Reading Reviews From Member: Beeezie
  
671 Reviews Found

Review #26, by BeeezieThe Orchard: These Walls

20th July 2015:
Ahhh, I was wondering whether something had happened to Laura. Well, you're just hammering in "THIS IS A WAR" from the get-go, aren't you? I have no idea what happened to her, but she's clearly shell-shocked and dealing with some pretty major trauma. I find the way you're having her withdraw rather than act out to be interesting - it's such an individual thing, but I've always been more comfortable with acting out than with catatonia (probably because that's how I react to stress). Florence is really getting on my nerves, though. She did last chapter as well, to some extent, but it's intensified this chapter. I like snarky, sarcastic characters as much/more than the next person, but she's not just being sarcastic and snarky - she's being mean-spirited, and it feels out of place in a setting like this. I do understand why she'd be a little peeved at Lily, but just... really? Come on. I like Mary's conversation with James much better, though it did make me realize that my assumption about her being Muggleborn was off-base. I guess Death Eaters don't discriminate - they'll go after blood traitors, too! Equal(ish) opportunity bullying/murder is such a beautiful thing. (See, Florence, that's sarcasm.) It was so interesting to hear his perspective, and I was really annoyed at Florence interrupting him.

Loving this story.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #27, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Welcome

20th July 2015:
So on one hand, I usually try to read things with less than 2500 word chapters for TAR. On the other, I like you and your writing, so I'm going to come down on the "I will read and review faster if I'm enjoying the fic and have got a lot to say." So here I am. I'm curious, because you mentioned Mafalda in ATG, too - is Orchard set in the same "universe" as ATG?

Regardless. I really loved the juxtaposition here between Mary and a lot of her fellow students. I can appreciate meeting the train with a "Oh, come on, another year?" in normal situations, and this situation isn't normal - there's a war going on that Muggleborns are major targets in - IMO, even more so than Muggles, who can hide in a crowd a little better, and I can see that having a significant effect on Muggleborns who've got to be feeling fairly disenchanted with the wizarding world just now. However, I also felt like you did an amazing job of balancing how Mary's a little soured to the wizarding world right now. However, while I definitely got an undercurrent of that throughout the chapter, I appreciated the fact that it flowed with the narrative rather than weighed everything down with moroseness. You did an amazing job of setting the scene for the story, and you introduced a lot of really intriguing interrelationships that I can't wait to read more about. Lily's not being a prefect did confuse me a bit - I thought canon was that she was? but whatever. I'm not super invested in the Lily-the-rule-follower interpretation anyway. :P

Great job!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #28, by BeeezieAll that Glitters : September 1979: Pieces

20th July 2015:
Oooh, this is so jarring, Zayne. It's jarring in a good way, but it's so horribly jarring. A month in and I'm not sure I'm more disturbed at how easily she's adopting this new, very disturbing lifestyle or gratified to see her inner conflict and disgust with what she's doing. Because somehow, you're managing to show both simultaneously. She's clearly troubled and disdainful and even afraid of Voldemort's (other) followers, but she's quick to invoke his name when it will get her what she wants, isn't she? I don't quite feel bad for her, since, you know, Death Eater, but I do feel for her, and it's so sad to me that this is her life a year after she finishes at Hogwarts. The moment she decides not to transfigure her face I felt a sinking feeling, because I knew that there was no way this could end well, and a large part of me wanted to shake her and tell her to transfigure her face, please! But then I started to think about it, and I realized that transfiguring her face so that people she used to be close to wouldn't recognize her and judge her and avoid her was a little... well, she's a Death Eater, and they deserve to know that. Ugh. I'm so disappointed there's not another chapter to read, and I hope you get the next one up soon!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #29, by BeeezieAll that Glitters : June 1976: Fireworks

20th July 2015:
Back for chapter two!

Yeah, your writing has definitely gotten smoother. I'm not saying that it wasn't good before, obviously, and it's been years since I read the first version of ATG, but I remember it as being a little choppier, particularly when it came to little grammatical stuff. That's not the case now. Everything flows so smoothly, and you've got so many amazing one-liners. He liked to be entertained. James usually was the only one who could do this on an hourly basis was probably my favorite of them - it sums up Sirius and James's friendship so well and with such snarky presentation. I love it - and I also love the flirty/slight sexual tension vibes I got between her and Sirius. It was deftly done, and really made me like them as a couple despite everything I know is going to happen (since, you know, she's becoming a Death Eater three years later). I really got a great sense of Eleanor's personality beyond her relationship with the Marauders, too - the excuse to McGonagall cracked me up. One little thing that did strike me about this chapter, though, is that you take a very long time to actually say Eleanor's name, and it's not stated in the first chapter or the story summary, either. It's not a huge problem there - not using her name actually works for the first chapter because it makes it feel more anonymous and removed - but given that, I'd have liked to see it mentioned earlier here. Overall, though, I loved this, and I'm so glad I'm reading this now.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #30, by BeeezieAll that Glitters : August 1979: In Blood

20th July 2015:
Hey, Zayne! I've been looking forward to checking out this rewrite but haven't had time. Yay good excuse!

I really enjoyed this the first time around, but with this rewrite, you've definitely taken it to the next level. Your description is so vivid, and it brought both the setting and Eleanor's experience to life. A stark, harsh life, but I wouldn't expect anything else from this story. It's such a fascinating premise, and I loved it from the start - looking at how people fell to the dark side who weren't all "Grr Mudbloods, get off my lawn" (or whatever) is so fascinating, and I feel like it's a nuanced perspective we definitely don't get from the books and also tend not to get from fanfiction. You tackled it beautifully here, though, from the very first line. The "lost dog" comment in particular was really evocative, both on face value and in terms of Eleanor's relationship with Sirius. (I'm not sure if that's intentional on her part, but it's definitely where my thoughts went.) I really wanted to dislike Eleanor here - I mean, she's signing over to be an agent of incredible evil - but I didn't this time any more than I did in the first draft. I just felt sad for her and that she'd fallen this far.

