Reading Reviews From Member: tangledconstellations
  
339 Reviews Found

Review #1, by tangledconstellationsCygnus Black III and His Three Daughters: Frustrated Morning

12th August 2015:
Hey Kenny!

I'm sorry its taken me so long to get round to reviewing this. I've been so busy! I hope you'll forgive me.

This was a really exciting first chapter, though. All of your stories are so incredibly original and you approach the canon material in a new way, and this one was no exception! You've covered a lot here - post-war trauma, the pre-Hogwarts era as well as providing really awesome characterisations throughout. I especially like the way you wrote Bellatrix. She was both scary yet also sort of intriguing too. The way Cygnus started to dislike Bellatrix was really interesting, because, as she's such a strong and domineering character, it's fascinating to see how this effect would brush off on her family. But, as well as that, the present-day aspect of this fic was really good too. You started it in such a lighthearted way - with Harry and Ginny wanting to be together - but wove this into a story that held much deeper significance for the characters. Hermione wanting to address the issues she has with Bellatrix was really nice, because I definitely feel that this is exactly what she would do. She wouldn't suffer quietly - she'd take a direct action to address the problem in a compassionate way.

There were so many moments in this first chapter that were really beautifully written. I especially liked this line: 'At peep of day, Kreacher found Cygnus Black had gone beyond the veil.' (although perhaps it should say, 'at THE peep of day' - but its nonetheless wonderful!) I also really liked this description, too: 'Her brown eyes were blood-shot with madness.' because it's a really vivid way of conveying something much deeper. In fact, your whole back story surrounding Rodolphus and Bellatrix was fascinating. I also really liked the way Kreacher wove his way into the narrative, but we were able to see the unravelling story through other characters eyes, like Cygnus', for example. Overall, there were just so many parts I liked about this, and your characterisation was fantastic! It's definitely your strongest point here.

There were a couple of typos and grammar errors in this first chapter though, but I think another once over (perhaps with a beta?) might iron these out. I can't find it now, but somewhere you accidentally misspelt Andromeda (sorry I can't pinpoint where exactly) - but these are just little things that will only take a moment to correct. Apart from these, this chapter was really very enjoyable to read. I loved that you've included foreshadowing and such rich backgrounds and histories for your characters. I'm excited to see where this first chapter is going to go, because although it is indeed quite dark, there is still a lot of hope here, in the form of Harry, Ron and Hermione's friendship, and that is really lovely.

Again, I'm so sorry about the delay!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi, Laura.

I guess you're ready for moving. I hope your adventure will be a happy one. Thank you for leaving this. I really appreciate. I like your banner for my another story , too.

I struggled to continue my first series, so I combined them with this story challenge. I hope it worked well. Grace gave me the chance to explore Shakespeare, King Lear and Aphoride gave me the chance to put a quote by W.B.Yeats. I enjoyed both of them.

Talking of the description of Kreacher, Stefi helped me with beta reading.
It was easier for me to write about Bellatrix. Thank you for telling me misspelling. Sometimes I think in the Roman alphabet, so it likely happens. I'll edit ASAP.

I hope I'll be able to update this soon.
Thank you again for stopping by.

Kenny





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Review #2, by tangledconstellationsBreathe: iii. Trapped

11th August 2015:
Hey there!

I'm here with your requested review from the forums. I'm so sorry it's taken me forever and a day to get over here - but I am here, finally! I managed to read this chapter before real life got really busy (moving out of a house is so time-consuming!), but I've just read it again too. It was kind of nice to reread it again and see it twice, as both times I've read this I was in a different state of mind and it was interesting to see how the parts of this chapter I enjoyed or particularly noticed were different each time.

Okay so overall - this chapter was awesome. I forgot how much I enjoyed the beginning of this story, and I'm excited to get back into it, for sure. I really felt for Sirius here, and in a way his story here felt almost muted and suppressed. I can really imagine him bored out of his mind, but at the same time so worried and so desperate to be alone. His mother cutting his hair broke my heart, and I think you wrote that part so well. In a way, he knew he was being foolish for wanting to cry, but at the same time... it's his own body, his own self. And his mother having the power and audacity to take control of his self, just for moment, must have been unsettling and would have, I guess, reminded him of his place in the house. I really liked, too, the way Sirius almost blankly wondered if all pure-blood families were like his own. It's as though he's searching for normal, or an answer, or some kind of validation that he's not struggling by himself.

