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Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
  
530 Reviews Found

Review #76, by AphorideWhere The Wind Takes Me: The Second Chapter

24th July 2015:
Hey Isobel! :) So it's been a long time since I dropped by this story - way, way too long and I'm sorry for it - and I missed it so much (I think you updated recently? Or posted a snippet? But I saw it's name around and it reminded me how much I loved this story), so here I am! :)

Okay, so I love your characters so so much. They're just all so amazing and so real. I love Alice - she's so strong and so frantic to see her sister, so loyal to her family, but at the same time I loved the niggling little doubts she was thinking over, and how she expressed them but only to Frank. It's so true to life, I think, for people to wonder and especially where there's bad blood involved already. All of the emotions in this are just so brilliantly spot on.

I love Frank and Katherine, too - especially Katherine, because I like that for once a pretty, clever girl is insecure, that she isn't the 'other girl' who's just there to split up the main pairing before they inevitably get together, and I really loved how she prided herself on being beautiful and struggling to cope with the possibility of feeling overshadowed. I actually feel so sorry for her for that; it must be so difficult to live a life where something as shallow as that matters, you know? :(

The Aurors are amazing - and I love how Fausta Accorsi is everything Alice wants to be, and is clearly incredibly competent and just very cool :P She's just awesome, full stop! :)

The relationship between Frank and Alice and Katherine as a group is so fascinating - as is the relationship between Alice and Blue and the Gorbachev sisters... there just must be some reason to it, you know, and it being passed down from their parents makes sense, but I want to think there's more to it ;) It's a murder mystery, there's got to be more, right? :P

I love your writing in this, too. It's so beautiful and so clear, all of your imagery is so perfect for what you're describing, your dialogue is just too. good. Seriously - this is really an amazing story. The way you weave the suspense in and the mystery is so clever, and I really have no idea where you're going with it next, only that I really, really want to know.

So yes. I love this :)

Aph xx

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Review #77, by AphorideAreopagitica: Affiche Rouge

24th July 2015:
Hey there, Stefi! :) Dropping by for the BvB, since this story is so great, and it gives me a great excuse to come by (I'm meant to be doing work, oops :P).

I love this - I really, really love how it starts with such a bang with the first scene - Amycus and Ginny have a little tete a tete (well, not really, but it's not quite an argument - Amycus is just... woah O.o), the resulting torture and then their decision to go for the grafiti and posters. It's such a clever way to get into it - it really puts us in this world, in this really dangerous time and makes it so clear how bad it is, you know? And especially after the suspense/relative safety of the prologue this is a wonderful, wonderful change from it - it makes the atmosphere so very clear and tangibly terrifying, if that makes sense.

I've got to say, too, that I love the trick with the red gloves and Xeno's gifts to Luna being Quibblers enchanted into disguises. It's so so clever, and again, brings to mind those WWII stories of escape kits being hidden in board games sent to prisoners and things, and I just love that connection. To be honest, the way you connect WWII with the Second Wizarding War, as it was in the films, is so clever in general, and so well done - I loved the red posters and the affiche rouge (I'm a history nerd, and my dad has loads of books on WWII, haha), and how you sort of flipped what it was used for (which is such a lovely touch, you know, even if I can't quite explain why). I'm really looking forward to see what other little touches you put in this, because they're so wonderful and so perfectly placed :)

Your characterisation is so great, too. I'm so terrified of writing main characters, but you did them so so well - with Ginny's defiance and Neville being a bit more steadfast about things, and Luna being so very Luna-ish :P They're all amazing - and I love how you've included even people like McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey, and how they want to help, but aren't allowed to or feel that they can't for this moment because perhaps there is a bigger picture and it's not quite their place to do it. It's so great and so real, you know? And I love it.

Amycus and Alecto are perfect. So cruel and so callous and just being allowed to trample all over the school as they wish. Ugh. So, so awful, but exactly as they should be.

Your writing in this is so great, too - you capture the atmosphere so brilliantly, with the suspense and the horror of the other students and those who want to help but can't, and the sense of an absolute open secret, and the defiance with which Ginny and Neville and Luna are rebelling. It's so so good, really it is! :)

I'm so glad I stopped by on this - it's such a great story! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Thank you so much for such an amazing review!! I'm always supposed to be doing work too, yet here I am, never doing any work :D

I figured it'd be good to just jump straight into the action. I didn't really want to have a slow build up or anything with this one, as the prologue is something of a build up already. So, I figured we'd jump right in with the Daily Prophet article as a time stamp of sorts.

The gloves (and other trinkets) turning into the Quibbler is definitely a reference to WWII stuff. I'm not a huge history buff, so a lot of research went into all this stuff. So, I'm so very happy that you picked up on it! There are definitely tons of parallels between the Second Wizarding War and World War II. They put a lot of that imagery in the films, so I thought I'd keep going with that theme. Affiche Rouge is a pretty obvious reference. The chapter titles aren't all WWII though, some are Cold War, Soviet Union, modern day references. I used a lot of stuff representing censorship and propaganda, stuff relating to the title - Areopagitica.

This is pretty much my first time writing about main characters. They've briefly appeared in other stories of mine, but this is a full length story about them. I was definitely really nervous about it because they have such fleshed out personalities already. I've tried to make Ginny really, really hardened. I feel like this war has personally touched her so much already - with the Chamber of Secrets debacle and Bill getting attacked. Neville is definitely steadfast. He's not quite so rash, but I can see him growing into that as things get harder. But Luna, she's just a beautiful ray of light. I love her so much.

I'm a little worried about Alecto and Amycus. I characterize them as a little more intelligent than they appear in canon. I feel like Voldemort wouldn't make a pair of blundering idiots professors. It doesn't show much in this chapter, but I've always believed the Carrows to be intelligent people.

Anyway, sorry for this long rambly response. You just gave such a marvelous review!! Thanks again!

Stefanie


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Review #78, by AphorideUpon the Edge: Upon the Edge

20th July 2015:
Hey Laura! :) Dropping by for our review swap - I love your writing so much, so there was no question of me trying to resist it, you know? :P Plus, I will admit that I always look at stories before swapping, and this looked so so good and so fascinating - friendship fics are rare, and I've never seen a Lily/Sirius friendship fic - so I really, really had to come by.

I love the way you've characterised both of them in this. Well, your characterisation is always amazing, as you know, but I really love how you've taken a pair of such big canon characters and moulded them your own way so much so that they're so intrinisically canon - this whole moment feels so canon in itself, it's incredible; like, if someone told me this was true, I would believe them.

Another thing I really love about this, is how simple it is as a story. Like, it's this beautiful little moment - almost like a temporary truce between two characters - where two people comfort and help each other, perhaps even without fully meaning to, because, at the end of the day, they don't really hate each other as much as they think they do. It's so great, because life is full of moments like that - where someone you don't like around their friends is surprisingly nice when they're on their own and so on - and it shows, to me at least, the depths of human understanding, and how strong that can be. (I hope that makes sense... :P)

I love, too, how your writing brings this gorgeous sense of reality to the scene - like I can imagine it, I can almost hear it and see it if I want to; it's so good and so true to life, almost, that it really could happen in RL, between two people. Your description in this was just amazing - that first line, with Sirius glimpsing Lily on the roof from far away, was just to die for. So, so beautiful! The sensory details in this were so gorgeous, too - I loved how there was this sort of constant underlying silence and slight awkwardness in your writing, from the two of them, and how even with the dialogue, your writing felt so quiet, as though they really were looking at the sky from on top of the roof - there was such a sense of loneliness and hurt and everything. It was just so clear throughout the piece it was amazing.

I'm really kinda lost for words, oops, I don't know what else to say about this... it's just such a perfect little one-shot, and such a great missing moment.

Thank you so so much for the swap - I'm so glad I got a chance to read this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #79, by Aphoridebroken, broken: before the Departure.

