Reading Reviews From Member: Mottsnave
  
19 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MottsnaveThe Potter Years: After the tide

8th April 2012:
First, thank you for reviewing my story and inviting me to look at yours.

Second, I think you have expanded on canon in a realistic way, telling us how Harry has settled into a very routine life. You have some good ideas here.

However, there are a couple of problems. The first is very simple. English is not your native language. That's not your fault, but it makes your story a bit hard to follow, and the sentences don't flow naturally. I would advise you to find someone who is willing to beta-read your chapters and clean up the language a bit.

The second problem is just my personal taste. When a chapter begins with a lot of exposition, it feels too heavy to me. Long explanations from the author to the reader keep me from getting emotionally involved in the story. It's like I'm viewing the events through a telescope: nothing is up close and personal. I would rather have the background filled in while the story is in progress, through snapshot scenes, memories, or dialogue. That way the reader can pick up the context naturally and the story feels more immersive. That way there is more of an emotional involvement in the story. That's just my personal taste though!

I do think you have some good ideas here! Thanks for writing!

Mottsnave

Author's Response: My English writing is designed in Spanish. Are you a degree in smthg (College)? Because you got the point, this is more an sketch of a book, It faults in the caracter world's development, i'm better in action description. For me, in this story, Harry has grown up.

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Review #2, by MottsnaveHindsight: Pushing Boundaries

21st August 2011:
Hello again!

I feel like this chapter has 'raised the stakes' in a few ways in this story. You have introduced two elements of foreboding, just hints at this point, that this will go far beyond Quidditch and petty house rivalries.

First, that Angie's nightmares may possibly have something to do with a Chamber/the Knights of Walpurgis is very worrying, and then there's the strange void that Angie senses. Both of these things definitely step up the level of suspense.

Secondly, I feel like you are honing in on a recurring theme of your story here, that things are not what they seem. The events of the fight, Angie's relationship with Wyatt... all of them have some hidden dimension that we can only see by looking through several characters' eyes. With your use of changing viewpoints and little time skips the reader slowly gets to see the different aspect of each event. It's very intriguing.

Again, I love how you are handling the issue of house prejudice in this story. I think it's very realistic that the members of the other houses might well be biased without being malicious.

You've really sucked me into this story, so I hope you update soon!

Mottsnave

Author's Response: Ah, suspense! It's good for the soul.

And that's exactly it: what you see is often up for interpretation, especially if you don't have the full context ;)

I started the next chapter but have been unable to get to it for a while. I'm hoping my schedule loosens up soon. (Honestly, I can't believe it's taken this long for me to respond to your reviews. Please forgive, because your comments have been so lovely and encouraging.)

I really appreciate it, and I will strive to update soon.

Take care!
~Ty


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Review #3, by MottsnaveHindsight: ... One For All

21st August 2011:
I'm back for more!

Well, I can see that Albus' and James' relationship is a bit more complicated than I thought. I love the way you've set up the contrast in their personalities, with James' driving energy and Albus' attention to detail and thoughtfulness about consequences and outcomes. I also love the little hints you've given us about James perhaps being the favored son, and Albus' jealousy. Despite these differences, there is a bond between them, otherwise why woud Albus' go along with James' plan?

In some ways their sibling relationship mirrors Albus' friendship with Scorpius.

I really appreciate the picture you've given us here about what makes a Slytherin from Albus' point of view. I think it's excellent.

Mottsnave

Author's Response: I do see the brothers as very different, but still brothers who love each other no matter what.

Oooh, very interesting point about Albus and Scorpius.

I'm thrilled to hear the Slytherin point of view is working. It's a bit intimidating to tackle that angle, and I really wanted the story to give a balance of the perspectives on that House.

I feel so redundant, but thanks again for the lovely review.

Take care!
~Ty


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Review #4, by MottsnaveHindsight: All For One ...

21st August 2011:
All right, I love Professor Vector. You've painted a portrait of a perfect head of Slytherin! She's tough and expects the best of her house, but she will still make sure that her students have every chance to get ahead.