Your writing style is just brilliant in this chapter, because it encapsulates yet emphasises the key feelings you're portraying here. I can feel the restlessness, the hesitance and the desire to leave this setting, through your words. That you don't linger too much on description or anything makes me really relate to Sirius' state of mind, and your diction fits the vacant, claustraphobic feeling here. But at the same time, the descriptions of action are vivid - most especially of Sirius' mother telling him to go to the party. It's all so clear, but that makes it all the more cutting, and we're really seeing through Sirius' eyes in that moment.

Another part that gave me all the feelings was Regulus trying to convince Sirius that he might have a good time at the party. On the one hand, Regulus just doesn't understand what Sirius is going through - there's no way he can connect to his older brother because, like you have said, Sirius is the black sheep of the family. And yet - in that moment, I really sympathised with Regulus, because he wouldn't have said it if he didn't care. He might well have just been being his parents messenger boy, but I think that his encouragement to Sirius came from the heart - and perhaps Sirius is marring himself, being stubborn. Perhaps Sirius wants to be the black sheep? I just love that in a such a small section you've made me think so much about this - and I just love your characterisation of Sirius. It is perfect. He is complex, stubborn and loyal, all at once, and it's just so brilliant to read.

When reading, I didn't notice any spelling or grammar errors, you'll be pleased to hear! In fact, this whole chapter read flawlessly. This is such a strong story, and it's so original too. It has such a definite tone to it and your writing/plot complements each other so much. This was awesome.

Again - I'm really sorry about the delay! I'm really excited to read on. I'm so interested to see what's going to happen at the party - and as well as that, I can't wait to see him reunited with his friends soon.

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Aaa, hi Laura! No worries about the delay, I really don't mind :)

I think you basically hit the nail on the head with what you said about Sirius' hair. While it seems like something that should be insignificant, what happens makes him feel out of control and helpless. There's also a little more to it, which I think will become clearer as the story progresses :)

I'm so glad the writing style works for you, because I really have been nervous about it. I wasn't sure if there was too little description and if that made the story feel dry and flat. So it's really a relief that you liked it!

Regulus definitely does care about Sirius, and I think part of how he shows that is wanting Sirius to make his life at home as easy as possible by listening to their parents and doing as they say. Does that make sense? It's misguided, but he is really trying to help. Sirius, meanwhile - there are genuine reasons for him to not want to go to the party, as he'll be surrounded by people who hate him. However, you're kinda right about him wanting to be the black sheep. That's something I've experienced, where people treated me badly or excluded me and my reaction was to be like, well fine, I hate you anyway and don't want you to like me (even if that wasn't true). You know?

Anyways, I'm absolutely thrilled that you enjoyed this chapter, and thank you for the wonderful review!

-Kayla


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Review #3, by tangledconstellationsOctober 31st: October 31st

28th July 2015:
Hi! Popping over with your requested review from the forums!

Oh - why did you have to totally go and break my heart like this? :( Seeing the Potters do such mundane things like cooking, chatting, reading...it made their attack all the more unexpected and I feel like for once we've been able to see this through their eyes. This one-shot was most effective in that their attack did feel as though it had come out of the blue. Here, there is no hint of the chaos that is going on between the Marauders, of Peter betraying them, of Voldemort making his way to their house. That makes it all the more scary - that they are in this bubble that smells like roasted pumpkin seeds and it *seems* safe, they feel happy - but they just have no idea. This was a really powerful one-shot and I really enjoyed reading this - even if my heart feels as though it is in a million pieces now!

In your areas of concern you mentioned that punctuation might be something that I would pick up on, but to be honest I couldn't actually find anything that needed changing. As one continuous piece, this flowed well in terms of the writing and there wasn't anything individual that I thought needed to be mentioned. Thematically, I like that that you have the contrast of the innocent and the mundane against the chaos of Voldemort bursting into their house. It makes this moment feel real - not something we just hear about from other characters. Saying that though, one thing that I did think to mention though was that in my opinion you could really amplify this feeling of sudden intrusion and of the panic the Potters would feel. One way in which you could do this would be to include a lot more description of what Lily James and Harry are doing during the day, to really lull the reader into a calm, soothed sort of feeling. Perhaps you could describe the sound of the wind outside, or the particular expression on Harry's face - little things that might allow the reader to feel as though they are in the room with the Potter family and are a part of this very still, quiet feeling. It would mean that having Voldemort suddenly burst in would affect the reader a lot more and make them feel less of an observer in this one-shot. I hope that made sense, but it's just a suggestion :)

One aspect I really liked was the way you described James playing with Harry and also Lily. It was just so fun and so charming - and seeing Harry happy was lovely. Oh! - actually that reminds me - at one point I remember you accidentally wrote 'Happy' instead of 'Harry': 'Happy babbled happily in his chair enjoying his pancakes.' It wasn't particularly jarring, but thought you might want to know :) But yes - seeing Harry giggling and James and Lily trying to wait away their time was sort of comforting to see. We were able to see them as a family, not just a disjointed idea from the books, and for me it was really quite rewarding.