19th July 2015:
Hey there, Emily! :) So you know how much I love this story - it's just so beautiful and so sad and ugh - so when I spotted you in BvB, I just had to stop by - especially when I saw you'd updated it :)

I really, really how you're tying Draco's trial, and the Malfoys' lucky escape from Azkaban into it (and it's strange, because I've felt slightly glad that they got out of Azkaban and avoided prison because certainly Narcissa and Draco never deserved it, but then in this you make me remember the rest of them, and how hard it must have been for them to watch the Malfoys get off, and know that they can't - or feel that they can't. Same difference, really :(). It just makes the whole thing feel so real - with the Slytherins sort of on the outside looking in at the changes taking place, but they can't see exactly what's going on, and they're so terrified. Uncertainty is something which can be so awful to have to deal with, and I love how you're including that in here.

I really love Daphne as a character - she actually reminds me of myself, which is a bit weird but kinda cool :P - she's being told she's so strong but she's still so terrified, and she's so afraid and just wants to be safe, and all these things are such human things to feel. I love how she also feels bad about leaving, but knows/suspects that she will anyway because she's a 'coward' - but really, she shouldn't feel like that, that's the unfair bit. She shouldn't have to choose whether or not to go :/

(I feel the unfairness of it very deeply, and I just wanna hug all the Slytherins, okay? :( I love them all...)

I loved your writing in this one (though in the top, just so you know, you repeated 'skin' twice in one sentence and it sounded a little odd ;)) - you use the repetition of the 'it's their/his coping mechanism' so well, and I loved the different sections going over the pass of time - it was so good, and so smooth. Also, your descriptions were so beautiful - I loved the way you described the news trickling down the Slytherin table, and the way you describe Pansy and Daphne's sort of not-quite-relationship. It's just so lovely.

Also, quickly, I forgot to say earlier, how I love that conversely, you're not making the Gryffindors/the 'light' guys, into villains either - it's just so beautifully done with showing grey and the problems winning a war causes for those who happened to be caught on the other side.

This is an amazing story. You are an amazing writer :)

Aph xx

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Review #80, by Aphoridefirst: first moment

17th July 2015:
Hey Carla! :) Dropping by for our review swap! :D I was so glad you asked me to come back to this, because I was planning to anyway, which made it really pretty easy to decide what to do :P

You know from before how much I love Esme and Albus - and I love that even now, when you've expanded the cast with Lily and mentions of Gaspard, the story still mostly revolves around them and their interactions. It makes the whole thing so very compact and really feels like you're viewing their lives through a kind of lens, focusing down on the relationship itself between them, which is something I just love.

Lily is a great character, too - I love how she's so much more outspoken than Albus, how honest she is and aware enough that it can be off-putting for some people and something others find difficult to deal with. She reminds me a bit of one of my sisters, actually, just less oblivious, haha. I like how different she is from Albus, but you can still see them growing up in a house together - they still tease each other, like siblings do, and it's such great writing.

I really like how you've developed Al and Esme as characters, too. I like how Albus talks about her at home, and thinks they don't see each other too often and is mature enough to know when not to pry. I really love how Esme is still that much more mature for her age than perhaps other people, somewhat serene and sombre, and has her own boyfriend, who she likes, even though Al/Esme is probably (possibly?) endgame in this and she's still not sure if she believes in love. You've managed to create such an obvious connection and friendship between them, and make them similar but different at the same time, and it's so subtle and so clever and I love it :)

Your writing in this is so great, too. I love all the little details you've developed in the world around them - the flowers and Fleur having a gift with them, the birdhouse and the bench and the tree for Bill's kids, even Lily having to explain what she means by 'a snake' to Esme... the world is so well constructed and so real and so full, it's so great. Plus, I love your description, and the different voices you've given each character when they speak in dialogue is amazing.

This is such a beautiful little story - I really, really wanna find out what happens next! :)

Aph xx

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Review #81, by AphorideThe Ides of March: Consider things like the stars.

15th July 2015:
Hey Kiana! :) I just had to drop by on this when I spotted you in the BvB because I was thinking about this story the other day - I saw some of Virginia Woolf's books in the bookshop and was reminded of my sister and this, haha - and how much I missed it so it was too good an opportunity to pass up :P

I really, really love your take on Helena. I love how lost she feels, and how, really, little there is in her life almost without Eleanor - it's an incredibly sad, raw portrayal of her and I love it so much. Plus, I love too actually how there are traits of her mother in her, too, but the kind of traits which clash - and it's so easy to see her ending up how she does in the books, you know? She's just so real and so fascinating because she's so modern, in a way, but stuck in a medieval time. It's so good! :)

(I'm rambling, I'm so sorry - I'm really tired, if that's any excuse...)

I actually really loved this chapter, with the philosophical/theological parts - I think it makes so much sense for Helena's character, you know, given her beliefs and how she really wants to be accepted, or at least keep the two things which mean the most to her: Eleanor and her religion. I loved how she spoke to the priest and he told her she was in danger for not listening to her mother, and how she felt like she almost had to make a choice between her religion and the possibility of redemption and salvation and Eleanor - it's such a heartbreaking choice, because we know how much they both mean to her :(

Your writing in this chapter was just amazing. Just so so amazing. Seriously. All of your description was out of this world - and I loved the end of the second section when she's almost despairing of the thought of not being able to have both of the things which are most important to her. It was such gorgeous writing. Plus, as always, your details were stunning - I loved the evocation of the moon maiden, and the moon versus sun bit at the beginning, and then the section about reality and what is and isn't real was so good - so thought-provoking but so interesting, especially with the feeling around it that maybe she was fainting or dying. It was so good! :)

This is an amazing story, as always! I've got to come back to this quicker than I did before :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey there Laura! ♥ Aw, I feel honoured that those books reminded you of the story so thank you so much for dropping by as I always appreciate hearing what you have to say about the story! :D

Aw, yay! I'm so glad that you do as I did want to write a more lost, forgotten Helena than the strong one I tend to see in a lot of stories so I'm so happy that you liked it. Hahah, I get what you mean because in so many ways she is like her mother, she is the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, but in other ways she's much more free and independent of society than her mother will ever be.

(It's cool I enjoyed reading the ramble)

Aw, thank you as I had tons of fun writing it so I'm never sure if others enjoy as much as I did. You are right to highlight the conflict between Eleanor and her religion which is why the history of religion fascinates me because it always seem to be in conflict with the most natural thing, that being love. It is such a hard choice, especially as she believes her soul is being decided on this but towards the end of the story she finally reconciles those two sides of her personality.

Aw, thank you so so so much! Virigina Woolf definitely helped a lot with this as her words are so amazing it's so easy to be inspired when reading her things. I'm glad that you liked as I always have so much fun coming up with new imagery for Founders stories as I feel that you can write much more creatively in this era and do a ton more detail.

Thanks for this fantastic review! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #82, by AphorideBody Builders: body language, or the beginning

14th July 2015:
Hey Mallory! :D So it's been far far too long since I dropped by your page, so when I spotted you in the BvB I just had to stop by - plus, this just sounded so cool.

You know, I'm just so so curious about what Freddy means by 'building bodies' and what's going to turn out to be in the room. It all sounds kinda Frankenstein-esque, with the whole 'body builders' title kinda reminding me of the body snatchers, you know, who used to steal bodies for science and things. You know I love all of that kind of Victorian stuff and the potential of the ideas joining is just way way too cool. Of course, I could be way off-base with this, in which case I'm so sorry! (And obsessed with the Victorians in a really unhealthy manner :P)

I really love both of your main characters in this. I love the way neither of them are really perhaps people you'd be friends with - Melisande with her snooping and knowing secrets and so on, and Freddy with his general approach to things, which is really distinctive (and so cool) but I can imagine would make him a bit of an outcast in Hogwarts, even in his own family. They're just such great people because they already have good qualities and flaws, and grey traits which could be good or bad depending on, and they seem so real and solid, and it's so impressive that they're so good and this is only the first chapter, too.

