Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
381 Reviews Found

Review #51, by AphorideDoing the Right Thing: Doing the Right Thing

29th August 2014:
Hey there! :) Okay, so Draco is one of those characters I find really interesting but have never written because there's already so much written about him, haha, and it's unusual to see something written about him which explores choice, even though it's such an interesting element of his character.

So yeah, basically what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad you asked me to read this because it's a really interesting premise and I probably would have picked it anyway ;)

I really love you portrayed him in this. There was this sense of determination that he was going to prove himself, that he wanted to, almost, which I loved - it really sort of reminded me that he was raised to be a Death Eater, in a way, and he was raised by people who were. I love as well how you then bring in sort of the hesitation and the weakness again, which really reminded me of the tower and made me feel a bit sorry for him. Poor boy - he's really not in the right career, is he? :P He just can't kill anyone. What I liked, though, was that how on the tower he was so cowardly and nervous and afraid, but here he seemed more grown-up and ready to back his own decisions, whatever they were. It seemed more indecision about what to do rather than absolute panic, I thought.

Okay, so I loved, as well, how you touched on Draco's relationships with his parents as well, and sort of contrasted them to each other. How he doesn't really seem too fond of his father (somewhat understandably, imo) but loves his mother and wants to make her proud. It's such a real relationship you made here, in not many words either, and I loved it. The little mention of Dumbledore's belief that he had a choice and had believed in him was so good, too, and I liked how it was sort of in memory of that and for his mother that he makes the choice. It's such a big choice, but you don't overplay it, either, and you leave it on a cliffhanger, as well, just after the choice is made which is very sneaky of you ;) Albeit, a brilliant ending for this piece.

So yeah, I really liked this. Your writing was so lovely, as well - so clean and neat (if that makes sense...) and you had such a lovely flow and balance of internal thoughts and the physical actions.

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

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Review #52, by AphorideHear us Roar: If All Time is Unredeemable

29th August 2014:
Hey there! :) You know, I don't usually read Marauders Era fics - trouble of having too much headcanon for Sirius :P - but this seems so, so different to most Marauders fics I see around and have read. Like, seriously, it's awesome.

I love how you emphasise the darkness of the times that the world - and Ivy especially - faced during the war and so on. Right from the beginning, it doesn't sound or seem like it's going to be a sweet, happy story about kids growing up and finding love and all that kind of stuff - there's going to be war, and death and other horrible things, and I love that you've included that in such a prominent way. It's one of those things I always miss in Marauders fics :P

Ivy seems like such a well rounded out character, too. I saw from the summaries (coz I'm sneaky like that ;D) that the next chapter goes back in time so I'm curious to know how she changed into this version of herself, but she's so... affected. You know, she's obviously been on the run for a long time, and in a bad place for a long time and seen and perhaps done some really horrible things. It's such a true presentation of someone who's been through trauma and paranoia and is then found. It was all the little things, too - the way she shrank back from being touched, the way she was terrified and assumed it was an attack even with the knocks... just so, so good!

I loved how McGonagall came to get her, too. Often people forget about the professors and adults in fics, haha, so I'm so glad to see her here! Plus, she's McGonagall - she's awesome :P You write her so brilliantly, as well - I'm envious!

The one thing I noticed, which I thought I'd mention was that you repeat the word 'little' a lot at the beginning of the fourth paragraph. You might want to change two of them to different words, to make it flow better ;)

This was gorgeous, though. Your writing is really evocative and so beautiful and has such flow and pace and style, and you had some really, really lovely phrases. I particularly loved 'a map of a life she had led' - just brilliant! :)

So yeah, I really, really enjoyed this and I'm so glad you swapped because otherwise I might never have read this and it would have been an absolute shame. Favouriting :D

Aph xx

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Review #53, by AphorideHow to Fly: How to Fly

27th August 2014:
Hey! Dropping by from review tag!

You know, it's kinda bad but I saw this in the Gift It Challenge thread, read it but never reviewed. It's such a gorgeous little story, though, that I thought I'd come back to review it properly :)

I love how it's Hermione and Rose and a parent learning from their children. You don't often see that in any kind of fiction, fan or not, so it's such a lovely thing to include. Plus, it's Hermione so the idea of her always learning, and learning from her children is so, so well suited. Like, it makes perfect sense.

I loved the way you wrote Hermione - you wrote her so well. Like I said, the idea of her always learning is so in-character for her, but it's more than that. It's the little bits too - that she doesn't really like flying, that she can't refuse Rose, that she sees both herself and Ron in Rose, physically and personality-wise, and how she, in the end, just loves Rose so much and ends up growing as a person because of the experiences. It's just such a genuinely sweet idea... and I'm not usually one for fluff/sweet sorts of things :P

The length is so perfect. Honestly. Nothing in this feels too bare or extraneous - the simplicity of it really emphasises the emotions and the feeling and the relationship Rose and Hermione have. It allows the ideas and the meaning behind it to really come forward, and it's lovely.

So yeah, it's gorgeous. I'm sorry this is so short, but I'm not sure how much longer I can repeat 'this is gorgeous' before my fingers stiffen up a bit (it's cold here!) :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hiya Aph!

Wow. I don't think this review was short at ALL! The story was only 500 words, so I think this completely sweet and lovely review was just perfect.

Thanks so much! I'm grinning while writing this because I'm so glad you felt all those things when reading it. You picked up on EVERYTHING I was trying to put into the story: Hermione is a lifelong learner, she sees herself AND Ron within parts of Rose, the way she grows from her experiences with her child. Thanks so much!

Thanks for making my day with this review!


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Review #54, by AphorideButterfly Effect: Chapter 1

27th August 2014:
Hey there! Stopping by for our review swap! I really wanted to swap with you, because I remembered this story and how curious the beginning had made me.

So yeah, I love the character you've got here - how there's still in the background the thought of her mother and brother's deaths (which is great, because things like that don't ever really go away) and memories associated with them which sometimes she finds hard. It links this chapter up beautifully to the prologue. I liked the little mentions of things she liked - statistics and so on, and how she and Lily got on and she wanted to have friends and at the beginning was so nervous about going to school. She's a really great character - I really wanna know how you develop her! :)

Her dad was great, too. I loved how you wrote him as worrying about her, and she knows that and she worries about him too, and he asks her all those normal little questions people ask when their kid's moving schools, or someone bumped into them. There was such a great sense of normalcy and sort of familiarity with this scene, which I loved, but you wrote it so well and so differently from the HP scenes, that the similarities didn't matter :) Her dad is just such a great guy - seems so sensible and calm and worried about her. So sweet!

The one thing I would say is that while your physical description is fine - as in people, places, etc. - you don't do much, I guess, internal description. As in like, what she feels like, and so on. Like when she thinks of her brother - what does she feel? How does she react? That kind of thing. Just something I noticed reading through this - I wanted to mention it because the set up for this is so good, I want it to be brilliant! :D

Ooh, ooh, ooh! Is it going to be Lily II/Jenna? Or not? I don't know... but the whole 'blowing hair on the back of her neck' and shivering thing, and Tara's comment... ah, I dunno!

Anyway, I love Lily II and Tara - again, they're just such brilliant characters. You really have a knack with that, you know ;) I loved how Lily likes stats and things too, and they immediately talk to Jenna and kinda become friends from that moment - such a nice thing to do! Also, the sweets bit made me laugh and the whole thing about the chocolate frog cards... huh, I kinda wanna know how many cards are Harry Potter cards too :P

Your writing is so lovely - so evenly-paced and so smooth, and the description in it is great! I love the idea that she's from France (I love France, haha!) and how she had to be sorted first (poor girl...) and all, and the way this is developing is so so good so far! :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

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Review #55, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: The Woes of Working Retail

26th August 2014:
Hi Mallory! :) As soon as I saw this I had to stop by - ah, I'm so addicted to this story, haha.

