to put her guard up even further. It was a bit of a balancing act, I guess and I'm so glad you thought I did a suitable job keeping them apart as much as I tried, slowly, to bring them together.

Again, thank you for this fantastic review. It was an absolute joy to hear from you!

Lee Anne

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Review #5, by AphorideWaxing: Waxing

20th July 2016:
Hey there - I'm so sorry this is so late! I got caught up in the last months of uni, revising for finals, and then graduation, but I'm here now! :)

I gotta say, I'm not usually a massive fan of AUs - they're either done mostly for the purpose of self-insertion or in order to completely change the plot, and I love that this manages to be an AU while still following the main plot and things, just with a slight character difference. It's a great idea, and it works so well!

I really like Harry and Luna in this - there's something really sweet about them, and Luna kinda calms him down and doesn't ask many questions about things - she's very accepting and it kinda works with how hot-headed and almost demanding of understanding Harry can be at times. It's not a pairing I ship, but I can totally see why they might work - you've convinced me of that much, at least! ;) I love how character-driven this is, even though there's so much plot to fit in, and how the focus is so much on how the relationship develops. It seems so easy and so simple and almost like a relaxing relationship, which is kinda really lovely to think that Harry could have, you know, since so many of his relationships are more complicated than that in canon.

Your writing in this is so great, too - I'm so amazed by how you manage to work so well and so efficiently with such a large amount of plot. There wasn't a part which felt rushed or like there wasn't enough detail, which is pretty impressive, given how much stuff you got through in it. I also loved the little details of things - the humour and the references to Luna's beliefs in Wrackspurts and things, and the painting on the ceiling with the lines leading to her friends. They really brought the entire thing to life :)

I'm so glad I (finally!) got a chance to read this - it's really an impressive story, and I really loved it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading this story. I'm especially glad you liked it because it's AU and you don't normally like AU. When I write something like this, I really try to keep it as close to canon as I can since it makes the story feel more real.

Thanks so much also for saying it doesn't feel rushed or lack of detail because that's something that plagues my writing at times. I can be terse. Like that.

Yeah, Harry/Luna is my OTP, but it's definitely a hurt/comfort sort of ship. I'm starting to move away from it now, and when I write it, I can see that they're good in small bursts for each other.

No worries on how long it took to get to the review. Real life comes first!

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Review #6, by AphorideBlank: Blank.

18th June 2016:
Hey there! :)

So I haven't read that many stories about aro/ace characters (whether they're just aro or just ace, or both), so this is a bit of a strange one for me - but strange in a good way! :) In ways, it's that little bit more personal, but it's good - and I think you handle the topic really well, showing the sort of confusion when you see everyone else off doing things you just don't get the point of, and how Luna doesn't understand it and how it takes her so long to come to terms with what she feels and how she feels.

There was a lovely simplicity about your writing in this too. The way there wasn't overly much description, and no dialogue, it really allowed the emotion of it to flourish and perhaps the more thoughtful side of it to come out really well. It's not a style which works well for everything or for everyone, but you use it so well. Also, it's not the easiest thing to do, so you should definitely be proud of it ;)

I also wanna say that I love the idea of using Luna for this too - it was strangely lovely to see Luna, who's so confident in herself throughout the books, be unsure and worry. It was a lovely, unique insight into her mind, and I really loved it.

This was a lovely, unique little one-shot, and I'm so glad I read it! :) Happy Pride Month! :)

Aph xx

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Review #7, by AphorideWho The Hell Are The Marauders?: Chapter 1

31st March 2016:
Hey there - thanks so much for the review swap! :)

Ah, The Inbetweeners is great and there's so much potential for random jokes with the Marauders, haha, so the combination is so great :P So many possibilities of terrible, hilarious things! :D

This is such a great first chapter, too - I love how it sets everything up so well: the voices of all the characters (also, I love how well you've merged the characters together, too. They all work so well! :P), how James is so hopelessly in love with Lily who doesn't know who he is, how Remus has a crush on Sirius who is completely oblivious, how you've flipped it so they're not this great, popular group but this tiny group of outcasts, almost. It's so cool and so unique, and it works so, so well :)

Some of Sirius' lines are just too good. Omigosh - all of those stories he comes up with! :P Just so good - you've captured that whole thing from the Inbetweeners so perfectly.

I love as well how you've included Peter in this - how he's almost, frankly, the most normal of them all (save for Remus :P), and one of the more sensible ones. It's always nice to see him included in Marauders fics ;)

Your characterisation is so on point, as well - though I suspect you already know that ;) The way Sirius is so overdramatic, Remus' sarcasm and James' endless, yearning wanting, and how he's utterly hopeless at doing anything about it.

Your writing is so great, too - you really have a knack for writing humour. It's so good: never over-done, never too weak or just not funny. It's so clever and so just right. I'm almost jealous - humour is hard and you do it seemingly so easily! ;)

This is a great, great start and it promises to be a super funny story - I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for updates ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much! The inbetweeners seemed like the perfect thing to base a marauders story on, everytime I watched it I couldn't help but think of them!

I had to include Peter! It makes me sad when people leave him out in stories :(

Awww thank you so so much! I can't help but grin from such a compliment!

Thank you Aph!!