Your writing in this is so so good, too. I've always loved your dialogue and your style, too - and in this they both just are so great. Your style really suits this story and the kind of feel of it, especially with all the humour, which I just loved so much, and your dialogue - especially with Freddy's voice, which is (I think I said before) so distinctive, but so unique too - is just so strong, as always.

The details in this were so great, too - I have to mention them! I loved so much the details about Melisande chucking other students out of broom closets and some of the secrets she knew, and how she thought it was her duty to know these things and so investigate. It says so much about her character, in some of them, but it always expands so much on the world you're building around her and Freddy. And I loved all the details of Freddy's room, too, with the smoke and the wires and the big, blue bin and so on. It's just so great, and gives just enough detail that it really makes me so curious about what the whole thing looks like, but not too much ;)

This is such a great, great start to this, Mallory - I'm so curious and so looking forward to see where this goes from here! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura!! I miss you! Thanks for stopping by! :D

You're not wrong about the Victorian-inspired stuff! Of course, I need to reread Frankenstein, but it's sort of inspired by that idea and I hope to include more things from the Victorian era. (I am also slightly obsessed with Victorians now, after taking a class on them last semester.) Never fear, you're going to see things like that, although much different because I'm afraid of breaking the ToS and I don't want to do any necrophilia, blecch.

Melisande and Freddy are the same...but different. She's the type that has friends, but not really. He's the type that doesn't really have friends, for real. In that way, they can be the same and eventually get along, maybe. Thank you so, so much! I really love doing weird things with Freddy Weasley's personality, like putting him in Ravenclaw and making him a mad scientist. They're both very flawed, but I'm hoping that they'll turn out good rather than evil.

Aww, ♥ ♥. You are too kind! I'm really not very good at humor in real life because my jokes are badly timed or said in the wrong tone, but I'm hoping in this story I can write jokes that translate. I'm so, so happy that you liked the way I wrote it!

Melisande is a snoop, end of. And she's such a hypocrite because you can bet that she's snogged her boyfriend in a broom closet before. But that's what makes her perfect for being Freddy's assistant--her snoopiness. There will be more detail about the room in future chapters, so I hope that I can really give you and other readers a good picture of everything!

Thanks again!
♥Mallory


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Review #83, by Aphoridefirst: first crush

13th July 2015:
Hey Carla! :) Dropping by back on this for our review swap since you very helpfully updated so quickly ;) Pretty sure you had better reasons for updating than that, but let's pretend otherwise :P

I love the way you have this theme of firsts set up throughout the story - I always loved themes in stories in general - but there's something so sweet and yet potentially so sad about this one, given how openended it is. Still, it's still incredibly sweet at this stage - and while pure romance/fluffy things aren't really my sort of things, this is so good it almost really doesn't matter, you know?

Esme is such a great character. I love how you've got the contrast of her home life in France, with the mansion and the parents not in love with each other (any more? Ever? Either way, it's sort of a cold atmosphere in general you suggest), with the warmth and homeliness of The Burrow and the Weasley family in general. Also, I loved the conversation with Albus - how she was cynical, but wanted it for herself nonetheless, regardless of if she believed in it (maybe she wanted to believe in it? Ah, I'm overthinking this I think :P). Like with everything, it was an interesting look into her character - and more so that she realised it, you know, especially despite being pretty young. She's just so good - nothing about her is cliche, and she feels so real, you know?

I love Albus, too - I love how much older, but still so kind and somewhat honest he is with her - and I get the impression perhaps not so with others - and how he finds her again and dances with her, just to keep her amused. Also, I laughed at his reaction to her crying at a wedding, haha. Though to be fair, at that age, I'd have rolled my eyes too :P

Also, I just wanna say that I really like how subtle the crush was - how simply it was slipped in and how it showed in the details, and she wasn't fainting/blushing like a beetroot all the time. It was so refreshing to see a more realistic impression of a crush ;)

As before, your writing is so lovely. The chapters aren't hugely long, but their not short either, and I really really love how it's such simple moments you've chosen to show the development of their relationship and how things change. the way you write it makes it so clear what has changed, while developing the characters so slowly and so perfectly from children to teenagers. And the details are amazing. I loved the little note about heels making her feel more mature, haha - but they do! :P (See, I still need them even now or people don't believe I'm the age I say I am ;D)

Gah, this is such a lovely little story - it's so good! :) So glad there's a third chapter up already; I can come back soon! ;)

Aph xx

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Review #84, by AphorideSchrodinger's Cat: Anhedonia

13th July 2015:
Hey Kevin! :) Okay, so I do love canon pairings, so I just had to stop by this to see how you sunk them (because just how? :() but also because I have a lot of Physics friends who talk endlessly about Schrodinger's Cat - lots of jokes about it - so the idea of using it in a story seemed so cool!

You really are a master of canon characters. Here I am and I'm so terrified of writing them because it would be so easy to mess them up, and here you are doing them so perfectly, and seemingly so easily, too. It's like... how? I'm just in awe because to me, this seems like the hardest thing to do.

The way you write Harry, Ginny and Hermione is just so good - and I love how you've transposed them into being adults, too. They feel so much like their canon selves - even Harry knowing what Schrodinger's Cat is, haha, which seemed so random at the time and not massively like him but works so so well - especially Ginny. Your Ginny is just perfect: I love how she still blazes even when she's older and she still loves Harry as much - for her it's a lot more like an all-or-nothing kinda thing. But then I guess it's similar for Harry, it just ends up being more complicated, as often happens :(

I loved as well the way you tell the story of the relationship, having Harry sort of describing it almost to the therapist in the chair who isn't just going to give in because he's /Harry Potter/, you know, and walk away. It's such a great idea, and such a great structure, especially considering the title and the analogy Harry makes to his relationship. Plus, it allowed for those beautiful bittersweet moments with Harry and Ginny together, when Harry should be happy but perhaps isn't and thinks he should be.

(On a slightly related note: Schrodinger's Cat is so perfect an analogy to these things. One of my sisters isn't sure about her relationship with her bf at the moment, and it really is that, for some reason, it feels so much more real if you say something - so you avoid it. She's been doing that, too, the avoidance thing, and that last line of Harry's, that the saying it makes it real and you can't go back, is so so true. So sad, but so true.)

Your writing in this is so so good too. Your style is so gorgeous, so so easy to read (and in the best of ways. Nothing is out of place, sounds weird, or anything at all, and it has this way of sucking me in until it's over) and, really, your description and your dialogue both are just so impressive (which I'm majorly jealous about too, haha, since dialogue is like the bane of my writing :P).

This is heartbreaking, though, with the ending - it's not loud or showy or overly dramatic. There's this quiet, understated devastation to it - because it is devastating, and especially for Harry, given his personality. It's so clever and such a great story - even if it is just so so sad, perhaps more sad than anything else, because there's always the idea of 'what if'.

Wah, this is too sad, but too good! :) Thank you so so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura! First of all, let me say that my extreme delay in responding does horrible injustice to your amazing review! Seriously, after writing this, I NEEDED a review like this to convince me that I hadn't just gotten the concept disastrously wrong (yes, Gryffindors can be insecure too :p). This was particularly true with the idea of Schrodinger's Cat as an analogy for the moment love dies - so I'm thrilled that you thought it worked.

You're also incredibly kind with your words about the canon characters - somewhat unbelievably even though I think the world knows they're my OTP, I've never written a Harry/Ginny centric story before this one, in part because I was worried about getting them right.

Part of getting Harry right for me, I think, demanded this being set with a therapist. Harry's so closed unless he's lashing out most of the time, and since he obviously can't open up to Ginny about this (one of the very few who REALLY opens him in canon), I figured it would have to be a professional (and one he was ordered to see at that :p).

I think the most important thing for me was what you mentioned last - the death of the relationship not being showy or dramatic. Part of that is because I think it's very often how relationships realistically die. There's not always a blowout or some single event that CAUSES the death. Of course, the other part owes to personal experience - but such is life, right?

Thank you so much for all your kind words! It really means SO much to me for a story that was deeply important to me and took so much out of me to write!

You are the best! And though it is MUCH belated, thank you for the swap too!