Well, not just Professor Vector, but really for all the characters you introduce, you have a wonderful way of letting us know a lot about them without overloaded exposition. We can really get a perfect sense of their characters through the thoughts and actions of the people they interact with. So, for example, we already know a lot about Lily from the way she talks to Albus (and this is hilarious, by the way) and I already have an inkling that Albus and James don't get along so well, just from a few lines of dialogue.

Personally, I think characters are absolutely the most important part of any story, and I love the way you are handling them.
I also love the fact that you seem to be addressing house unity or the lack of it. I think that's something that was really begging for resolution in the original series.

Excellent chapter!

mottsnave

Author's Response: I love Vector too! I had a tough time trying to figure out who should be Head of Slytherin, but she stepped right in and was quite easy to write, once I started.

I'm so excited the characters are coming off well :)

And, Lily was fun to write, definitely a contrast with her older brothers who have more in terms of competition between them.

~ a still grinning Ty


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Review #5, by MottsnaveHindsight: Getting Involved

21st August 2011:
Hi, I'm back!

Well, it looks like house prejudice, particularly against Slytherin, is alive and well in post-war Hogwarts! I think you picked up on the hint of the Epilogue in canon and ran with it. I'm always very interested in seeing how different authors deal with this issue in a post-war world, so now I'm even more intrigued.

I'm also intrigued by your OC Angela. She seems very deliberate and reasoning, which I like, but also very reluctant to be involved, which means she will probably be sucked into the plot against her will, as we can already see happening here. Her gift really does seem like a double-edged sword.

Again, I think you are using suspense well by giving us the course of events in bits and pieces and letting us put them together.

Mottsnave

Author's Response: Yes, I believe there is still a stigma, although Al may be a little too sensitive to it ;)

Angela will be pulled out of her comfort zone, for sure. Al's good that way. Once he decides he's going to figure something (or someone) out, he can be pretty determined so it should prove an interesting battle of wills.

Yay for keeping up the suspense!

Thanks again for the review.
~ a very appreciative Ty


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Review #6, by MottsnaveHindsight: Who Said Hindsight Was 20/20?

21st August 2011:
Hi!

Sorry for the long delay, but real life totally ate me for a while. Here's your long overdue review!

Since you asked about the preview at the beginning of the chapter...

In general, I think framing devices like that can be very useful. It's a way of sucking a reader into a story with a little burst of suspense and excitement, and then dropping us back into a calm and tranquil beginning with just a hint of what's to come. However, the way you have set it up here, it did throw me a little bit. First of all, I think it goes on a bit too long, and with too much detail. We do get a sense of suspense and excitement, but for me that wore off as I kept getting distracted by the background story I didn't know: who is she? Why do they have to find her? What is this arena? etc. For me, the suspense was lessened by the length of this section. I think it would serve its purpose by ending with the line "Find Potter." We have just enough at that point: a sense of danger, urgency, and desperation. As a reader, all the details that follow are kind of wasted on me because I don't have the context to have them make sense or give much emotional impact.

I would also suggest making the time difference between the two sections of this chapter a little more concrete: ie. instead of 'near the end' and 'near the beginning,' you could say 'Prologue' and 'five weeks earlier' just to give the reader something a little more concrete to hang on to.

Those would be my suggestions for the 'preview' part if you are really attached to it, but frankly, i don't think you really need it. I think a flash-forward beginning is most useful in a story when the first chapter or two might need to be tied up with backstory, everyday trivialities, or scene setting. In your story, though, you have a lovely in media res opening with an obstacle for the characters, suspense, and a little drama and humor. I think you could easily work more foreshadowing into this section (with phrases along the lines of 'none of the three would have ever imagined that a Ravenclaw prank could lead them to a life-and-death battle' etc) if you want to, but you already have something to suck the reader in. Your ending line gives us the sense of urgency and excitement that we need.The stakes might not be life or death at this point, but we still want to know what happens next.

Now, on another note, I love the way you reveal your characters to us through their interactions with each other.This is very well done. You give us a little overview of their physical appearance, but more importantly, you really SHOW us how these three get along and work together, and their respective strengths and weaknesses. Since you do this in the course of their actions solving a problem, the character building supports rather than slowing down the story. This is excellent!

Lovely beginning, I'm off to check out the next chapter!

Mottsnave

Author's Response: Hi Mottsnave!