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Review #8, by AphorideJigsaw: Piece #12

9th March 2016:
Hey Sian! :) Dropping by for our review swap! :) Sorry this is so late - my contact lenses dried out yesterday evening so I couldn't use my laptop any more (boo eyes :P) and then I was busy with uni stuff all day today, but I'm here now! :D

I love how this is progressing, how there are little things coming out of it which seem so significant, but who knows? Roxy's theory seems like it could be right, like she could be onto something, but I dunno... you wouldn't reveal it this early, would you? Hm... you're making me very suspicious in this story :P But at the moment, it seems like the best and most likely theory, if a little bit too obvious... maybe? ;)

Can I just say as well, how glad I am that Jane is fine? Like, I was really half-expecting her to turn up dead or to be really ill or something, but not to be being evicted - which, tbh, was something of a relief compared to what I was thinking :P It's still so awful, though, that she's lost her job and can't really go back to her family or get much support from them it seems, and how she sort of has to depend on Roxy for support - it can be so hard and so upsetting for people to feel like they can't manage things :( But I kinda like that her life (and Roxy's, to an extent) is really hard, because it's so real, that things like getting a good job and finding somewhere decent to live which doesn't take all of your money can be so, so difficult and painful. It just, for me, adds a whole layer of realism to this which I love so much, because in other things it's not really there :)

And I love how Roxy just immediately takes her in, and how Jane feels she has to repay her somehow, so tidies and cleans (- Jane can be my roommate any day :P) instead of paying rent. They have such a great friendship and it's so so lovely to see that being an important relationship in a story since it's often left out of fic :)

Richard! No! I can't believe Richard's guilty - frankly, he seemed too spaced to be guilty :P But no, I hope nothing bad happens to him. Speaking of which, that beginning section, with the two people talking about Rhiannon Griffiths (I assume?) is just so scary and so creepy. Omigosh, she's really not very safe. The way you wrote it, too, with just the dialogue and little description was so good - it really kinda added to the whole shadowy feel of whoever they are.

I'm so excited for Roxy that she has her new theory about the potions, and she's got a break with the interview (and how Miranda got shouted at by Higgins, haha :P She deserved it!). I'm pretty sure it won't last too long, but it's nice for her to have a break at some point :P

Also, all of your details in this are so lovely. Really, really good. Every thing in this seems so carefully thought-out and like its placed exactly where it should be, you know? It's all the little things in this which make it come alive too: which make the creepiness at the beginning, the shock which comes through from Richard's phonecall and how miserable he seems, and Jane's misery and gratefulness when Roxy insists she stays with her.

Your writing is so good, though, but I don't think you need me to tell you this again - pretty sure I've said it before :P But it is. Like, I love how easily you blend action and multiple scenes into one chapter - I struggle with that so bad and you make it look so easy! I'm so jealous ;) Plus, your dialogue and description are always so good and so right for the characters and the situation - everything is so evocative in this, whatever it is, and you just pull every emotion and every sense out of every word. It's so great and really, I need to read more of your writing, so try not to get too swamped at uni ;)

I'm so so glad we swapped so I could stop by here again - I've definitely got to not leave it so long next time! :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by AphorideOil and Water: oil and water don't mix

8th March 2016:
Hey Adi! :) Dropping by for our review swap! (On an unrelated note, I'm so glad to see you back around the forums - I missed you!)

You know, I love your writing so much, but I don't think I've ever added you to my favourite author list... I just realised... huh, I'll have to rectify that once this is done ;)

Anyway, onto the story! :D This is a lovely, devastating one-shot. And I love it, as always.

I love your characters - Rose and Scorpius are a common pairing, which often means cliche, but I don't think I've ever seen a take on them quite like this. Rose seems so broken, almost, with her unhealthy relationship with Scorpius, how she keeps going back and never really having the strength or the courage or the conviction to end it. I loved the line about how she writes better poetry when she's so turbulent and so afraid she might lose him - it's so bad for her, poor girl, but it's a spiral and so hard to get out of. It's so sad for her, because she loves him and he doesn't love her, but neither of them seems to be able to break it off.

Scorpius is so mysterious in this, too - but I loved how he wasn't exactly nice and sweet and cuddly. He's silent because it's easier, almost, and cowardly about facing the difficult things, how he seems to be almost stringing Rose along, never quite committing but never stopping it. I liked, though, how he didn't say anything throughout this whole thing - it's Rose's voice and Rose's words and Rose's view and it works so well. It gives him this mystery without it being forced or cliche, because it's because Rose doesn't know, you know?

I love the whole kind of obsessive, repetitive element to this - how Scorpius keeps coming back, Rose keeps letting him in, making it into a kinda cycle which just goes on and on until Rose eventually breaks it with hope (which, I gotta say, I just love for the irony. She hopes and she doesn't get. Hope is the thing which ends it. So poetic and so lovely, though). How Rose thinks of Scorpius almost as something she needs, for her muse, so she can write, rather than anything else. It's a little bit twisted, but I'm a big fan of twisted, complicated relationships in fic :P

Your writing in this is so, so gorgeous! :) The way you use repetition is incredible, with the 'I dread' and 'I want' paragraphs and the way you use the rule of three to such great effect. It works so well in this, and I have no idea how you manage to get so much of it in this in such a wonderful rhythm and so work so well, but you do. Share your secrets! :P But no, seriously, this is amazing. Your description is incredible, and the little snippets of poetry-esque bits, with the 'what if we were' section is so good, and I love its inclusion - it could have been jarring, but it really, really isn't, it fits in so smoothly.