I lovelovelove Anne. She's such a real character - and I know I keep saying this, but it's so true. She just seems like someone I could genuinely meet in real life and I love that! I love how she had the parent issues - with her mother wanting perfection, and a 'respectable' job and being a conwoman doesn't really cut it... and Anne having to keep up the facade with the shop job, despite it all. Pretty unfair on her, you know, having to work two jobs just so her mum can say 'oh, she does this'... that said, I loved the sass she had and the little sort of pun/joke thing about the night classes - that was so good! So clever, as well! :D It also kinda shows that the persona she has in the Shooting Star isn't totally not her, as well, that she isn't always so self-conscious as she is in the shop.

I loved the discussion of house stereotypes as well - how most people assumed Hufflepuffs weren't very bright and always cheerful and things. It was such a strangely thoughtful, deep sort of statement to make, which says so much about the character.

Her boss is so... rude! I feel a bit sorry for him, with the forced early retirement and all, it must be hard, but there's no real reason for him to be so, kinda, rude to her about things... and always presume she isn't working... I mean, if he thinks she's rubbish at the job, why is she still there? Ah well, hopefully he's not so bad, really! :P

James, James, James. I was really, really hoping he turned up in this chapter, coz it was about time he found her and started putting things together (though he still doesn't seem to have any clue as to who she is regarding The Ghost of Hogwarts Past situation) :P Gah, he's so funny! I love how he tries to be all smooth and then it sort of breaks and he gets flustered and things... it's such a oddly sweet trait for him to have. Though the threat to stick his hand to the counter so she'd have to stay there with him until she agreed was pretty mean - especially when he knew her boss wouldn't let her go, as well. But I guess with the blackmail and the bet and all, he must be pretty desperate. Mm... not sure whether I feel sorry or not for him yet... we'll see ;)

Your writing, as always, is gorgeous. Your word choice is amazing and Anne's voice is so clear, it's lovely! :)

Also, that's totally her nickname now - The Pool Master :D

Great chapter, of course, and I look forward to the next one! :D (Also, you updated this so fast... like wha? :P)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi again! :D

Thank you so much! I'm so glad that Annie seems real to you, because that was my intention! I wanted her to be relatable, and she has her share of problems just like everybody else. Parent issues happen all the time, and the antagonism she gets from her mother is another reason why she is the way she is. Haha, the night class thing was one of my favorite snarky things to write! In this chapter, she's a little less suave/sophisticated/sassy, but she's still got that slight undertone of sass that I hope will never go away. And she's gotten pretty good at pretending to be someone she isn't when she's in the casino, so when she's in the shop, things are a little bit different.

YAY! I wanted to write a Hufflepuff character, but I didn't want her to be a "typical Hufflepuff." Hufflepuffs are super cool, and although I'm a Ravenclaw, I wanted to show my appreciation for the House of the Badger. Annie is awfully snarky and devious and such, but she's a Hufflepuff for good reason. There are many facets to people's characters, and I couldn't just limit her to a stereotype!

Yeah, Barry is a bit rude. I kept laughing about how lazy he is though. He yells at Annie, but he actually knows that she does a good job in the shop. He's just stuck between the glory days of his Quidditch career and the impending doom of Old Age and Falling Out of the Public Eye. He's a funny guy.

Yes, James! I love to write him for some reason. :) He DID need to find her, but he isn't going to figure things out any time soon. He recognizes Annie from the casino, but his memory of her at Hogwarts is VERY different from his impression of her in the present day. It's a bit strange that he doesn't remember, but it'll all turn out in the end, I promise! Yes, he gave me lots of trouble with his wavering between suave and bumbly. I just don't know what to do with his sometimes... And the Sticking Charm threat was pretty mean, but it ended up being quite effective... :)

I don't think that you should feel sorry for James. Yet. Or ever. Depends on how you look at it. :D

Thank you so very much!!! The queue was short, so I figured that I would go ahead and update. :)


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Review #56, by AphorideThe Place That Will Never Be Dark: Prologue

25th August 2014:
Hi Maggie! :D Spotted you in review tag and just had to pop by - so happy to see this up! I adored Down Comes the Night, as you know, so this looks super cool and exciting, even if there's (maybe?) a lack of Helgazar.

So really, chances were I was going to love this, and I do! It's just such a brilliant beginning! I love how you set the fall of the Founders up from the beginning - with what sounds like something of a final battle-type thing, with Godric, and the hints that Salazar is going to betray them. Of course, we know he does, but what else will happen? Is he just going to put a snake in the castle, because it sounds like he's going to do more... and all the little things about Godric should protect his family... Gareth! His wife! :( So foreboding - I love it :P

The characters are back and so wonderfully written, again. I loved how Salazar was so impassive, and Rowena just so uninterested in what the Seer had to say - which seems so in character for her, being so logical and so intelligent. It's not something which is particularly logical... Helga was lovely, as always - and Godric was so sweet, too, if even he seemed a little sceptical at the beginning. But then, I suppose none of them want to think about betrayal, you know? They're supposed to be friends and all...

The seer herself was great, too. I liked how she came from Ireland, there was a council of Seers (which is such a cool idea!) and how she'd come to give them a warning because the school - and they themselves - is important. It's very reminiscent of King Arthur, you know, in the sense that the quest/warning/magical guest comes to them, and so on...

Your writing, as always, is lovely! :) Everything flows so beautifully, and you just manage the more old-fashioned language so, so well!

So yes, I think it's safe to say this is something I'll be following without a doubt, and that you've done it again :)

Favourited! :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Aph, hi! Thank you so much for checking this out, it means the world to me!

Although there may be a lack of Helgazar in this, I hope you will like the dynamic between them in this story. It's set several years after DCtN, so they have had considerable time to process things. I wanted to keep going with these characters, and I felt that it was time for them to face a real test. The stakes are definitely higher, and you're on the right track with some of your thoughts about what the prophecy means (if you can really even call it a prophecy. Haha, it's a little too cryptic to be truly informative.)

Yay, I'm so glad you like the characters so far! Even with this first little glimpse of them I tried to show the personalities I'd established with Down Comes the Night. Rowena was particularly fun to write here, with her snark, and I'm looking forward to giving her center stage at times throughout this story. I'm so happy you found all four of them to be distinct and likable :)

You'll be seeing more of the seer very soon! I wanted to widen the scope of this story to challenge myself a bit. Since DCtN is set almost entirely within the walls of Hogwarts, it was time for some outside influence to come in. I imagined that Hogwarts would be a source of hope for the magical community, a way to reassure people that the future of magic is bright :)

Alsdfdslfka thank you! I love this style and it's a joy to get back into it. I'm so happy that you came by, and I hope to have the next chapter ready to post very soon :)


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Review #57, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

24th August 2014:
FIRST REVIEW, FIRST REVIEW, FIRST REVIEW! :D (I really hope this is the first review, haha)

Okay, so I'm really, really falling in love with this story. It's just... addictive. Ironic it's set in a casino, haha.

*coughs* Anyway, I loved this chapter - the exposition back to the past, showing her being bullied by James Potter, revealing her name (poor girl...), introducing The Best Friend... it's just so good. And, you know, flashbacks can be awkward things to lug around (I'm so bad at them, haha) but you just manage them so well. They seem to fit in so easily and so naturally - as did all of the different sections. It just flowed, despite the breaks, and it was so, so lovely to read.

Portia (Annie? I'm assuming Annie is preferred) is such a wonderful character. I loved the development of her here, with the bullying and her optimism that it was a one-off incident with The Ghost of Hogwarts Past, and how she's fairly relaxed in spite of it happening. I like that - not everyone remains really worked up about things, you know? And it shows a nice, softer side to her after the casino chapters.

Side note: one of my sisters has a friend called Portia. She doesn't use her first name, either :P I couldn't help but think of her when reading this.

Hattie seems such a great character, too. I loved the little insights into her, and how she seems like such a genuinely nice person. You know, that person in school you just can't hate at all... that one. Her. :P Yeah, I love that - some people are just like that, reaching out to others who are upset and helping them and taking their side. I also liked how she seems a little bit... neurotic, I guess? :P With the flailing of arms and all... their friendship was just so real, though, the way you wrote it - it was just obvious they were best friends. So good!

