Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
  
293 Reviews Found

Review #51, by AphorideThe Second Act: Act One

23rd January 2014:
Hey there, stopping by for our review swap! :)

I really enjoyed this! I love Teddy/Victoire and minor characters and unusual pairings, so when I saw this on your page I just had to read it!

I love that you made it so believable and not the 'conventional' pairing in fanfiction, you know? With Victoire marrying Teddy first, having kids with him and being in the 'perfect fairytale romance', and then Teddy dying and her falling in love again with Dennis and remarrying. I love that. Seriously. It's so nice and fresh to see something new on the archives - and this is really unique! :)

Victoire's character is so lovely, as well. I love how she's clever and talented but still worries about exams, because it's so realistic. The way you carried her, and us, through the individual scenes you showed was so good - I loved how she grew up through them, but also was still decidedly her, you know?

Teddy was so sweet, too! So cheeky and perhaps not quite so talented as Victoire. I loved the way you mentioned that he could have had a better position in the Ministry, but how he didn't want to joyride on Harry's fame, as it really shows such depth to his character!

I have to say, when I first read this I was a bit confused by how it was an unusual/rare pairing, since it said Teddy/Victoire, but I really, really love how you built it up with the fairytale-style romance - childhood sweethearts and all that jazz - and then made it crash with Teddy's death and Victoire's remarriage.

Your writing in this was so lovely, too. It was really clear, free of mistakes, and your description was great too (though maybe a little bit more here and there? Then again, I tend to write a lot, so feel free to ignore that if it's just me ;D). I really loved your dialogue - you write it so well!

The details you included in this were great, too! You really developed the setting of this and the characters. I loved how Victoire mentioned how her mother passed away, and how she didn't want her whole family in the hospital. It was those little things which really helped bring the sense of time to it.

This was a really lovely one-shot! We should swap again in the future so I can finish reading this (I have a terrible memory otherwise...) ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey, thanks so much for the swap. I feel really bad about the mix-up with yours. But hey, at least I noticed!

I'm glad that it caught your eye!

I'm really really happy that you thought she was still her own character. I really worried while writing this, because I don't like it when somebody's life is defined entirely by another person.

Awww, Teddy is really just a big Teddy bear (har...har...har...).

I totally agree that I could use more description. That's something I constantly have to work on.

Thank you so much for such a great review! We will have to swap again, I'd love to get more feedback from you.


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Review #52, by Aphoridefalling away with you: falling away with you

22nd January 2014:
Hey Kiana! Just dropping by - I saw you mention this on the forums and was curious enough that I just had to stop by! :)

First off, it's a really interesting pairing! Draco is a lot older than Rose and they don't seem like they'd really interact so much, you know? But you've really made it work, somehow, and it's angsty and sort of solemn and kinda reminds me of a watercolour painting, with all the art references.

I loved Rose's character, as well, I thought she was so realistic - bored in her job, doing things she enjoys but isn't making that much money at, old enough to know what she wants but young enough that she doesn't think in the same way as Draco does, and about the consequences as much. I like that it's so easy to tell she's a young woman, independent and clever, and she's very much herself, if that makes sense. Like she's not defined by anything in particular - things make up her, instead. Anyway, in short, she's a fabulous character ;)

Draco is so good here, too! You write him so well! I love how you don't really talk much about their families, instead focusing on them - it works so well - and how his family is sort of destroyed, and his life is still really not great after the war, despite it being so many years. It's such a bleakly realistic (if that makes sense) portrayal of him, and it makes me feel kinda sad for him, you know, that things didn't work out for him. I loved the touches of him we know from the books you put in - the references to the fights with Ron and Hermione, the mention of his mother, the smirks.

It was so smooth and solemn, the way you pulled them together. Like, they're interested in each other, but it's sort of a slow, calm sort of thing, rather than a rushed, passionate affair. I loved that - most relationships in fanfiction are the rushed, passionate sort and I liked that this was sort of calmer and more sedate but still deeply emotional. I'm probably not making any sense, haha...

The ending was so bittersweet! So disappointing that they care about each other so much, they get on so well and then everything just sort of ends, because in the end it just won't work. I loved how Ron and Hermione reacted badly, and Rose was sure it could work anyway, and how Draco went away and thought about it and made a decision based more on the logical ideas of their corresponding ages and the future and what would happen then. It's sweet because it shows he's thought about the prospect of a future for them, and that he cares about her because he doesn't want to make her do that, but also so bitter for her because it's not the way she looked at it or looks at it, even at the end.

Gah, conflicting views! I love, as well, how even though it's angsty, it's not an overload of angst, you know? There's just enough angst and just enough romance and it all flows so beautifully. Your writing is so gorgeous here, as well - so many lovely sentences and descriptions...

So yeah, I really enjoyed this! This was so lovely and bittersweet and solemn. Really, really wonderful.

Laura xx

Author's Response: Aw, thanks so much for coming by and reviewing this and the favourite author too, it really means so much to me and I want you to know that! ♥

Haha, yes, I think that's why rare pairings are so much fun because you really have to try and figure out how on earth can this ship possibly ever make sense and that's the best thing about writing them, so I'm so glad that you thought it fitted together.

I'm so glad that you liked Rose because I was trying to show her as this young and naive girl who never had to experience war unlike Draco, but I thought she almost came off a little too free spirited at times :P Haha, yes I think she would definitely be independent and I'm glad you picked up on that because it's one link to Hermione as she always looked past former prejudice so I guess that's why Rose does too.

Aw, thank you and I'm glad that you liked the lack of family mentions too because I feel as if that drama of the Weasleys and the Malfoys is brought into next gen a little too often at times and sometimes we just need to forget about it now and then. But poor Draco though, I really need to be nicer to him in stories but as horrible as it sounds I don't think he had a too happy life after the war because those things would always come back and haunt him. I'm glad that you liked the touches to the books though because I felt something like that was needed given how strange the pairing was :P

Haha, you are making sense don't worry at all! I know what you mean because it may just be me but whenever I've been in a relationship I always knew the person before and knew that I liked them, because that just makes sense in real life so why not in fanfiction too? :P Plus, I think Draco will always be too reserved to go leaping into things!

I know, I was toying right up until the last minute whether it should be happy or not but in the end, I think while they lasted for a while it could never be something forever. I'm glad that you liked Draco's reaction because I wanted to show the softer and more reflective side that I imagine he had after suffering throughout the war. Gah, hearing all what you're saying makes me want to change it to a happy one but it just wouldn't work.

Gah, I don't even know how to respond to the last few comments as they're just so lovely and amazing! All I can say really is thank you for such an amazing review which is still making me smile days later, you really are great Laura! :D

-Kiana


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Review #53, by AphorideThis Devilry: Chapter Four

22nd January 2014:
Hey there! I'm so glad I've got another chance to come back to this story - I really do love it so much! :)

I love your Ginny. More than anything or anyone else, she just shines in this story! I've never read anything which deals with this and portrays her so well. She's so much like the canon!Ginny it's unreal. I love how you've managed to capture her struggle and fight against what's happening to her, along with her fear and confusion about what's going on.

You are so so good at writing description and action and blending things together so I don't really notice things changing, it just sort of happens to me, lol. I love the use of the sea and the way she thinks of the Chamber of Secrets and the serpent, and how Ron saves her... it's such an incredibly powerful scene, and so scary since I didn't even realise what was going on until Ginny found out.

Again, I love how you make Ginny hesitant about going back to therapy - of course, it's not always easy to admit things, you feel foolish or stupid or incapable, and Ginny's always been strong and she has a family who depend on her to be there, so it's such a wonderful conflict, even surrounding what's happening to her.

I love her jealousy, as well. How she's jealous of Fleur and Hermione for being so well put-together and seeming to be so well sorted out and confident and happy in their lives with so few discernible problems... it's such a realistic emotion.

Gah, all your characters are so spot on! And the plot is incredible, as you well know ;) It's simunltaneously creepy and terrifying that those sorts of things can happen to her, without her even noticing, to the point that she doesn't really understand when she comes round. It's really reminiscent of the implications of possession in the second book, and it's such a scary idea, to lose control like that.

This is just so good. I love your plot, and you never fail to make me desperately curious as to what's going to happen next, how Ginny's going to react and just hope that she gets better, and sorts things out. Honestly, this is one of my all time favourites already, and it's only 6 chapters long at the moment! :)

Please update soon! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I really wanted to bring out elements of canon Ginny that are often ignored or misinterpreted, so I'm glad that worked well and you could see them here. After working on this story, I don't know how anyone can hate Ginny. She's not my favorite, but I can't deny the ways in which she and Harry are just really perfect for one another.

It was interesting to put Ginny's family, on whom she's always depended, around her following the incident in the ocean, in such a way that she just felt a big claustrophobic. Her nightmares and visions are really robbing her of everything she holds dear, and I can't wait to see her try to fight back against those evil forces. While understandable, her jealousy is going to be a big sticking point for her, and it's something with which she'll have to deal eventually.

Ginny's experience in canon was so interesting and I was honestly surprised not to find more stories that explore it. Oh well, more fun for me, right?

Thanks for your awesome review!