This was really wonderful. Onward to the next chapter!


Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #31, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: James Meets A Girl

18th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

I really enjoyed this. Your writing style is thoroughly enjoyable, and I sped through the chapter. The narrative made me laugh, and the characters were just all so likable, and I really walked away with a strong sense of who James was - and I liked him a lot.

The way you ended each section with (basically) "Damnit, Fred," driving everything else from James's mind was brilliant - it set James up as the vaguely-levelish-head-sort-of (which is a scary thought on its own!) who still got himself into trouble anyway, which is a really fun paradigm to read about.

I loved how confused James was by the fact that there was someone in Hogwarts who just didn't find him very interesting. It seems like he'd probably have handled outright animosity easier than being ignored, and I can understand why that would be enough to catch his attention a little.

And that's what it was - a little. There wasn't the suddenly-madly-deeply-obsessed kind of thing that is so prevalent, and while that has its place, I really, really liked this. It seems like this is going to be his love interest (right?), but it's clearly an interest that comes on slowly, which I love to see in a fic. The fact that you spanned this chapter over the course of a year really highlighted that, IMO, and the similarities in each section really helped maintain the flow of the story.

Something I did notice that might be improved, though: as I said, your writing style is wonderful, but I feel like you overuse adverbs sometimes - in the first section, for example, I'm not sure what charmingly added to his apology, and in the third, while I think diligently or furiously would work alone, both of them in the same sentence is a little overkill. It's a minor thing, but I noticed it throughout the chapter, and I feel like limiting your adverb use to when it's really adding to the description would tighten up your writing a lot.

Overall, though, this was great - I really enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Thanks so much Branwen! You picked up on a lot of my concerns (1. is this stuff funny to anybody but me? and 2. is my vision of James communicated?).

Yep, the girl is the love interest, and I've done my best to drag their relationship out-- just reached 30k written and they're now having their first really in-depth conversation!

Ahh I know I abuse adverbs, but thanks for pointing it out! They're just so easy and readily available, you know? But if it's actually something that sticks out and not just something I'm overly aware of I'll cut back!

Thanks again for the review! :)


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Review #32, by BeeezieOblivious to the Obvious: Sarcasm And Annoyances

18th July 2015:
Hey, Mikaela! Here for BvB!

I really enjoyed Hailey's voice in this from the very beginning - the sarcasm and irritation she was feeling came through very clearly, and I really sympathized with her - especially as someone who has a lot of difficulty with punctuality! I admired her restraint - I wouldn't have had it, that's for sure, whatever the consequences.

But it wasn't just that her voice made the story engaging from the start (though it did) - it was that I really felt like I got a sense of who she was as a person from her reaction to what I agree was a completely disproportionate punishment. (Though wouldn't she have been sprinting, not jogging? You can't really sprint for an hour. Regardless, though!) The way she was able to shrug off the pain was particularly admirable, IMO.

And I also feel like you handled the canon characters really well. They weren't major characters, which in some ways makes them easier to mess up - there's the temptation to just write them as OCs. You didn't do that, though - you showed a side to Wood that we do get a hint of in the books but which Harry himself doesn't really experience, and Angelina's distaste for drama fits (or at least, drama that doesn't personally affect her! We saw her channeling Wood in OotP, so I can see her flying off at Fred).

And the relationships between the characters were wonderfully handled, as well - I really believed their friendships, and I felt like you introduced a lot of nuance into the way they interact with each other. I'm really curious to see where you take it!

There were a couple things about this chapter that didn't seem quite as smooth as the one-shots of yours that I've read recently, though. There were more typos and misplaced/missing punctuation - e.g., I'd like you're attention rather than your attention, and there probably should have been a comma after Yes in "Yes Captain?" - little things, but there were enough that they stuck out, particularly in comparison.

I also felt like your phrasing was sometimes awkward too, particularly surrounding dialogue. It seems almost like you were afraid of 1) letting dialogue stand on its own without a dialogue tag and 2) of being repetitive with your dialogue tags, which led to you adding adverbs or other descriptors that weren't always necessary. That's totally understandable, but I do think the narrative would flow smoother if you were a little more willing to do that.

This stuff is all minor, and I think that part of the reason it's reading so different to me is that you first published it so long ago. I thought I'd point it out anyway, though. Otherwise, this is really fun, and I'm curious to see where you take it next!

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Review #33, by BeeezieThe Ides of March: Tear me asunder.

16th July 2015:
Hey, Kiana! Back for BvB. :)

Oh, Helena. The beginning of this chapter is heartbreaking, and I can really feel how much she's faded away having lost (sacrificed?) her connection with Eleanor, at least for the moment. I found the fact that she assumed that she was just experimentation and recklessness to Eleanor to be particularly sad - it really speaks to her very low self-esteem and depression, which you portrayed very clearly throughout the chapter.

And it's clear that Eleanor is not as dissociated and apathetic as Helena seems to think as the chapter goes on. I loved their meeting by the lake - where every other relationship in this fic is strained and contentious on some level, even Helena's with Helga, her relationship with Eleanor is beautiful. I suppose it is contentious, in a way, but what they have and what Eleanor brings out in her is lovely in so many ways. I want them to hold hands and walk and kiss and be in love forever. Helena never seems at peace except when she's with Eleanor, and it's nice to see her as such. She's got far too much anxiety and tension in her life.

You're really not letting up on your portrayal of Rowena as being a rather harsh and even neglectful mother. Helena can be rather pretty when she smiles? Seriously? So she's not pretty the rest of the time, and even when she does smile she's only sort of pretty? Guaranteeing continued contributions to the school is on Helena being a good wife to a man Rowena doesn't know at all? Well, then. I can see where some of Helena's low self-esteem is coming from.