Wow, your comments are great and very helpful. I was wavering on what to do with the beginning but I think you've convinced me that I don't need it (not to mention improved my confidence with the scene involving the prank being enough to propel the story on its own). I can't thank you enough :)

I'm thrilled that you like the characterization. I'm grinning huge at that.

Thanks so much for the lovely review!
~Ty


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Review #7, by MottsnavePower and Persuasion: Roaming Charges

31st July 2011:
It's nice to see Ginny's concern and thoughtfulness for Hermione here. Often she is depicted as all ferocious fierceness with few other qualities. She comes across as a wonderful character the way you've shown her concern for others as well as her vulnerability.

I love your summary of Harry and Ron's last assignment. If you are ever looking for plots, you could expand it! It sounds hilarious.

Mabel is great! She a sort of Edna Mode crossed with Q. Actually, this whole section of Harry and Ron picking up their assignment, disguises and gadgets has a James Bond vibe. (Of course, the title of James Bond goes to an entirely different character ;)) I also love your allusions to the seamy underside of the Ministry.

The whole scene with Arthur is hilarious. Ron's childish delight at fooling his dad is really perfect.

Great chapter, your humor is wonderful.

OK, here's the obligatory review ending: update soon!

Author's Response: Thanks for your words on Ginny, she is a cypher to me and the next chapter will be from her POV, partly as an exercise in Ginny appreciation. She gets glossed over and stereotyped so much (even in the books -- sorry JKR!) as a war hero girlfriend like from a World War II movie -- but there's so much more going on beneath the surface and she is way more like Fred and George than any of her other siblings.

I had a blast writing Mabel Jenks's section, it was in fact inspired by Q / Edna Mode ;) Thanks for your reviews!


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Review #8, by MottsnavePower and Persuasion: Five Galleons

31st July 2011:
What a wonderful beginning!

Surfer Dad sounds perfectly awful! Being the paranoid person I am, I immediately leapt to the conclusion that Crystal had something to do with his death. But I'm just being paranoid. Or am I?
That said... I'm kind of on Crystal's side here. Why doesn't the Wizarding World finally break the statute and end the world's dependence on fossil fuels? I'm waiting...

Well, the disappearances are another matter, of course. I think you did a great job depicting Harry's ongoing problems with respecting authority here. Poor Mr. Robards. Great characterization of Ron too, I love how he makes a mess while he eats.

Oh, Ron, Ron, he really puts his foot in it! I like the little details that show his cluelessness, how he doesn't look at Hermione and how he gushes that it's good news.

I wouldn't say Hermione's reaction is overdone here. I've been around enough of my pregnant friends, and anger and tears at the drop of a hat, well, it just happens sometimes.

This is a great beginning, I love this mixture of humor and mystery, it's one of my favorite things to see in a story!

Author's Response: I wrote this a few years ago and the RL situation I've based it on has only gotten more complex -- I agree, if magic were real (sigh) I'd want them to fix some stuff for us, and to heck with the Statute of Secrecy.

Thanks for your comments on Hermione's reaction, I know that I myself threw some epic fits while in a family way --- Hermione has a good reason to behave the way she has, which will hopefully appear in Ch. 3 once I get over my extended drought of ideas for this story. :) Thank you!


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Review #9, by MottsnaveNova Magica Ars: II

24th July 2011:
I like your pace in this story so far. You have moved things along in this chapter with another dream, a clue dropped, a destination to be reached, but at the same time I think the heart of the chapter is in what you reveal about the founders' relationships.

We really do get to see Rowena's depth of feeling for each of her friends and their complicated history. I love that you have that bit of tension that Salazar once proposed to her as well as mentoring her, it makes him and his issues with Godric very understandable. I can't help being fascinated with his character since you have given him this depth as well as a note of foreboding.

One thing I would be interested in seeing addressed: is Hogwarts coed? You make a slight mention of Rowena's vulnerability to attack because she is a woman in this chapter (which is very realistic for the time). I've just been assuming that this early Hogwarts has invited girls as well as boys to study, but if so, that would be pretty unheard-of for the time period. You probably don't want to have your whole story revolve around sexual politics and inequalities in medieval Britain (oy!), but I think it would be realistic to at least mention the situation one way or another. For example, if Hogwarts IS admitting girls, they might well be in segregated classes and parts of the castle. These sorts of decisions might have been another point of contention between the founders. I think it's at least worth a mention.