(Also, do you write poetry? Because I really liked it! I suspect you'd be pretty good ;))

This is an amazing one-shot, and tbh, I don't know how I hadn't read it before now. Seriously, this is incredible! :)

(Ooooh, and now I've read pretty much everything on your author's page, time for you to write more, yes? :P ;))

Aph xx

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Review #10, by AphorideFEAR...: FEAR...

6th March 2016:
Hey there - dropping by for the HPFF review-a-thon! :)

So I was looking through the newly updated stories and this came up so I thought I'd stop by! :) I love the whole idea of having a story set around a class against boggarts - it's a very telling thing about a person, what their deepest fear is, and how they choose to/can deal with it, too. Gives so much potential for angst or issues to come out of it ;)

I love how Schuyler's fear is kinda like fear itself (I think that was what it meant?), and how it contrasts with her incredible confidence at dealing with the boggart - it makes a lot of sense, rather than simply being 'oh my character isn't afraid of anything'. She actually isn't - but that only kinda makes it a bigger flaw, if that makes sense. It's almost as though she's never been afraid, which is a kinda cool character trait to give someone :)

Ofc, that quote is gold - it's one of those ones I think most people know, whether they're American or not. But it's so good, and so true, I think :)

I liked how Schuyler was so unimpressed with how the Ravenclaws from wizarding families had no idea about muggle history - but I guess they'd know about stuff she didn't, wizarding history and so on? But it still made me laugh - it's so weird to think of these things happening and people not knowing about it :P

Anyway, this was a lovely little one-shot! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thanks. The wizard brought up kids not knowing is one of my favorite bits too!

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Review #11, by Aphoridewhen we were young: you sound like a song

6th March 2016:
Hey there - dropping by for the HPFF Review-a-thon! :)

This is amazing. Seriously. It's so so lovely, and a take on Scorose I haven't seen before, which just makes me love it even more :P (I'm always a fan of things which go against convention or the normal, haha.)

I love love love how you write them, and you say so much without actually saying it in so many words, which is so clever and so good, and I just adore in writing of any kind. How there's this kinda implication throughout the whole thing that there was something there, maybe it was as far as love (at least for Scorpius) but maybe not, and there's the hint that something of that - care, wistfulness - has kinda remained, like what could have been. And how they've both moved on - they're happy with other people now, and there's something almost kinda bittersweet about that, even though they're happy with others. Really, it's so well done and so beautiful, there's just... gah, it's just beautiful, okay? :)

Also, I love the way you've characterised them. Neither of them are in any way cliche or overdone: I love Scorpius as an artist, and her kinda as his original muse in a way, and how she's a teacher, researching in Transfiguration, so far away. It's so brilliant, and it sets them up as this kinda study in contrasts, you know.

(At some point, I'm going to run out of synonyms for beautiful. Imma apologise in advance for that :P)

Your writing in this is so beautiful, too - the way Scorpius notices colours so much and so easily; the colours of her hair and how he describes them were especially vivid and real and so gorgeous. I loved everything about this - every word was so well chosen and placed exactly so, and all the dialogue was so good, so tense at times and it just really jumped off the page.

Seriously, this was amazing. A real work of art.

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Thank you so much for this review. I'm so glad you liked this story.

There's a lot implied here. I imagine that Rose and Scorpius had a long history together. I think they were quite happy before they broke up. Maybe in another life... But things are different now.

I love imaging grown up Rose and Scorpius in different careers. I also love writing artist!Scorpius. Rose is absolutely his original muse. He's grown up since then, but you never forget your first. She teaches transfiguration now, which I think, is like a science in contrast to Scorpius who does art.

Colour is very vivid for me, so if often does seep into my writing. I'm glad you liked it!

Thank you again for this wonderful review!


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Review #12, by AphorideThe Stray: The Stray

6th March 2016:
Hey there - dropping by for the HPFF Review-a-thon! :)

So this is so, so sweet. I'm not normally a massive fan of Sirius stories, which are sweet and adorable - mostly because I love dark and angsty things and there's so much potential for that in his storyline, haha - but this is just perfect.

I love the way he escapes from home and then kinda escapes from himself by turning into a dog - and his surprise when she takes him in and looks after him is so sweet and really speaks volumes about the kind of place he grew up in. There's something so lovely, too, about how he goes back to the cafe with James and kinda reward her for what she did nad how she treated him and looked after him when he almost didn't have anyone else. It's such a kind gesture, and it works so well with his over-the-top personality.

Your writing in this is lovely, too - it flows so well, and the whole thing is so sweet and so emotive with it all - you do so well at getting all the emotions out of something which doesn't have masses of action in it, which is a real skill ;)

This is a lovely little story and I'm so glad I read it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!

I do love dark and angst, but I just can't seem to write it well. I have a habit of injecting fluff where it certainly isn't needed or welcome.

I'm glad you see it as escaping himself as well because that's what I was thinking myself. I think it's very much like his over-the-top personality.

Thank you so much for leaving such a kind review for such a wonderful cause! I really appreciate it!

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Review #13, by AphorideMaking the Reserves: Making it to the Academy

6th March 2016:
Hey there, Lo! :) Dropping by for our review swap for the HPFF Review-a-thon! :D

I love Quidditch stories - they're so fun and so interesting, and there's a great potential for clashes between commitment to the sport and to other things, romantic lives or classes or other interests, and, really, this is such a gem of a story.