I enjoyed this one-shot a lot, despite it being so sad! Thanks for sharing on my review thread, and I hoped this review was okay! :D

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!! I am really glad that you liked this One-shot!!

Your review is perfect!! I needed that insight to tell me if I was hitting the emotions correctly or the suggestions for things that could be added or changed! I will definitely change the Happy to Harry... *facepalm* I cannot believe I did that! :) And I also plan on giving more description and adding in the parts you suggested about the wind and the expressions to make them seem more 3d than 2d if that makes sense!

Thank you so much again!!
-Jenn


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Review #4, by tangledconstellationsNutshell: one.

28th July 2015:
Hey there!

I'm here with your requested review from the forums! Thank you loads for posting in my thread, I was super excited to read this and thought it was a great first chapter! ♥

Your main area of concern was the use of the third person past tense, so I thought I would begin with some general tips - I don't think you need to worry too much though, cos to me it seems as though you've got this down! I didn't notice any major errors with this at all. I think the most important thing to remember when writing in this tense is that it's best to show rather than tell. To me, it's a lot more effective and it lets the reader remain in that observer-like position. When you're writing in the present, and also from a different perspective for that matter, you can sort of get away with being more direct with how a character is feeling. But with the past tense, and in third person at that, its your job as the writer to weave actions and reactions in convincingly, in a way that they can be observed by the narrator telling the story, and thus the reader. I really like third person/past tense because I feel like it lets you choose how exactly you tell your story a lot more carefully. In a way you have more hoops to jump through because as an observer things might be less immediate and so you need to choose your words carefully in order to convey info - but that's where you can start getting crafty with your writing. This chapter was written well with third person/past tense, so I think basically keep doing what you're doing and you'll be a-okay! :)

As for plot/characters, this was a really good introduction for the story to come. I have a real idea of the character of Jodie, the kind of person she is/might be, and I think your individual characterisation of the Marauders is great! It's so cool to see you moulding them into sort-of new characters. Not only that, but the initial circumstance you've set up here is really intriguing! I've never read a James/OC before, and even though at the moment I feel like things might not work well for the two of them (I mean after all, Jodie KNOWS her feelings for James = trouble!) I'm really excited to see where you're going to take this! My only CC is to not be afraid to pad this chapter out with more description. It's clear so far that your strengths definitely lie in the characters and the plot, for sure. The dialogue between characters is so good and feels so realistic, and the way you actually describe the characters talking, moving etc - their general actions and facial expressions - is also really strong! The set-up for this fic is original and interesting, too. The only thing that felt a little lacking was settings descriptions, and this could be easily oomphed just to add a jazzy backdrop to the things your characters were doing. But this is just a small thing, and the more your tone develops and you get into the swing of this fic (I saw in your authors note you're going with the flow with this fic as opposed to planning - good move! I really think this helps a lot with developing individual style) the more this may change and gradually develop.

This was a really good first chapter and I'm excited for what else is to come! Let me know if there was anything in this review that was unclear and we can go over it - but if not, feel free to rerequest! Thanks for sharing your story with me! :D

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi Laura!

I actually read you review a few times when writing the next chapter (the fifth one) of this story but alas, I take forever with responses. Sorry about that!

I'm slowly getting used to third person. I even wrote a one-shot recently in that pov and tense and I think I'm more comfortable with it now. I definitely understand when you say it's more effective which I've come to realize. And show rather than tell... got it. I'm glad that the chapter was written okay and there aren't many obvious mistakes concerning the point of view and past tense! Thinking of third person as being an observer really helps... I'll definitely keep that piece of advice with me!

The chapter was a short one so I wasn't sure if you could get the feel of characters yet, but I'm happy to hear that you can see their individual characterizations already. I haven't seen many James I/OCs and I think that's what prompted me to write one. Though, you are right about it not working well between the two of them since I'm still sticking to canon. Description has always been a weak point but I will try to work on it. I'll probably go back through this chapter and see where I can add more setting description in. Thank you for pointing that out!

Nothing in this review was unclear so no worries! Your reviewing style is different from many I've requested from and I think it speaks out to me more. Thank you so much taking the time to read the chapter and write out this review! Not only did you address my concerns but gave me thorough advice and thoughts on each of them. I'll probably rerequest soon and thank you again!!

~Sama


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Review #5, by tangledconstellationsRabbit Heart: 1. Have a Heart

28th July 2015:
Hey there!