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Review #85, by Aphoridepaper cranes: letters to a (dead) sweetheart

13th July 2015:
Hey there, Emily! :) Dropping by for our review swap - and wow, I picked a good one! Well, not good in the sense of sadness, and all that angst packed in here, but it's so so beautiful and I don't regret it for a minute :)

Okay, so I'm not quite sure where to start with this, so I'm just going to have to find somewhere... Andromeda. Let's start there :P She's such an amazing character, and I love how you've portrayed her. There's this wonderful sense throughout it of her pulling away and becoming better, more free and more /her/ - right up until the ending that is. But I like that, and it works so so well in this, as a kind of thematic thing and for setting things up, leading up to that moment at the end. Plus, it nicely inverts the beginning, I think :)

You do the relationship between her and Ted so, so well - I love the way they develop so slowly, and she's not quite sure why she allows it to because she shouldn't, but it's obvious from your writing why, and that perhaps he understands more than he lets on. I love, too, that you off-set the sweetness of them getting together and that storyline with the storyline after Ted's dead, and what happens to her after the war. It's such a beautiful juxtaposition - and it really shows the depth of their relationship while not losing anything, you know, because we already know what happens.

(Also, I gotta say, I already knew the paper cranes story, and it's absolutely heartbreaking - and I loved the connection you made between that and the Andromeda and Ted story. It was so so good!)

Your writing in this was so amazing too. I loved how all the sections were different sizes, and your description was so so gorgeous - it flowed so beautifull, and your metaphors were always so so on point. I think my favourite bit, though, was in the last letter where she talks about the sunset and how he'd have liked the yellow. It's such a little thing, but I just loved it for the insignificance of it, if that makes sense. Like, it really speaks volumes about their relationship that she knows that, and she thinks of it and him even then.

Mahaha, cheeky little Sirius was adorable :P

I loved the way you included Dean in this, too - just before I forget! It was such a lovely thing, for her to meet him when Ted saved his life, and for him to feel bound by that almost, to help her. It's like she has another family now, almost, and I loved it. I felt almost stupid for not thinking of it before, haha. Headcanon accepted ;)

This is so heartbreaking, though. Andromeda loses so much and so many in the wars - throughout her life, really - with her marriage to Ted, and then her new family dying (and her old one, too, almost), and you really pull all of the emotion out of this, though it remains solemn, too, which I liked. It's such a heavy piece, but it's so so good, nonetheless, and I didn't stop reading it until the end because, really, I couldn't.

Wah, so heartbreaking, but so good! :( :)

Aph xx

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Review #86, by AphorideMoment of Clarity: In These Walls

9th July 2015:
Hey there Mikaela, dropping by for the BvB Battle! :) I have to admit, I stopped on this because Alice/Frank stories are so rare, and they're even rarer the ones which actually explore the reality of their situation and condition, so I just had to read this one. Hope it's okay! :)

I love the way you've written Alice, and how it's all from her pov. There's something so genuine and hauntingly sad about her perspective on the world, with all the wonderful confusion and everything you inject into your writing - there's this very real sense of pain and loss and a lack of understanding which I think goes beyond the characters' experiences and into the writing, which is so so good, because experiences that complete do take everything over, you know?

I loved how you dissected their condition, making it almost like a kind of forced amnesia-type thing, where they remember bits sometimes, but never everything altogether - which is probably for the best. It really reminded me of Alzheimers', which made it that much more poignant, since there's a real reality to it, you know? And I liked the bits in italics, too, explaining the condition - like a healer explaining it to Augusta when it first happened.

The way you wrote this, too, was so good. I loved how the timeline sort of weaved the present-day bits in with the glimpses of the past and the memories - it made the confusion Alice was feeling so real, and the mistakes she makes at the end when she thinks Neville is Frank that bit more heartbreaking because she doesn't see any difference until she does, and then it's gone. It's such clever writing and plotting and reads so effortlessly, it's so impressive. Of course, you manage the heartbreaking stuff so so well, too, and it's no different in this one than the last one-shot of yours I read - the language, the flow, everything works so well together.

Again, this is such a great one-shot - so heartbreaking and thought-provoking, but so so good! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph! I am more than alright with this story being the one you've taken a look at! It's really quite new and one of the favourites of all the stories I've written so far...

AHH! The number of compliments you leave me...you're so, so kind! I thank you for them, but really, I give much of the credit to the strategic use of Second Person POV. Second person, I've found, does wonders for getting readers to feel like the character being described. It forces them to feel things and see things like the narrator and I've spent over two years figuring out how to use this so the expereince of reading is taken off the (web)page. I'm so glad that I've figured it out and gotten it to work in a way that others can enjoy!

And with this story? The italics were written quite a number of years ago. I actually work with people with Alzheimers so I have first hand expereince with it. I've seen these moments, I've seen families at a loss or exicted or overwhelmed due to them. It just so happened that a couple weeks ago, I ran into the italics again just as I came back to HPFF and I knew I had to write a story with Alice and Frank, so really, this is really similar to those diseases, or at least that was my goal. Which it seems I've accomplished well.

Thank you so, so, so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed this and I think you should know that you are really, really amazing for stopping in with such sweet reviews! I greatly appreciate them!

-Mikaela


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Review #87, by Aphoridefirst: first meeting

8th July 2015:
Hey Carla! :D So I'm back from holiday - I kept seeing that this was up and you'd just updated it so I had to stop by, it sounded so interesting! :)

And now I've read it, I love it more than I did before - it's such a lovely, original take on the more traditional Albus/OC romance, where they're the same age and all, you know? I love that, those differences you put in this and how much they are, how unique it makes the characters and the whole set up of it. It's so so great! :)

I love Esme, too. I love how she's French and the name reflects that so well and is such a great choice - and all her mannerisms are so sweet, so reminiscent of both her age and her nationality, you know? Like, she really reads so much like a young girl which is so hard to do and so great. (I gotta mention the surname, too, haha, as a Tolkein fan - I loved it so much! :D Whether intentional or not, it's still great! :D) She's so sweet, but so nervous about meeting people and so hesitant about talking to Albus, and so afraid of upsetting people, or causing upsets and arguments. It all says so much about her character, and hints so much about what has happened so her so far and maybe what will shape her or how she'll grow through the story.

Albus was so sweet in this, too - I love how he seems half-typical and half a-typical as a teenager; how he's so concerned about her, and equally out of place at the party - or at least he feels as though he is, which is almost the same thing, in a way - it really speaks about him as a character, like with Esme, and his relationships perhaps with his own family and so on. I love how they both seem to feel so out of place at the party and within the Weasley group especially. It's lovely to see someone including that kind of feeling, because I think that it must happen, and it must be so hard to deal with but also so easy to feel, in a way, too.

Your writing in this was so great, too - I loved all of it; your description and everything, it's so gorgeous and flows so beautifully. I know I've read - and loved - some of your writing otherwise before, but I love the way you've written this almost more than anything else; your style in this is just so perfectly wonderful.

I'm so curious to see where this goes, too, and how the story continues, especially with the 'firsts' theme, and all. I do love a good theme ;) The plot isn't massively suspense - but it doesn't have to be, you know? Your writing makes up for that so so easily, and it's so lovely, and your characters hold every bit of my attention.

It's such a great start - imma have to find you in the bvb again ;)

Aph xx

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Review #88, by AphorideHigh Romance: Prologue

22nd June 2015:
Hi Laura! Stopping by for the BvB battle - I know I haven't finished going through A Single Point in Time yet, but this looked so good, and I've been itching to read it for a while, so when I got a chance of course I had to stop by on this ;)

(Also, sorry for the slight delay - my computer ran out of power (oops?), so I lost the review, but tbh it just meant I had to read this twice, so I'm not that bothered :P)

I love the way you wrote this - I haven't seen many scenes, in ff or of, which are set in an airport, and it's always - to me - seemed to be a pretty difficult place to describe, being so white and almost surgical, but dirty, haha, so I'm so impressed and curious as to why you picked that, and how it all connects into the story with Rose and Scorpius. Still, as always, you describe it so beautifully that it makes me wonder why I ever thought it would be impossible - it's just... you really bring it to life as a place, and the feeling of it - particularly the early morning flights, omigosh. There's this beautiful sense of quiet in your writing in this which is just amazing - I really don't know how you did it, tbh, but it's so lovely and so evocative.