-Amanda


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Review #54, by AphorideShadow: Shadow

16th January 2014:
Hey there! Sorry for being a bit late with getting to this - I've been surprisingly busy over the Christmas/Winter holiday period. I'm here now, though ;)

And wow. Just wow. Gosh, this is amazing. I read a lot of dark/horror, in fanfiction and out, and this is honestly one of the best written and most original one-shots I've read in a long time. Expect a favourite after this! :)

So, after that, I want to apologise if this review is a little short and gushing, etc. :)

Genuinely, like I said before, this is seriously one of the most original one-shots I've read in a long time, possibly ever read. It's such a unique idea! I'm a huge fan of mythology myself, and I've always loved the possibility of including some bit of mythology in one of my stories, and I have to say that this was a pretty tough challenge, given that an incubus is quite a tricky figure of mythology.

You did so well with this, though! Honestly, I loved this. I loved how you really used the mythology in the story, and the detailing of it was so excellent! I loved the idea of incubi and succubi fathering/mothering children who go on to become famous and influential people... in a strange way, it makes sense :P The voice of incubus was amazing, as well - it was such an interesting take on it, the way you made the incubus proud of his accomplishments, in a way, and what his children had done. It was such wonderful characterisation and use of the mythology.

I loved how it tied into Albus Dumbledore, as well. I have to admit that I really wasn't expecting that (I thought maybe it would be Snape, given you said it was in the north - I got a bit confused :P but that was my fault, not yours ;D), but it makes such sense when I think about it! I also love how you mentioned other incubi fathering other children, and the one in the east of europe who claims he's fathered a child who will tear down the definitions of good/evil or something like that... Gellert, perhaps? :P

The details in this were wonderful, the description was amazing... gah, this was just a wonderful, wonderful one-shot. Favourited. Absolutely.

Feel free to re-request later with anything else! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there! No worries- this was a lovely surprise to get! :D Thanks for coming by!

I'm so happy that you liked it! It was one of the more horror-oriented stories I've written, so it's really lovely to hear you thought it was well written and original. It really means a lot! :)

I love mythology too! It's wonderful to get the chance to tie in myths and legends to stories. I agree, the incubus is quite tricky, but I had a lot of fun imagining how it might fit into the wizarding world and into canon.

Ah, I thought the idea of incubi being the parents of extremely talented people fit so well with HP! I'm really happy you thought it made sense. It's lovely to know you liked his voice- in a way, I imagined that his own true accomplishment or impact on the world was fathering great children, so that's all he really has to hang onto.

Confused isn't such a bad thing! :P I was hoping readers would have that moment of realization, hehe. I'm glad you liked the mention of the mysterious other child- good job guessing. :P

Thank you so much for this absolutely beautiful review! :) It was ever so wonderful and really made my day! :D ♥


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Review #55, by AphorideEffortlessly Dead: Death Comes Calling

16th January 2014:
Hey there! I'm so so sorry it took me so long to get to this - it's a bit ridiculous, tbh - but I've been incredibly busy with RL, exams and essays and then holidays minus internet connection, so it's been a while! Anyway I'm here now! :)

First off, I have to say that I love your premise! I love the idea of a family of wizards who are trained killers and take hits for a living. Since it happened in the muggle world, it's incredibly likely it happened in theirs, you know? So yeah, I love the idea that they've been in hiding as well - helps make them more mysterious and build it up ;)

Your writing is so clean and clear, as well. It's so easy to read and you have such a lovely style. It's really, really great! You asked me about brit-picking, but, seriously, I couldn't find anything in here. No non-Brit terms for things, nothing at all - and I did look! ;) Grammar and spelling and everything was brilliant as well!

On top of that, I really like your characters so far. Obviously, we haven't seen all that much of them so far, apart from perhaps Galen, but you've given me enough to make me curious. I love how they're all so different, despite working in a morgue - like Galen seems so relaxed around the dead, and how you mentioned that Rosie (Weasley?) screamed when she saw the 'floater', and how Mac is the man in charge but always smiling... it's really, really great basis for the rest of it and they seem so real already!

A quick note - I loved the lingo you used as well. The way you said 'floater' and things. It really gave me the impression of a group of people who sort of mainly stuck around together and came up with abbreviations and things of their own.

The beginning, as well, was so great. I liked how you didn't show us the actual murder itself, or tell us why or who it was, so that we find all that out later. The analogous use of the cat and mouse was brilliant too - I loved how you segued so neatly from one to the other, and used both to show us a glimpse of the killer, as it were.

Speaking of the killer, I liked how you made the mention of what her grandfather had told her, and then had her refuse to thing about sentimentality and just sort of ignore sentimental ideas. It was a lovely, human touch to give her.

I'm really curious about this story! I love the idea of an assassin family, and them coming above ground again, so to speak, and I'm so curious to know what happens, who they kill, what their motives are (if any), and, well, just about everything!

This was a really, really great start! Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you for your lovely review! Don't worry about it taking so long - I totally understand that real life can be very demanding!

Despite being such a last minute addition, the beginning seems to be very popular among the readers, which makes me very glad! I'm happy that you liked it as well.

I'm relieved to hear that there were no non-Brit terms. I'm used to writing all my essays and other school papers in American English but since this story (and the whole world of Harry Potter) is situated in Britain, using British English made more sense. I was worried, however, that I had accidentally used American terms.

I'm also glad to hear that you liked the characters even though they were featured so briefly. They are a very interesting group and I'm hoping I get to portray their group mechanism more in the future. I'm also happy to hear that the lingo worked! As someone who uses lingo in her daily life (although a very different kind of lingo:)), I know people can get annoyed with it when they don't understand it.

Ah, the killer. She's lots of fun to write about. Glad to hear she came across as humane, even if it's only a fraction.

Thank you again for reviewing! I might re-request sometime in the near future!


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Review #56, by AphorideThis Devilry: Chapter Three

16th January 2014:
Hey there, Amanda! Spotted you in the review tag and just had to come by! I have to admit that I've read this all the way through already, but didn't have time to review, but popping back was easy enough since, gosh, I love this story so much! :)

Sorry for the gushing and praise, etc. in advance. ;)

One of the things I love the most about this is all the detail you put in. Every time I read it, I realise I've forgotten bits and pick up on other little things... like Rita Skeeter having another gossip rag after her the war and saying Ginny and Harry are going to split up, Dumbledore never mentioning Ginny's name after the CoS incident... there are more, but I won't recite them all otherwise this will become a ridiculously long review :P Suffice to say that I love them all and it's so incredible the way you manage to get them all in, and they're all so canon, if that makes sense. They really seem to fit in with the world and make sense.

Of course, all your characters are brilliant, as always, but I really love the way you write Harry and Ginny's relationship. It's so... beautiful, you know, and real. I love that you don't try to hide that they get annoyed with each other and things. It's the little things, I think, which really bring it to life - the little things you mention - and the way you keep them as separate persons at the same time.

You write Ginny marvellously, as well! I've always seen her as such a strong, individual person, and I love how you're showing her as that but also not, if that makes sense. Like she is strong, but she's sort of breaking.

I love love love your plot so much! The idea... gah, you know I'd never thought of doing something like this; it's such a unique idea and I honestly have no idea where you're going to go with it. I'm so fascinated by the therapy scenes and the way you write Ginny and what's happening to her, and what might happen... I'm honestly completely enthralled by this and every time I see a new chapter I have to read it immediately :P

So yeah, I just love this. So much. It's incredible, you're incredible (but you knew that already ;D), and gah, I can't wait for you to update (and I promise I will try and review. I should, I really should...).

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura! Gah, this response is abysmally late, and for that I'm sorry. I'm here now!

Hah, you know I love my details. I always think, "Hmm, how could I work in an interesting fact here?" or "I bet readers will have questions about this, so how could I go ahead and address it?" I'm glad they really add to the story and don't just feel like long-winded explanations.

I've never really found Harry's relationship with Ginny interesting before, but I've really gotten into it by writing this story. I think it's the little quirks and moments that you share that really define a marriage and it's neat to watch their personalities intersect, sometimes with a bit of chaos.

I'm glad to hear that you find my Ginny interesting and like the overall concept. It's been fun to explore the process of therapy in a magical context and try to write a good mystery in the process :)

Thanks so much for your really lovely compliments! I don't even deserve them!

-Amanda


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Review #57, by AphorideAtlas Air: Prologue

16th January 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for the review battle! :)

And just... wow. Wow. This is incredible. Honestly. I've never read anything like it - it's so unique as a premise and, really, I love it. This is definitely going on my reading list and favourites! I'm going to have to come back, read it again and again and again, and follow this all the way to the end!

Your writing is stupendous. I read Just Rose and I've really missed reading your work - it's so beautiful and smooth and clear and, gah, I wish I could write like you! So lovely! You use just the right amount of description and dialogue and your action is so fast-paced! I love the letter as well, it's so simple and really sounds like something someone in Victoire's position might write.

I love your characters. They're always amazing - so well thought out and so realistic. They always jump off the page towards me, and this isn't an exception. Victoire and Teddy are great! I love how they're such good friends, know each other so well, and relying on each other.

I'm so excited by the plot and setting. Africa is such a beautiful, mysterious place in my mind, because I've never been there, but watched a lot of documentaries about it and always been fascinated by it. The plot is just amazing. I'm so curious about what they find, who the mysterious attacker is, what's going on and how (if) they get out of it.