I'm popping over with your requested review from the forums ♥

So I've never actually come across this story before, so it was really exciting approaching this first chapter with totally fresh eyes, as I really didn't know what to expect. Lots of things grabbed my attention: the title, the banner, the names of the chapters. Instantly, this fic felt cohesive and well put together, and that was even before I started reading the first chapter! The reason I mention this is because I thought it was interesting that one of your areas of concern was that cohesion was what your fic was lacking. I totally know what you mean when you've edited a story lots and you're familiar with how the story unravels in your mind but you're unsure whether the reader will follow it too. It suddenly gets really difficult trying to make sure things do make sense! But - in this first chapter alone (as I've yet to read on) - things were really clear. I hope I can put your mind at ease a little about that! This was a really strong start to your fic and for me - a new reader! - I feel confident in what you've shared in this chapter so far.

Okay, I'll go into some more detail. I really liked the way you introduced your characters and the way this doesn't come across as an average happy-cheery Next-Gen fic. Your own style is present throughout all of this and it's really great to recognise, especially so early on into a fic. In my opinion, that's the mark of a really good writer - they're able to make their story their own! The way you set up the backdrop to this fic was nice. The fact that you haven't said outright what situation Wren is in and it's sort of drip-fed throughout the chapter is really effective, as that sets up the pace of the fic and thus the tone - which again is accentuated through your writing itself (the lovely way you linger on descriptions, you describe things so clearly, things like that). You didn't force any information on the reader, you didn't info-dump anywhere - everything felt balanced and in a way your voice as the writer was the one that was very much in control.

What's really nice is the way a relationship between the reader and your characters (though mainly Wren - as she is the mc) is already solidified by the end of this chapter. We understand what kind of person she is, her interests (photography, yay! I loved that, btw! It wasn't just thrown in for the heck of it - you somehow managed to convince me that she has the absolute psyche of a photographer!), her friendships, the sorts of ways she thinks. We got to see her having fun but we also saw a more tender side - how she is when she's upset, and the things that are currently making her upset. That all contributed to the readers understanding of the story. The same could be said for Albus too to some extent - we were able to see a lot of him, and so understood their relationship a lot better. I like the way he's a little aloof and a bit clumsy (perhaps not actually clumsy, but in his demeanour, if you know what I mean?), but he's really well-meaning. He feels really fresh!

The story itself (so far) is really interesting. Although you haven't revealed lots and lots just yet, you have given me enough to keep me keen on reading more. I feel like I want to know what's going on with Wren's grandmother - I want to understand this family difficulty that's arising. I also feel so bad for Wren moving out of her house - it's funny, I'm moving out of my flat this weekend and it's so sad, but it means I'm able to fully understand how she's feeling right now! But yes, you've balanced the plot and intrigue just-so here. Especially those final short paragraphs! I thought that was awesome, with the little rabbit disappearing. In a way, it was a very out-of-the-blue thing to happen, but I liked it. It made me think of Alice in Wonderland - and now I'm wondering how strange things might get for Wren. So at this point I have a lot of questions, but I also feel sufficiently satisfied with the info you have given me, if that makes sense. I feel quite on-the-ball with this fic and don't feel as though there is anything in particular that has left me confused. I'm excited for where this story is going to go - and just, yes, everything was clear to me here :)

I really really do hope I was able to address your main concerns here! I thought this was a fantastic first chapter and it seems your rewrite must have been successful as this was a brilliant read. Let me know if there is anything you want me to go into more detail about - but honestly, this was great. You've got such a lovely writing style and to me this chapter feels very strong. Brilliant stuff :)

Laura xxx

Author's Response:

Wow. Thanks for being so detailed with your thoughts. This helps a lot. And yay, I have a voice! That was a difficulty I kept having throughout this fic. I kept losing the voice and had to rediscover it several times. Actually, I don't know what the style is called for this story, but I hope it's consistent in any case. It should be after the revision.

Yes, Wren is a photographer by nature. I did that on purpose to explore the descriptiveness that she seems to crave, so I'm pleased that aspect worked for you. She frames things and she hyperfocuses sometimes, and both of those things are important.

Albus is supposed to be a sweet thing. I'm happy he feels 'fresh' to you, because he does take regular showers, unlike some boys his age. And I imagine that he uses deoderant. That is important at this age: the hygiene. Anyway, yeah, Albus.

Thanks for reassuring me about the first chapter. I'm happy it reads well and things are clear with the characters. Having questions but still being satisfied with the chapter is a good thing. I don't like to tease unnecessarily. :)

Pix



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Review #6, by tangledconstellationsBroken Memories: The Velvet Box

23rd July 2015:
Hi!