I love how you've written Rose, too - how you don't say who it is in the prologue, we know from the summary that it's her, but we get a definite feel of her, you know? And that's perhaps more telling than anything else. I love how she's so lethargic through the whole thing, and how she's almost nervous about going back to London - and back to Scorpius, more importantly, and perhaps whatever situation she left behind; it really says so much. I almost don't want to find out what happened, you know, even though I'm so curious; I almost want to see the aftermath of it all, because there are so many questions in my head about what will happen after Tokyo. I liked, too, how she hadn't written the report she was meant to in the airport; it was a lovely little touch of Rose to get in there ;)

I love, too, I just have to say, how you ended it with her flying up into the clouds in the aeroplane, and in the summary she's flying and soaring; it's just such a neat connection :)

Your writing, as I've said before - even in this review :P - is so gorgeous. You get the mood of the place so well and so instinctive - I've been to my fair share of airports, including late night and early morning flights, and it's just so true and so real, the picture of it you paint. It's so beautiful - and I can see it so clearly in my mind. I love, as well, how you describe the life it has, in a way, rather than the simple aesthetics of it, it's such a gorgeous narrative, in total :)

In total: this is too short. I need more. Please write more? You know full well (or you should :P) that I think you're amazing! :)

Aph xx

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Review #89, by AphorideJumping Off Swings: Moment of Death

19th June 2015:
Hi there! :) So I just had to choose this story to stop by on (which I hope is okay) because it doesn't have too many reviews, and because Laura (tangledconstellations) loved it, and she generally has pretty good taste when it comes to fic ;) Plus, I'm kinda morbidly curious about a fic called 'Moment of Death' as a secondary title :P

This is such a beautifully solemn, horrifying piece - which is so fitting, considering that it's about Snape, you know? He's that kind of character, and particularly given the manner of his death (that snake terrifies me so much it's not even funny, I can't lie...). Even though we know the end, you find yourself hoping that it's not going to happen this time, you know, and hoping that somehow, despite it all, he manages to find some kind of peace.

I love how you handled him as a character, too. He's one of those incredibly detailed, incredibly complex, incredibly difficult characters to write, and you just did him so so well here. I loved the way you referenced those moments in the Prince's Tale with Lily, and how he pleaded for her to be saved with Voldemort (which is just... wow, you know? Asking a person without mercy for it is pretty huge), and how, in the end, he sort of realises that she isn't in love with him but that she's grateful, and it seems like it's almost enough for him.

I have to admit, I'm not much of a Snape fan, and Snape/Lily as a pairing really doesn't appeal to me, but I love what you did with it here - how you portrayed Snape being in love with her as being something so pure compared to the rest of him, and him being so determined and brave almost on her behalf for Harry. It's so tragic and so desperate, and the way he's thinking of her when he dies, and those moments when he cared about her, and when perhaps he should have fought for her, and the moments he did, was just so bittersweet.

Voldemort, too - you did him so perfectly. He was creepy and cold and exactly like himself in canon.

Your writing in this is so so great. The description is just wonderful - I loved the way you kept having the pain he was feeling fade in and out, using it as a kind of segue from section to section, which was just brilliant. The way you tied it into the scene we know from canon, too, is just perfect. I remember you from way back when :P and you're so so good, you can't vanish again, mkay? ;)

Seriously, this is an amazing one-shot. Laura was exactly right to say so, and I'm so glad I read it :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: APH!

Where do I even begin with responding to this review? Can I even start? What do I say? What do I do? I just...I don't know!

You are so sweet and lovely and kind and just...I keep reading this review over and over and over again and I can't help but smile. It seriously is the greatest thing ever right now and I do not think I can say thank you enough for coming by and reading and leaving this review! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So. This is like, the most intense piece I have ever written. I'm going to claim it that way because not only is it horrifying how he dies (Totally agree with you there...that snake is just...*shivers*), but Snape's character is nearly impossible to write. I spent quite a while, when the idea first appeared, trying to figure out how to make Snape's character come out as complex as JKR wrote him. I found second person was the only thing that allowed his character to just be and the rest sort of fell into place.

The scenes from the Prince's Tale were a good starting point and it didn't take me long to figure out the pattern to work with the memories and which ones to invent and fit in. There were a couple others that didn't make this final cut, but I'm glad that what I added worked well and gave off hte effect I wanted.

And if I'm entirely honest? Snape/Lily is not a pairing I go out searching for either. Snape, just his character in any era really, is just the right character to spark my interest and having him being in love with her and having him help her son, despite Harry being James' son as well, was not something I could pass out. Especially when, with tragedy, things don't change for him in the end. It's just the essence of his character, in a way.

And awesome! I am glad Voldemort came out sounding canon! I was more afraid of writing him in those memories than I was having to write from Snape's POV xD

Your words in this review are so sweet, and I really appreacite that you came by and read what I came up with and enjoyed it and could see where I was going with it and feel what I wanted you to feel and just...thank you. I'll try not to disappear again any time soon! Just getting into some new styles of writing that I'm quite enjoying! XD

Thank you, thank you! Can't say it enough!
-Mikaela


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Review #90, by AphorideA Single Point In Time: 1983

19th June 2015:
Hey Laura! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

So I love coming to your page - only I hate it, too because I have the annoying problem of having to work out what to read, and there's so much of it which I want to read - everything just sounds so good and so interesting :) In the end, though, I wanted to come back to this too much - so here I am! :)

I love the way you've characterised Sirius in this - the way you've tackled his mind sort of breaking down and slowing down and the lack of memories, of almost human-ness (if that's a word :P) in him. It really feels like he's losing parts of himself, and it's equally devastating and terrifying. It really hits home how much Azkaban affects you, and how important it was to him that he could change into Padfoot and survive like that - but also it makes it so sad to imagine the damage extrapolated into thirteen years of this, rather than just three.

I really loved, too, how you used it to showcase the qualities we know Sirius has in canon, so well: the almost obsessive loyalty he has to his friends, and the persistence with his own innocence that he has to keep himself sane, the sort of recklessness (sort of coz Sirius thinks the guy opposite him thinks Padfoot is a hallucination or something) to change into Padfoot so often in Azkaban, where he could have been caught, and so on. It's just so brilliant, and so subtle - and he's so perfectly in canon.

The way you write Azkaban as a place is so chilling, too - with all the greys and the dark colours used it sounds cold in temperature, as well as so creepy, with the inmates crying and that little almost throw-away line about the guy opposite him thinking Padfoot was only in his imagination, too. The idea that a place - or creatures, with the Dementors - could effect you that much is so scary, and it's so well done in this to be so terrifying.

Gah, I always hated the idea of Azkaban, you know - hated and loved it, because as a creative idea it's genius - but the way you portray it in this and the effects of it just makes me hate it so much more, and makes me feel so desperately sad for the people imprisoned there, even the ones like Bellatrix :(

Your writing is amazing. You know this - or should know this - and I think I've said this before, but it's true so I'm going to say it again :P It's so clean and so beautiful, and it just pulls me in and doesn't let me go. All of the emotions come through so perfectly - all of the fear and the sadness and the desperation - and your characters are just amazing. Also, having read three of these by now - though each one is still obviously written by you, there's a noticeable difference, to me at least, in terms of the voice you use for each of them - the way you use words and the phrases you use. It's so gorgeous and so clever and I'm so jealous (teach me? :P) ;)

So yeah, as always, this is an amazing story collection, and this is a beautifully devastating one-shot within them, and you're just an amazing writer. And this is every reason why I should never miss an opportunity to stop by your page again :P

Aph xx

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Review #91, by AphorideAreopagitica: Prologue

17th June 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I half feel like I'm cheating because everything I write is so ridiculously long and this is comparatively incredibly short, so it's not quite the same, but I just had to stop by on this one because it's such a fascinating topic, and one a lot of people kinda skip over exploring (myself included) so I always love reading stories about it when I come across them. Also I'm a huge history nerd, so the title just hooked me completely :P

I love the way this starts, with the innocuous mention of gifts - little things which wouldn't seem suspicious, gloves and quills and things, and they're not then, when they're sent. It's such a subtle, slow start to this, but gives rise to so many questions about what's going to happen later (beyond what we know from canon) and what the little gifts are going to end up being used for (and why ten? Ten members, ten groups of members?) in the grand scheme of things. Plus, the fact that we know some of what happens makes it more exciting about what else - what will happen when Luna gets captured and her dad forced to work for the Death Eaters? What happens when Neville has to go into hiding? How do the others cope?