I love your characters - how Molly's so excited about going to Quidditch Academy, and seeing Puddlemere United there (though I was a little confused as to whether or not they were actually there, and whether Jackie is a professional or what. But that may well just be me :P), and how she's so nervous the evening before. It's so natural and so real, and this gives such a perfect start for character development later on - you've set up such a great platform here! :)

Also, just as a thing: I love the idea of a Quidditch specialising academy - it makes a lot of sense; in a lot of countries (though, tbh, not usually in the UK) kids who are good at sports go to academies to help that, and especially in the wizarding world, it makes sense for them to set it up. And I love how you don't make it too much exactly like Hogwarts - give it its own twist and its own character! :)

Your writing in this is so, so lovely too - you have this way of writing so vividly and yet so cleanly and so well; it has this lovely quality to it I can't really put my finger on, but I love it nonetheless. It's so good, and that first section especially - with the dream where she thinks she's falling - it's so, so good and so emotive. You're so good at pulling absolutely everything possible out of every word you write. Which, you know, is a real skill ;)

I love this - it's an amazing start, such a great set up and world-within-a-world you've built here, and I'm so so curious to see where you go with it - the romance, the competition, the choices... it's so good and I've really, really got to remember to check in on this story again later :)

Aph xx

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Review #14, by AphorideRise of the Phoenix Volume I: Into the Void

27th February 2016:
Hey there, dropping by for our review swap! :) Sorry I haven't been up on the multi-chapter swaps - uni has been really busy recently, a lot busier than expected, so I haven't had that much time for HPFF.

I love the idea of werewolves attacking a muggle train - I don't think I mentioned this last chapter? - but it really evokes that sense from the second war, with the Death Eaters causing terror to muggles, deliberately, knowing they would panic, knowing they had no explanation. It makes sense that similar things would happen in the first war, and it gives Greyback such a horrific backstory, too. It really builds his reputation, and makes it more believable that someone like Voldemort would work with him, you know?

Aurora's great - I love her lack of self-control, how easily she snaps, how frankly violent she is - it kinda reminds me of Bellatrix, just in the way she sort of loses it and how she responds to it. It makes her dangerous, but not through power, which I love, because it's a much more interesting route to take :P It's a very hot-headed kinda thing, and I love how obviously flawed she comes across in this, too - flawed characters give this sense of reality, imo, and it just adds to a layer of grit in this, which makes it that much darker, you know?

That whole thing with the werewolves lining the muggles up was so creepy, too - and then Aurora endlessly chasing them through the train, trying to find the boss and sort it out, because the Aurors are just nowhere to be found... it's such a terrible situation, but it really evokes the wartime kinda feel, and especially a sort of underground, guerrilla war, which works so well for this.

Two things - one's technical, one's a bit more personal preference ;) Technical thing first: I noticed you tend to start a lot of sentences in the same paragraph with the same words - like 'he', or with the same sentence structure. It breaks up the flow, and makes it feel and sound very similar, without there being actual repetition. The personal preference thing is that you have a couple of super long conversations in here with no dialogue tags, and it makes it hard to know who's talking, without counting the lines, and it kinda pulls me out of it because I don't know what's going on while it's happening, and I can't really feel the emotion in it, with the anger and things - and it's a shame because you have such great emotion running through this, and it's kinda getting dropped in those sections, at least to me.

This is a really great chapter, though - I'm so impressed by how you managed to write an entire chapter of pure action, because it's an incredible skill - and you leave it on such a cruel cliffhanger! I'm so curious and excited to see what happens next with Greyback - how she gets out of that situation, which is just so terrifying to be in! Hopefully it won't be so long until next time! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph,

Thanks for the review, and no worries about busy-ness etc.

I look forward to reviewing chapter two of l'optimisme tomorrow. I will try and turn it into a multi-chapter review swap as I promised. I really liked chapter one so I look forward to marching on. I shall a review up tomorrow morning.

Thanks for the kind words on the story. Making Aurora easy to invest in and interesting was pretty paramount to the story so I am delighted it worked.

I think both your CCs are very valid. I realised there are too many starts with "she" and that needs tinkering. I also agree the dialogue here could do with more signposts.

I will work on both soon.

Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your work and thanks for the review.

Nick ;)

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Review #15, by AphorideKeep Calm and Carry On: A Guide to Keeping Calm and Not Sleeping

27th February 2016:
(Okay, so I had actually written half of this review out and then I lost it because I accidentally clicked x on the wrong tab... :( But anyway, take two! :P)

Can I just say I'm so happy you wanted to swap, because I love your stories and I really, really don't wanna get too behind on them - which is so hard because you write so fast! - and you have so many lovely, fascinating WIPs :)

I know I've said this before, but I'm gonna say it again - your characters are really, really brilliant. They're the perfect blend of kooky, quirky and intelligent, and with the humour and everything they're so well-rounded and so real, you know? Like, they mess up, they're clumsy, they have illnesses and problems, and it's just so wonderful because a lot of people shy away from things which aren't romanticised, you know?

Plus, the way your characters interact is just incredible. I have no idea how you do it - but you have this ability to create such a great sense of camaraderie and just... group, I dunno what to call it - but they feel like they're friends, like they all know each other: Lorcan and Lily, Linda and Bruce, Linda and Lorcan... they all have these proper, real relationships with each other and it's so good.

Your Lorcan is probably my favourite of all of your characters, though. Just for how he's always so nervous about things like apparating and talking to people, but then he's surprisingly good at his job, how he can blurt things out so easily without thinking, but can be so sensitive at other times. It's a wonderful thing, and I love all the little contradictions in him - they really bring him to life. Also, I love how he likes Lily, but whether he doesn't know what to do about it or how to admit it, or even realise that he does like her at all - that ambiguity is just so good, and so uncommon in fic, too.