You really, really have a knack of writing beautiful, fascinating stories! Honestly, I love your writing. You're brilliant! :)

Sorry this review is a bit short, but, seriously, I can't find anything else to say other than rambling on endlessly about how much I love this! There's nothing wrong with this - flawless plot, setting, a lovely fast pace, amazing characters... just wonderful.

I'll be back... :P

Aph xx

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Review #58, by AphoridePure Intentions: Red Flags

14th January 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for our review swap! :) So I've seen this story mentioned a couple of times around the forums (I forget where...) and I've always wanted to read about it, but never remembered when I had time so I'm so glad I could stop here now!

I love love love the premise you've used for this. The way they have a friendship which is more but no one else knows, and the idea that Scorpius has to marry a girl and have children to preserve his family line/name/etc. and that he might - potentially, I guess - choose Rose. It's not something I see very often, and something very difficult, but gah, you've handled it so well and I love the way you've introduced it! The way Scorpius already knows it's how things are going to be, he's just... well, too scared and hesitant to admit that it's how they'll be, you know? He's young, exactly as he should be.

I love your Scorpius and Albus as well. In fact, all your characters are so great - Draco and Astoria, Harry and Ginny... they're all done so well! They all feel so real, you know, like they're actual people. I loved the little mention you made of Scorpius potentially being afraid of his relationship with Al, coz it seems a bit more serious - I think that's a perfectly normal thing at 16/17 to feel. I know one of my sisters felt like that. It really fleshes out Scorpius' character and highlights the differences between him and Al.

One thing I noticed was that when Astoria went to Scorpius' room she said 'Draco', not 'Scorpius', which was a bit odd. Just a small thing, though ;)

I'm so curious about where you're going to go with this, what's going to happen, how Rose is going to come into this and whether or not Scorp and Al are going to work things out and end up together (I hope they do!). It's such a great start, really! :)

I hope I spot this again soon... ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Aph!! I think this was mentioned in the Secret Santa thread (there were excerpts posted for milominderminder to read). I only just posted it so you haven't been missing out for long!

!!I'm really glad you like the preimise for the story. I felt a bit wicked coming up with a plot line that I knew would be so potentially hurtful to the characters. I guess it's not the first time I've trampled on characters like this.

Their friendship might seem like more to other people but then they don't want to be presumptious (that is people like me who are always caught by surprise when two people turn out to be togther). I Malfoy family continuation thing came to mind when Maia posted something on the forums about slash in next-gen and any hang-ups people might have. I kind of had an idea of this story then but that solidified my idea about making it the conflict about kids veruss love.

Ooh, I haven't thought of age as being part of Scorpius' hesitence. but, you're right, at 16/17 he's really too young to make life-long decisions or to make them with real conviction.

It's great that you like how I did the characters in this. I'm such a next-gen n00b that it was like starting from scratch for them.

haha, I'll have to go change that. I kept catching myself type Scorpio instelad of Scorpius and I didn't look for writing his father's name.

There's at least a few chapters until the end. There will be a lot of ups and downs all around but I haven't quite settled on an ending yet.

Thank you so much for a wonderful review! I'm glad we got to swap!

-Rose


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Review #59, by AphorideThe Chaos Within: Hardships

14th January 2014:
Hey there - popping by to return our review swap! Sorry for the slight delay - got caught up with a couple of other things - but I'm here now! :)

Okay, I have to admit first off that I'm not a particularly big Harry/Hermione fan, tbh, so I was a little apprehensive about this (though I know I shouldn't be), but this was really, really good! I like how instead of jumping in with the romance and making it obvious Harry and Hermione will end up with each other, you've started with the effects of the war and almost the breaking of the golden trio. It's so harsh and almost upsetting and real, because, you know, that's what happens when people grow up and things happen - sometimes they lose contact for a bit. Particularly with the way they've drifted apart, with Ron dealing with his family after the loss of Fred, Hermione going to find her parents, Harry dealing with, well, everything. Simple explanations, but they're so good and you handle it all so well!

The only thing I would say is that you have a tendency to sometimes tell things, rather than show them. Instead of telling us Hermione mourned for Crookshanks when he died, show us - maybe not full on mourning, but maybe expecting him to jump up on her lap or something, you know? It's not a great example, but I hope you get what I mean! :)

I love your characterisations, though! You've managed to capture all three of the trio so well, without Ron even actually appearing as such in it, and that's not easy to do! It's perfectly in character for Harry to be so disinclined to stay at the Burrow and to feel so guilty over everyone dying, even for Ron not to have written much.

I'm really curious as to how this is going to go - it's such a good start, and such a believable plot and way for things to happen after the war. Your writing, as well, is really lovely and I couldn't spot any obvious mistakes in grammar or punctuation, which always helps ;)

Really lovely start! :) Keep it up! :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for the wonderful review!

About the Harry/Hermione pairing..well I hope that you'll change your mind if you keep reading this story. I'm planning on making it novel length, or at least novella, and their relationship will take a while to happen.

I totally get what you mean about the telling rather than showing. I just didn't want to linger too much on that just then. Her memory of Crookshanks will be coming up in a later chapter though!

I'm really glad you liked the start and I hope you'll keep reading. :)



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Review #60, by Aphorideclose your eyes, listen on up.: under the mistletoe.

2nd January 2014:
Hey there - dropping by from the review battle! :) jumped in when I spotted you since you left those reviews on In Theory recently (which I absolutely loved and will reply to soon, I promise! :D) ;)

You know, it's strange, but I don't read that much femmeslash, mostly I think because I haven't found a ship to ship, if that makes sense, though I've read bits of Fleur/OFC and Luna/Ginny before.

I loved this, though. I loved how you didn't focus on the fact that they're two girls at all, that was almost sort of irrelevant, it was mostly about how they're best friends and Lily can't see, which I think fits really well with it being Next Gen, you know? They're at school in the 2020s - the world's going to be different from now then; things will have moved on.

I liked how even though this is a one-shot you still took the time to explain that Lily lost her sight and how they met when they were little and things, and then at the end that they spent so much of their lives together. It was really sweet, like a kinda story or flickbook of important moments, you know? It almost felt like Lily was telling it to someone else, in third person, almost, say James' kids or something.

You dealt so well with her being blind, as well. It's such a difficult thing to tackle, I think, because it's so hard to really understand properly what it's like for people who are blind, you know? But I think you did so well with it - you pointed out that things were harder for Lily, picked presents she's likely to get, mentioned things like how she couldn't see her clothes or her hair colour or Caitlin, which were all such wonderful details.

I love their characters as well. I love how Lily's nervous and wants to be able to see just for that moment, sort of, but so happy and really pretty darn brave, too. I loved how Caitlin is such a wonderful friend and seems so chirpy and patient and kind. They're such a lovely pair of characters, and they really feel so real, you know? :) Yeah, I really love them both. They're so adorable - apart and together!

Your writing, as well, is so lovely. Clear and just the right balance of description and action, it flows so easily... gah, so nice! :) There were a few formatting issues, but they're easy enough to tidy up and, frankly, they're not that big a deal ;)

So yeah, I loved this! I'm so glad I read this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi hon! Thanks for this awesome review - I've taken so long to respond to it because I honestly didn't know how to respond to a lot of it! You're far too sweet :D

There isn't really a lot of femslash on the archives, so it's understandable that you haven't read a lot of it! As a pretty resolute lesbian myself I have kinda taken on the task of singlehanded changing that by writing quite a lot of it ;) I can honestly say I've never read a Luna/Ginny, though I now really want to since you've said that, but I am currently writing Fleur/Katie Bell and finding that really fun!

I really did want to take the almost 'political' aspect of this out, and just focus on their love rather than making some big statement about gayness :P I am sure they would face some adversity in the long run but like you say, this is a while in the future and things will have changed at least somewhat by then, and for this story at least it's not about the bad consequences of being a gay witch. It's a love story between two two people, and one of them is blind, and they're best friends, and it's just cute! I'm glad you liked that about it :D

I'm also happy you liked the little snippets of their past that I started off with. I have a habit of writing long, winding fics that take place over a series of relatively disconnected scenes, and it doesn't always work well for short oneshots like this, so I was trying to get out of that pattern - but I couldn't help giving just that little bit of backstory! I hate trying to cram backstory into the main body of a fic, though I know that's just a failing of my own writing ability, haha :P

Most of the reason I decided to make Lily blind in this is as a challenge to myself, because typically I use sight SO MUCH as a description in my writing. I really wanted to force myself into focusing on things like smell and touch and sound, because I think it's great writing practice to challenge yourself like that, so eliminating sight was super hard but I'm glad I did it. I'm really happy you thought I did a good job, too! I was nervous about all these weird new methods of description...

I was a little worried I hadn't developed Caitlin's character enough, so thank god you liked her! Haha, she is definitely very patient and lovely, which is really perfect for Lily. I think they are some of the most real characters I've ever written, to be honest - they don't have any extreme quirks or anything, but they still fit perfectly together, in a kind of subtle way. Thanks so much for saying you liked that :D

Thankfully I've now fixed the formatting :P It was driving me crazy the whole time the queue was closed!

Thank you so much for this awesome review!