I love the way you've written all of the characters in this - Luna, Ernie, Susan and Xenophilius, too. They're all so good, and Luna and Xeno are so true to their canon characters, with the kind of oddities they have and that kind of princess-type approach Xeno takes to Luna, with the pretty packages and the bows and so on. The way you described them all in their surroundings too gave such a good suggestion of what was going on at Hogwarts, what it was like - the lack of students in the Hufflepuff Common Room, the slipping things into pockets, scurrying around; it all gives this beautifully furtive air to everything, which is just what a subversive underground organisation needs :P

Your writing in this is so, so good, too! I love the way you describe everything, and you pick your words so carefully that it really pulls the emotions and the sense of secrecy, of potential bad consequences out of the writing and the scenes you've written. The scenes you build are so well described I can picture them in my head, and the fact that this is a short prologue really, really works so well. (I'm so bad at writing things concisely, how do you do it?!) It's just the perfect length, the perfect introduction to this kind of sense of something happening, something starting up, and it gives the whole thing this kind of exciting, impatient sort of air which I just love.

This is a brilliant beginning. Favouriting. I've got to come to this some time soon! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Thanks so much for the amazing review! And for favouriting! You really are the sweetest!

But you are asking the wrong person about being concise. I have no idea who I did this chapter either because I'm usually quite long-winded... I think it helped that I didn't really map out an extensive outline of this story before writing. I just sort of got the idea and started right away.

Like you mentioned, I also really love that with this era, everyone knows the big things that are going to happen. There's already a timeline there - Luna disappears at Christmas, Ginny leaves after Easter, and then it's just Neville left. It makes it really interesting writing when you've already got such strict parameters.

Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed this so much and I hope to see you back soon!

Stefanie


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Review #92, by AphorideCost of Redemption: Prologue

17th June 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I couldn't resist stopping on this one, because Regulus (and the Blacks/purebloods in general) is one of those characters who fascinates me so much, and with whom there's the potential of so many different stories and ideas and ways to take him, you know?

Anyway, I love what you've done with him here, how he seems so young and so lost and so, almost, incapable in the situation he's in. It really emphasises, I think, what we know in canon about him getting cold feet and leaving the Death Eaters, and shows off the relationship with him and Sirius and other members of his family - like Bellatrix - so well. It shows that difference between them and him, also between him and those defending themselves and their family, in a way. Fatal curses on both sides...

I love how brutal it is, too. It's war, and you've really made it feel like a war, like an old-fashioned raid on a town or something, with that kind of almost piratical feel, a hit hard and fast kind of method - almost Viking-esque, medieval in the kind of raw, savage hurt and hatred you depict. And it's so realistic, you know, which I love about it. Also, the dual-issue of both the Death Eaters using fatal curses is then kind of duplicated by the 'right' side using them, too - and it raises this beautiful moral question and this sort out of even-more-outsider place for Regulus, who won't - or can't - use them, and so many people, even good people, do and can. It's really brilliant, because war is never one-sided, you know, both sides do things they'd rather not, which are horrible.

I love how you've tied this all up with him being so alone, too - as a motif it's just so good and so hard-hitting, and yet we know that it's probably not going to get any better for him. It almost makes him powerless in the whole thing, which is a pretty original position to put him in, I think :)

I really like your writing in this too - it's so clean and so emotive, and you paint the scene of the raid and the attack so, so well without going overboard with the description or the level of violence and horror he witnesses. There's this wonderful contrast between him in the battle and all the description and action of that and then the sort of mundane scene of him at home getting ready for bed, and still being so alone. The only thing I'd say is to watch your small sentences - sometimes you separate things out into sentences when they should be clauses and separated with a semi-colon. If you read it out loud, that should help - the pause will seem too big where it should be changed ;) But that's a minor thing, really.

This is a great start, and I'm so curious to see where Regulus goes from here, and if (at all) anything gets any better for him before the inevitable ;)

Aph xx

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Review #93, by AphorideThe Rules of Motherhood: Dreamer, Writer, Mother

17th June 2015:
Hey there! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

So, I just had to stop by on this one because I have a soft spot for Molly and Arthur stories, and the summary just sounded so interesting. Also, I haven't seen many stories around about young!Molly and Arthur, so I was curious :P

I love the way you've portrayed Molly. Most stories only talk about her after she's been a mother, and so capture what JKR gave us about her, but you go so much further with that, and expand it so beautifully, with the writing and the insistence that she's not going to be a mother, or indeed get married, and then finds herself doing both of them anyway.

I like as well how you've kinda reminded me that Molly was, in fact, a very young mother herself - date-wise, with Bill, there wouldn't have been much time between marriage and his birth - and kinda played that up here. I love how she's so scared about it, and admits that it interferes with those secret dreams she has (which I think is something everyone can understand, since we all have those kinds of secret dreams), and her plans for the future, and what she thought of herself, too. The lack of holding back on that is something I haven't seen before in teen pregnancy fics, or similar pregnancy stories, and I love that you've put it in here, because I think it's so true to life, you know? Especially with young mothers.

Your writing here is so lovely - so clean and clear, and the short sentences are so good at punctuating the flow, emphasising Molly's emotions and helping them to come through so, so well. The only thing I'd say is that sometimes it's a little too disjointed, and then it starts to interfere with the narrative flow a bit - maybe combine a couple of them?

Also, I loved the use of repetition in this with the 'she didn't want' phrases and so on. It was so good, almost like she was talking to herself. And I gotta mention quickly (got to run to lunch, oops) how I love the way she's so scared about telling Arthur, and so scared perhaps of the potential that it's going to happen if she does - it's kinda a final thing, I think, telling people. Makes it that much more real. And it makes her whole struggle that much more impounded, because Arthur doesn't know and she's so uncertain - there's no support or help for her then, and it's so difficult, and you just make me feel so sorry for her in this. Like, I just want to hug her.

This is a lovely little story, and I'm going to have to come back sometime :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello, thank you very much for the review swap.

I'm really flattered to hear you say such complimentary things about my writing and my characterization. I have a lot of respect for your writing, so it means a lot to hear that from you.

I'm glad tat you understand the nuances of her not wanting to tell Arthur. Based on some of the other reviews I've gotten, some people were confused why she didn't think Arthur would react well, but you really understood that her silence was more about not wanting to make it a reality.

Thank you for the note about my flow being disjointed at times - I'll keep that in mind.

Molly definitely deserves lots of hugs.

Thanks again!

Sam.


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Review #94, by AphorideSerenity: Serenity

5th June 2015:
Hey Laura! :) Stopping by from BvB - and the summary for this sounded so good, so enticing I just had to stop by so I hope you don't mind! :) (Then again, tbh, most things on your page sound so good - it was so hard to choose!)

Oh my gosh, I'm so so glad I picked this one because the writing in this is so beautiful and the story you're telling is so lovely but so sad, too, because you know it can't end well, and even though you know that, the ending is still such a shock - I really, really didn't expect that from Isobel! :( Poor Padma...