You have a Geoffrey of Monmouth cameo. How cool is that? It's very cool.

All right, when's your next chapter going up? I'm waiting to read it!

Author's Response: hey there

thank you. yes, i agree. i wanted to spend some time on their relationship - it is very important to the story, especially when it comes to characters like salazar and godric. i don't know where the salazar-rowena thing came from, lol; i think it relates to how i see him as a bit of a sad old man. i imagine he would, despite his power etc etc be in the habit of comparing himself and covering it up with arrogance.

i see it as being co-ed eventually, but not so much in the beginning i don't think. education in the muggle world was still very much for boys in this time, so maybe, and i have been thinking about this a lot, once the magical community completely withdraws from the muggle one the rules might change. i agree with you about the segregation and that is another thing i thought about - having rowena and helga mentor the girls and godric and salazar mentor the boys, to start with anyways, lol.

YAY you picked up on who geoffrey was!! i did a little happy dance when i read that!!

thank you darling!!
xx


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Review #10, by MottsnaveNova Magica Ars: I

24th July 2011:
First of all, I love your concept of bringing Arthurian lore into the HP world. It's very appropriate, given the setting (and all the people saying 'oh, Merlin,' all the time).

Since you asked about dialogue... I really like the general approach you used. I think it's a tricky decision to make, when you are setting a story in the distant past, how to handle the great language distance between then and now. You used my favorite solution of not trying to recreate the actual language used then, so we don't have to wade through a lot of fains and forsooths, but having your characters speak in a slightly formal tone without a lot of contractions so it's not jarring to the time period. It sounds quite natural, not forced.

You also do a good job of introducing us to the characters through the dialogue and their interactions. You set up the conflict between Salazar and the other founders very well. They have their differences, but Salazar isn't unreasonable or evil here. They are all believably friends. I also love Salazar's bluntness about the bread! Little details like that give us a real sense of the characters!

This is a wonderfully atmospheric beginning, with prophetic nightmares on a dark and stormy night. You also end the chapter on a wonderful note of foreboding.

Author's Response: AH I AM A TERRIBLE TERRIBLE PERSON!! forgive me, i am so sorry i have not replied to you wonderful reviews sooner!! *hides*

thank you so much for such a lovely review. i really appreciate it and i am really pleased you like it so far.

oh gosh, no, not a fain in sight, lol. i couldn't do that, to myself or to readers xD thank you - i'm glad the dialogue flows and seems to fit the era well.

i have never seen Salazar as evil - he is so often misrepresented. i see him as kind of tragic and sad, poor thing. he just had a big sulk about it, lol.

thank you sweetie!! I really appreciate you taking a look and sorry again about my late reply!


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Review #11, by MottsnaveThe Seer: Freak of Nature

12th July 2011:
Well, your character of James is definitely filling in; he has quite the temper, we are seeing more and more. After all, he didn't really know what Albus was saying; his brother could have been discussing ways to defend him from slurs or taunting, for all he knew. It's beginning to make me wonder if his anger is connected to his seizures.

Another thing I wonder about... why does Penelope favor Gryffindor? She is a Ravenclaw herself! I have to say she doesn't sound to me like a headmistress who makes "he right decisions the head of the school was supposed to make" with her blatant favoritism and hiring practices, but I can see that James would see it that way. I love your ending the chapter with a bit of suspense, very nice!

Author's Response: Ah, thank you! I'm glad you think so about his character.

Ah, yes Penelope was in Ravenclaw. I totally forgot about this while I wrote this chapter.

Thank you so much. I'm glad you are enjoying it!


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Review #12, by MottsnaveThe Seer: Epileptic

12th July 2011:
You are again letting us see a lot about your characters by showing them in many different emotional reactions under stress. I love this, it's very enlightening about how they think and work. I thought that James' angry outburst was a very realistic way for him to react to the powerlessness and stress of his situation. That's a pretty scary diagnosis to hear!

I think it's also very interesting that you have Harry punish his kids through abandonment; since he experienced quite a lot of abandonment through his childhood, he knows what a devastating punishment it can be.