I already don't like Edward. I'm assuming that's intentional. Maybe part of it is that Helena is so clearly and deeply in love with Eleanor that I'm a little in love with Eleanor having immersed myself in the story again, or maybe it's just that I really dislike men who need their egos stroked the way Edward seems to need (or at least Rowena seems to think he needs), or maybe it's his casual dropping of the word 'Mudblood' and love for Slytherin and all those other little things that scream 'I am not the best person ever.' Or all of those, and other things on top of it. Regardless, though, I don't like him at all.

I liked that even Rowena was displeased by the mention of Slytherin - though it doesn't seem to stop her from pursuing the match. Ugh. Rowena, be a better mother.

There was one thing I wasn't sure about, though. Some of your dialogue tags seemed a little awkward - for example, Rowena "shrieking" before Helena meets Edward seemed a little jarring to me. I get speaking seriously or intensely, but why on earth is she shrieking about it?

That aside, though, this was lovely. Amazing job, and I can't wait for you to upload the next chapter!

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Review #34, by BeeezieFinding Him: morning.

16th July 2015:
Hey, Sama! Here for BvB!

Ahh, Scorose. I love Scorose.

This is the second thing I've read of yours for BvB this month, and I'm really enjoying your writing style. It's got this wonderful layer of snark and sarcasm that I absolutely adore.

Your description of love at the beginning of this chapter was brilliant. I feel like both forms of love that you describe are painful in their own way and in ways that many people don't acknowledge. I could really feel Rose's pain toward the beginning of this chapter, which was heartbreaking, and her love was described in such a believable and realistic way. I loved both the poetic way you described the little things (e.g., his hair, him smiling infrequently), and I could empathize completely with her heartbreak, because I've totally been there.

And switching to the present - I loved the description of her flat. I could totally see it in my mind, and in describing it, you really provided excellent insight into who Rose is as a person and where she is emotionally. You also made me - as an exceptionally messy person! like her a lot.

And Albus - oh, I loved the way you introduced Albus. Between the fact that he just shows up at her door and her thoughts about him, I got a very good idea of who he is, too - and what their relationship is, even before I got to the part where Rose explicitly identifies him as her favorite cousin. All of that gives his broaching the subject of Scorpius really important context, and I thought that you handled it beautifully.

That said, there were a couple things that seemed off to me. I wasn't totally sure about the introduction of a phone - while I think that it is possible to integrate something along those lines into a next-gen story, the way you present it makes it sound exactly the same as a Muggle phone, which doesn't make sense to me. And, while I love the description of her flat in general, the fact that you identified it as having several couches also seems strange, unless she has a lot of roommates and an exceptionally big flat (which doesn't seem to be the case).

I also felt like your dialogue, while generally wonderful, was occasionally a bit awkward. Using "states" and "asserts calmly" and "voices" (for example) as dialogue tags made the dialogue they surrounded a little awkward. Use other tags when they make sense, of course, but I feel like you're bending over backward to avoid using "say" too much, and it really isn't necessary.

That aside, though, I loved this, and I'm really curious about how the story will unfold!

Author's Response: Hey, Branwen!

Scorose... how can you ever get enough of that ship haha.

Everything I write a lot of the time turns a little snarky... I have no clue why. I think it's my personality. But I'm glad you like it! And sarcasm is always fun to put in since it is a part of British humor. I'm not British but I love sarcasm so it tends to be in my writing from time to time.

The beginning was the part I was unsure about the most. At one point I thought I was going to delete and rewrite it the whole thing. I couldn't do it since I wrote it over a year ago and it shows my younger self writing and Rose was supposed to be a little younger there than in present day. I'm happy that you liked and could relate to it. That was the goal really. :)

I think a lot of us are sort of messy. I'm in the middle of messy and neat but I could never imagine myself that organized and neat so I wrote messy Rose. Description is one of my enemies when it comes to writing. I'm not very good at it but it's great to hear that you think so!

Albus is always a favorite. I like bringing him into stories. Even though it isn't exactly canon, I strongly believe that him and Rose had a really strong friendship all their life. Also I could see him as the only one Rose would let enter into her apartment early in the morning without hexing him. That's why his introduction was him knocking at her door.

The phone does seem really Muggle, doesn't it? In my head, when the phone comes into the wizarding world it's a Muggleborn who integrates it in and keeps a lot of the Muggle features, you know? Like it acts and looks a lot like a Muggle phone (which helps wizards and witches blend in with the Muggle world easily) but doesn't need WiFi to work, can stand magic, and has a lot of bonus magical features like it can turn into a book when you tell it to hide or has an app that detects magical objects. Now that I think about it several couches are a bit strange. I'm going to probably change it to two couches since I can see her having a few for when her cousins decide to barge in. She doesn't have any roommates and her flat is medium sized if you were wondering.

I feel like that's something that everyone says. Avoid saying'say' all the time. I'll probably go back and fix those up to make it less awkward. Thanks so much for pointing it out!!

Thank you for taking the time to review this story, Branwen! I had a fantastic time reading it!

~Sama



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Review #35, by BeeezieThe Ides of March: Consider things like the stars.

16th July 2015:
Hey, Kiana! Here for BvB!

I continue to love your prose, and I think that you're doing an excellent job of portraying the sect of Christianity that a lot of people subscribed to - particularly back then, but even now. My heart broke when the priest told Helena that she was speaking of sin and that he wasn't sure what hope there was for her. It's such fear mongering, and I hate it, but I can totally, completely see it.