I'm swinging by for your requested review :)

Ahh, this was really lovely. I mean, it was sad and I really felt for your characters, but at the same time I thought this was really well written. I like stories about after the war, because it would have been such a difficult time. You really captured the turbulence of it - the way some people are grieving, some don't want to grieve, others are already healing. Even though George started to be really positive towards the end of this chapter, it does make me worry. Does he really feel like that, or is he just trying to put on a brave face? It's really difficult to know, but I guess we will start to see more of it in the next chapter. I really like the idea of the three of them before the war - Fred, George and Angelina - living together and being a sort of 'unit'. I mean, after all, they have been good friends since their school days, especially after being on the Quidditch team together and things.

One of your areas of concern was about whether or not the flashbacks made sense. In my opinion, they really did. I think they added a lot to the story because they provided a really stark contrast against the past and the present. I think they successfully showed us what was and the ways in which these characters are going to struggle to move on. I've noticed that a lot of writers fret a lot about flashbacks, but I think they're great, especially when they're used like this - to show a contrast. The war and Fred's death is such a huge event, I think without the flashbacks you wouldn't easily be able to convey the differences between the two times. I really liked the way you mentioned the fluffy blanket, and then included that as a source of comfort for Angelina later in the chapter. Your flashbacks here aren't disjointed - they do fit in with the narrative - so you don't need to worry at all :)

To be honest, I thought this whole chapter read really well. I really enjoyed it, even though it gave me all of the feels! However, there was one part right at the beginning that I made a mental note to mention, though it might just be me being silly, but anyway I'd love to hear what you think about it nonetheless.

Okay, so it's the transitional part between the first and second paragraphs: 'They were both star(r)ing (you don't need this extra r) out at the distant green patch that held Fred's clean, white tombstone. Just last week, they attended Fredís funeral.

After the service, it had begun to rain.'

I think because you're straight away jumping between the two of them sat by the windowsill, and then going back in time to the service, I found it a bit disorientating. I sort of got used to being in one location for a couple of sentences (by the windowsill) and then we were back in time at the service. I think it was only really jarring because it is the very beginning of the chapter, and so as a reader I'm still trying to get my bearings a bit. If you had done this later in the chapter I'm sure it would have been fine! But I think there is a bit too much of a setting-shift so soon at the beginning. Perhaps you could start it with the service, and then bring it back to the present tense with them looking out at the tombstone, instead of having it the other way around? I hope that made sense! :D (also, I pointed out a little typo hehe)

Apart from that though, this was a really great chapter. Even though it is difficult for all of the family and friends and there is a somber tone to this first chapter, I can also sense a lot of hope, and that's really exciting. I really like the way you've written Angelina, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her :)

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi Laura! Thanks so much for the review! You're so speedy with your thread! I could never :P

As I read over the chapter with your suggestion in mind, I can totally see what you mean. It is a little disjointed and I'll definitely be working on that. Thank you so much for pointing that out. I find these kinds of structural criticisms really helpful.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the rest of this chapter. I try to make the flashbacks windows into their old lives. Not all of them are sweet and happy like in this chapter though, but regardless, they're there to give background and a sort of stark contrast. I'm glad you thought they achieved that goal! With the blanket, I'm trying to make more of the flashbacks in later chapters do that - have an item in them that comes back in present time. It sort of ties it together a little.

Anyway, thanks so much for such a comprehensive and wonderful review!

Much love,

Stefanie


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Review #7, by tangledconstellationsIn April: you lie.

23rd July 2015:
Heyy there. So you posted this on the forums a moment ago so I thought I'd come and check it out for you. So it's ~9am where I am right now. I've just woken up. I've got a cup of tea. I'm pumped for my day. AND THEN. THIS. I think I'm going to go back to bed and cry! (Jk - I loved this)

My heart :'( ♥ this was so beautiful, but so sad too. I think it's amazing that with only ~500 words such a vivid and convincing, conflict-filled scenario has emerged. This is amazing - you've left so much intrigue here, yet hinted at a relationship and history we don't fully see but sort of understand, just through the tone. I love the parts in the squiggly brackets. They're beautiful. To me, they're not quite thoughts - they're not quite from anyone's mind at all. They're sort of like the strange beauty of the dark situation being observed by someone who doesn't want to fully see what they are seeing.

This was so wonderful, but so heart-wrenching, too. When I was reading it, I was just struck with a feeling that there is nothing I can do - this person is in pain, they are screaming and the sounds are everywhere, but I felt wholly helpless. Just, yeah. This was amazing. ♥

Laura xx

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Review #8, by tangledconstellationsHealer Vance : Emmeline Vance

22nd July 2015:
Hey there!

I'm here with your requested review from the forums.