I loved both the characters, too - Isobel and Padma. How Isobel was so quiet all the time, and words almost would have been more hurtful, but then perhaps serenity can hide the truth and true feelings - like with the end, when Padma thought that perhaps things could go back and then Isobel is just so silent, almost like it's an offer hanging between them, and Padma can't accept it. The whole theme of silence and serenity, and the two things mingling and not quite merging, really, was so so beautiful.

I loved Padma, too - how there was this sort of expectation for her from her mother and her family, which she was so scared of not living up to and so much pressure along with it, and yet it was so carefully written so as not to suggest anything potentially offensive, you know? It was just like the way things were for Padma and the way her mother was, and it made it so sad for her that Padma has to lie and that perhaps that is what in the end kills her relationship with Isobel :( Also, I loved that you included it so simply - I haven't seen that kind of unthinking, oblivious sort of pressure from parents much at all in fic, and it's I think almost more realistic than anything else.

I don't really know what to say about your writing in this. I really want to say something, because it's so good I can't really say nothing, you know - but what can I say about it? It was just so so beautiful, so descriptive and so stylistically perfect. It flowed perfectly, the word choice was perfect, the instances were you broke grammar were perfect... I have no idea how you did it, but this was amazing. Seriously.

I'm so so glad I read this. Favouriting. Going off to find places on the forums to recommend this because I don't really know what else to do... :)

Aph xx

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Review #95, by AphorideRoxanne and Dominique Weasley and the Chamber of Secrets: The Chamber of Secrets

4th June 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

So I just had to stop by on this one because the whole premise of it was so, so funny, and so original - I've never seen another story like this one, with the Chamber of Secrets used like this, and the Next Gen kids getting involved - especially with Dom and Roxy being the instigators of all of the trouble :P

I love that you used Dom and Roxy for this, too, and how they tricked Ron and Harry into giving up the information with Firewhisky - always the thing which loosens tongues :P Poor Harry and Ron - you wouldn't be too surprised to hear they were in trouble too for giving away they information like that :P The way you wrote Dom and Roxy - Roxy as more worried about the consequences when she realised them, and Dom as so much more flawless - was just so so good, and so wonderful different, too, especially when compared to the usual presentation of both of them :)

The whole thing with Al and Scorp wanting to touch the basilisk skeleton and then James and Louis sneaking out a basilisk fang were so, so good - so genuinely funny, and childlike, too - exactly the kind of thing teenagers would do, you know? :P

Your writing in this was so, so good. I'm so jealous because I can't write humour for the life of me but in this it was so natural and flowed so beautifully, every word fitted exactly where it was. The voice you used was perfect for the style, and it flowed so perfectly, too.

This was a wonderful one-shot - so so funny and so good - and I'm so glad I read it! :) Thank you so much for the swap!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

Thanks for stopping by and for such an amazing review!!

I don't know why people don't use the Chamber of Secrets in stories more often. It's such a cool place! Sure, it's a little dark and creepy, but it's also pretty cool and the perfect place for teenage shenanigans.

I love writing about the Next-Gen getting into silly adventures. I feel like they deserve some downtime after two generations of war. These families deserve peace! And what better way to show peace than to hold fun adolescent adventures in this once horrifying place?

Thanks again for reading!!

-Stefi


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Review #96, by AphorideA Christmas in Azkaban: A Flickering Flame

4th June 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap on the forums! :)

I have this kind of morbid love of Sirius-in-Azkaban stories, because they have such potential for angst, anger, and horror/dark, which are all things I love. Especially with Sirius, who's such a fascinating character himself, so really, I was very happy you suggested this one ;)

I love the way you did this and focused more, I think, on the kind of humane aspects of being in Azkaban - the memories you lose and the way it tortures you, really, by taking them away and leaving you with nothing but the ones you hate. It's so damaging, you know - could completely change the way you remembered people. But yeah, the horror/dark element of this with the Dementors was done so so well! :)

The way you wrote Sirius was so great, too. I loved the mentions of the pain he feels at being 'reminded' of 'killing' his friends, and the guilt he feels over it, tempered with the sweet, happy memory of him with them at Christmas, being so very familial, really :) There was something so heartfelt about the emotions you described, and something so Marauder-like about the Christmas, too - with the boys hatching plans, and James nearly hitting Remus for having to kiss Lily under the mistletoe :P

Your writing in this was lovely, too - sometimes your description was a little too 'tell' rather than 'show', but all of your word choice was brilliant, and it allowed the emotions and the contrasting horror and warmth of the scenes to come through, which gave it so much more impact when the Dementors arrived.

This was a great little oneshot - and the message at the end was so beautiful, so sad but so true! :)

Aph xx

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Review #97, by AphorideActions Speak Louder than Words: Bent: Rose POV

4th June 2015:
Hey Beth! :) Stopping by again for our review swap - well, kinda, I guess :P - though it's a bit late for it, really, considering we're into June now...

Anyway, I really wanted to come back to this, so I'm here - even if it is a little later than expected! :)

I love the way you expand a little on the characters here and give more inplication/potential hints about what happened to Rose during her kidnapping. It's a reallly great follow-up chapter to the first one (though, tbh, I'd have liked a little more action happening beyond the party, but I'm really not the right person to complain about things like that :P), with the way it compounds the elements we were introduced to in the first chapter and keeps setting up again for Rose's future development.

I liked the way you ended it on a small forward step, too - with Rose finding she could both give and receive comfort to and from another person. There was something so small and so normal from the way you wrote it, but Rose's realisation afterwards gave it this wonderful, subtle impact, where it became clear how much it meant to her to be able to do that, and to find it within herself.

I really love the way you're developing Rose's character, especially her kind of semi-dependent relationship with Scorpius, which is only friendship (for now :P), but is both very sweet and lovely, and it's so good he's there for her, but she seems very dependent on him being there, if that makes sense. Again, I'm so looking forward to seeing how you develop this further, and how they work through Rose's obvious issues and any problems Scorpius has or which happen to him. Because of the way you write them, though, I can't help but root for them both :) They're so good together! Or they would be... :P

As before, I love the way you write this - it really sounds and reads like the kinda diary/mementoes/thoughts of a girl not long out of Hogwarts. The words you use are just so well chosen, and you write the emotions, whether the panic she feels or the terror, the amusement as she jokes with Scorpius, so so well - I can almost feel them, you know, and they're so real and believable. It's just such a great voice you've got here - it really brings this story to life, and it's so so good.

Anyway, that's all from me for now - I'll hopefully be back later on this week for chapter 3! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Gosh - it was so kind of you to come back for another chapter and I fell so, so terrible that I've taken until now to respond to it - eep! I feel like the House Cup sorta took over my life and while I had a complete BLAST with all of it, I'm really glad to have some time to get back to writing, reviewing and answering my reviews :)

I know the party scene was fairly cliche and I imagine that if I were writing this novel right now, I might have done this scene a bit differently. But this was the very first thing I'd ever written - at all. I'd read a significant amount of fanfiction, and had my own definite ideas about how I wanted my story to go, but I think that getting to the main points along the way was a little rough.

One thing I did want to do with this - was to decidedly begin this story at Rose's turning point - sorta the "small step forward" that you mentioned. That was deliberate so that I could start her journey.

The semi-dependent relationship with Scorpius is also deliberate. As the story progresses, it becomes clear as to why they feel that they need each other so much (but I didn't want to dive too deep into that pool, because I'm a firm believer that you *must* have some things that are just for yourself, before you can share your life with someone else).

Thanks again - I'm glad that the characters come across as real and believable - that was also my intention and when I get a comment from an author that I have the utmost respect about my writing, I'm just reduced to a pile of goo - :)

Thanks again Aph!

♥ Beth


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Review #98, by AphorideDiversions from Reality.: Shocked

20th May 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I love how you move on with the time at the beginning of this - especially with Remus, too, after everything which happened at the end of the last chapter - and how everything in this one again happens so quickly, in such a short space of time. It's so true to life that often important things happen so quickly, you know? Especially when people are teenagers :P

I really like how nervous Remus is around Sirius - it's such a great representation of that hyperawareness you always have around someone you fancy - and how he combats that by going out of his way to avoid him. Of course Sirius would notice though - it was never going to throw him off for that long :P He's clever enough to realise what's going on, if not why.