What I also love is that I'm continuing to have a strong reaction to a lot of Helena's narrative. I'm a little bit of a heretic - I'm not sure I'm particularly interested in God in any context, let alone the strong all-powerful all-knowing meddlesome (sorry, if this is your thing) God that Helena believes in. There are points in the story where I want to shake her, which means that you're writing a very good, complex, believable character. You include a lot deft touches that really drive her belief in God home and show how significant her beliefs are to her - which, in turn, makes a lot of her conflict re: Eleanor make more sense.

I keep waiting for her to just get over the whole God-doesn't-approve thing, but I'm starting to think that maybe she's not going to, not completely. She's clearly moved past it to some extent - she directly agrees with Eleanor's conviction that what they have can't be a sin - but when she says that they aren't as they ought to be, that does indicate that she still feels a measure of shame and confusion about it. That bothers me so much, but if that is where you're going with it, it's a really interesting take that is, unfortunately, quite realistic.

Regardless, I feel so bad for her right now, and while I don't see how this can work out, I hope that it does.

A bit of CC, though:

I think I may have mentioned this in a previous review - if I didn't, I meant to - but the references to other gods throws me off. Helena seems to be a very devout Christian, and the anxiety she felt regarding her relationship with Eleanor earlier in the story clearly indicated that she takes doctrine very seriously. The casual references to other gods seems strange to me in that context. Saints I could understand, but not gods.

That aside, though, I loved this. Amazing job, and I hope she's okay!

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Review #36, by BeeezieSweetheart Tom: Little Red Riding Hood

14th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB! I meant to go back to L'optimisme, but the story summary and characters for this really intrigued me, and I love fairy tales, so here I am!

God, Laura, your prose is so beautiful. The way you describe the setting of this sent shivers running down my spine - I really felt like I was there in the forest, and unlike Fleur - who is far braver than I am when it comes to this - I'm horribly afraid of the dark. I could practically feel the wind and hear the rustle of the trees and the animals hiding in the trees - I'm being a bit repetitive now, but it really was quite chilling.

But what I loved even more (if that's possible) was they way you transplanted the characters into a fairy tale world. I absolutely believed that this was Fleur, who's actually one of my favorite canon characters - the slightly foolhardy bravery fit what we know about her perfectly. The Fleur that we saw in the books was a little imprudent - I mean, this is the woman who became a Triwizard Champion, stayed in England even after it was clear that Voldemort - one of the most dangerous dark wizards in history - had returned, and married a man whose family were clearly enormous targets for Voldemort and his followers.

There are so, so, so many ways that any one of those decisions could have spectacularly wrong.

So Fleur getting sidetracked on her way to her grandmother's to pick berries - thereby allowing it to get dark out - and then deciding to keep going until she got there was totally believable to me.

I love her reaction to Bill, too. The combination of defensiveness - both at being "saved" and at being called a "kid" - and attraction was perfect, and kind of made me a little in love with Bill. (Though I'm honestly always into Bill - he's wonderful.)

The end of the chapter was so intriguing, too and I really can't wait to see what happens next!

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Review #37, by BeeezieJumping Off Swings: Moment of Death

14th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

I'm not Snape's biggest fan, so I tend to be fairly critical of him even in stories that are trying to humanize him. I loved Moment of Clarity, though, and I thought you could probably do him justice and make me see him in a different light.

And I was right.

One of the things I loved about this was that while you showed some selfishness on Snape's part in regards to Lily - turning her husband and child over to Voldemort as long as he'd spare her will always be a profoundly selfish act, and there's no skimming over that - you didn't show a lot of the possessiveness that really turns me off to the pair. You made me see him as a selfish man with questionable morals who nonetheless did care deeply for Lily. The way his world revolved around her even years after her death still wasn't particularly healthy, but you made it heartbreaking rather than creepy, which it often verges on.

I also loved the way you handled the scene from a canon perspective as well. It can be really difficult to pull off without sounding either repetitive or deviating significantly from what we know about canon. (Which can be fine in its own right, of course - but I really love what you did here in its own right.) You really navigated the situation so wonderfully and ended up with an amazing story.

And, while you didn't really talk about Snape's family at all, the way he kept thinking back to his childhood friendship with Lily stood out to me in part because he clearly wasn't thinking about his parents at all - something about that juxtaposed with Harry's eyes really made me compare Snape with Harry for the first time. In some ways, I'd argue that their childhoods were far more similar than Harry's and Voldemort's were - both Harry and Snape grew up in families that were neglectful at best and abusive at worst, and while Harry latched onto reasonably healthy people in the Weasleys and Hermione... yeah, I can see how Snape might have latched onto Lily and his housemates, and once he turned his back on his housemates, Lily was all that was left.

A little bit of CC, though: I feel like sometimes your phrasing is a little awkward, particularly surrounding dialogue. For example, in your third paragraph, the "You try" seemed awkward and unnecessary to me. The story would have flowed a bit better if you'd just said, "Your voice is steady..." instead, IMO. I feel like you're trying to vary your dialogue tags up, which is great, but sometimes you're trying a little too hard. Similarly, I feel like you sometimes use adverbs or spell things out that stand on their own. Lily's words were defiant enough when they were talking after their first year - you didn't need to add that in. Similarly, when he's trying to talk to her after the Mudblood incident, I feel like "You say. She's been avoiding you for days" would have been totally fine - we can tell that he's frustrated. It's minor stuff, but it did stick out to me.

Regardless, though: the way you presented Snape in this really just made me think much more critically about him as a character and feel a lot more sympathy for him than I've ever felt before. You did an amazing job. ♥

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Review #38, by BeeezieBecoming My Sisters' Enemy: The Sisters Black

12th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

I love Andromeda, so as soon I saw this at the top of your page, I knew I had to read it. I'm glad I did, because you did an amazing job.

I found the way you emphasized male children to be really interesting, because while there isn't a lot of overt sexism in wizarding society that we see, there are a lot of indications that there's a strong undercurrent of it, particularly in pureblood society.