I have to say that Harry came across to me as slightly immature and over punitive as a parent in this chapter. It seems odd that he would let his son apparate home from the hospital while he is still apparently weak and after just being informed by the doctor that his seizures will now be common. It seems like putting his son's health at risk is a severe punishment for swearing. Having said that, though, I think this is a characterization that is in line with Harry in canon, who does tend to fly off the handle at times. Great chapter!

Author's Response: Ah. I'm glad you find this a good way to develop the characters. Thank you so much for the review and mentioning all this.

Awe, I'm sorry you found Harry immature! But then I'm glad you found it in canon. Haha thank you for the mixed response there. :)

Thank you so much for the review! :)


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Review #13, by MottsnaveThe Seer: Just a One Time Thing

11th July 2011:
Again, I love your very visual descriptions and the body language you use to bring your scenes to life. I also love the several contrasts you set up between your first chapter and this one: James in the first chapter is obviously very physical, an athlete, but here he is weak, barely able to stand. Albus, so full of self-confidence and swagger is stuttering and afraid, Ginny, professional and competent, is now anxious and panicked. It's great that you've shown us these very different aspects of your characters.

Ok... WARNING.entering the nitpicking zone! I notice that you have some small word mistakes occasionally, like when "Ginny etched towards his back" rather than "edged towards his back," "for minutes" rather than "four minutes," and "drug withdraw" rather than "drug withdrawal." These kinds of things are the hardest to catch because spell check won't pick up on them. I have a lot of trouble seeing mistakes like this in my own writing because when you are familiar with what you are trying to say, your eye just skips over them! Again, just nitpicking, it's a lovely chapter!

Author's Response: Ah thank you so much for that compliment on my writing style. :)

And thank you for pointing all those things out! You are definitely right. Thank you so much!


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Review #14, by MottsnaveThe Seer: Sick

11th July 2011:
Hi,

This is a great opening! I love the way you have described the siblings and set up their relationships and rivalries. You have a very precise visual style of description that made it easy to picture not only the character's outward appearance, but also their body language. I think body language is very important for building characters, so I'm glad that you didn't neglect it! Your description of James' sickness and seizure was also very realistic.

I have to say, something about the dialogue between the siblings in the early part of the chapter bothered me a bit. This is a little thing and just my personal taste, but I thought it sounded a bit too formal for their ages and relationships. I would expect siblings who are arguing and bantering back and forth to use contractions more often. For example, Albus' "Then I will let you win next time," and Lily's "James, you no longer have the mood to play..." and again Lily's "Thank Merlin we will be at Hogwarts..." would sound much more natural to me as "Then I'll let you win..." and "James, you're not in the mood to play..." and "Thank Merlin we'll be at Hogwarts...".

Ok, that''s just a tiny nitpick and a pet peeve of mine. People usually use so many contractions in speech that when a contraction doesn't appear, it either comes across to me as formal or a case of special emphasis on the word that you don't contract.

All in all, I love your beginning!

Author's Response: Awesome! Thank you so much for pointing all of this out. You're so right and I will go over it first chance I get.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review. I'm glad you are enjoying it and thanks for pointing all these things out! I hope you enjoy the future chapters, and I hope to see you back! :)


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Review #15, by Mottsnavestop the presses!: 2

10th July 2011:
Your humor is definitely coming through in this chapter. The slapstick is ok, I personally find it more droll and just a part of Lucy's character than laugh out loud funny. What I think is really funny is the matter-of-fact way you report Lucy's ridiculous trains of thought, like her musings on Teddy's blueness or Dom's stalker tendencies. If you want more humor in the story, give us more of Lucy's thoughts, they're brilliant!

Also funny: Dom's tendency to fly off the handle and the allusion to her criminal past.

Love the way you have the plot shaping up slowly; I'm definitely intrigued about what is going on with all these mysterious meetings! I also sense some little hint of attraction between Lucy and Teddy. Hmm. That would be trouble.

One little typo: there's an 's' missing in "just-out-of-Hogwarts"

An excellent beginning! I'm waiting for more!