As always, your word choice is amazing. I really loved 'nebulous' and how you used the more childish kinda vocabulary for when they were eleven years old - 'big, dumb meanie'. It's little things like that which really make something come alive, and it was just so, so good. I keep saying that, but it's true! The details in here as well, are amazing, like the story about the magic marker dragonpox spots (I kinda wanna know that story now! :P) and the mint chocolate ice cream (which was also such lovely description!)...

Your writing is so good. And so many cliffhanger-type things. So many questions! I really wanna know what happens when she sees James next! Does he come to the casino again? How does he persuade her? What will Hattie think of that? Gah, this hasn't been the most action-packed chapter, but it didn't need to be, because the mystery and the curiosity is still there.

So yeah, I still love this story, and, as always, I want you to update already :P (Sorry? ;D)

Aph xx

p.s. haha, Emily! First review! :D Yay! *cheers* (Sorry... :P)

Author's Response: Hahaha, shame on me for taking my sweet time in responding to this brilliant review. :)

Addictive? I can work with that! I'm so glad that you're enjoying it, because I really admire your writing and it makes me super happy that you like mine, too! :D

Thank you so much! I struggled a bit with the flashbacks--it's so hard to figure out what needs to be put in and what could be left out, but I ended up going with the barest minimum of information that I could without being super vague about it. And I had to introduce Hattie and OF COURSE reveal my MC's name! (It's about time, right?)

Yeah, Annie is definitely preferred by my character, especially since Portia carries such awful significance for her (which will be revealed... eventually). She is definitely more relaxed after her encounter with James, but I would like to think that she's still a bit shaken by it. She tries to cover it up, though, because everything she's been through has taught her (in a way) to hide what she's actually feeling. Sort of. (Maybe I'm being too explain-y. Sorry!)

Ugh, your poor sister's friend! Portia is quite an interesting name--rather archaic, but I think that if my name were Portia, I would rebel.

Hattie is so sweet. I love writing her, just because she IS the one that everyone loves. She knows how to comfort people, but she's also easily excitable and slightly neurotic--what Healer isn't? :D

Thank you! Words are so awesome. I love adding in interesting vocabulary because it gives my story a cool vibe (I'd like to think). Yeah, I'm sure that I called people "big dumb meanies" when I was eleven, so it seemed to be a fitting insult. Hahaha, there's no real story behind the magic marker dragon pox, but it might make a good one-shot. ;) Mint chocolate chip ice cream is the bestest. Definitely.

THANK YOU SO MUCH OMG. I love cliffhanger-type things and questions, as you can tell, so you'll just have to read on to find out! I rather enjoyed writing this because of its actionlessness. It was a nice break from the slight intensity of the previous chapters. :D

Thank you so, so much! And yes, you got the first review! Hooray! :)


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Review #58, by AphorideButterfly Effect: Prologue

20th August 2014:
Hey there! Dropping by for our review swap! :)

So I didn't read this when it was a one-shot, but I have to say that it makes a wonderful premise for a story! :)

I love how you started it without us knowing what exactly had happened to her mum and brother - it made the feeling in the writing so raw and powerful, because, really, we didn't need to know to get that it was heartbreaking stuff. The way she was shouting, repeating herself - it just really brought to life this kind of panic and fear and everything, which is so real, you know? I loved as well how her dad just signed the forms without thinking, because it might save them - there's something in that, you know, again that kind of realistic, sense of desperation for them to get better...

The one thing I was confused about was the football thing... with the touchdown... like, you use 'Mum' so I'm assuming they're English (or meant to be?) but the touchdown confused me because in English football there's no touchdown... :/ If I've missed something, feel free to kick me! :P

I'm so curious to see where this goes from here - her mum and brother having been killed by the truck driver, it must be so traumatic, and particularly in such a sudden way... that's the kind of thing which defines you. It changes things, and I'm curious to see how she reacts to that and how it affects her life and all... from your summary before (I think) I think James II comes into it? But I'm not sure...

Your writing is so powerful, though. It's simple but so evocative - you really just let the emotions talk, and that allows me as the reader to just feel. It's lovely, and so fast-paced as well, it's great.

So yeah, this is a really, really great start and I'm disappointed I didn't read the original one-shot! :)

Aph xx

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Review #59, by Aphoridean absence of light.: morning song.

18th August 2014:
Hey there! :) So I actually had to scroll down your page to see what I had and hadn't reviewed, because I love your work, so most of it I've already read, but I found this and I'm surprised I didn't stop by before. Vampires are just so cool... so interesting, but ah well, I get to stop by now! :)

I love how you presented Rose - she's such a beautifully complicated character. I love how she's not a victim, really, because she wanted the life she has, even if she's not totally sure about it now she has it, and she made a few mistakes, but she sort of accepts them, you know? It's such a lovely trait for her to have, and I like how she's not angry with Luc because of it, she's more angry about her family and disappointed in how they react. It's a really... can I say human? reaction to it, lol.

I loved how her family reacted, as well. They are a magical family - you can't expect them to simply be accepting of everything. There's a political thing going on underneath, with the magical creatures, and I love how you sort of delved into that with the Department of Regulation and all, the way her family are so scared of her and what she's become. It's really, really sad - both for her and for them, because she's lost her family and they've lost her, in a way, and it's just so sad that they're scared because it's so unfair. So yeah, I loved that - and I loved how Rose got angry at Hermione, because I can really, really get how and why she would be.

Also, I like how you dealt with the whole vampirism issue. Like it was just sort of... boring :P But not in a bad way as in your writing was boring, but that being a vampire wasn't much of anything special, it was more like being a different sort of person. There was this lovely sort of anti-climax where Rose was asking Luc questions, and she met his friends and it was all just so normal - like not that much different from a human life. And I loved that. The normality of her life really highlighted her family's reaction.

Hugo is amazing. 'Nuff said :P I love that boy. He and Rose have such a fabulous relationship, too. I like how he came round in the end - perhaps was always sort of round, in a way. It leaves this sort of hopeful, you know? And I like that. It's so much better than a properly 'happy' ending with everyone being friends and all...

Your writing, of course, is lovely as ever. I love your word choice and the different sections - the beginning was amazing - and the voice of Rose in this is just so strong. I remember reading your other stuff and how different this voice is to others you've written, and that kind of skill just amazes me every time.

So yes. I'm still in love with your work, and I'm so so glad you're back, and thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hiya! Awh you always send the best reviews, thank you so much!

I had a lot of fun with Rose in this. When I first started writing it I was writing her very differently, much more helpless, but I quickly realised i liked it much better if she wasn't just a mindless victim. The ambiguity of whether or not she wanted to be changed aside, she takes control of the situation, doesn't just totally run away from it - though she's tempted to try, at first.

Writing her family's reactions was hard for me! A lot of people have criticised it, but I stand by how I characterised the family. They don't know any better, and the wizarding world, in my opinion, is actually much more old fashioned and close minded than our world. So as sad as it is, I don't think they would easily accept her at all, because they just don't understand, and they've grown up with this ingrained fear of vampires, taught that vampires are instinctively evil... They probably feel like the rose they know is dead, really.

I was really trying to avoid as many vampire cliches as I could, because this is probably the most written about supernatural creature in the world and it's hard to get an original take on that XD so yeah, the main thing I tried to dispel was the idea that vamp life is super glamorous! So much of real life is filled with boring but essential tasks, I figured and extended life would be just the same, especially if you're in the modern day trying to be on the up-and-up, so you can't just go around stealing and biting whoever you want. It was actually really fun to write these, like , domestic vampires XD

I LOVE HUGO. whenever I put him in a story he always seems to end up the hero, oops XD I love the idea of him as a punk with a heart of gold, haha. And I'm a sucker for brother/sister cuteness, so I knew from the start that he would be the one to support Rose. I wanted to give her at least one person from the fam who was on her side!

I'm so glad you liked the writing and the whole story! This was a slightly rushed challenge entry originally so I still want to polish it up at some stage, but it means a lot you even like it as a slightly shabby version, haha!