I mean, there are clearly plenty of women who support Voldemort, but Bellatrix and Alecto Carrow are the only two female Death Eaters who get mentioned in the books. I don't think that's just a coincidence - many male Death Eaters are mentioned, after all. And, while we have a limited view of pureblood society in the books, it also seemed to me that once they married, women really did adopt into their husbands' families. I can readily believe that a pureblood son to be their heir was important to Andromeda's parents, and why Narcissa would have been such a disappointment.

But I like that you didn't turn this into a story about a tragic upbringing. Both Bellatrix and Narcissa are described in a way that clearly reflects who we know they'll become but also humanizes them as children. It helps to set up this story wonderfully, IMO, because it makes Andromeda's loss matter. Losing touch with her family was a sacrifice, even though i's so easy to get caught up in "But your family were all such terrible people! You're well rid of them!" I mean, yes, they are - but not always to her. In fact, her sisters actually helped to insulate her from their parents' disapproval and controlling nature (as she did them, of course).

A little bit of CC, though:

You mention that Bellatrix told Andromeda to "pray" for a younger sister, but you also set their ages at four and two at the time. I have a hard time imagining a four year old telling anyone to "pray" for something with any real conviction, and an even harder time imagining a two year old who understands what that means and remembers it. It makes total sense that she'd remember dancing and excitement over a sister - just not prayer, IMO.

I also found the mention of multiple house elves to be curious. Even the Malfoys and Sirius's family seem to have only generally had one - for there to be at least two in Andromeda's household didn't make sense to me. It also seemed odd to me that in the moment, she seemed to thinking of them by name; if she didn't respect them, is that really realistic?

Those are both minor, though, and otherwise, this was an amazing story, and I'll definitely be coming back to it.

Author's Response: Hi Branwen,

Thank you for the wonderful review! You really made my day :)

I'm glad you agree regarding the undercurrent of sexism in the Wizarding World. To some degree, I picture the Wizarding World corresponds with the Muggle world, and while things have come a long way in regards to women's rights, I imagine that in the time period that the story is set, women would be much more likely to be homemakers, and girls would not be as valued as "heirs."

Thank for for the CC! I'll be honest - writing little kids is hard for me, and you're write I did write Bella and Andie more mature than they probably should have. You're also right about the House Elves - thanks for catching that!

Thank you!!!
~LJ


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Review #39, by BeeezieFor Her: For Her

12th July 2015:
I've actually been avoiding reading this, because it's just such a weird pairing, and I didn't know what to think about it.

You pulled it off, though. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - you're very good at introducing some humanity and nuance to characters who have done some pretty terrible things.

What really made this for me was that you didn't really try to redeem Dolohov. He thought about wanting to change, but it didn't seem like he was really committed to the idea. His thoughts about Hermione actually speaks to that for me far more than anything else - it almost feels like he traded obsession with blood purity and Voldemort in for obsession with Hermione. I saw the same blind faith, the same pedestal, and even the same selfishness in his thoughts about her as I saw in the way a lot of death eaters approached Voldemort.

The picture creeped me out in particular, actually. The idea of him holding on a picture of her at her wedding and using that to fuel his fixation - cutting out any mention of Ron (right? well, regardless), of course - just feels wrong to me, and I think that it speaks volumes about his feelings and his attitude toward her. He's still not really seeing her as a human being - his entire thought process really is all about him and how he feels. He really was quite creepy, which is really what made this work.

One thing did stick out to me, though: you mentioned that he's already had four parole hearings. That seems odd to me; he's a Death Eater, and he acknowledges when he's thinking about Hermione that he's killed people. I'm surprised that he's had any parole hearings, let alone four.

Otherwise, though, this was wonderfully creepy and made my skin crawl in all the right ways. Amazing job with a really tough pairing. ♥

Author's Response: Hello, my dear!

Thank you so much for reading this, despite its strangeness! I totally agree that this is a bizarre and uncomfortable pairing for all sorts of reasons. Dolohov definitely doesn't have a grasp of what "love" actually is. You're completely right to say he has an obsession, not a real understanding of and affection for Hermione. He's just infatuated with the IDEA of her, more than who she really is. And that's very creepy. As for the parole hearings, I tried to imagine that the justice system post-Second War would have changed to allow those who'd followed Voldemort a chance to improve their lives and atone for what they'd done. I imagine that some of the Death Eaters really were doing what they did out of fear rather than racism and loyalty, and I think maybe the government would try to root out those people with genuine desire to better themselves. Dolohov, however, isn't one of those people. He doesn't really feel bad for what he did. He just wishes that getting caught didn't separate him from his obsession. So yes, it's all very creepy. ;)

Again, thank you. You leave such brilliant reviews.

Emily


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Review #40, by BeeezieTurning Page: Numb

12th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

This was wonderful. Your prose is so vivid, and it really brought both the setting and his emotion to life.

One of the things I really loved about this is that you absolutely didn't skim over his trauma from the war. It was pretty clear to me in HBP and DH that Draco was deeply traumatized by the war, and while he certainly didn't go through what some other people did - he was not, for example, on the run because everyone in power wanted him dead - I think that he was afraid for his own life (more so by "his" side than the OotP etc, which is pretty significant on its own), and I actually suspect that he was subjected to at least one of the Unforgivables at least once - Bellatrix is way too unhinged for her not to do that to him, IMO.

I also loved that you slipped a good explanation for what happened immediately following the way into the story seamlessly - it's absolutely something that readers want to know, and it's important in setting the stage... but at the same time, it can be difficult to do so without being a little heavy handed. You managed it perfectly, and introduced a lot of nuance that isn't immediately apparent from a simple "Well, the Malfoys didn't go to Azkaban."