~Maia


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Review #61, by AphorideA Chance Encounter: Imperfections Included

1st January 2014:
Hey there! :) I'm always glad when I get to drop by to your page, given all the wonderful and lovely reviews you leave me. It only seems right that I try to do the same for you ;)

I've always loved the idea of Neville marrying Hannah Abbott, you know. I liked the idea that he married someone we didn't know so much about, since it's more realistic than the Ginny, Harry, Luna et al all pairing off with each other. Particularly because we don't know all that much about Hannah in the first place, just little things mentioned in canon, so you can develop her almost as you want.

I love your Hannah. She's such a realistic portrayal of someone after a war, who's had a hard time and who regrets the choices she's made in the wake of it. People do that - they're all such human emotions, and I love that you brought it up. I like how you also contrasted her behaviour after the war to before the war, as well, with her feeling bitter being unusual for her, and her having grown up but still being essentially the same person. It's really great depth and I love it.

Neville! I adore Neville. He's awesome. So yeah, your Neville is brilliant. I think it's easy to forget after DH that he's still clumsy, he might still stutter and be scared and nervous and not wholly sure of standing up to people he respects, you know? You characterised him so perfectly... gah, he was just /Neville/. Almost as if JKR had written him. I loved when he knocked over the chair and kept apologising for being clumsy. It was so sweet.

I liked the little touches and mentions of the war and its effects, with loads of new shops springing up, and them both taking a year out to deal with what had happened and what they'd done and others had done, and how people had nightmares and couldn't cope and things. It's something people don't always deal with really, in ff, but you handled it so well, and wove it in so easily that it didn't take away from the romance and the meeting and the characters at all.

I've never read /My Sister's Keeper/ and don't really read romance books at all, so I'd never heard of the quote, but I liked how you used it almost to summarise the chapter. It could summarise the meeting and their relationship and it really just fits this so well. It's quite an open-ended quote - it seems really difficult to me - so I think you've done really well with it.

Your writing is lovely, as well. It flows so nicely and nothing drags... gah, it's just lovely :) Really nice. I really must remember to read more of your stuff... ;)

Anyway, I loved this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Wow, have I really taken this long to respond to your fabulous review? Shame on me!

Yes, I too was once a Neville/Luna shipper, but when I sat down and thought about it, it just didn't make any sense. They are two completely opposite people, and I'm not sure that Neville would ever be able to comprehend a single word Luna said, in the event that they got married. And yes, I took liberties with Hannah's characterization that I'm sure won't match up to canon (but she's a bit unknown, so I think it's okay).

Thank you!! I tend to write female protagonists who are a bit jaded with the whole dating/love/marriage scene, just because I guess I never really went for the whole "ditzy OC" trope. In Hannah's case, I thought that losing her mom and working with the DA in her seventh year would have brought her down from her silly schoolgirl phase pretty quickly. She's still got some of that underneath the bitterness, though.

I never actually thought about Neville very much when I first read the books, but I reread them recently, and I found that Neville was all I could pay attention to sometimes. He's sort of the awkward-ugly-duckling Gryffindor, in the sense that he isn't very good at magic and he's clumsy and gets picked on a lot. But then he came out of nowhere with this amazing feat of bravery and mad skillzzz when he killed Nagini. I believe that he had the power to do that all along, but old habits die hard. To me, he's still awkward!Neville, and he didn't take ballet classes after the war. He's still got two left feet, and that's part of what makes him lovable. I'm so very glad that you thought I portrayed him accurately--almost like JKR?! Wow, that's REALLY super mega nice of you.

This story was my challenge to myself: I wanted to see if I could write a post-war story without making things seem like they were just fine overnight. After all, there must have been rebuilding in the Wizarding World that went on. (Hogwarts especially.) I'd like to think that Diagon Alley started adding lots of new stuff--people need to be cheered up, and renovation/repair is a good way to stimulate business and people's moods. I'd like to think that they cleaned up Knockturn Alley, too, but maybe that's asking too much. :) Those who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts are never, ever going to be able to go back to what they were before. They're going to battle PTSD, wake up screaming with nightmares, and struggle with depression. Hannah and Neville, meeting up again for the first time in five years, are broken people. And though they'll never truly be whole again, they will help each other get through life--first as acquaintances, later as friends, and then lovers/spouses. :)

I've never read "My Sister's Keeper," either, so when I wrote this story, I wasn't sure how the original quote fit into the book. I'm definitely going to read the book for comparison's sake (when I find the time). I am also considering turning this into a short story or novella, because the quote leaves a door open for possibilities to explore!

Thank you so, so, SO much for this review. You're an absolutely amazing writer (I should know, I've read your work!), so seeing that you think my writing is lovely just makes me really, really happy. If you ever do read more of my writing, I hope that it doesn't disappoint you! :)

~UnluckyStar57


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Review #62, by AphorideWaiting for the Train: Waiting for the Train

23rd December 2013:
Hey there - so sorry about the long wait before this, RL pulled me away for a while, but I'm here now (finally!).

So, I really liked this! I loved that you write Victoire as nervous and standing on her own on the platform, looking around at everything, feeling a little overwhelmed and out of place. It's such a nice thing to see, since most people write a lot of the Next Gen kids as very confident, and not all of them would be, you know? So yeah, I like your Victoire, I think she's lovely. I love how she's so fascinated by the new professor, and curious about how her mum saved his life - it's the kind of thing everyone would want to know about their parent. I also like how shy she is, particularly at the beginning, and aware of how people are looking at her - it makes sense, having two parents who are war heroes and being related to the golden trio, you know? And of course it's going to be overwhelming and strange for a shy, young girl.

I love that you're including Roger Davies as well - I really like as a character, and think it's a such a shame not that much is written about him. I'm so looking forward to see what you do with him/how you characterise him/etc :)

I did notice, however, that you have quite a few problems with commas, spelling and grammar at times. If you don't have one, maybe it would be good idea for you to get a beta to help with that? It really makes everything so much clearer to you - I've had one before, and it was so helpful! :)

Your flow and pace is lovely, though - just spot on for this - and this was a good length for a prologue/first chapter with not all that much action in, to sort of set the scene, you know. I really liked this! It's such a good story and I'm so curious about where you're going to do this in the future and what you're going to do with it!

Please feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: If you are interested I have another story with Roger and Fleur. It is a role-play of mine put into story form. I am thinking of tying the two together with Roger retelling Victorie the story.

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Review #63, by AphorideEverto Trucido: The Trial

23rd December 2013:
Hey there! I'm so sorry this has taken so long to get here, and that I'll only be reviewing the first chapter - unfortunately life has been incredibly busy recently, and is not quite slowing down just yet.

I should probably admit first that I'm not a huge fan of AUs with inserted characters who 'fix everything', tbh, so this really isn't something I'd read on my own.

That said, I do find the set-up of this pretty interesting. I'm not quite sure why the set-up is needed since it's set in the Marauder's Era and you've sort of just given us a list of characters and a few hints about what happens later on. But I did like it.

I liked how you introduced a whole load of characters we know and some we don't, and gave hints about what happens and sort of gave us a glimpse of the future - if that was what you intended by this then you did it and pretty well too! I'm not really sure how it sets things up, tbh,given that you haven't really explained her abilities or about the other school you mentioned or why her or anything like that (though some of that might be explained later, I guess...), which I kinda expected this to sort of be when I started reading. It works really well as a prologue, though :)

You've done really well at weaving the AU elements in to it, without taking away from the canon elements. It being 1998, the people who've died, Kingsley being Minister, no magic being able to raise the dead... I really loved the nods to canon, despite this being an AU. You really blended the two together so well.

You might want to be careful with Grace, though, as Potter-sisters with amazing abilities have a tendency to become Mary Sue's if not watched carefully. Just something to keep an eye on, though so far I think she's great ;)

To be honest, I'm not sure about the long list of people she introduces. It's a bit long and kinda drags on, tbh. Maybe look at that again and find a better way to introduce these people? It just reminds me a bit of choosing people for teams in sports lessons at school, you know? Though that might just be my personal preference...

The other thing I thought was a bit weird was how Remus, Sirius and Snape all somehow have kids who seem to be about the same age who they never knew about. Frankly, it's a bit much. I just can't believe that the same situation would have happened to all three of them, particularly at the same time. Not everyone gets pregnant at the same time, and keeping a kid secret might have been easier in a war, but it's not easy, particularly given that you describe most of the kids as looking like their fathers, which would kinda give it away a bit. Maybe have a look at their relationships again - they don't have to have a cosy father-son relationship or whatever, but unless it's essential for your plot that none of them ever meet their fathers or have any idea who their fathers are, and their fathers never even suspect, I'd suggest maybe changing at least one to a different situation, so it's a little less coincidental.

I liked the reactions from people, as well, the way you focused on how they responded to seeing things they thought were impossible and seeing people they thought were dead, and then being told they weren't... it was really well thought-out, I thought.

Also, your writing style is really nice - fluid, not complicated, clear - no mistakes grammar or spelling-wise which I could see... and your descriptions were really great, too - particularly of Grace. A lot of people tend to over-emphasise injuries, forgetting how it works in real life, you know? So it was really nice to see that!

Please feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello!

It took me some time to figure out when I had requested this :).

This is my cliche-fun piece (and it is so much fun to write), so some of the ideas can be a bit difficult to swallow. Also, I've been considering placing this chapter back into its chronological order to avoid some of the confusion.