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Review #60, by AphorideStarfall: Seal Our Fate

16th August 2014:
Hi Isobel! :) Firstly, I'm sorry if this is a little short - I'm pretty busy atm, with sorting stuff out for going abroad soon - but I just had to drop by and see this, because I really, really do love this story! :)

I love Dorcas, how she's such a fully-developed character in this, despite not really being around for much of it :( The idea of the Death Eaters moving around, having temporary houses (at least, most of the known ones) is so good, and really highlights the idea that this is on both sides, a sort of guerilla war, where neither side has power and both sides are sort of undercover, in a way. You really build this whole feeling throughout it that anyone could be involved - it's so plausible that random people are involved, because of the way the war is, you know?

Poor Milly, though - so alone and so unfortunate :(

I loved the scene with Lily and James, too. How James was so loyal to his friends, and it became a weakness for him - how he just runs off into the night to go and find Peter and prove that he's not a traitor, because to him it is unthinkable. It's actually just desperately sad, I think, because he's a nice, good bloke... gah, I love James! :P And Lily... I love the mentions of the things she'll leave behind in the house - the photos and things - and how she and Harry escape with Hagrid, with Voldemort so close behind... (the only criticism, if I had one, would be that the end of this, with him coming up the path to the house, could be a bit more tense? Like, Lily could be more scared?)

I loved how you wrote Barty, as well. Of course, I ship him with Regulus, haha, but I loved his interactions with Marlene, and how crazy he is, but so clever as well. And Marlene! I loved - honestly, loved to bits - how she was kinda going crazy and psychopathic because of the loss of her family and yet she's on the good side, you know? Like, she's supposed to be a good guy, and she's out there killing random, innocent people because of revenge and it suits her needs. She's such a great character and I really hope we see more of her in the future! :)

Snape is so wonderfully creepy, as well, with all the comments about 'his Lily' and things... it's so possessive and so desperate.

All the little details and hints and clue-type things in here are just amazing, too. Like, why Barty is leaking secrets to the Order, how he's not being found out, is Snape going to work out that Milly wasn't an Order member and Barty's lying, what will happen to Pettigrew now his information failed and he's been rumbled as a spy, what will happen to Lily. gah, there's so many questions and so few answers! :P I'm so so curious...

So yes, your writing is fabulous, the length of this, even if it was long, was virtually unnoticeable, and I'm first review! (I hope, I think, maybe?) Yay! Hehe...

I love this story. So much. Please update soon! :)

Aph xx

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Review #61, by AphorideWhen Summer Fades: equinox

15th August 2014:
Hey there! Dropping by for our review swap! :)

Okay, so I love stories about Regulus - he's one of my favourite characters, with the whole tragedy of dying young, the whole family situation with his parents and Sirius... gah, so angsty, poor boy :P So when I saw this, I just had to read it.

I really, really love the way you presented him here. As like torn between two sides and almost not really being allowed to simply be himself, he kinda has to be both of his parents and Sirius, if that makes sense? Like he has to agree with both sides, seem to be on both sides... you've portrayed it as this really delicate balancing act, which I love - and a balancing act he kinda needs in his life, to avoid being sucked one way or the other. He seems strangely sort of... not unhappy with his friends, but sort of unfulfilled - as though they don't give him everything he needs in a friendship. I loved as well how surprised he was that Summer wanted to be friends with him - as though it didn't happen, but it probably didn't for him, and not with 'people like her'... gah, he's just a wonderful, wonderful character.

Summer is great too - I like how she's almost his kind of anti-thesis: happy and cheerful and bright, but not stupid or naive about what's going on and what they have to do to be friends. Like, she doesn't push him and is perhaps a bit of a walkover, in a way, but she's just generally a nice, good person. Her optimism as well is such a nice trait.

I liked how they sort of became friends almost be accident, and his friends didn't find out for ages because they simply assumed - and it's a fair enough assumption, to an extent! :P - and the cliffhanger at the end is great (though annoying, coz I wanna know what she has to say... *pouts*).

Like before (I read low tide, I remember, and loved it to bits), your writing is so gorgeous. The details you include are amazing, and your word choice is brilliant. The voice fits the character so well, and nothing seems out of place or over the top. Little phrases like 'wearing my heart on my sleeve' and 'she just listened until I had talked myself hoarse' are just so, so good.

So yeah, I really liked this! This is such a great chapter and a great story! Thanks so much for the swap, as well! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph! Gah, this review was just so amazing and totally made my week!

I love Regulus too! There's just enough about him in canon to make him a really mysterious, complex character. And ahhh given that he is one of your favourite characters, that's such a huge compliment that you loved the way I wrote him! Thank you so much! I do like the way you put it, like a balancing act, feeling unfulfilled, that's exactly what I was aiming for.

So glad you liked his friendship with Summer as well. She was definitely intended to be a foil to him, and I like what you pointed out about her. Their friendship is rather an unexpected one, but I think that's the only way it could have happened given Regulus' history and his friends.

Omg, thank you for the lovely compliments about my writing style and word choice, you're so kind! I'm flattered. It's so wonderful to hear that the voice fits Regulus well, too.

Thank you so much for this incredible review! Loved swapping with you! :)

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Review #62, by AphorideOne Blaze of Glory: Feel the Heat of the Future's Glow

15th August 2014:
Hey there! Stopping by for our review swap! :)

I have to say, part of why I love summer is because I get to come along to all those stories I've seen around on the forums for ages, with people recommending them and stuff, like with this one. I loved the idea of the book when I heard about it in the canon, and he idea of a story based on that book is genius.

I love how you start it with the introduction to the book, with him talking about what he's going to write and how it's going to work, stressing that it's important. Because it is. Also, I really like how you describe the attack and make a point of stressing how they came from a wealthy, prominent family and after the attack Marcellus was expected to simply leave his brother behind, on his own, with nothing. It's such a harsh life, you know, but it kinda speaks about so much more and can be applied to so many things. It makes you think, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.

So yeah, I like that this isn't happy at the beginning, but it's the kind of story which almost shouldn't be, partly because of the canon information going into it, but also partly because of the sort of point I guess you're trying to make? But I love how you don't overdo it - you just mention things, almost casually. In the sense that, Marcellus doesn't seem to sort of dwell on things, he's more like a reporter than a writer, in the sense that he's just writing down what happens, not adding anything or changing anything. At the same time, with the situation, you manage to build this wonderful sympathy and empathy for with the characters. I want them to do well. I want them to, not get better, but do better. Be happy - all that kind of stuff. You make me root for them, seemingly without trying.

Your writing in this is gorgeous too - I love how you use description so effectively and your dialogue is so good, too - you adapted it to each character, which I'm so jealous of! Your word choice was brilliant in places and so suitable. Everything was just... gah, it just all flowed and fitted together so beautifully and it was so engaging. Like, I couldn't stop reading it.

I think I'm going to have to add this to my favourites :) Thank you so much for the swap, too! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey! This response is ridiculously late, so you probably won't even see it, but still thank you so much for leaving such a fantastic review! Getting positive feedback always means so much to me, and now that I'm answering reviews, seeing supportive ones like this makes me smile.

Thanks so much!


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Review #63, by AphorideTea & Poison: Ella

12th August 2014:
Hi Isobel! So, I know it's terrible - I've been meaning to read this for ages, so as soon as I saw you post for a swap, I jumped on it! And now I'm just so so sad I never got round to coming to this earlier, because, honestly, this was amazing.

You manage to build this wonderfully creepy, dark atmosphere so easily, with the voice (of the dead boy? I'm not totally sure, but if it is then it's even creepier...) and the woman being so weird - the room being empty when she looks around, thinking things happen and people do and say things and then finding out they didn't. It's just... gah. I don't know how you do it, it's just so strange and confusing - in a good way! :P - with all the twists and turns, and differences in reality.

I love Elladora's character and the way you portray the whole family, too. I love how she doesn't seem to really like them, but feels in a way sort of oddly obligated to them nonetheless - it's a very strange, detached sort of attachment, if that makes sense, though it works so well with her and the times and everything! It adds so well to the spookiness - there's this sense, particularly at the beginning, but even at the end, that Elladora's on her own with everything that's going on, with the voice and what-have-you. It makes it so much worse because she can't ask for help and doesn't expect any help or for anyone to understand... Phineas is... well, not very nice? But I suppose he wasn't necessarily going to be, given who he becomes (albeit in painting form!) :P Her mother is terrifyingly haunting, too - she reminds me of a slightly more hysterical Miss Haversham, in Great Expectations, you know? Only sort of darker...