Your writing is so lovely, too - I love how clean and clear it is and how easily the humour and all the emotions come through. It's so, so wonderful! I think maybe you could do with more description at times, but I always like description, haha, so I wouldn't worry about it or feel you have to change anything! ;)

I'm so so excited to see what happens after this. The news about Penelope Clearwater - who's so accomplished and so intelligent, obviously, and just who seems so intimidating - joining the run for Minister is so interesting and makes me so curious, too. Also, I love the introduction of Will, how different he seems to Lorcan, and whether or not Lorcan will recover from the exhaustion :P And I love how the party went well - how awkward Lorcan was greeting Harry, haha :P I'm so so curious and excited to see what happens next :)

I love this story, in case you couldn't tell ;)

Aph xx

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Review #16, by AphorideI Wasn't Expecting That: It was only a smile, but my heart it went wild

21st February 2016:
Hey Beth! :D So I gotta admit first off that Harry/people other than Ginny is not usually my cup of tea - and Harry/Seamus is something I've rarely even seen, let alone ever actually read. But, anyway, it looked interesting and given I know you can write romance already, it seemed exciting ;)

Anyway, I know it was only a small thing, but I loved how you split up Harry and Ginny - how it was just that they didn't work rather than anything huge or overly dramatic. It seems so natural, you know? Like, it just didn't work out - and it makes it easier to have a clean break and for things to be sweeter, which is always lovely in a romance :P

Plus, I love how you've started off their romance so tentatively - it makes so much sense. It's a delicate thing, especially if you're not sure the other person likes you, and so in character, too - Harry was always awkward about romance and things :P The whole story so far seems really delicately poised and balanced, like walking a knife-edge kinda thing, that it could easily break or go wrong, and Harry's not really sure what to do, and perhaps neither is Seamus. It works so well with the scenario and the characters.

I love as well how Harry's throwing himself into work and then all of a sudden he meets Seamus again and he doesn't quite know how he's feeling and blurts out to go to the pub and they spend so much time seeing each other every day, and then Seamus leaves. It makes this brilliant kind of headspace for Harry, that he's replacing Ginny with work, but then work with Seamus, and it's a very natural path to take.

That conversation, hehe, so perfectly awkward on Harry's part and seemingly so relaxed on Seamus' :P

As always, your writing is so lovely in this. Your dialogue is so great and your description is always good - and the way the whole thing flows is always so so impressive. The time-jumps and things in this, the little bits of narration, gah it just all fits together so easily. The little cliff-hanger at the end, too, darn you! :( So cruel! :P

Anyway, this is a lovely start and I'm really curious to see how it goes, how you get them together, and what happens - and I'm so glad I read this because it's completely introduced me to a pairing I'd never even have thought about before :)

Aph xx

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Review #17, by AphorideAreopagitica: Glavlit

18th February 2016:
Hey there, Stefi! :) So I feel so bad for not realising this was up and not stopping by yet - I love this story so much, but sadly being busy with uni means I don't check my favourites all too often and I didn't notice :(

Anyway, I'm here now! :)

You already know I love this story, and one of the reasons is that this is just so good, from a historigraphical kinda point of view - it makes the war feel that much real, that much more terrifying, because of all the little realistic, historical tactics and things you put into this. It's really an absolute tour de force of incorporating history and poliics and all those kinds of ideologies without making it drag or feel too heavy, you know? You've just got the whole feel of this spot on, and it's amazing.

I love your characters, and how you branch away in this chapter from the usual suspects of the silver trio and all. It's so cool - and I love the combination of povs, the way they all tie into each other with mentions and things. The way Crabbe thinks Tracey's too arrogant for a girl (ha!), and Tracey's so sure she can get the trio out of hiding herself (and what a ferociously cruel way of doing it!), Seamus and Lavender with their determination to do something even if they don't know what, and how Parvati so desperately wishes she was brave enough to do something. It's so sad, and so difficult, and you portray all of that - the fear, the hope and fear perhaps of staying on the right side and doing the 'right' thing, how Crabbe and Tracey and people like them maybe don't necessarily believe in the Dark Lord's message but believe that there's nothing they can do and so just go along with it. It's a really powerful message about belief, which echoes those things Dumbledore used to say about hope, which is so lovely and so clever ;)

Your writing is so gorgeous in this - your words are so perfectly chosen to describe the scene and so harsh too, but never exaggerating - the way you use 'starvation' and things just makes it so stark and so real and so horrible, because there's always this reminder that although this is a story, in the story it's real for them, and it is has happened in real life (and still happens in some places). It's so so brilliant and I have no idea how you do it, but it's amazing.

Seriously. I'm in love with this story.

Please, please update soon! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello Aph!

Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I'm so glad you liked this.

I'm a big fan of history, so I felt like I just had to weave in references and stuff, plus with the title and chapters titles, how could I not put some more realism into this?

Crabbe and Tracey were definitely a lot of fun to write. They're just really twisted people. And Seamus, Parvati, and Lavender too. They're portrayed pretty flat in canon, but I really wanted to do a lot with minor characters in this story. I'm definitely going to bring in more minor characters.

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I really wanted to make this a realistic war stories. And with a lot of conflict going on in the real world, I've been quite motivated to write this.

Thanks again!


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Review #18, by AphorideDesignated Mum Friend: 2.