With this chapter, it was my intention to create some kind of hook where, despite the confusion, it would prompt readers to want to discover more about the characters and plot.

Because this is such a strong AU, it was vital (in my opinion) to stay true to as much canon as possible. I'm glad it is working :).

Oh, yes, that's one of the things that has been so much fun about writing with Grace. She DOES have a HUGE potential to be a Mary Sue, so forcing myself away from that path has been both challenging and humorous. I've used Grace's name as an ironic twist to her personality, which is entertaining in itself.

The list of names section has been one of the biggest struggles. It feels like name-dropping and I'm constantly attempting on how to fix that! Obviously, I still haven't figured that out.

Oh yes, the children. At a certain point in the story, they are important to the plot. It IS a touch unrealistic to have the children within a 2 to 3 year time span, but it does serve a function. There is a section in the plot that gives reason as to why the children have never met their fathers. When that particular potion of the plot develops further than an outline of what is going to happen, there is a chance that things may change slightly.

Fantastic, thanks so much!!

-Rumpel


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Review #64, by AphorideNo Room at the Inn.: No Room at the Inn.

20th December 2013:
Hey there! Thanks so much for doing the swap! :)

I have to admit that one of the things I've always been curious about is lycanthropy in the HP world because, apart from with Remus, it's rarely talked about. It always reminds me, as well, of Aids in our world and how people viewed it, you know. So yeah, I was pretty excited to read this!

I love all your characters. They're all amazing. Genuinely. Lydia is so brilliantly written - I love how her lycanthropy affects her personality, her marks at school, her general health, her relationship with her friends... it really has affected her entire life, which a life-changing disease really should do :P So yeah, it's brilliant. I love how she seems so passive and uncaring and sort of listlessly upset with things she seems on the surface, but then how worried and emotion-ful underneath. It's really such a in-depth thing to do, and really makes her like a real person, you know?

Alexandrina is a great character too! I love how she's so worried about Lydia and how she's getting on, trying to encourage her to eat, to talk to her friends, to get on with her life, harsh as it sounds. Kinda trying to persuade her to live properly again and just enjoy herself and not let lycanthropy define her. The argument with Flavian and Grace was brilliant and I think you really captured every emotion Alexandrina would be feeling in that moment - as a mother-in-law, a mother and a grandmother. It was really great character work!

I liked how you didn't go for a normal 'happy' christmas, if you know what I mean, and instead went for something with a bit more angst and tension and drama. It was very different and I liked it - it worked so well and you wrote it so well.

One small thing: just coz I can see it above this little box - the last sentence sounds a bit strange with 'which' in there. Maybe split it into two sentences instead? It just doesn't flow as well as the rest of it...

Honestly, though, that's the only thing I can think of! I loved the plot and the scenario and your style was great; the pacing and setting of it all was good too. The characters, as I said before, were brilliant - I kinda loved them all, even Grace! - and so real, and yeah, this was just great!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so so much for this review. It's so in depth.

The story was written for a challenge to write about something bad happening at Christmas. It would also have fit the family reunions thing in the writer's duel, except it's too long. So the point was not to be typically happy. *grins*

I'm not surprised you found something "off" in the last paragraph. I sort of rushed the last paragraph or two, because I'm currently working on a novel length story and this took FOREVER to write, about two to three weeks, so I wanted to get it up and have time to get another chapter of my novel length written before the queue closed, so I wouldn't be keeping readers of that waiting over a month for a new chapter. When the queue opens again, I'll take a look at that last sentence and see what I can do with it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Grace was a hard character to write, not so much because of herself, but because it's from Alexandrina's point of view and naturally if there are problems between her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, she's going to feel most comfortable putting the blame on her daughter-in-law, rather than her son.

I was trying to show that Flavian and Grace aren't really cruel or bad people, just somewhat selfish and maybe a bit Percy-like. They value success and want their daughter to be intelligent and successful, not part of a minority that'll have people gossiping about the family.

Glad you liked Lydia. I'm pretty fond of her myself, because there's so much you can DO with lycanthropy.

Thanks again for the review. It was awesome.


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Review #65, by AphorideTwo: A Perfect Blend: Blended Christmas

20th December 2013:
Hey there! Thanks for the review swap, and sorry about the delay - but I'm here now! :)

First off, just to say that thought you did this really well given the prompt for the winter writer's duel. The whole thing really revolved around Christmas and how they celebrated them, how their celebrations evolved as they grew up, and then eventually merged. It's such a wonderful interpretation, and not one I would have thought of. I really liked that.

I loved the way you showed their characters and relationships with others through their Christmases - and their own relationship, of course. It's such a good idea, and you did it so well! I particularly liked the mentions of the cousins and family friends from Rose, and Scorpius' house-elf and how he's sort of friends with her, in a way. It really highlighted the differences between them and the way they celebrate, you know?

The details you put into each of their Christmases was lovely, too - especially Rose's. I loved the way you took us through the whole day and what normally happens - with the decorating of the tree, the smell of the turkey, laughter, the nicknames, how people would act, etc. It was so in-depth and really, really nice :)

The glimpses into their characters were so nice, as well - like when Rose and her cousins decide to stay at Christmas so their parents could go away, and how Scorpius feels almost out of place in the Burrow, and how Albus knows about them when no one else seems to ;) You really had the right amount of character-building without this being a sort of contemplative one-shot, you know?

The ending... aw, it was so sweet! 'Maybe we should have our own Christmas next year' - so adorable. Cheeky too, kinda... :P I liked the way the whole family went silent when they saw them together, and the eating competition was hilarious! When Ron said '/my/ beautiful girl' (I can't remember the exact phrase) and Scorpius felt sort of threatened, it was almost funny, in a way, but such a nice moment, regardless. It's so easy to imagine Ron being so protective of Rose, you know? No matter who she dates.

So yeah, this was really lovely. Your writing style was great (though I did spot a few odd commas ;P), the characters were brilliant and the whole plot/set-up/etc. was amazing. I'm so glad you decided to swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: No worries about the delay, Aph. (which really isn't much of a delay, in any case):D I knew you would get to it eventually. And you did and you left me a gorgeous review that made me smile so how could I complain? :D I can't, that's the answer. HAHA.
Anyway, I'm glad you think it answered the prompt well.. :O This wasn't the prompt I wanted to do originally. I mean, I was determined, I think, to do the fourth one but this one just sprung as a fully-fledged scene (the start, Rose's Christmas and Scorpius and Rose together in a Weasley Christmas) that I knew I had no choice but to do it.. HAHA.
Anyway, I'm glad that it came across as having enough character-building for you! I feel iffy about it sometimes. Like sometimes I feel it's soo little and then I add some more to the point when it becomes too much. This time around the word limit actually helped. There was so much I wanted to say but with a 4000 word limit I had no choice but to pack it into those little words.
Yes, Ron is definitely protective of Rose (especially since it's Scorpius) but really, with anyone he would be disapproving, I think. Just like my dad. I had a prime example. HAHAHA.
OMG, the comma-titis. It's a disease, I tell you! I love my commas (used to love dashes and hyphens too but I got over that!) I swear, after the first draft this had more commas than it does now. :O I need professional help. haha. Definitely needs another read through but maybe not for a while. I read through it so much in 48 hours it gave me a headache haha.
I'm glad you think my writing style is great because you're is really really good and blows me away. So thanks... you are gorgeous.

--Carla


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Review #66, by AphorideBlurring Whites: One

26th October 2013:
Hey there - thanks so much for the swap! I checked out the link before agreeing (I always check out other people's links when they post them - force of habit!) and it looked so interesting I kinda had to swap! :)

Oh my gosh, this was such a good story! It was just... so dark and emotional and heartbreaking, you know? And it makes you think, as well, which is so amazing - I don't know how you did it. Anything like this is such a hard topic to write about and you handled it so well, so you should definitely be proud of that!

I have to say, I like the way you characterised Lily. I like that she had issues at school, that she was bullied, that she had problems and wasn't 'normal' or 'perfect'. It's such a sad image of parts of the world/society we're in, you know, but it's something so real at the same time. I thought she was a wonderful character - you really allowed me to empathise with her, which made it all the more emotional.

James was great too! I liked how he was angry about what Lily did, angry at Albus for being the one to find out, and just really didn't know how to handle his emotions. It seems like such a plausible and understandable reaction, you know, and you dealt with it so well.

It's kinda scary, though, lol, because your OC reminds me far too much of myself in some ways. Being a blonde Laura really doesn't help :P It's brilliant, though - this is only a one-shot and yet all of the characters in it, Lily and James and Laura, are so wonderfully created. They're all so real and human. I loved how you ended it with Laura phoning her sister, it was such a bittersweet moment :)

Net was an awesome inclusion. I'm guessing she's sort of an Anubis-like figure, so to speak, sitting between the 'live' world and the 'dead' one. I've never read a story quite like this where they've included a sort of guide to the world who wasn't also a former character from the books, but I liked it.

Gah, this is a really lovely one-shot - even if it is pretty dark and depressing! Really lovely writing style and everything - but, seriously, your characters are genuinely amazing!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph! I'm really pleased this seemed appealing, my banner by LadyDi is amazing!

Wow thank you, you are way too kind. I'm a sucker for writing angst, I feel like I relate so well to it. It comes really naturally to me, I enjoy writing it. Writing this was fun in the beginning and then it became so painful.