I really liked, too, how you referenced the Gryffindor/Slytherin tensions, especially the tensions between the purebloods who supported Voldemort, and those who didn't in this chapter. Poor Remus, though... to get caught in the middle of that... not somewhere you'd want to be, that's for sure! Of course Sirius had to turn up to rescue him - so typical, haha, in romance fics, though you do it so well and it works so well in this that it's not really possible to mind it as such.

I feel so so sorry for Lily and Remus in this. Sirius is probably confused and struggling with his own identity, but going straight from Remus to Lily, as though he can prove himself that way is really cruel to both of them, you know? Neither of them deserve to be treated like that... though I still love how cruel your Sirius can be - how rude and arrogant and completely unthinking as well. It's just so much like how I saw him in the books! :)

Your writing in this is great, too. I really liked the bit at the beginning where you described Remus alone in the castle and avoiding Sirius - the details there were great, with him having to lie to Lily and copy her notes so his friends wouldn't think anything weird was going on, and everything like that.

I really enjoyed this chapter - it was such a great read! Thanks so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey :) What a fab review :) thank you!! I'm glad you like the timing; I did wonder if it was moving too fast but I didn't want to do too many angsty will they/wont they chapters. And I imagine anything like that is intensified in a boarding school! I also thought that Regulus would single Remus out for being different and to provoke his brother.
And Sirius definitely has a cruel streak I think. It just seemed like the exact way he would react to the situation.

I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks so much again x


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Review #99, by AphorideWhimsy: Rain Rain Go Away

20th May 2015:
Hey there, Kaitlin! Dropping by for our review swap! :)

I can't lie, tbh, children's stories and things I do find kinda hard to read now, simply because... well, I dunno really :P (especially weird given my unending love of fairytales...), and I'm not the biggest fan of anything fluffy, but this - this was adorable, and tells me all the reasons why this kind of thing is so loved by people.

I love how surprisingly full this is as a story - especially so because it's not hugely long as a story. There's so much in here to pull out, which you've packed in and it's so lovely. I love how you've told us about Luna's mother, what Luna herself was like as a child, about Xeno and his relationships with Pandora and young!Luna, and linked it all so wonderfully to the creatures Luna believes in/sees (since it's never truly determined in the books if they're real or not :P), which just really brings a level of poinancy to this, I think, in that it suggests that perhaps the creature-belief is a way Luna and her dad have of remembering her mum later on, which is a fantastically layered thing to have in here.

Her mum is written so wonderfully, too. I love how she embodies so many of the things we know about Luna, without being exactly like her. She has the same kind of imagination and creativity, and the same kind of kind and caring nature, though without some of the odd quirks which make Luna undeniably her, which is so so good (because too often characters are written as their parents in miniature, which bothers me a lot). The way you portrayed Xeno was great, too - with him caring so much about both of them and coming to see if everything's alright and getting sucked into the game, and all. He really reminded me of the character in the books, even if I can't point out exactly why - but in canon he cares about Luna beyond anything, and I could feel something of that here too :)

Little!Luna was totally adorable, too :P I haven't been around many young children either (in fact, in my family, me and my sisters are the young kids :P) but I think you wrote Luna as so young really well - it's a really hard thing to do, and yet you got the tone perfectly right and the way Luna acts and talks and her excitement and things were just so so good, and felt so real, as everything you write does.

Also, I loved the way Luna was the princess, and how all of the animals came to see her :P Reminds me of a film I once saw involving lions... ;)

Your writing in this was gorgeous, as always! The way Pandora described the creatures was so clear and so lovely, and every word you used was just spot on for what you were describing or what you were saying... just... gah, it was so great! :) This really, really made me smile!

Thank you so much for the swap - I'm so glad I read this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

No worries. I totally understand.

I honestly wasn't really trying to make it all that deep when I wrote this, but Kayla read through this and made a few suggestions that really helped me turn it into what it is now. It gave it a lot more of a connection to who Luna becomes later in life.

Since I don't see Luna being too much like her father in cannon, I figured a lot of her personality came from her mother. And you're spot on about the characters not being miniatures of their parents. I wanted them to be similar enough to be recognizable, but not carbon copies. Yes, Xeno definitely cares about Luna above all else.

Truthfully, I never grew up around little kids. I have no siblings or cousins, so I never had experience with babies. I just sort of tried to think of how I was when I was a kid and use elements of that in Luna.

Coming from someone who is seriously the master of description, your words really mean a lot. Seriously, I read your stories and just drool over the descriptive prose, so I'm thrilled that you thought my little attempt at description worked.

Thanks for the swap!

~Kaitlin


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Review #100, by AphorideActions Speak Louder than Words: Broken: Rose POV

20th May 2015:
Hey Beth! :) Stopping by for our review pairing!

You know, it's weird how I've been by your page so many times, but never onto this (it's coz it's so long and all, partly; I think I could never catch up :P), when it's so famous, really, and so good. Anyway, I'm here now! :)

I love the way you opened this - the mystery and uncertainty immediately at the beginning, with the panic attack where we don't know who the character is or what's quite going on, is so so powerful, and a brilliant hook! It's like, I already feel sorry for her from the beginning, you know, and want her to get better and feel better about herself - and to know what happened in the cabin which started all of this! And who Stannous is... pretty sure I'm not going to like him already :P

Also, I gotta say quickly - I saw the chapter list and the line of B words made me very happy :P It's the little things...

I love Rose's character, too. I love how she's so clever, but considers herself lacking in some things - in common sense, perhaps, in quick-thinking, improvisation and quick temper, and how she picks up on things which other people wouldn't necessarily consider flaws which she does: like compassion and trust. It's a really clever way of showing us what she's like while giving us insights into herself further, and little glimpses at what perhaps the 'old Rose' was like, before everything. Also, the 'I'm not good enough' kind of rhetoric Rose uses here when she's thinking about herself is so indicative of people who've been through difficult things, like Rose has, and it's so sad, but so true to life to see, you know?

Gah, you're already making me want to hug her and tell her that she's wonderful and everything will be okay (but then, she does remind me of my sisters - long, very personal story there!).

The repetition with the 'get up. dressed. wash. rounds. study.' section was so, so good. Again, so indicative of her condition and how she is, but so effective in the narrative, too! :)

I love the little glimpses of other characters in this, too - Dom and Al and Scorp and Selenia, even James, too - and how good they were, with the little indications of what they'll be like in later chapters, when we see more of them. All of them are so good, they already feel like real people (but then, I already knew your characterisation was good from previous things, so... :P).

I love your writing - but again, you should know that by now too :P - it's so so good, and here you've just got the tone perfectly. Rose's voice in this is so so strong and real that it allows everything to come through, and it really makes the story hers, if you know what I mean, which makes the first person shine so beautifully.

The little details in this were so good, too - I loved the little dash of humour with James and the story about why they all got sorted unexpectedly, and the details about the reactions at the sorting ceremony were just so so perfect.

So yeah, I love this, and I'll definitely be back! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Gosh! This review is too sweet! After I read it, I realized that I pretty much commented on the VERY SAME THINGS for your story. Hee hee - the chapter titles, the fact that the story is so popular, the way you opened up the first chapter... haha!

Oh my! I *LOVE* how you picked up on the subtle qualities of the Old Rose. She's definitely not that person anymore (but maybe she'll be someday :) ).

These characters are so ingrained in my mind, I don't have to think about them too much when I write, but I'm so happy you picked up on their main qualities - James is goofy, Selenia is unfailingly kind, and Albus has a hot temper which can lead to anger or unbridled passion.

Thanks for your comment on the fist person POV. I actually tried to go back and rewrite the story in third person POV, but it just didn't work. I also ended up switching first person POV between Rose and Scorpius. His view starts in the 3rd chapter, and I'd love to know how you think it works.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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