15th February 2016:
Hey Claire - dropping by for BvB! :D I was so glad to see you'd updated, and that I could catch you in the battle - it's such a great story :)

I love the way you develop Lyra's character in this - how she's almost always working, how she doesn't survive without coffee (I feel that. Tea for me, but I feel it nonetheless :P), how she's always the responsible one in the group, and how she's so hurt when the girl she liked goes off with someone else. They're all such real things - and I loved how you showed how easy it is to really not be okay when something like that happens, regardless of how long you've known someone. If you like them, it hurts, regardless of how long it's been.

I'm not sure I like Mai atm. I get it's not a great date - being out with someone who's very focused on making sure other people are okay, but it's not as bad as she's making it out to be, imo. It definitely wasn't bad enough she needed to leave that much - like, whaaa? I felt so bad for Lyra in that moment, especially at the end, when Jessie pointed it out to her. Such a cruel thing to do :(

I like, though, how you've shown how taking care of people is great, and all, but can end so badly. It's a hard job, and someone's got to be the more responsible one, but it's so easy to get wrapped up in it to the exclusion of everything else. I'm so so looking foward to where you go from here, what happens with Lyra and whether she ever meets Mai again, because I'm so curious about what other facets of being the mom friend you're gonna pull out - and mostly, also, because I want Lyra to be happy :P

Your writing in this is so great, too - it's so clean and precise, and the flow is perfect, and there's exactly the right balance of dialogue and description, and really, it's so so impressive. The only thing I spotted was you say at the beginning 'she squinted her eyes' but the 'her eyes' isn't necessary - you can only squint with your eyes ;) But apart from that, this was perfect! :)

I'm so so looking forward to the next update! :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey, Aph! Thank you so muc for dropping by! I'm so sorry for not getting back to you sooner.

I'm so happy that you like Lyra's character so much. She's definitely one of my favorites to write and I'm glad that her struggles come across as relatable.

I definitely did not intend for Mai to be so awful haha. Looking back at it now, I probably went a bit overboard, but to be fair Lyra can be more than a little clueless. It's time for her to learn that's it's okay to be a little selfish sometimes and put herself first.

Thank you again for the wonderful review!

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Review #19, by AphorideTessellate: The Beginning

12th February 2016:
Hey there J! :D Dropping by for the BvB battle! I was going to go back to Kepp Calm, but this looked so interesting, and I've seen you talking about it around the forums a couple of things (mod problems, haha) so I had to stop by :)

I love this - I love how it starts with them in class, and with the seating plan being implemented - almost only because of Kennedy, haha, poor girl. It's so true to school that at times teachers put you in seating plans to help them out, and I can imagine it being even more important in Hogwarts to not let the bad students sit together, given that, you know, stuff can blow up and things :P Also, how Lucy gets put with a girl she's never really noticed or seen before - it's such a change from the usual paired-with-the-worst-enemy thing, and I love it.

I gotta say, Lucy's voice is amazing. I love the Holmes-esque hint about it, with the noticing things and deducting style - it's so strong and so clear (though at times it starts sounding too old-fashioned for Next Gen which feels a bit out of place, so maybe check for that if it's not what you're going for?). Anyway, it's so beautiful and so interesting as a character trait to give someone, and I like how she's not brilliant in all her classes despite it - she's good, but not amazing, and I love that. There's far too many genius characters in fic... (not that I write genius characters, no :P) Plus, it adds so much to the details in this - the two teachers flirting badly, the stolen ingredients, the vanished papers and so on. The way she considered Alexandra when she first met her.

Your writing in this is so lovely. I think it's the style - you do that kind of humourous, witty thing so so well, and really, I have no idea how you do it so imma just say it's natural talent, mkay? ;) The voice and the emotions in this are so good, and so right for it - and it all flows so perfectly. Really, this is so good.

I'm so so excited to see where you go with this - from memory, the missing ingredients sound like Polyjuice, so that would be super wicked and interesting if it was, and I'm so curious to see what happens with all of the characters you've introduced - including the love-struck teachers, haha :P This is a really, really great start!

(Update soon? :P)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph! Thank you so much for this lovely review-- I really always love hearing your thoughts. I was disappointed to see that you weren't eligible for the Most Insightful Reviewer Diadem because I was all ready to nominate you, but it's fitting that you'd already won it! :)

I had originally started this for the femslash challenge on the forums, I think, and the prompt I was given was about being paired together in class, so I can't claim too much credit for that. From there, it all came together naturally, with Kennedy's clumsiness and the professors flirting and everything, but I do agree seating plans must be very important! I'm kinda shocked in general about how chill all the professors at Hogwarts can be, because the stakes are actually really high!

I'm really glad you're liking Lucy's voice so much! I revised it a few times before I was happy, and it's always hard to write a voice that is supposed to be a lot smarter than your own thoughts are (something you can probably relate to :P). I was totally going for a Sherlock-y thing, and I'm really excited that came through! I'm interested you think it was old-fashioned, but she is supposed to be a bit more formal and sometimes not totally understanding what's going on with her peers. Haha yeah, I figured that she's not going to be a crazy genius all the time, especially if she's not super interested in the subject! Glad you liked the details of this fic-- it's honestly very challenging for me to write but it's a lot of fun when it comes together!

Ahh you seriously made me so happy with this! I'm really excited that you find it fun and that you think it flows well, as that's always a big concern of mine.