Yeah *scratches head* I always end up killing Lily in my next gen stories.. It's really weird :P I try to keep it as "wizard"y as I can, without it being so "Muggle". I try, and I know I need to go back and work on that. I'm really happy it worked for you though!

James' reaction had a lot to do with research, listening to actual stories. I like how he turned out too.

Yay for blonde Lauras! Haha, I wanted a name and couldn't decide so just went "Laura". I'm not happy with her last name but oh well, what can I do ;)

Yup, Net's definitely like Anubis. I kind of took her from Nephthys, who is Anubis' mother. Net was kind of like the Dumbles to Harry, except to Lily and I tried to make her as an ultimate guide. I'm so glad you liked her, she and Laura were my first try at OCs.

Thanks so much! This review is so kind and thoughtful, Aph! Thanks for doing this lovely!


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Review #67, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 3

19th October 2013:
Hey, again!

So, reading this I realised that one of my comments in an earlier review (chapter 1, I think?) was totally negated. I said about the glasses, how had she got them and why would that have been a priority, but obviously here you said that she'd had them before, so I just missed that and you can just ignore it ;)

Again, your grasp of canon characters is astounding. McGonagall and Dumbledore are so hard to write and get right, you know, and you seem to do it so easily! I'm almost jealous, lol. I love how you mention their long friendship and how they know each other so well, almost too well, and yet they still disagree on things, and they sound so much like how they do in the books.

Sadie is genuinely a really great OC. She's clever, but not overly so, has things she struggles with and things she's good at, has flaws and weaknesses and strengths and so many issues (!)... she's such a brilliantly complex character that I can't help but find her fascinating. I'm really curious to see what you do with her - how she deals with school, what actually happened to her - and how she develops. You've made it difficult for yourself, but seriously, she's brilliant.

Obviously this was more of a filler chapter than a hugely plot-filled chapter (more nuggets of information, though! So curious...) but I like that the plot seems to be moving a bit slowly at the moment. It feels to me almost like we're literally going along with Sadie, as she gets better and finds friends and learns to live again, I guess. It's also building up tension, which is really exciting as I'm wondering to what (I'm assuming her going to the Burrow...).

Your writing style again was lovely. It's very reminiscent of JKR herself, you know - it really reminds me of the books when I read this. Absolutely no mistakes I could see at all, nothing that felt a bit clunky or weird or anything... yeah, it's just flawless. You're obviously either an amazing editor or an incredible writer to write like this straight off. Either way, it's awesome.

Really enjoying this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Yeah, another brilliant review from you! This is so exciting!

And don't worry at all about the glasses. Actually, it's a compliment. I throw clues out there, but I hope people don't get them all the first time through. Then later, when they read something else, they are like OH, that's what that was for! Does that make any sense? So I'm not worried at all that you made the glasses comment.

I will admit that writing Dumbledore and Minerva in this chapter WAS hard. I struggled to get out what I needed to and still have them stay in character. Makes me feel very good that you liked how it turned out. And I do believe they have been friends for a long time, a very comfortable, accepting friendship.

Yes! Sadie is seeming real! That's a huge thing for me. I am SO happy you find her facinating! And I'm really excited for you to see what happens to her. School, friends, family...they are all going to play a big part in how she develops. (And I hope I haven't made it TOO difficult for myself, lol.)

Yeah, filler chapters. I do tend to include them, but sometime you need them. And I do like giving out clues of information. I just feel like Sadie has had SO many changes I needed to move a bit slow at first. Glad you are liking the pacing.

Thank you again for such lovely, lovely reviews. You are so kind and they have just made my day again as I got to reread them so I could reply. Your compliments have helped restore my faith in my writing and I'm excited to work on it again!

I do hope you'll come back when you have time and find out more about Sadie and her story.

Thanks again!
-Farmgirl


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Review #68, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 2

19th October 2013:
Hey there - back again! :)

I'm really surprising myself by really enjoying this story - simply because it's something I don't ever read normally, and the kind of situation I normally don't like in ff because it can be so overdone.

Seriously, though, this is brilliant! I love how you're starting slowly, giving us bits of information to get us going, and how it's tying into canon events, with the World Cup in two days... your writing style is just so lovely, as well, it's so clear and precise and gah, everything just works, you know? There's genuinely nothing I can say about it other than that it's nice and easy to read and flows perfectly and just sucks you into the story and doesn't let you out until the end.

Your characterisation is flawless. All the canon characters - people others are normally scared to write because it's so easy to get them wrong - are just perfect. Honestly, I'm a little bit in awe! Harry, Ron, the twins, Mr and Mrs Weasley... they're just all exactly as they are in canon. It's uncanny. Incredibly, though, really.

The plot is so good, as well! I admit that the idea of Harry having lost cousins and James having relatives we don't know about in the books is one which I'm always nervous about reading, but you've done it so well and made it so believable and plausible that it just works brilliantly. The whole way you're drawing it in, Sadie being in fourth year at sixteen to catch up, her having lost her voice and not being able to talk... it's such a unique situation for a character and I'm so excited to see where you take her. I've rarely ever seen stories about children who can't talk so it's a really interesting idea.

I'm so curious as to if we're ever going to find out what happened to Sadie's parents, if there will be some kind of counter for the spell which took away her voice, how she's going to fit in and, well, just everything.

This really is a pretty awesome story! Sorry for the complete lack of anything really useful to say - I can't find anything wrong with it at all, nothing constructive to say, nothing picky to say... *shrugs* It's just amazing.

Aph xx

Author's Response: I love that you keep coming back again! Come back as much as you'd like! :D

And I am so excited that you are enjoying the story! I know I'm walking the fine line of cliches in this story, but after more than six years of sitting on it, afraid to share, I finally decided (with some help from a friend) to just do it. I'm glad I did, as people seem to be enjoying it.

Awww.now I'm blushing. Your gushing on my writing there is giving me a big head, but I thank you so much for it. It always feels so nice to have people tell you they enjoy your story. You comment about the story sucking you in and not letting you go is one of the nicest things anyone has said about this piece.

And yep, more blushing. I really do enjoy writing the canon characters. They are the ones that I fell for when I read the books, so they are the ones I want to have more adventures with. But I do worry others will be like "you can't write them, they aren't the aren't right." So thank you.

The Long Lost Relative Cliche. Yeah, I knew the danger when I started this. Another reason I waited SO long to start posting. But that's how the story was in my head and I finally realized I didn't want to change it. I just hope I can take something that can be so overdone and give it a fresh run.

Sadie not being able to talk is really the crux of this story, more even than the fact that she's Harry's cousin. I hope that keeps things interesting. I am sort of facinated by that kind of story, so we'll see how it goes.

More information about Sadie's family will be revealed a little at a time, I promise. I really hope you'll keep reading to find out more. As for the spell that took her voice, that will also be revealed farther down the line.

Don't appologize! Sometimes, a heartfelt gushing review is just what an author needs. I had rough spot in the last month where I really started to doubt myself and my story, so reading this helped a ton. *hugs* Thanks so very much!


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Review #69, by AphorideAllergic to Fun: Invitations and Unwanted Interventions

18th October 2013:
Hey there, stopping by for the Review Battle! :)

I love Lily/James, so the fact that this all revolves around them and their relationship and that kind of stuff makes me very happy indeed, and that's good before it's even started :P

The way you write Lily is so lovely, as well. She's hardworking, intelligent, nice, gets stroppy and upset and irrationally angry like a normal person, and isn't perfect (which I've seen in quite a few things). She's human and even in this first chapter, you've shown us such a bunch of different traits that I already feel like I know her character. It's pretty awesome.

Her friends made me laugh! Bouncing into the room, all excited, one stroppy, one sort of quiet and unobtrusive. It's kinda the classic girl group, you know? Which has it's upsides and it's downsides, but you're managing it great here so far! I hope there's more of them later, particularly Clara, as I'd like to see them more developed later on - I think they could be brilliant characters!

One thing I do want to say is that at times it feels to me like there's a little too much tell and not enough show, if that makes sense. I think it might be to do with your sentence structure, but I'm not overly sure, tbh. It just feels a bit stilted at times, like you're telling me a story, rather than showing me in the descriptions and the actions, etc. I hope that makes sense, though I'm really not sure it does, but I have no idea how to phrase it more clearly... O.o

Anyway, I have to admit that I'm really not a huge fan of cliches, and there are obviously some here (there are always cliches in Lily/James! Particularly rom-com Lily/James!) but you're using them so well, that I didn't think about them at all while I was reading - I didn't wonder if it was or wasn't a cliche, it just flowed so well with the story and I just kept reading all the way through to the end.

Your style of writing is lovely, as well. It's really clear and neat and precise. Your characters are great, the plot sounds really funny and awesome, and I really hope I catch you again in the review battle!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aphoride :) thanks for the lovely review!

I am really pleased you liked the way I wrote Lily! I really don't like it when Lily is made out to be perfect - yes, in the books she was always portrayed as a lovely person but nobody is perfect and I don't believe she was! So I'm glad you found Lily's character in this to be good :-)

Hee, I'm glad her friends made you laugh! It's good to hear that you think I'm managing them well here :) There will be more of them later, though there will be more of Lucinda than Clara ;) It's made me happy to hear you think they could be brilliant characters!!