I was really glad when you posted in my review thread because I love reading about minor characters, especially ones with really intriguing positions in the wizarding world. This was really fantastic though and I think you did Healer Vance's character justice - it was a really energetic but contemplative story, and one that really takes a good look at the wartime feeling and how scary it must have all been. My favourite kind of story! :D

One of your slight concerns was of your characterisation of Emmeline, but I don't think you need to worry at all about that. I didn't really have any major preconceptions about what her character would be like so I came into this expecting you to do your own thing, which you did. I thought she came across as really realistic. I liked that she was somewhat short tempered with the other Healers, and the hard working nature of her really shone through. I also like that it was written from her point of view, because everything was tinted very well with how exactly she would see it. I especially liked the way she described Harry at the very end, and the element of foreboding you left the reader with.

Another thing I really liked was seeing Emmeline at work, doing her thing, especially being able to see her thought processes and the way healers actually heal. All of the logistics behind the things we read in canon really interest me, so it was awesome to see how you picture St. Mungos. Yet even though there are lots of 'in the moment' elements to the one shot, it was good that you hinted to the over arching story, and we got to understand Emmeline not just at work as a healer but as a parent and a grandmother as well. You hinted at her story - her reluctance to join the Order, her death etc - but it wasn't in such a way that it took away from the present. I feel like you balanced the two really well.

Another of your areas of concern was about the length - whether or not you should have added any more sections. While I don't think you *need* to, because by the end of this piece we've got a good grasp of Vance's character, her mentality and her position, I think it would be nice to. Even if it's just a little section, like an old memory she recalls or something, just because we've really got to know her and it would just be lovely to see more. I don't think you have to though if you don't want to - but in my opinion I think you've set up a great character and you could tickle the readers interest some more with another section or two :)

I really enjoyed this, so thank you so much for sharing!

Laura xxx

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Review #9, by tangledconstellationsValour : The Doubt in the Strength

22nd July 2015:
Hey there!

I'm here with your requested review from the forums :) how are you? I hope you are good and dandy and the sun is shining where you are.

So, to start with, I thought this chapter was really, really great. The story you're going to tell here has already grabbed my attention, and I like that instead of focusing on one or two characters you're going to be showing eight characters instead. It feels very original and it means there's a lot of scope for all sorts of exciting things to happen! What was most striking to me was the way each character got the same amount of focus time in this introductory chapter. I liked the massive foreshadowing, the expectation that things aren't going to work out okay - which from canon, we know is sort of imminent. It really carries the chapter along, and provides a hook that makes the reader want to keep on going.

Something that is definitely worth mentioning too is how successfully you've managed to pull of the sort of mysterious, ominous tone. Everything is very serious and subtly dramatic, which again works wonders for setting up later intrigue. I especially liked the way Mary wasn't quite sure what was going on - it made the meeting and the Order of the Phoenix that much more elite and secretive. This was really refreshing to read, because in canon Harry is always in the know (just about) and so in some ways the dangers of the Order are pushed onto the backburner - perhaps because he's so heroic and the Order he sees is already kitted with experience and battle scars. But here, it was very clear that this group of eight are just students that don't really know how they can help just yet. They don't have roles, they don't feel quite grown up enough but they do have this fresh willingness to help. It was really, really nice to see.

One of the things you mentioned in your areas of concern was about the flow. I do know what you mean and I do think it's possible to make this chapter read a lot more smoothly. The tone you have and what actually goes on in this chapter is fine - it really works. But there is something about it that makes it a bit like, 'stop-start' as you're reading it, despite it being really good. For me I think it's the use of the repetition that you've included here. For example, there is already a sort of 'stop-start' effect from your first section, where you introduce the characters with a similar wording. I totally understand that you've done this for effect, and it does work - it makes the chapter feel really ominous. I think it was a good move to put that section first, however, I wonder whether rephrasing a few of those sections might add more of a flow? They all follow a similar style; their name, their role, a bit of info and a line of foreshadowing. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as this really does denote the tone, but each of the character profile bits don't follow on from each other, and I think that's where the problem lies. Every time a new character profile starts, the reader is sort of going back to the beginning and recreating a whole new character. BUT I think this could be easily fixed, and so the pace of this chapter could be upped a lot. For example, maybe if you kept the format that you have, you could have the characters last line (the foreshadowing one) gradually escalate and become more dramatic/evocative the more characters we read. So, by the time the reader reaches the last character, something has been built up between all of them. Eek I hope that makes sense!