I particularly like the way you dealt with Draco himself - I like that he doesn't understand why Harry vouched for him. I don't think Narcissa put him up to it at all - it seems to me that in both HBP and DH, Harry does have a measure of sympathy toward Draco, and recognizes that Draco doesn't like the ultimate result of the hateful things he was spouting. But of course Draco wouldn't see that - and I'm not sure Draco even knows that Harry saw him fail to kill Dumbledore.

I mean, you're depicting current!Draco as being pretty emotionally damaged - he's engaged in substance abuse, he hates himself and his job, and he barely sleeps. It's difficult to read, but it's difficult because it's so realistic. I think the way you dealt with his pride is fascinating - it feels like it's simultaneously contributing to his stress and protecting him from it. I think that's often how pride works, so that depiction strikes me as so incredibly realistic. (I'm using that word a lot, but only because it's true.)

The introduction of Astoria in here was also wonderful - I like that you included a history for them, even if at this point it's many years removed from their current lives. I can see that making it easier to introduce her and push them into a more intimate relationship than they'd have as strangers, and it makes why she'd care a lot more apparent.

There were a couple things that I thought you could have worked on, though they're pretty nitpicky.

I would have liked to see a bit more of an explanation for why Draco was back to repeat his seventh year. All you said was that it was what his parents wanted, but I didn't totally understand why they wanted it or why they were focused on it in the wake/immediate aftermath of their trials.

I also would have liked to see some acknowledgment from Draco about why he's still living at home. I'd think that he'd want to get away from the manor. There are so many awful memories in it - why has he remained there for four years?

Those really are nitpicky, though - this is wonderful overall, and I'm so glad I read it.

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Review #41, by BeeezieBurning Bridges: Boom

12th July 2015:
Oh, Seamus. I totally bought this. I love Seamus's propensity to blow things up, so I was sold as soon as I read the story summary, but you did a wonderful job balancing the horrors of the battle overall with a little humor. The mention of bodies littering his path was so chilling, and he was definitely thinking about his actions on a logical level when he trapped the Death Eaters on the bridge. (Serves them right, invading Hogwarts!) And actually, his intentionally trapping the Death Eaters on the bridge before he made it explode is pretty chilling in its own right - he basically systematically planned and carried out the killing of a couple dozen people. People who probably deserved it, but still, it's chilling that he didn't even think about that. Then again, I didn't until right now - I just found the way he planned it so carefully and then enjoyed their panic before he blasted the bridge to pieces to be kind of funny. Yikes, what does that say about me? Really wonderful job, though, this was a great look at the scene from Seamus's point of view!

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

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Review #42, by BeeezieTwisting In The Wind: Free

12th July 2015:
Oooh, this was so horribly realistic. This is how super painful breakups usually seem to go - no one did anything wrong, really, but you stop being compatible and both start being really unhappy because you've just ceased to fit. I saw that here, and I thought that the way you presented it was heartbreakingly realistic. You really depicted both of them perfectly - traveling and adventure is absolutely who Luna is as a person, and after the fairly tumultuous upbringing Neville had, I can see stability and family becoming of the utmost importance to him, particularly as he starts to get older and more mature. It was heartbreaking in a lot of ways, but it was actually comforting and cathartic for me, because even though the moment feels horrible, they are both going to be in a better place in the long run without the relationship than they would be in it. You really did a wonderful with this.

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

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Review #43, by BeeezieThe Exchange Student: Prologue

12th July 2015:
This was really interesting! I think I'm going to have to read the story it goes along with, because I'm really intrigued. This is a tough ship to write, but - and I know it's still just the prologue, but even so - it felt believable to me. I also loved the way you didn't gloss over Lily's importance to Snape - you just someone else important, too. It was wonderful because I can totally see how Lily wouldn't have been able to give him everything he needed when it came to love. She gave him a lot, but it's very clear from canon that she didn't give him any faith in his worth as a romantic partner, because she never fulfilled that role for him. It always bugged me that there was never any indication that someone else was there for Snape, because I find the idea that the only genuine love he ever knew was unrequited romance where the person cut him off when they were 16. Justifiably, but even so. And, now that I think about it, I can see the appeal of Hermione - she and Lily do have some pretty significant similarities, though not to the extent that I think for a second that you'll be writing a "I want you to be Lily" fic. Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to check this out!

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

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Review #44, by BeeezieCalculus: Awakenings

11th July 2015:
Hey! Taking the opportunity to come back and give this story some attention, since I really enjoyed it when we had our swap a couple months ago. I found this really intriguing - you mentioned focusing on investigative techniques Aurors could use, and I think you did a great job with them. It all seemed quite reasonable, and I love the way you incorporated your own unique spin on the process with canon information to create a scene that felt incredibly real and engaging. (Even the dull parts like inventory, because of course there are dull parts - it's not just constant dueling and fighting. That would be ridiculous. I'm so curious to see where you go with this and how in depth you get in the procedural stuff of being an auror. A little CC, though: I do feel like while your description in general are great, they can get awkward when surrounded by dialogue. I think that you sometimes include a little too much in the way of dialogue tags and adverbs - for example, in the second paragraph, the "he added grimly" didn't seem totally necessary to me, nor did Neville furrowing his brow "disapprovingly." If the dialogue speaks to how the speaker is delivering the line on its own, I think that it often becomes awkward and even a little patronizing to add it. That said, I really enjoyed this chapter, and I'll definitely be back for this fic. :)

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Howdy! I'm so glad you came back!

One of the things I definitely wanted to capture in this fic was the technical and procedural investigative side of a murder mystery (somewhat on the order of procedural).

I definitely hear you about the tags and adverbs. While I'm personally pretty pro-adverb, dialogue tags are something I'm definitely trying (and not necessarily succeeding) on improving.

Thanks for the positive thoughts and CC! I really appreciate it!