All the little details, like the rumours surrounding Ursula Flint and her mother were so good - I loved all the little things about society and how they were supposed to act and things. It was just so good! :)

Your writing was phenomenal in this. Seriously. It's just amazing. This is one of the best horror/dark things I've read in a long time, and I've almost fallen in love with the whole setting... even though it's creepier as anything! :P

Loved. To bits. Favouriting. Can I kick you to update this one too? :P ;)

Aph xx

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Review #64, by AphorideJigsaw: Piece #1

11th August 2014:
Hi Sian! I was so glad when I saw you in the review tag, because it meant I could stop by and get a chance to thank you for all the lovely reviews you've left me recently! Plus, it means I got a chance to have a look at your new stories - both of which look so good and so interesting - since I'm short on time atm and excuses are necessary :P

I love the different sections in this - how you start off with the man being cursed and all of that, and then with Roxy at the newspaper (which is such a good idea for a murder mystery, btw! I'm also jealous I didn't think of it first :P). They flow so beautifully together.

Roxy is such a wonderful character! I love how she's so dissatisfied with her life as it is, but at the same time is so in love with her chosen career and so determined to make it that she's still there, still going. She's so realistic, you know, in that she's not amazingly successful and has difficult relationships (like with Daniel, and Fred and everything that went on there - which I'm so incredibly curious about, I have to admit!).

The newspaper is just awesome. I can imagine it so clearly in my head - with all of the people there, and the little desks and Higgins being so rude and angry and everything... your writing is just so lovely - so evocative - and really allows the image to almost come alive. It's just gorgeous. And you're so so good at writing the mysterious bits too, without making them confusing or anything.

The details in this were amazing, too. I loved the Quidditch chat and the drinks and how the barman knew them so well, and the use of muggle technology - I have to be honest, it's one of my pet peeves, but in this it worked because it was so strange for them, you know? Like, they didn't just suddenly get it and be fine with it. It was weird and new for them, and I loved that!

So, yes, this is just a gorgeous, wonderfully-written start. I'm so hooked on what's happened already and so desperate to know more. I may poke you on twitter/hpff asking for updates. Please don't be alarmed :P

Please update soon! Favourited! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Laura! Ah, I was so excited to see that you'd chosen to review this story when you followed me in review tag, because I've put a lot of work into it, and it means so much to get this fantastic review from you!

I'm really pleased that you think the different sections flowed well! I was worried that it might seem too stilted but I wanted to include the opening section especially to introduce more of the mystery.

I'm thrilled that you like Roxy! I've been working on this story for quite a while now so I've grown quite attached to her - it was important to me that she was realistic and didn't have the perfect life and job. Everything's a bit rubbish for her at the moment, actually, but she is ambitious and loves her work.

It's brilliant that you could imagine the Prophet offices! I have a really clear image of them in my head too, and was hoping that I could convey that; the atmosphere there and the sense of belonging to something much bigger are one of the reasons Roxy loves working there. I'm really pleased that you liked the mysterious parts too, and hat they didn't seem to confusing!

I was a bit hesitant about whether to include Muggle technology or not, because I think sometimes it's made to seem too easy. It's only a recent addition to their world here, and I imagine the phones being like the earlier ones from the 90s, only being able to phone and not much else.

Thank you so much for this amazing review! I'm hoping to post an update soon! ♥

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Review #65, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: A Face From the Past

10th August 2014:
Hi Mallory! :D Gah, second review - I will get first next time, I promise! :P

So, I love that this chapter carries straight on from before, but also the way you don't immediately tell us who he is or use his name straight away. It's a little thing, but it adds so much... and I liked how your James isn't a nice, charming, delightful guy. He's a former bully (maybe not one still) and a bit creepy and arrogant and annoying - the kind of guy I wouldn't want to be friends with, you know. But, then you make him so real at the end by him having his own problems and his own fears and difficulties - he's not just mean and arrogant, he also feels afraid and worried and things like that. He's such a good character, even just in this so far. All the little references to him being a Quidditch player and being so smooth in the spotlight and being fawned all over, but then being different out of it... I don't know if this was your intention, but you make me almost feel a bit sorry for him. He's not a nice guy, but that doesn't mean fame isn't hard and it doesn't wear on him like it does on other people. The way you've used fame as well in this is just so good, too :)

So yeah, James is awesome. I loved the developments of your MC, too - though we still don't know her name! Next chapter, please? :P Nah, it's fine, it works so well without having a name, tbh. It's almost more mysterious. I'm almost hoping you keep this up until James finds it out - like it's a kind of thematic-trope type thing in this. It would be so awesome if it was... but, anyway! I love her and the way you've developed her. She's been bullied, but she's stronger. She hasn't forgiven or forgotten, she can hold a grudge, she gets angry, she's rude... gah, she's such a great character! And I really like her - she's so real! :)

Your writing is again so good in this - the mystery is so lovely, so well woven throughout it and the lack of a name for her adds to it so much. Plus, the little bits you give us - which cousin is blackmailing James? Why are they blackmailing him? Why did they choose pool? What really happened at Hogwarts? - are just so tantalising. I want to know! *pouts*

Plus, your word choice in this was amazing. Seriously. I loved the description of 'bacchanalian celebration' and 'recapitulation'. Gah, just so good!

The details - I have to mention that I loved the little mentions of wizarding culture-type thing in this. The Quidditch chat, the comment about how words and names have power and meaning... they're all just so lovely and so atmospheric.

So yes, I am still in love with this story, I am so, so curious to know what's going to happen next and about the bet and whether or not she'll help him, or how he'll persuade her, and just everything! This is really just so good I can't even! :D

I would ask for another update, but I think two updates in two days is a bit cheeky :P

Please write more! :D :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi again! :D

Hahaha, yes. I seem to have an awful problem of not revealing people's names in my stories... I was glad that I decided to mention that my MC's adversary was James because having too many unnamed characters would just be silly. :D Yep, my MC has had a name from the very beginning, but it doesn't surface until the next chapter. I like to be mysterious!

James is pretty darn awful--or so my MC thinks. After all, he was very terrible to her in the past, so she has all of these preconceived notions about him. He may or may not have changed since his Hogwarts days. :) Fame is hard to deal with (I think. I've never been famous), and I would like to think that while my version of James will smile for the cameras, he doesn't totally enjoy basking in the spotlight. He's a little less pigheaded than that, if only slightly.

I really like to leave people asking questions after each chapter ends! That just means that you'll keep reading and reviewing, right? :) James has a lot of cousins--who knows which one is blackmailing him? And the reasoning is slightly weird and complex (or so I'd like to think...). As for the explanation about Hogwarts... That maybe comes in during chapter seventeen or so (because I haven't written the chapter yet, I can't say for sure!).

Thank you so, so much! I really love the word "bacchanalian." It's fun to spell and the connotations are so interesting. Ooh, atmosphere! I'm so glad that you picked up on some of those elements. I would hate to think that I wrote a setting that has no personality of its own--it's always fun to have some interesting details!

Ooh, in love?! With my story?!?! No way! asfjalksdjfl;ksadf... That is so sweet! I'm in love with your stories too, as you know--and I can't even with this review. :wub: (Wouldn't it be great if that could be an emoji?)

Don't worry about getting first review--it just makes me happy that you review! :D


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Review #66, by AphorideLove Lost to the Greater Good: Adult

7th August 2014:
Hi there! Dropping by from review tag :)

So, you should know that I adore Albus/Gellert, so as soon as I saw this I couldn't resist coming to have a look at it!

I love how you've presented Albus. He's such a complicated character, particularly in that summer, and I love how you've shown that - he's angry at having to stay behind and guilty about not wanting to and not doing enough to take care of Ariana and knowing he's falling in love but not wanting, perhaps, to do much about... it's just so perfect and so real!

Gellert was amazing, too - the way he was so calculating and so good at reading Albus and working out his secrets, like the attraction, and was just sort of biding his time until using it... it's strangely sinister and yet kinda sweet, in a weird way, haha. I liked the way you had the moment when Gellert thinks he's manipulating Albus to make him dependent, but really Gellert just wants to kiss him :P It's just so in character for him.