Author's Response: hey and thanks again hun!

i agree - it is part of who she is. i have never written a character like her, or with any of her tendencies so i can see what you mean. it is her though - if the world exploded she would blame herself in some way, lol.

more lucy thought coming right up!!

dom amuses me. i'm not sure where she sprung from really. i'm glad you like her.

oh lucy and teddy? i don't know what will happen there. wouldn't rose, and dom, hate that, lol. stay tuned!!

thanks for picking that up!

thank you so much! chapter three should be coming soonish. this isn't an easy fic to write but hopefully, i will kick the funny muse into gear and get it posted!

xx


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Review #16, by Mottsnavestop the presses!: 1

10th July 2011:
This is a great beginning. You really have a natural touch for dialogue, which I think is the most important part of a story! It does come across as nice and light. You instantly give us a real sense of Lucy, Dominique, and Rose's characters through their words and actions, rather through a lot of exposition or surface description. This lets us focus on what is really important to the story: their identity and relationships.

I love how you break up the long stretches of dialogue between Lucy and Dom with little actions. This makes the conversation seem natural and engaging. Their back-and-forth is perfect. You really have the sense that these two characters have a long friendship with the references to their shared history, but again, you avoid the trap of having them explain things to each other that they should already know, just to fill the reader in. I like that you let us put it together bit by bit as the chapter goes on.

Even though it's not very 'eventful,' this first chapter has already put in a solid groundwork of the key characters, their conflicts and relationships, and a bit of a mystery to keep us coming back. Wonderful!

One thing that I would like to see you work into future chapters (if you can do it without overloading exposition) is some reinforcement as to how some of the characters are related. I always have trouble in stories with large numbers of siblings and cousins keeping track of who is related to whom.

Thanks for a great first chapter!

Author's Response: hi there hun and thanks so much for coming to review!

wow really? thank you. banter and lightness is not something that comes easy to me - i am more used to dark and angsty type dialogue, lol, so that comment really means a lot.

i am so pleased that lucy and dom are working out and that their relationships seems real and natural. thank you for saying that - it makes me feel much better about writing them.

yeah i know it can be hard with the weasley crew, but hopefully as the story progresses it will become clearer who is.

thank you so much for such a lovely review. i really appreciate it!

xx


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Review #17, by MottsnaveUntraceables: Prologue

20th June 2011:
This is a wonderfully atmospheric opening. You really have a gift for description; I love that you set a scene with several senses: sight hearing, touch. rather than just by appearances alone. You really let suspense build up by lingering on the details of the scene.

I also love how you build up a picture of these characters slowly, without really giving us any exposition, but still showing a lot of their history and relationship through their actions. This is a perfect example of showing, not telling, and it's very well done.

I do think it's a little unfair that you only have one chapter up so far! You can't leave us hanging in suspense like this!

Author's Response: Aw, thank you! I really appreciate my comments.

I know there's more description here than dialogue, so I really admire you for sticking through it. It's only a prologue, after all, but I'm relieved that you didn't have any trouble getting through it!

Thanks again for your review! It definitely made my morning.

- Rin


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Review #18, by MottsnaveWildflowers: Potion Hazard

14th June 2011:
I really love your nuanced view of the different houses and the students in them in this chapter.

I also like that you are setting up some strong female friendships between several characters. I always felt that it was a little strange that we don't see more of that in canon...

Author's Response: Mottsnave,
Thanks so much for the review. I'm glad you've enjoyed what you read so far.


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Review #19, by MottsnaveWildflowers: Under the Stars

14th June 2011:
Hi,

This is a wonderful opening. You effortlessly set up the background of Elsa so we get a picture not only of her family background, but also her current friendships and relationships. You do this perfectly, by avoiding a heavy load of exposition and instead letting us pick up the background through her memories, thoughts and conversations.

You're also convincing in setting up the connection and attraction between Sirius and Elsa. It occurs to me that they have something in common with problematic little brothers!

Thanks for writing!

Author's Response: Hey Susan,
Thanks for taking the time to read this first chapter. I am very glad you like the way I've set things up. I didn't want to be all like "this is who she is, who her friends are and such" without showing a bit of how she became the person she is presently.

Yes, her and Sirius do have that in comment, but then, Dominic isn't really her younger brother, but her twin brother.

Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you'll read more :D


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