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Review #45, by BeeezieDeath on the First: Chapter Four

11th July 2015:
Ha, I was wondering whether the person Parvati told was Harry. It would definitely make the most sense to me - why would she tell her sister or Seamus? It just seems like they're too closely involved and too close to her to really be guaranteed that the perpetrator would be punished appropriately - it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to kill sisters or a woman and her fiancé together make it look like a burglary or robbery
gone bad or something along those lines. It's a bit harder to kill the Head of the Auror department (which I think you'd indicated that Harry is at this point?) and one of his Aurors, barring a very good duelist. (Very good, to overpower someone Voldemort couldn't properly overpower - and who's had significant training since then, along with Parvati.) I do find it a little curious that the head of the Auror department would go along with a blackmail scheme - it seems like something they really ought to be a stop to - but still, this was really fun and intriguing, and I definitely wasn't expecting to be Pansy. (I don't know who I was suspecting, just not Pansy.) This may have been an experiment for you, but I really enjoyed it and hope you write more like it in the future.

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Hola!

Ah, you were right! I think the problem is that the murderer wasn't exactly thinking straight here - they wouldn't have considered telling someone like Harry, even if they were close to him, because of the trouble that could get them into with the authorities - so that meant that they went about things the wrong way. And yes, I don't think it would have been too difficult for the murderer to kill Parvati and Padma and/or Seamus in a much simpler way - but I think that they have a flair for the dramatic, and a sense that they're going to get away with things - maybe because they have before?

Ah, perhaps I wasn't quite clear in that - I didn't intend for it to seem like Harry was entirely in on the blackmail plot. But in my mind he trusted Parvati and so when she confided in him, he gave her one chance to put everything right, which she was planning on doing that weekend - before things got in the way.

I'm glad you didn't suspect Pansy! I wanted this to have a successful twist and I seem to have managed to keep the real murderer from most people until the end. I'd definitely be really interested in writing something else like this in the future!

Thank you for stopping by and reading and reviewing this story - I really appreciate it! ♥


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Review #46, by BeeezieDeath on the First: Chapter Three

11th July 2015:
Oh, dear. I'm not sure whether I should like the narrator's snark as much as I do, but I really do. The comment about it being a poor choice to keep victims locked with a potential murderer is perfect. I also find the cold, calculating way the narrator is thinking about this to be really fascinating - on one hand, I can see how the interpretation of people reacting in extreme ways might be trying to cover their tracks could make sense, but at the same time... I don't know. It seems to me that extreme reactions to a very extreme situation are probably not unexpected, and I wonder whether the narrator is digging themself into a hole with his entirely too calm way of dealing with this. I know that some people just shut down in the face of extreme stress, but it seems suspicious to me. When there's too much of an attempt to be helpful in a situation like this, I'd start thinking someone was lying to me. Oooh, I can't wait to see what Parvati knew! Onto the next chapter. :)

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

Author's Response: *rubs hands together evilly*

I'm glad that you're enjoying the narrator's snark - I had so much fun writing this story and getting into their head was probably my favourite part of it. Even though they're not a good person, it was so interesting to write someone who's very detached and cold, orchestrating everything to go their own way.

Haha, your theories on the different ways that people react and whether or not that could affect the outcome are very interesting. Again, you already know what happens at the end of this, but I really like your theories here!

Thank you again for another lovely review!


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Review #47, by BeeezieDeath on the First: Chapter Two

11th July 2015:
Argh. Forgot to include the HC line in my last review. Well, you're wonderful and deserve many reviews, so whatever.

I love where you took this - it's so dark and intriguing. One of the things that I find really intriguing is that while the narrator is clearly not about to be labeled the sweetest person ever, I don't actually really dislike them, not even knowing that they killed Parvati. Maybe part of it is that I still haven't really figured out their motive for doing so, but while they come off as cold-hearted, they haven't actually said anything super offensive yet. It's all just fairly innocuous commentary and sinister planning, which I find intriguing, and I'm not entirely sure what killed Padma, if it wasn't poison. I can't wait to read on!

A little bit of CC, though: I feel like sometimes, the tags that you're attaching to your dialogue come off a little awkward. It really stuck out to me early in the chapter, where Michael "replies, sighing heavily," and the narrator says something "pretending to be sympathetic" and tells Theo "piously." There are just sometimes adverbs that aren't necessary and weigh down the rest of the narrative, which is wonderful.

Ravenclaw House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Oh no, I'm sorry - but thank you for continuing to review anyway!

Hehe, it was so much fun writing this story and getting into the mind of the protagonist (in the most normal way possible, of course!). I haven't had much experience of writing darker, more twisted characters so this one was really fun to write. I'm glad that, in spite of the narrator clearly not being the best person around, you're still interested enough to keep reading and don't just hate them straight away - that was my hope when I was writing this, and I'm glad it seems to have worked!

Oh, thank you for that CC! I'm always happy to receive it and it's been about a year now since I wrote this story or even looked at the chapters properly with a view to editing, so it could definitely do with me going back over it sometime soon. I'll have a look at that when I do because you're probably right - I have a tendency to overuse adverbs, I think :P

Thank you for another lovely review!


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Review #48, by BeeezieDeath on the First: Chapter One

11th July 2015:
Sian, this is such an addictive story already. Seriously. You are the master of a good hook - this chapter yanked me in so thoroughly. I'm not quite sure who the narrator is - going back and forth between the story summary and the chapter isn't helping, though there could be something I'm missing - which only heightens the intrigue and makes me want to read on. I'm so curious about why this mystery narrator wanted to kill Parvati at all, particular since the implication I'm reading is that she's an Auror (though I could be off on that, I'm sure), but as it stands, it seems to me like they played their hand quite well. Even if the rumors about Pansy's killing her husband aren't true (and, incidentally, I'd love to find out how Pansy came to marry a Muggleborn in the first place!), they're definitely going to cast some suspicion onto her. I mean, how could they not? Oooh, I can't wait for chapter two - I hope you give a bit more information about the narrator and their motivations, and this is absolutely addicting. Amazing job.