There was one other area that I thought you might be able to change, to free the flow up slightly, and that was with this part, 'The students looked around at each other again. James to Lily, Lily to Dorcas, Dorcas to Sirius, Sirius to Remus, Remus to Marlene, Marlene to Mary, and Mary to Peter.' While I think this is good because you're showing us who is in the room, and its a really visual moment, on the page the repetition of 'Lily, Lily, Remus, Remus' etc is a bit jarring on the eye. I really think just taking out the extra use of their name and rephrasing it a bit would make this read a lot better, but you could still keep the actual motion of them looking to each other.

Apart from these two things I've pointed out, for me there wasn't anything else about the chapter that I thought needed changing. I really, really enjoyed it - but I totally understand where you're coming from, when you've edited a chapter lots and you still can't get it quite right. But this was fab, and it makes me really excited for the chapters to come! Your characterisation is really good and your writing is awesome. I hope this review helped and gave you food for thought, or feel free to message me on the forums if I haven't explained myself very well! :D

Laura ♥ xxx

Author's Response: Hello! Upon seeing the length of this review, I became intimidated so I apologize for not answering right away. Here we go!

Your reaction overall is just what I was looking for. It needs to basically be obvious that things are not going to go well for this story to have the proper effect, so I'm glad that came across.

I always wanted to bring to light the original Order. They are heroes to the HP universe just as much as DA in my opinion. They are feeling just like the Golden Trio, but even less informed. People are even more scared, and even more clueless.

I understand about the introduction to the characters. I've been playing around with that since I first posted, but nothing better has come of it. I will keep trying, but I'm having a hard time connecting them all smoothly. Maybe luck will strike later tonight!

That part is basically in the same boat as the intro. It is awkward, but it needs to be addressed. Other reviews mentioned that without that, it was difficult to even know who was in the room. That one might have to stick, but thanks for the input. I'll see what I can do with it.

I'm so excited that you basically enjoyed it, and can't wait to request from you again. You're truly a great reviewer/editor.


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Review #10, by tangledconstellationsHaunted: X

21st July 2015:
Heya Anja! ♥

I'm here with your requested review!

I honestly don't think I've ever read a story from Hagrid's perspective, so this was entirely new for me. I think you did such a fantastic job though. Often, Hagrid is one of those characters that gets forgotten, but you really realistically managed to highlight the most important (and saddest) parts of his life. He says himself that his father dying was one of the worst moments, so in a way I'm glad you included that because it does a sort of justice to all the experiences he has had. He's such an interesting character, and your interpretation of his younger self was, in my opinion, really good.

One of your areas of concern was that the changes between the flashbacks and the present might be a bit choppy. I don't think you need to worry too much about this, because I didn't find it particularly jarring or anything. I found the format itself really interesting, especially as the flashbacks weren't in chronological order. It added an extra facet to the story, in that we view Hagrid as constantly fighting these memories that come randomly, in no particular order. You wrote them really well too - they weren't too long, and they were almost disjointed enough to act convincingly as a flashback. One way that might make interweaving them with the narrative a little more fluidly might be to refrain from actually calling them a 'flashback' in your story. Perhaps if you described them in a similar way each time, such as a feeling of falling and of Hagrid's vision fading at the edges or something, you're implying that's what they are without actually saying it explicitly. Perhaps this might make the reader work a little harder to understand what is going on for Hagrid in that transitional moment, and so feel for him all the more, and help the reader to understand that these flashbacks literally take him out the moment altogether. It also means that by refraining from calling them a 'flashback' in the narrative you're sort of not preparing the reader and they come across as a lot more natural. Overall though, I really think they worked. You adopted each new tone really well, and I liked that the covered a broad range of memories. They made Hagrid's history a lot richer and really let you sympathise with him as a character.

Your writing is beautiful in this story, too. I can't not mention it! The way you describe things isn't too over the top but you say a lot with a few words. It's really effective, because the things you do mention means that our attention is drawn all the more to them - the sterile white tiles, the sticking sweat, the soft grass. Thinking about it, they're all quite texture-based descriptions, which lets this story feel that much more tangible and realistic. I could reach out and touch it if I wanted to. It also really fits in well with the story you're trying to tell - that Hagrid keeps slipping into these memories that aren't really there anymore, and so the moments that are there, that are in the present, are so vivid.

This was a wonderful story! I really feel like you've done Hagrid justice here and written him like he should be written. Beautiful. :)

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hey Laura,

It's so great that you made a review thread!!! Your reviews are so detailed and helpful!!

Hagrid is such a difficult character to write, I've talked to a few people who all said they are afraid to attempt writing about him, mostly because of the dialect.

I'm glad the format worked for you and I'm really happy about your suggestion to not use the word flashback in the story. I'll go edit it right now!!! I think you make a lot of valid points here and I really feel like the story can benefit a lot from just changing that little bit.

Oh my god thank you so much for all these kind words! They really made me feel so much more confident in this story.