I've got a few more chapters up now, so if you ever get a chance to read over them, I'd love to hear what you think! Thank you again for this truly wonderful review! :)


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Review #20, by AphorideDrive: Drive

7th February 2016:
Hey Vicki - dropping by for the BvB Battle! :D I had to stop by on this when I saw it on your page - I'm a huge sucker for minor character stories, haha, and Lavender Brown is one of those characters I find so fascinating, so I couldn't not read this, you know? :P

ANYWAY. Point is, I'm here :P And this is so, so good - I'm so glad I stopped by! :) Your characterisation of Lavender in this is so amazing - I love how you didn't shy away from mentioning the trauma the war had brought her, had brought so many other people, including Oliver (in a way), and how they'd met through therapy - it's such a unique place to have characters meet, I don't think I've ever seen it in fic before. But yeah, I love your Lavender - I love how she's recovering, away from everything, because it's what she needs and what he needs, and how there's this beautiful sense of freedom running through the whole one-shot. It's such a difficult thing to do, I think, and I don't know if I can really explain it, but this whole one-shot is just freeing. It feels very light and exciting, and it's so, so good.

Also, Oliver is amazing. I love how he's so unaffected by her scars, he thinks they mean she's brave, and it's so important to her, but so hard for her to understand that and let it go - and she thinks he's everything. Really, you've just created the most beautiful, complete relationship I've read in a long while in this, and it's not the longest thing in the world ;) It's a super skill to have, and I just love it.

I gotta say, too, that this is the best use of America in a fic I've seen possibly ever, too, haha - with characters running away, using it as escapism, rather than anything else. It works so well, and it's so cool, and almost movie-like, with the driving across the country, going anywhere they want, any time they want, living so freely.

So I kinda already said about your writing, and you know I love it because I've said it before in other reviews, but you really, really are so talented. The way you craft emotions in words just seems so effortless, I'm almost jealous - it all just jumps off the page and it's so visible, you know? Like I can feel it, and imagine what it looks like on the characters and it's just so, so good, because it's not exactly the easiest thing to do.

I'm pretty sure this entire review is just a long mess of incoherent rambling about emotions and words and Lavender, haha, so I'm sorry about that, but I really did love it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #21, by AphorideForever in my Heart: Molly

6th February 2016:
Hey there, Anja! :) Dropping by for the BvB review tag! :D

I hope it's okay that I stopped on this, but it just sounded so interesting and so sad, and I always love reading family/grief fics because there's something so real and so raw about them when they're done well, you know?

And really, this was so, so good - it's so beautiful and so sad, and, really, just encapsulates the whole genre-thing of it so perfectly :)

I loved the way you characterised Molly. You got all of the emotions and her mindset so right: the determination to protect her children and her family, even if they weren't hers by blood, against the fact that she's not a violent person by nature, the fear that she'll lose one of them and the passion with which she protects them, and the utter devastation when one of them does go, and then she thinks, for a moment, that another one has too - only that turns out not to be.

Also, that moment at the end when she asks Lily to look out for her son in the afterlife, wherever that is, because she needs to know he'll be looked after, is just so, so heartbreaking and sweet. It's so fitting, though, because their children were always both of their top priorities, you know? They were mothers first, and everything else second, and it's such a beautiful sentiment :)

Your writing in this was so beautiful, too - you really bring every bit of emotion out of this, and it's so good and so real and so true. Your description is so beautiful, and the way the scenes flow together is so perfect and really makes it all feel like time is just slipping by, like she's not really aware of exactly what's going on at times, which works so perfectly with the events in this and Molly's mindset. It reads so easily, too, which is no mean feat when a story is 5k long ;) Really, this is absolutely beautiful writing, and the fact that this is your second language is just mindblowing. Like, seriously?! :P It's such a talent, and you should be so super proud ;)

This is an amazing, amazing one-shot - and now, imma go listen to some upbeat music to cheer myself up because this was so devastatingly beautiful :) :)

Aph xx

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Review #22, by AphorideLove, Not War: Prolouge: Blessed With a Son

3rd February 2016:
Hey there, again! :) Dropping by for our multi-chapter review swap!

I really liked that you went so far back in time to give a glimpse of life at the very beginning of it all for Draco, and for his parents. It sets things up so well for the rest of the story, and gives such a great platform for the rest of it to come in on - plus, I really liked how it gave us a glimpse of a different side to Lucius, in particular, especially after how Draco saw him in the first one. It was a real study in contrasts, and I loved that you included it - it works really well to give us such a rounded idea of the characters at the very beginning of the story.

I loved the whole idea of this, too, with Voldemort hating the fact that Draco was born because it distracted one of his inner circle - it's pretty true to his character, how he doesn't consider things like love and family because they just don't occur to him as anything other than almost burdens, because he has no way of understanding them. The way he dealt with it was so cruel and so horrible, but so expected, in that sense, I guess :P Gah, poor Draco - but poor Luicus and Narcissa, too! It really adds this whole layer to Draco's situation and his relationship with Lucius, knowing that this all started so long before anything, and probably completely defined their relationship. It's gonna be interesting to see how and where you take this ;)

Your writing in this is so lovely - though there were a few grammar mistakes I spotted ;) Maybe go through it again, or get a beta to check it over for errors? They're not that significant, but it was jolting a few times, so it'd stop that ;) But the emotions in this were so great - Narcissa's pain and anguish especially were so strong and so real, it was so lovely to read! :)

This is a great start, and I'm so looking forward to reading more! :D

Aph xx

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Review #23, by AphorideLove, Not War: Draco's Introduction

1st February 2016:
Hey there, Roxi! :) Dropping by for the first of our multi-chapter review swap! :D

You know, I was so sure I'd reviewed the first chapter of this before, but apparently not... Anyway, I'm here now! :)

So I really love the concept of this - Draco's story, told from his pov, through the war and his life in general. I love that you've used first person for this - it works so well, and gives so much more depth to this, I think, than you'd have got any other way. Plus it works so well with the informal style of writing you use here, too, and develops Draco's character more than what we see in the books.