Author's Response: Hi Branwen!

*blushes* Thank you! This story actually came from one of those random 'what if...?' ideas, wondering whether it would be possible to even write this, but I'm so glad that you thought the chapter was a good hook for the story and pulled you into it.

There are lots of questions that I tried to intentionally raise here and I'm glad that seems to have worked, and that you're wondering why about more things. You're right that Parvati is an Auror, so there's definitely that element too. I'm glad you enjoyed this enough to keep reading and I can't say anything about your suspicions just yet (although you know now, of course :P).

Thank you so much for this review!


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Review #49, by BeeezieShadows of War: Prologue: August 2001

9th July 2015:
Hey, Mikaela! Here for BvB!

I loved this. How have I not discovered your writing before now? You're really wonderful.


The way you started this story was wonderful. You pulled me into Astoria's state of mind, and while I saw a lot of pain and sadness in it, I think the best word to describe what I was seeing in this chapter, at least, was weariness. I liked that a lot - I think that it's incredibly realistic, particularly given the period of time that has passed since the end of the war.

Because at first when I started reading, I thought that the war had ended quite recently; it wasn't until Astoria said that it had ended three and a half years ago that I realized how much time had passed. The toll it took on the wizarding world was a high one, though, and it makes sense to me that there would still be battle scars, especially for someone like Astoria, who it seems really lost everyone. I'm curious about what happened with Daphne, and I hope you touch on it, but I love the touch of Astoria's parents turning on her as well. The war being over and Voldemort losing didn't magically make people believe that they were wrong, just that they'd lost.

A tiny bit of CC:

While I loved your prose overall and felt that it really set the tone of the story in a powerful way, there were a couple points where I felt like you got a little overly flowery, and a few others where I think you could have expanded your description.

For example, I felt like the third and fourth paragraphs could have been cut down a little. The third paragraph reads a little too defensive for me, because you haven't really indicated that there's anyone in particular who's challenging her on the assertion. And, I felt like the fourth paragraph could have easily stopped with "By who?"

Conversely, I think that the description of people that immediately follows it could have been expanded a bit. It would have been nice to see a little more about how she saw their battle still going on, because as it is, it's a little removed from what she's talking about, which is incredibly personal.

Otherwise, though, this was wonderful. I know that you published this first chapter awhile ago, but I hope that you continue the story - I love Astoria-centric fics, and I'd love to see your interpretation of her going forward!

Author's Response: Heya!

Thank you so much! You are so, so kind and have left some of the most lovely reviews! I really appreciate all the kind words, especially as I'm just returning from a 2+ year writing break, in which my styel of writing has changed so, so much.

I am so glad you feel pulled into Astoria's character! She's actually becoming one of my favourites to write (though I adore writing all my intense, fiery characters) and I am just so glad she came across well.

My other main goal in this story, other than highlighting Astoria's strong character, is to focus on the war and the effects it has on people. I'm in nursing school currently and we spend quite a bit of time talking about PTSD and the psychological effects things have on people. Many times, as I've learned, these effects may appear soon after the event but are not recognized or dealt with until they are out of control. In the case of Astoria and her family, it takes quite a bit for the effects to be dealt with, thus leading to this time, three and half years later, where she's thinking about all she's learned in the past year or so.

As for the constructive critisism, you really gave me stuff to think about. This story is an old idea I'm in the process of revamping and reframing. I never had a solid plot (until last week or the week before) so as soon as I get a bit of a better feel of Astoria's character as I work through writing the first couple of chapters, I'll be sure to look through and adjust things as needed. I'll look specifically at the areas you mentioned as well!

Thank you so, so much for the review and CC! I am halfway through rewriting chapter 1, and I want it out by the end of the week, so hopefully there will be more soon!

-Mikaela


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Review #50, by BeeezieFounders Four: Pillars of the Ages: Chapter Two: Every Beginning is an End

9th July 2015:
Hey, Kat! Back for BvB!

Oooh, there were a lot of things I really liked about this chapter! I wish there was a third chapter up so I could get deeper into it - I'll have to keep my eye out for it in the future.

It was heavily implied last chapter, but now it seems pretty clear that Salazar really is younger than Godric, both in age and in experience. Where Godric has been out in the world, Salazar has been largely protected from it, particularly from any violence within the wizarding community, which I can see becoming very important in how his perspective of the world is shaped. The tension between his father and the Muggle world also makes me understand his tension toward Muggleborns a little better; while we can see that danger and violence can come from all quarters, he isn't necessarily able to, in a large part due to Ingvar's isolationism.

And that's without the ending, of course, which would breed anger and resentment in pretty much everyone. I can't believe you ended on that cliffhanger, though! I'm assuming that what he saw were people - Muggles, likely? - and it was horrible to read, particularly when I realized that their wands were broken. That's a pretty effective way to stop most wizards from retaliating. And if either of Salazar's parents died or his mother lost the baby (which is fairly likely, IMO - a lot of pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first trimester, often before a woman even knows she's pregnant), I can see this spurring him both to leave home and to hate Muggles.

This was so interesting, and I can't wait to see if my guesses are right!

A little CC:

Salazar's mother mentioned only being "a few weeks pregnant, not months." That didn't make sense to me on a couple levels. First, pregnancy isn't generally measured in months - it's measured in weeks, so I don't think it's likely that Amara would ever think of herself as being "a few months pregnant." Women generally don't realize that they're pregnant just a few weeks in in the first place, and they certainly don't eschew walking outside to get some herbs even much further into the pregnancy. Magic might be able to explain away some of that, but overall, it just came off as odd to me, and I think a couple small changes would make it much more plausible.

Overall, though, excellent job! I can't wait for the next update!

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