I loved how you wove in all the greater good and hallows stuff, as well, with them talking about it, and Gellert being the more driven of the two of them and Albus knowing the words are empty and not being totally comfortable with the idea of so many people dying for an ideal.

Your writing was so good in this too - so fluid and clean and such lovely description! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it. When found out Dumbledore was gay I really got into this ship because it is more interesting than the usual slash drama. Writing manipulative people is my favorite! I'm glad I managed to make Albus likeable. In my first draft he was kind of a jerk. I hope you consider reading more of my stuff.
Gladis Gudgeon

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Review #67, by AphorideRainfall: King's Cross

6th August 2014:
Hi there - stopping by for the Blue v Bronze review battle! :)

I've seen this around the site, but I've never stopped by so I'm glad I got a chance to drop by this time! It's such a unique premise, really challenging in pretty much every way and so thought-provoking and emotional, you know?

You deal with Hugo being blind so well. Your writing doesn't feel limited at all and the description of things is just so gorgeous, whether it's what things look like or feel like or sound like. I almost wish I could get someone to read this to me so I could listen to it with my eyes close to imagine it properly :)

Hugo is such an amazing character. I love how he's not very outgoing, and very close to Lily, and irritated by people treating him like he's made of china or something, because he's not. It's such a real reaction, and kinda makes me wonder if I've ever come across as overly helpful and a bit smothering in that kind of way. Rose and his parents mean to be nice, but being overprotective kinda makes it annoying. Such a good, real presentation of them all, though!

The little mentions of things like Braille and him not always knowing when the dog (Snuffles! :D) comes up to him and hating people sitting in silence in the same room as him are so, so good.

As a whole thing, this is just so emotional and so evocative. You get the feeling of frustration at the end with Hugo, but also that he's just accepted it and he feels like his parents and Rose haven't quite accepted yet, even after so long. The ending scene particularly was so good - I felt so sorry for him, because it's something which really hurts, and the kid won't have meant it to be too rude because they just don't understand, but in a way that makes it sadder, if that makes sense. Especially when their parent doesn't seem to really step in... grr.

So yes, this was a really, really lovely piece. Gorgeous writing, great characters and an amazing, amazing premise. I'm so curious to see where this goes and how Hugo copes with everything! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you! I'm so glad you like it.

I've actually thought about volunteering this story to be made into a podcast over at FFAB. When I've finished it, I might. It would be really appropriate. If I can find anyone willing to record an entire novel!

I literally stop and close my eyes at odd moments to get a picture of what things would be like for him. It's fascinating to write from his perspective - if very limiting at times. And I think it's done wonders for my description! But you don't really appreciate how much you rely on sight until you think about managing without.

Really happy you like him - he's the first character I really feel I know. Like as I've been writing (I've actually got nearly 17 chapters done now) I've come to know exactly how he thinks and what he'd do. He feels like a very real character, and I'm really happy that comes across!

Indeed, Snuffles :D

The parent certainly wasn't very quick at stepping in, anyway, not acting before Hugo'd lost his temper and stopped listening. I've seen a few times the concept that children are honest in a way adults aren't, and it's true and Hugo knows it.

Thank you so much! I hope you do come back and read the rest - I'd love to know what you think. :)

~ Leo xx

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Review #68, by AphorideEvent Three - The Plans We Make: The Plans We Make

5th August 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for the Blue v Bronze review battle! :)

So I love Ron/Hermione, and when I saw that this was a Harry/Hermione sibling-friendship type story, I had to pop by because I love those to pieces and there are never enough of them!

Your characterisation here is amazing. I'm so intimidated by the trio because they have such well-defined personalities and I'm so scared by the thought of messing them up, but you just wrote them so, so well. I love the way you write Hermione as being so out-of-control and unsure of herself because it's a step she didn't see coming and she didn't plan for it and she doesn't know what to do - it's a lovely, real side to Hermione we don't really see all that much of in the books so I loved seeing it here. Harry was brilliant, too - so out-of-his-depth at the beginning with the situation and wishing Ginny was there for the girl-talk stuff, haha, but he's grown up and knows not to say things which will irritate her and stuff.

The tone of this was so gorgeous, too. I love the way you layered it - with the fluffy kinda tone of it all, especially at the end, and then the kind of sad, anxious tone with Hermione and then all of Harry's confusion - it's so complex and so real!

Just gotta say, I love the bit where Harry offered up James Sirius as a test baby for Ron to practice changing diapers on. Poor baby James Sirius! :P

Your writing is so lovely in this. It's so compact and it flows so beautifully and nothing feels extraneous and there's just the right amount of description and detail... gah, it's so great! :)

The ending was perfect. Just perfect. That is all. :D :D

SO yes, I really, really enjoyed this one-shot and am totally in awe of the fact that you wrote this (and two other stories!) in under a week.

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a nice review!!

I adore Harry and Hermione's friendship. I know a lot of people hate it, but I sort of love the dancing scene in the DH movie. If you look at it through the lens of friendship rather than the film trying to force Harmony on us, it's a really sweet moment!

You shouldn't be intimidated by the trio!! You're an amazing writer, and I doubt you'd mess them up. I tend to think that they're easier, because you don't have to think about them as much. They're already there! And you don't have to worry so much about giving background.

You're so nice!! I'm just flabbergasted by these compliments.

Alright... full disclosure... I wrote this like 6 months ago. It was the first chapter of a Novella that wasn't going anywhere. It needed major edits to make it work as a one-shot, but... the dough was already there. I could probably still publish the Novella with the original first chapter (because I really did do major edits), but... I feel like I should say that :P.

Thanks again for such an amazing review!!!


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Review #69, by AphorideStarfall: Prologue

5th August 2014:
Hi Isobel! :) So I saw you posted this yesterday and really wanted to read it (and am now wishing I had had more time yesterday... fourth to review and sixth to favourite isn't as good as first or second ;D) but didn't have time, so here I am now! :)

The premise of this is so, so good. I'm not usually a fan of 'what if' stories, but this drew me in anyway - because it sounds dark and gritty and action/adventure-y which is all the kind of stuff I like :P Plus, it's your NaNo novel - or one of them - which you talked about and it sounded so good then, so I'm ignoring my own preferences here, haha.

But yes, this is a brilliant start. As a prologue it works so, so well - enough that I have no idea what happened to get Lily to that point (why? He's her son! Whaaa?!) but also that I want to find out what happened... I'm assuming something with Snape happened... hm... the mystery you have in this and you inject through this is so good - I'm so intrigued!

The way you write Voldemort is terrifyingly good, too. Terrifying because it's Voldemort, you know, but it's so perfectly in canon and so in character for him. I loved the way he wasn't bothered, really, by the idea that some of his followers might have betrayed him because he can deal with them later. It's this sense of egomania with him which is just so on point. Like, they're all ants to him. They don't matter. I'm actually kinda hoping there's more from his pov in future, because it's so fascinating and so good. Is that weird? I dunno... :P

The sense in this chapter - of defeat and loss and sort of despair on the side of Lily and the Order, and then of winning and triumph and glee from Voldemort - was amazing. I always find it so difficult to weave two different feelings like that together without making it weird - how did you do it? :P It really just builds up the picture and the tension and allows your beautiful writing and description to almost flow past. It's gorgeous writing, really, speaking of - your word choice is stunning and the pace is so quick and fluid. Little things like describing the Atrium as 'desecrated' and Lily's eyes as 'doe-like' are just so evocative.

So yes, I loved this, and I will be following this story relentlessly and badgering you on twitter if you don't update on time (not really, don't worry! ;D). Favouriting! :)

Aph xx

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Review #70, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: Shooting Star, After Midnight

4th August 2014:
Mallory! Hey! :D So I promised to drop by, and here I am! :)

I've been looking forward to you putting this up ever since you mentioned it in the cabin, because it's such an interesting and unusual idea - plus, it helps that I know how to play pool, as well :P

I love the idea that it's in a casino, and the idea of a wizarding casino with slot machines and enchanted cards and all sorts of things is just so cool - I hope you go into more detail on that later, coz I wanna know so much more about it! And the idea of Fred Weasley II running it? Perfect! :)

I love your main character (so mysterious we don't know her first name yet - but it suits the chapter so well! I was so engrossed in reading I didn't even notice we didn't know it). I love how she's confident (but grown confident) and sexy and kinda cool and mysterious and yet from your summary she works so hard. She's just such an interesting character because in this all we see her at is her job, and in sort of an alter-ego kinda thing, so I can't wait for the next chapter to show us more of her.