Thank you for the CC, it totally made sense! There is less description/action etc in this than I usually write (I'm not entirely sure why though) so I can see why it would feel a bit more telling than showing. I will go back and edit to try and improve that! Thank-you

Eeek, cliches! I couldn't help it! I'm glad you felt I used them well though and that it didn't put you off reading :)

I'm so glad you felt my style of writing is lovely, I often worry it is too simple, so it is encouraging to hear that it works! Thanks :)

Thanks again for the great review!

Haronione ♥


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Review #70, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 1

17th October 2013:
Hey there - back again! :)

I really like what we've seen of Sadie so far - she's reacting really realistically to everything she's been through. She's nervous of people she doesn't know/recognise and therefore trust, she's scared and nervous and hesitant. She's obviously been through a lot and you've obviously thought it through really well and thoroughly, which is so nice to see! I'm really curious to see how you take her through, how she copes with the changes in country/culture, and going to school and just the people around her. I imagine it's going to be hard...

I love Ophelia and Minerva as well. Minerva is so well written, she's so like the canon character it's amazing, and Ophelia is just a wonderful character - I hope we see more of her later on! :) She seems such a caring, motherly sort of woman.

One thing I would say is that I felt you could have done maybe with a bit more description of Sadie when Minerva sees her again. I know you talk about her eyes, and it's such lovely description you use, but given Minerva saw her, and Sadie's had a hard life, that kind of thing leaves marks on people and those are things Minerva would notice. It seemed a little odd to say that she was filthy (surely Ophelia would have offered her a bath before getting her glasses? Or did she always have them? O.o), rather than thin or something. I dunno, it might just be me, but I thought I'd mention it anyway...

I think the plot is going great, as well, with Sadie meeting Minerva and returning to the UK, potentially going back to school (I'm assuming so, tbh) and meeting family members, maybe. One thing I am curious/confused about, though, is that you said her parents were Charlie and Jenny, and it sounded like she was about eight or so when she ended up in New York on her own, so surely she'd remember if she had relatives/family as such? Minerva mentions people who care about her, so I'm guessing maybe family, and maybe you didn't mention it for Reasons of Plot, but it seems a bit weird to mention people who care about her, but Minerva never thinks about them, you know? Like that wouldn't be a priority - contacting those people and letting them know she's safe. Still, it's an exciting plot, and I'm really intrigued by everything which happened to her, what happened, how it happened, etc. Really well set up! :)

All in all, this is definitely going so far in the right direction it's amazing. If I'm honest, I'm not a huge fan of OCs or AUs, so it's not something I'd choose to read for myself, so I'm actually enjoying the change, you know? Everything is going so well, I'm trying to be picky to give something at least to work on, since that's the point of requesting reviews, haha, but it's so hard! Hope you found it helpful (a bit?) anyway...

Aph xx

Author's Response: Coming back again! You are SO cool! Thank you!

And I'm smiling a great big smile right now because of your comments on Sadie. I really did try extra hard to think through how she would react to such an abrupt change in her life. Even though it's for the better, I figured it would still be terrifying at first.

I'm really excited to start exploring all those things you mentioned as well, I just hope I can do them justice. Balance the need to keep Sadie in character and show her having to adjust to all these new changes, but at the same time make sure the story moves forward and it's completely melancholy the whole time. I hope I can pull this off.

Yes! You thought I did okay with Minerva! She's such a distinct personality in the books, I always worry I'm writing her correctly. As for Ophelia, I had such fun writing her and readers have responded so well, I wish I had included her more. Maybe later I can find a way to make her return.

Sorry for the confusion about Sadie's physical appearance. I wasn't trying to imply that Ophelia didn't try to take care of Sadie or offer to let her clean up, just that Sadie was too scared to accept the offers and Ophelia finally gave up. As for the glasses, they have been with Sadie for quite a while and are a part of something that happened to her in the past. I promise you'll learn more about that later, if you want to keep reading. :)

Yes, Sadie was nine when she disappeared, so she does remember her immediate family. Tragically, they are all gone so returning to them is not an option. The people Minerva was thinking about, who care for her will be revealed in the next chapter, and don't worry, they have been contacted. Sadie will soon be surrounded by people who want very much to help her, promise.

Awww, thank you! That is such a huge compliment, anytime a reader says "I don't normally read this stuff, but I'm liking it." You review was marvelous and very helpful! Thanks again!


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Review #71, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Prologue

17th October 2013:
Hey there - so sorry for getting to this so late! Life has been so mad recently - I've been running around like a headless chicken, lol. Anyway, I'm here now! ;)

So far, there's not all that much to go on, on the OC route, really. But that's only to be expected since it's a prologue, really, and we haven't seen all that much of her yet.

That said, I really like what you're doing with it so far. I love the idea of someone who's from an unusual background, but not the stereotypical OC background, you know? It's different, and yet similar all the same.

I also like how you set up the scene, with the girl and her situation, and then the witch coming up to her. I love how you imitated - consciously or not - McGonagall watching over Harry, in Animagus form as a cat. Also, I really liked how you haven't told us anything at all about the girl or the witch, or her background - how her situation got like this, how long it's been like this, etc. It adds a lovely element of mystery to the whole thing, you know, and allows us to sympathise with the character before we even really know much about her.

I like the idea of strains of predispositions to certain types of magic - as a whole - running through families. It's kinda like how there are some families where the majority of people are very good at sport, you know? Like families which consistently produce good footballers and things. That being said, super-strong magic is one of my pet peeves and can waiver close to Mary Sue-ism (though only in context, of course). Just something to be aware of, perhaps, while writing ;)

This is a really great start, though! It's mysterious, it's pacy, short and sweet, introduces the main character(s?) but doesn't give much away... all good!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Firstly, I need to tell you how sorry I am in return for taking such a long time to reply to your wonderful reviews. I'm a music teacher and Oct/Nov is when we do our musical theater production, so life has been insane.

Secondly, can I just tell you how great these reviews made me feel? You are so wonderful! I was expecting one and you gave me four amazing reviews! If I could reach through the internet and hug you I would. Thank you so very much!

Now, on to your comments.

Yeah, it's pretty hard to get a sense of my characters from just the prologue. It's really short and I always feel funny asking readers to comment on characterization and such for the prologue, but I don't want readers to start in the middle. *shrugs* Oh well, it is what it is. But I am very glad you liked how it started off just the same.

You know, I didn't think of the image of McGonagall watching over Harry when I wrote this, but now you mention it I totally see it. Is that weird that you can do something and not realize it?

I WAS trying to be mysterious with leaving a lot of information up for speculation, though, so it's nice to know that's working. I want people to get to know my OC gradually, not be overwhelmed by an information dump.

Oh cool! You are one of the few people to comment on the idea of certain magical traits running through families. It totally made sense in my mind, but I always wonder people will be like "hey, you can't do that, it's not in the books!" LOL. And yes, Mary-Sue land is constantly on my mind. I will try very hard to avoid it, but I also feel like I need to write this character the way she is in my head. I just hope I can do both at the same time.

Thanks again for such a wonderful review! It really made me smile!



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Review #72, by AphorideA Boy Bitten: Truth or Lies

13th October 2013:
Hey there - sorry for getting to this so late! Life has been hectic recently, so many things going on, so I've had little to no time to come on here. Hope it's not too annoying!

Anyway, I really like this. I love the idea of truth versus lies with kids, and how people fib to kids to protect them from the truth and ideas and things they can't handle, or don't believe they could handle, and the consequences of doing things like that. It's such a poignant idea, particularly with Remus and being bitten and the way you went through the day it happens like that.

Remus was amazing. He was so much like a small child, curious and very brave and adventurous and the things you had him doing throughout the day - posting a letter, drawing a picture for his grandma, picking crayons and things - were just perfect for a kid that young. You really, really captured the essence of him as a child and how innocent he was, and then took it all away at the end when he lies to protect his parents. It was such a touching, albeit bittersweet, moment.

One thing I would say is that despite the situation obviously being very tense, it didn't feel very tense throughout it. I'm not sure if that was a stylistic choice or not, since Remus is unaware of the tension and apprehension his parents have, but I thought I'd mention it all the same. Also, dialogue tags should have a comma, like this: 'I know,' snapped Remus, after them, not a full stop. It's a little thing but it's something to bear in mind ;)

Hope and Lyall were really well characterised as well. I loved how Lyall was angry with Hope for taking Remus outside as he thought that was how Greyback found them and how Hope was equally angry with Lyall for annoying Greyback in the first place - blame-assigning is something so common and I liked that you included it. They were definitely their own characters as well, which was so nice to see since sometimes smaller characters get neglected.

The parent-child relationship was great! I loved how Hope was obviously so close to Remus and liked spending time with him, and how Lyall had taught Remus how to spell his name using the names of magical creatures - it was such a sweet thing, and those kinds of details are the ones which make stories shine.

It was such a sad piece, and reminded me of the idea of growing up and how kids grow up and learn to lie and be compassionate and get exposed to the horrible things in the world - and that made me feel so sorry for Remus as he's kind of dropped in it at the deep end when he's so young. This is a strong, touching piece and a really clever idea and I really liked reading it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aphoride!! I'm usually just excited to get my requested reviews when they happen (and if they take a while longer it kind of feels like a surprise ^_^)

I'm really glad the truth and lies theme worked out. It always seems a bit ironic to me that people lie to protect kids but it can be more harmful in the longrun (case in point- Remus).