The mentions of his parents and general background were so good - I don't usually like 'info dump' chapters and things, but tbh this worked really well. It's very introduction'y, but it's meant to be, you know, and there's still this lovely twist of bitterness through it, and little hints about what to expect later: Lucius' coldness and obsession with perfection and showing no weakness, Narcissa's softer, warmer side, the constant mentions of Voldemort, the growing up not being allowed to ask questions - which is a surprisingly similar existence to Harry's, in ways, in that Petunia didn't allow him to do that either, and eventually he stopped asking most things...

Really as an introduction, it works so perfectly :)

Your characterisation of Draco is great, too. I love how you kind of get around the honesty question by using first person tell-all, haha - I do it too! ;) - and I like how contemplative the whole feeling of this is, it really feels like he's writing this, or saying this to someone, you know? And that's what first person really needs to work :) Your writing is so lovely - you've got the informal, personal kinda voice down so well, and it reads so fluidly and easily, it's so great :)

This is a lovely, lovely beginning, and I'll be back soon! ;)

Aph xx

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Review #24, by AphorideRise of the Phoenix Volume I: The Gathering Storm

29th January 2016:
Hey there, dropping by for our review swap! :)

So, wow, first off. This is an incredibly original story and I love the darker, more political side to the wizarding world from the books - it adds so much to the world JKR created without contradicting it, and it's so cool. It really shows in the little details, like the journalist writing about curse-breaking and the scars and things :)

I like Aurora's character, too - I like how she's this tough girl who makes her own way in the world, and thinks she can handle more than perhaps she can, certainly in terms of emotional issues. It's a really interesting combination - though I'd question whether her skin would really be so great, if she's often living rough. Even with magic, it doesn't work that easily ;) But yeah, her career and things are great - the bits where she talked about her brother and how she regretted leaving were really great, they added a lot of depth to her.

I loved the little hints at potential plot for the future - the mentions of Voldemort and the Death Eaters, Aurora's sense that something wasn't right about how her brother had died, then the attack on the train... it was all very mysterious and spooky, and really kinda leads towards something big being happening, which I love :)

Your writing is really great, too. You write action amazingly well - the scene with the attack was so well done and so realistic, with the teeth and the screams and the father and Theo throwing themselves into the fray. I loved the introspective sections too - the emotions came through so beautifully in those, which really brought this to life so much - and your dialogue is so, so good I'm almost jealous :P

Little quibble: the wand-destroying-Expelliarmus... the only wand destroyed in the series is Lucius' by Harry using Voldemort's skill. I can't really believe that a simple Expelliarmus could do the same thing, given it's a disarming spell :/ But ofc, feel free to disagree! It's the beauty of ff after all ;)

Anyway, this is a really, really great start to a hugely original story and I'm so glad we swapped so I got a chance to read this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Wow Aph, cheers for the lovely feedback. It is so heartening to read. I love writing Aurora, so I am delighted you were able to stick with her in the chapter.

Oh, and your quibbles are valid ones. My only defence is I imagine his wand is a homemade-y type of wand rather than an Ollivander classic.

Cheers for all the nice words, I really like your writing too, I should have a review up once I have had some sleep.2am where I live ;)


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Review #25, by AphorideStranger: 7 Years Old

29th January 2016:
Hi there, Kaitlin - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I really wanted to drop on this, because it sounded so original and interesting - I've only ever read one one-shot about Millicent before this and it was totally different to this one, so I was so curious to see what you did with her and how you portrayed her - especially because it said it was for the non-cisgender challenge :)

I love how you characterised her. Though we don't see that much of her personality in here, I loved how she hated pink and didn't want to wear the dress robes, wanted to wear green and black instead. There's something so sad about her hiding the robes and hoping Tinka doesn't find them so she doesn't have to wear them, when her mother insists that it's what's going to happen. It's little things, but it makes me so curious to see how you take her through the journey as she grows up and realises about herself, and everything which comes with it.

Your writing is really lovely in this - your dialogue is so great and really suits the characters, especially the mother. I love the differences you used in describing the two of them - it really set them apart, which was so clever.

Gah, I'm so sorry for the short review, but I'm really curious to see where you go with this, and what happens next! It's a really lovely beginning! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

I was so excited to have an opportunity to write for the Non-Cisgender Challenge because although I strive to write diverse characters, I realized that Non-Cis characters are an area that I've had a blind spot.

This first chapter here is just a brief flash of Millie as a child and in each chapter she will get a bit older and things will become more clear. I've seen that even young children, while perhaps not completely aware that they are transgender, can be aware of not feeling like they fit in traditional roles. That's how I imagine Millie at this stage. Not liking the traditional role of a girl in a Pureblood family. As she gets older, she will begin to understand more clearly that she has always been a boy.

Dialogue is always a weakness of mine. I have a tendency to be too formal. This does however usually tend to work for older Purebloods, so perhaps I just got a bit lucky there. :D

That's okay. It's a short chapter.

Thanks for the review swap!


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