The way you wrote the pool itself was brilliant. I'm always so nervous about writing actions scenes, because they're hard man! but this was just so good - I could see it happening in my head and it was so quick, as well. Tell me how you do that! Please? :P But seriously, it was so good!

Haha, I can't really feel sorry for the bloke who lost all his money - though he was a really great character. So real and so normal, to an extent, you know? He felt like someone you could pass on the street in RL. Poor Bonnie... :P

I'm so curious to know who the mysterious observer is and what he wants. She seems so scared/worried/etc.

Your writing in this is so good, too. I said about the pool scenes up there - and they were amazing - but all of your writing was so good. It flowed so well and your word choice was so great. I loved the way you described things, as well, particularly the casino at the top of this.

You people are making me add so many favourites these days :P Favouriting, following, bugging you to update :P

Update soon! Please? *bats eyes*

Aph xx

Author's Response: Wow, time certainly flies when summer ends. Sorry I took so long to respond, but this review is seriously one of the loveliest that I've ever gotten. So thank you for that!

Wooo, I'm so glad that you play pool! So maybe you can make sense of the jargon that I'm sure I'm going to jumble as the story progresses. :D I'm an amateur, but I really love pool and when I got this plunny, I couldn't NOT write it. Pool is cool, end of story.

The casino will definitely be featured a lot in the chapters to come. It plays a big part of the eventual plot (which will turn up one of these days). Freddy is one of my favorite characters to write, actually. He's so eclectic and weird, and you'll get to meet him later on in the story.

Ooh, I'm so glad that you didn't notice that I hadn't revealed my main character's name yet (until the end). I have this terrible habit of keeping character names out of the chapters until the very last second. In this particular story, her name isn't revealed until chapter three! Yes, well spotted! She's definitely taking on a sort of persona in this chapter--definitely playacting so that she can trick all of her opponents and such. Her work personality and her home personality are quite different!

Thank you so much! This chapter just came out of my head when I was at a loss for how to approach the beginning of the story. The pool scene is something that I imagine to be extremely overdramatic and very intense--almost a parody of itself. It was so fun to write! I honestly don't know how I did it, especially since I'm usually awful at describing action. I suppose it's easier when the majority of the action is done by inanimate objects. :)

Ugh, I don't feel sorry for the guy, either. I feel sorry for Bonnie. She married a schmuck, but a very commonplace schmuck. He was fun to write, but I'm hoping he won't make any surprise appearances in later chapters. o.O

Yes! The mystery observer is very scary. Be afraid. Be very afraid. ;)

Thank you so, so much! This is still my favorite chapter, just because I like the air of mystery that surrounds everything. I'm so glad that you liked the flow of the words and the descriptions! Hopefully I can keep that up. :D

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FAVOURITING!!! Seriously, it made my day so much. And this was a fantastic review as well. You are too kind. :)


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Review #71, by AphorideHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: Let's Make a Deal

4th August 2014:
Hey Mary, dropping by from the Blue v Bronze review battle! :)

So, you should know that I love politics, it's something which really fascinates me, so I'm amazed it's taken me this long to get here, because this really does seem right up my street!

I love how you've got her starting off at the bottom - and Louis as well - even though her dad is pretty well-known and pretty high up in the Ministry, it seems. It's an interesting route to go with her, rather than her asking daddy to put her in a better job to start, you know, and says a lot about her character and how she wants to do it on her own, not with her dad's support, kinda thing. Laney is a really good character, too - she's not necessarily very nice, is very driven and manipulative, quite haughty and a bit egotistical, but somehow she's interesting and I want to read more about her and if she stays like this the whole way. It's an impressive knack to have ;)

I really like the other characters as well, and the way you show them solely through Laney's pov. Like the other assistant, who's kinda plain and a bit dowdy and probably really very nice, but Laney hates her and looks down on her. And the boss who is a bit of a pig, tbh, but you get people like him and the other girl, you know?

Louis is awesome. I love how you're using him like a kinda male mirror-image of Laney, in the sense that they're so similar, and they have similar aims and are happy to have similar methods of getting what they want. It's kind of a devilish pact, if that makes sense, and I'm so interested to know how it turns out.

This is such a good set up and such a good start to the story. I'm so curious to know what happens with the pact and with the job and all... also, whether or not Laney will stay as she is or if she'll change as the story goes on.

Ah, such a good story! I'll have to keep an eye in this ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Eee! Aph! Thanks for this review!! *hugs* (Where is the :hug: smily when you need it? ;))

I never really saw Laney as taking the easy route. Yes, she takes her own sort of shortcuts, but she makes sure that it is because of her that she gets the shortcut, not just because of who her father is. She is confident and proud and that has made her want to get places on her own merit. Yes, she is definitely all those things, no matter how negative they are ;) But at the same time, how proud she is of those characteristics just makes me like her because she is a bit quirky but not in the usual stance.

Yeah, I'm glad you caught on that some of the people she meets aren't really the way she describes them. She is somewhat of an unreliable narrator (which has made some feel like the story is a bit too mary sue-ish unfortunately), but I feel like that is just part of her charm ;)

What can I say, they are two peas in a pod :P However, they are too alike that I feel like there will be some friction coming up between them. They are both too driven and manipulative to be able to work together seamlessly.

Thank you again!!

Mary xoxo

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Review #72, by AphorideBackground Noise: The Curse of Carkett Close

4th August 2014:
Omigosh, so, okay, when I saw this on your page, I just had to come read it. A teh-style parody with a bunch of wacky characters and a girl who's both a reincarnated drunk old man and a princess? Yes please! :D

This was just amazing. I'm not usually a big fan of parodies because often they're either too cynical/sarcastic or just not very funny and kinda miss the whole point of it all, but this is just... well, there's no way you could take it seriously. And that makes it brilliant.

I love Jo. She's so real, which seems almost strange to say in this world, but she is. She's surprisingly unbothered by things, lacks motivation, but it really brave underneath it all and just sort of gets on with things. In the context of the story, she's almost dull compared to the others characters, except she's got this wonderfully unique voice which is just amazing.

Nora is probably my favourite though. You can't really explain her without smiling and she's just such a wonderful, brilliant and interesting character. I kinda wanna know what the other dimension is like (will we ever see it? It would be pretty cool) and where she's come from. She's such a mysterious character, but she feels like she could be living next door to you.

Lizzy just makes me laugh. All the time.

The whole world you've built here is probably my favourite thing about this, though. It's just... amazing. It expands so nicely onto JK's world that it almost feels like it's just another bit we didn't really hear about before, and yet it's so different. It's totally wacky and weird and I love that. The name's are all so great, too - Carkett Close is genius! - though having a Horseshoe pub is a bit weird for me since I used to live near a Horseshoe pub... O.o but nm. The idea of the curse on the street is so good, too, and should be sad but isn't... I think it's because Jo just deals with it in such a sarcastic way :P

The details and writing, as ever, are gorgeous. Particularly the details - I loved all the little bits about the falling pianos and enlarged lawn mowers and sentient mould, and the chain of command question (God or a goblin? :P)... gah, just all of it. Again, I'm amazed by how different the style is here to other stories - tell me your secrets! :P You're so adaptable, it's just so impressive. I also loved all the little nods to pop culture, haha, though I won't list them here ;)

Ooh, and James Potter... so mysterious. Though I like how he's moving through wives, haha, and the Daily Prophet reporting so much on a single, relatively uninteresting event, except it's being reported on the same level as the end of the world. I'm so curious to meet him - I'm guessing the task is to look after him or something? And I like how he's a Seer - very cool!