I'm so happy my characterization of Remus (and the stuff he does) is endearing and built the right amount of compassion for him to feel sad at the end.

I've been thinking of ways to weave in more tension throughout the day. I meant for it to crescendo but I don't think I've quite got it there yet. I didn't want Remus to be super aware of his parent's tension. I was trying for a divide between the grown up perception of a situation versus that of a child. I'll look at my dialogue tags (I have an unfortunate tendency to not catch that when I edit). Thank you so much for pointing that out!!

Hope and Lyall were quite interesting to write. I could imagine that Remus being bitten was one of the biggest strains on their marriage (which I like to think was otherwise quite happy). I'm really thrilled you liked the parent/child relationships. Writing about Hope and Lyall's closeness to their son was probably the happiest piece of the story for me (I was kind of projecting what I hope kids will be like for me). Your comment about the details I added about them making the story shine really made me smile. ^_^ Quite a bit actually. Thank you for saying that.

I really appreciate how you've connected this story to your own thoughts and experiences around kids growing up and the hard lessons they learn. It definitely makes me feel like I was able to communicate a larger message than the one directly told in the story. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading it!!!

Thank you so much for your review. It covered everything I hoped it would and offered excellent CC and positive feedback.

-Rose


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Review #73, by AphorideAcanthus: To Anywhere

13th October 2013:
Hey there, Kiana! I've seen this around quite a lot, and always wanted to read it since I'm so fascinated by History and Ancient Egypt and things like that, so I decided finally to grab the moment and stop by! :)

First off, the way you include the historical detail is amazing! George and Anthony and Charlotte talk and act and seem like people from that era, you know, and it's funny seeing Rose and Lorcan trying to fit in and work it out (though Lorcan seems to be doing a bit better than Rose). The comment about Rose having to wear a dress made me laugh, as well.

I have to admit that I do have a soft spot for Rose/Scorpius, because it's such a plausible pairing and so many ways you could make it work. I love how you've started with them maybe liking each other, and maybe having had some kind of relationship-sort-of-thing beforehand, but not together and all sweet now. It'll be so interesting to see how their relationship progresses with the story. Hopefully Scorp won't wait too long to make a move! (After he's found her, of course).

All the characters are brilliant - there's really nothing more to say on that front. They're all flawed in different ways, have hopes and ambitions, they're all clever but on different levels and have different strengths. They're all so individual as well, that even at this point it's pretty easy to distinguish them from each other even without things like dialogue tags and names. I think Rose is my favourite, though ;) and I love how she's not a genius, not hugely successful - she's very much average and very desperate to be more than that. It's such a familiar situation and gah, I just love her. She's amazing.

Scorp is just a sweetie :) Nuff said.

The plot is incredible (and I'm running out of synonyms for 'great' :P). I'm so curious and excited to see what happens and I have so many questions I want answered. Who is that strange man? How did Rose and Lorcan go back into the past? How do Charlotte and the others come into it? What's going on with Acanthus? Gah, it's so frustrating but so good! You have to post the next chapter soon - I have to know what happens!

So this was a very gushy review, but this story definitely deserved it! :)

Laura xx

p.s. no need to ever stop by my review thread for this - I'm going to be following it obsessively until it's finished :)

Author's Response: Laura! Thank you for such a wonderful surprise, I've been resisting replying to this as it's such a wonderful review, but I finally caved :P

I'm so glad that you loved the historical accuracy, as I know you're a big history fan so hearing that from you means a lot. I'm quite a fan of the 1920s and Carter's discovery, so I'm having far too much fun with this!

I think most people have a soft spot, probably due to what JK said in the epilogue. The backstory was probably the thing I was most worried about it as I wasn't sure if there was enough of it to satisfy people, but I'm glad you don't think. As for Scorp coming along, I can't say much about that.

*blushes red* All the characters have a soft spot for me, with each part being pulled from people I know, so it would hopefully make a realistic picture. I have to go agree with you on the Rose front, because being average and not being able to compete with others is something probably everyone can relate to and everyone hates being in, so hearing that you can relate to it and like her is great :D

Erm, I'm glad that you were intrigued enough to ask questions, but my answers probably won't help much. For the first two, you'll find out later. Charlotte and the others were attempting to find Tutankhamen but Carter beat them to it, so they went after Acanthus instead. For the last one, I can't say anything again :P It will be up as soon as possible, as I'm planning on working on this for some of NaNo so it should be quicker after that.

Thank you for this wonderful, amazing, awesome review, it really, really made my day :D

-Kiana


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Review #74, by AphorideSuffocate: --His Changed Heart--

13th September 2013:
Hey there, stopping by from the Blue and Bronze review battle! It's strange, I've seen you around the forums and TGS so often, but never had a chance to stop by, but here I am! :) Nice to meet you, finally ;)

I have to say that I've never really written George - only really in the background of other scenes, and never in mourning - because he really intimidates me. I just don't think I could do him justice, and you've done this so well. You've stayed so true to his character, and to the twins as a unit, and done so well with the idea of mourning and grief, as well. It's really impressive!

I really love this. It's so bittersweet, you know? He misses Fred, and it hurts, and he doesn't quite know how to really deal with it, and he's trying and it's not quite working, and... gah. It's just so sad! I feel so sorry for him (which isn't a usual feeling for me, lol), and just want to hug him! :(

Molly was perfect too. I love how, even though he's a grown adult, married, with a job and his own business and everything, he still goes to his mum. It's such a sweet little thing, but yet totally understandable, and so realistic. She reacts so well, as well, almost like she kind of guessed he might come along at some point, and he doesn't really need to say anything to her, and then she helps him so easily, without really even trying, and it's so sweet! And a quick George/Angie menion, as well ;) Always a soft spot for those two...

A quick little thing: when he closes the shop up, the sign should be 'CLOSED' rather than 'CLOSE'. It's probably a typo, but I felt I should let you know ;)

Yeah, this is just... gah, so good! There's nothing wrong with it at all, nothing I could find. This is lovely! I'm so glad I stopped by to read it :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello! Yeah, that does happen a lot of the times. I sometimes see people at hpff and tgs too but never get the time to drop a review or say 'hi' to them.

This is first story on George so it was something different but I am glad I tried to write him. He is a character that has a lot of depth - especially after Fred's death.

I am so happy ( I know what a common word I used. I just couldn't think of anything else) that you thought Molly was realistic. I see a lot of stories talking about how he goes to Angelina a lot of the times but I thought he would go to his mom. If it was me, I would definitely gone to my mom. And George/Angie are the best.

Thanks so much for the review! You have showered me with compliments that I don't think I deserve. And your review was so positive. I always love hearing what people think! And I have went back and fixed that typo. ;)

~Sama


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Review #75, by AphorideThe Worst: Meetings and more.

12th September 2013:
Hey there - glad to see you stop by again! :)

Dominique is such a fabulous character - she reacts so normally to things, you know? She's angry when most people would be angry, she's sad when people would be sad... she doesn't necessarily think rationally about things, she struggles to deal with difficult things... I know I've said this before, but it's so good! :)

I love Teddy, as well. I like how he supports her, and goes along with her, and gets Harry to help and not ask questions, and how he convinces Young to help them bring Delilah down. The way he switches from almost attacking the other werewolf when he raises his wand at Dom to wanting to help him and offering legal aid and things if he helps them is so lifelike. If you are going to include anything like that and you want to know about it, feel free to pm me, incidentally, since I'm a law student ;) I'll be happy to help!

But yeah, they're all such brilliant characters! The only person who I think isn't as developed as the others (because even Young has a understandable motive and good backstory and is a good character) is Delilah herself. Obviously she's not necessarily evil, as such, but willing to go to a hugely extreme length to get what she wants. Up til now she's kind of seemed to be a standard sort of villain, you know, so I'd love to see more of her and how she thinks and why she did it and things. I'm sure she'll be just as good as the others! :)

Plot-wise, I love how it's coming along, with Dom finishing her article anyway, going to work to confront Delilah, meeting the werewolf who bit her. She's starting to organise things in her life, and get herself back on track and I love that. It's a very human response - mope, then get on with it - and makes perfect sense.

So yeah, there's really nothing wrong with this at all - the characterisation is great, the plot is lovely, the writing is excellent, pace and style are great... everything's great :P Seriously, no problems at all! I'm still really enjoying this!

Feel free to re-request in the future! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for reading and reviewing =)

I am pleased you liked Dom's character and find her reactions believable. Your comments make me happy!

Teddy is amazing, isn't he? xD I am glad you like the way he handles everything and it looks lifelike to you. Thank you so much for offering help, I'll approach you if I need anything!

Of course, we haven't seen Delilah's side of the story yet, and I am not sure how much I'll be able to show since it's from Dom's point of view which is bound to be somewhat biased, but you'll definitely be seeing her motives in the next chapter (which is already in the queue) and maybe that will help you get to know her better. I hope you find her character developed too! *fingers crossed*

Dom is the kind of person who wouldn't leave her work unattended, so she did the article anyway. I am pleased you think the way she is dealing with stuff seems human, thanks.

I am so flattered after reading your review, thank you so much for your kind words. I'll surely re-request!

Cheers!
AD


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