Also, I have a soft spot for the clowns. And Creevey (Dennis?) :P

I'm so sorry if this is semi-incomprehensible, though I'm not really sorry because I loved this and I'm so glad I read it :)

This is being favourited and followed. Almost obsessively :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Aph!! ♥

Aaahhh, thank you for this amazing review!?!

I'm not a great fan of too many cynical/sarcastic parodies either, but I do love crack!fic and ridiculousness told with a completely straight tone.

Yup, that sounds like Jo alright! 'Lacking motivation' is an excellent way to describe her. But I suppose if you're cursed to die pretty soon, you're going to lack a lot of motivation as well...and yeah, despite this curse and everything, she does seem the normallest out of everybody present. :P I'm so glad you liked her voice! I was a little out of practice with writing first person POV when I started this fic, but your review makes me feel a lot better.

And I'm glad you like Nora with all her mystery. She's the epitome of the mysterious girl with the mysterious past, which is coming to her in 'flashes' of remembering. :P

And the world that you're reading about is just me botching JKR's wonderful wizarding world and inserting random details here and there. I don't even know how I came up with some of the details like enlarged lawn mowers and whatnot. And pop culture references abound in this story. JUst because they're fun! I've always wanted to write something crammed with the silliest, most irrelevant pop culture references (the obscurer, the better) so I sound like someone who knows a whole tonne of things (but actually I probably watch too much TV and just googled a lot of stuff up.).

James Potter, ha! I haven't quite decided what sort of character he's going to be. He'll definitely make his first appearance in the third chapter. Here's to hoping that he doesn't disappoint!

Awww, thank you so so much for this brilliant review, Laura! I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT YOU'D FOLLOW SOMETHING SO RIDICULOUS AS THIS ♥ THANK YOU!!


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Review #73, by AphorideDeath's Other Kingdom: Death's Other Kingdom

3rd August 2014:
Hey there! I'm so so sorry this is so ridiculously late - RL has been manic for the last while with all sorts of things and I didn't want to do a short review (because, really, I have far too much to say about how much I love this to fit in a short one :P) so I'm here way later than I should have been, so I'm so sorry about that.

Okay, so I loved this. You have this incredible gift of taking characters - often you manage to pick the ones I could never write, as well - and just writing them so well and so perfectly and in such a different direction to what I was expecting or thinking. Every time I read something of yours, I come away with a new idea about something or way of looking at someone. It's honestly incredible.

I have to honest and say that while Snape is probably one of the best characters in the series, I've never been able to like him. What I loved about this was that I didn't have to, and I don't think I was really meant to. You said you wanted to explore the darker sides of Severus and how he became a killer and it just... made sense. I could see him spiralling down and getting out of control, and I could almost feel his emotions through your writing and understand, even if I didn't like it, how he got to where he was. I almost feel sorry for him in this, except that he has this big thing about choices, with Lily and how she's chosen her path and he's chosen his - and it's the choice which makes him almost irredeemable in this, you know?

Gah, I could go on about this for ages... I loved how you presented him - and Voldemort. I don't think I've ever seen someone write Voldemort so well and so creepy and so... caring? I dunno if that's even a word that can be applied to him, but sort of interested, at least. The amazing thing is that you have this way of making things like that which should be just 'whaaat? O.o' seem completely and totally believable. Like, I believe you about this. I think it could work, the way you wrote it - with Voldemort seeing himself in Snape and that maybe being the attraction, and Snape just wanting to be needed and wanted and loved, and... just, yeah.

Your Voldemort is just amazing, as well. I mean, creepy as anything and terrifying and he doesn't even kill anyone or anything in this, but he still manages to be creepier and almost darker than in the books.

As always, your writing is to die for and practically makes me drool. Everything is just perfect: the word choice, the flow, the length and pace... it's just perfect. I don't know how else to describe it :P

Gah, you're just amazing. Seriously. I'm going to have to favourite this, because I don't quite know what else to do since someone else already recommended it on the forums (drat! :P) but I kinda feel I should do something...

I think I can probably officially call myself your fangirl now :) Yes? No? :P

Aph xx

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Review #74, by AphorideShelter: Shelter

2nd August 2014:
Hey there! Dropping by for our review swap! :)

So when you mentioned this, I just had to drop by, especially after I'd read the summary. I love Ron/Hermione - they're just so perfect together! - and a nice bit of angst every now and then, so this was right up my street straight away!

I really, really enjoyed this, too - I'm so glad you mentioned it! I love how you wrote Hermione - not as weak or pathetic or anything, but as recovering and needing to be comforted after having been so strong before. It's something of a subtle difference, but I loved it. You really kinda showed why Hermione's a Gryffindor with her bravery, and the bit with the lies and her nearly giving in was just so clever and could so easily have been in the books it's practically become my head-canon for that moment just now :P I'm so so impressed by how well you did with Hermione, because I'm so terrified of writing canon characters, and there's nothing in this which is anything even the slightest bit OOC. It's just perfect characterisation. I'm almost jealous :P

Your Ron was wonderful, too! I love how he was there when she needed him and, despite how much they argue in the books, he knew how to comfort her and knew what to say and things. It was just so sweet and really, really showed the whole deep friendship turning to love thing so well. You really managed to develop this whole other side to Ron, where he's caring and compassionate and almost hypersensitive of Hermione's moods and how she would react to things. It's so brilliant, and just makes their relationship in this for me.

Your writing as well is gorgeous. It flows so beautifully, and the memories of Hermione being tortured fit in so well - they don't seem out of place at all, tbh. There's just enough description and enough characterisation to make it a really deep and meaningful story without having too much happening and going really heavy on the whole Bellatrix part of it all. I love this missing moment - it's so sweet and tender and sad and just, gah, full of so many emotions! :)

Really, really good one-shot! I'm so glad we swapped and I found this :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this amazing review (and the amazing swap, as well)!

I'm so relieved to hear that I didn't mess up Hermione's characterization. I'm definitely scared of canon characters too, considering I'm a stickler for canon stories, so I was worried. That's really great to hear!

Same goes for Ron, as well. In the books we have so much opportunity to see him as a moody teenager who lets his emotions get the best of him, but I sensed a more mature and protective side of him when Hermione was tortured in the books. I definitely wanted to show that through this.

Once again, this is very appreciated! Thanks :)


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Review #75, by AphorideMoving On : Moving On

5th July 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for the Blue v Bronze battle! :)

When I saw this was Cho/Cedric and no one had come by, I thought it was about time someone did, and since I have a soft spot for Cho/Cedric, I thought I should, so here I am! ;)

I love how you've followed them through their, well, story, I guess, from the beginning where they got together, to the end after he had been killed and the war was over and she'd moved on. I liked as well how you portrayed her as moving on but not forgetting him, something I think people often forget and don't really include, you know? But you balanced it so well - she remembered him, and she still cared about him, but she loved other people too, and I liked that as a nice touch and the mention of her muggle husband at the end :) Her grief was wonderfully shown, as was them falling in love and how real you made it seem - it didn't happen all at once, and it was sort of a stereotypical 'young love' scenario, but I liked the depth you gave to it, and it suited them!

The way you wrote Cho was brilliant, too! I'v always felt sorry for her because so many people don't like her because she cried a lot in book 5, but I like how you explored what Cedric meant to her and so how his death affected her, once he was gone. And I liked the little mention of Harry, kinda alluding to why she went out with him and tried to talk about Cedric. It's maybe a bit selfish, but it's because she doesn't know what else to do. She was a wonderfully sympathetic character in this, which was so great to see! :)

Cedric is just adorable in everything, 'nuff said, but yours was so sweet - the way he blushed when he asked her out, the way she was so excited and nervous and how they got on so well... it was lovely! :)

Your writing in this is great - really, really great. It flowed so well, particularly with the different sections, and your descriptions were brilliant (though a few more here and there wouldn't hurt anything ;D). I'm amazed, as well, at your ability to convey so much in a short piece - it's really incredible! - and it was just, in total, a great read!

I'm so glad I read this and I can't believe this is going to be the first review! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!,
Thank you for leaving this lovely first review. I am really glad you liked the story, it means a lot to me coming from you. I don't think I can put into words how sweet and kind this review was. Thank you it truly means a lot.

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