~Anja xxx


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Review #11, by tangledconstellationsfirst: first crush

21st July 2015:
Hey Carlaa! ♥

Esme is absolutely the cutest! She's such a brilliant OC, I can see why you like her so much. She just seems so wise beyond her years, and I like that she's sort of cynical, too, if that makes sense? In some ways, I wonder if its something that will change about her - whether Albus will bring some optimism to her life? But for the moment, I really do think she is brilliant. She's likable enough, yet she's not over the top or anything. I think you've written her really well.

The time jump between Albus and Esme's meetings is really interesting! I wasn't sure how this fic would progress, whether we would carry on from their last meeting or something, but I like that instead we are bounding between the different moments of their blossoming friendship. Albus is really lovely, too. I agree with your explanation for his character in your author's note. Like, in the books Harry had such a clear moral compass and he was such a lovely person naturally, and I think given the right circumstances Albus would have that too. I feel like Harry wouldn't let his children get away with taking things for granted, which is perhaps why Albus would be so nice. But yeah - I really like the way you've written him :) especially after being the son of Harry and Ginny, it's almost expected that he would want the kind of relationship he sees in Teddy and Victoire (also, I just wrote Teddy and Dom by accident! Oops! I'll keep my headcanon's outta here!)

The wedding scenario was really nice, and I especially liked the way the other younger family members view the Burrow. I love the idea that it continues to be this hub of family activity, and that it doesn't ever get neglected. But again, what I think is most important is that Esme isn't fully close-family, and so she is on the sidelines. It does make her come across as very isolated still, which I think is very important in understanding her as a character. What I think is super interesting though is the way that Albus, who should technically be in the midst of feeling included within the family, being the son of the Boy Who Lived, after all!, Albus feels a bit 'on the outskirts' too. Perhaps it's just their nature. Maybe they are just two highly sensitive individuals? Nonetheless, I like that they have that in common, and that it's something that is still drawing them closer.

OH, one more thing! I loved that Esme's hair and dress matched the scarf Albus gave her all of those years ago. Perhaps she did it on purpose, subconsciously, because she knew he would be there? ♥ I also like the way she does have a developing crush on him but she's not dithery around him. She's really strong, and I like that she's quiet in her feelings for him, but is sharp-tongued around him all the same :)

Another fabulous chapter! I really love this story!

Laura xxx

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Review #12, by tangledconstellationsTengu and a Daughter of Ninja: Dripping Wing

21st July 2015:
Hey again Kenny!

Wow, my favourite part of this chapter was the story of Saki. I'm really excited to see how that unravels, and I really like the way you have both of the narratives progressing in conjunction. It has a really magical edge to it that I just love! I like that you're giving such a fascinating history and context for the Kappa to live within. Albus' essay should get top of the class, because it's so interesting! I want to know all about Shota as well, because you've left that part of the story with a lot of questions. Just, wow! This was a really exciting chapter :)

What also interests me is why Scorpius is so hostile to Rose and Albus. He really doesn't like them, and I really wonder why! Obviously their fathers didn't like each other, but I wonder if its anything more than that. I can't wait to find out!

Your descriptions in this chapter were a lot better than in the last one, I think. You describe nature so well, Kenny! I think that is where your strength is. The way you mentioned the dew, and the types of water the Kappa lives in...I thought it was really lovely. You're very good at capturing the beauty of nature with your words, which again was something I really liked with Ivy Manor.

Another great chapter! I can't read the next one just yet, but hopefully in the next few days I will find some time!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Thank you again, Laura! Your encouraging words are my writing power, too.

As my fellow authors pointed out, I think I should write in detail about each character's move like I do in writing nature. Maybe when I draw a picture, it's easier to do when I try to draw the scenery than people.

Talking of kappa and tengu, they are interesting objects for catoonists and picture book writers, so I got information of them. But it's not interesting to mention just as the folktale, so I combined this magical creature story challenge to the song challenge. When I listened to Phil's song, vision popped in my mind, I didn't hesitate to write this story.

I'm very glad to know you think this exciting! I'd like to keep its mysterious mood and I'll write about their young love and adventure from here.


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Review #13, by tangledconstellationsTengu and a Daughter of Ninja: Fatherís Old Textbook (Prologue)

21st July 2015:
Hey there Kenny!

I've been meaning to read this for ages, and I've found some time this afternoon :)

I'm straight away really interested in this story, because for me the title is so intriguing! I'm excited by the prospect of you weaving in a sort of mythology alongside this story and of learning what the title means. I also really enjoyed your Ivy Manor story. Honestly, I think it's one of my favourites that I've read in a long time! So I'm glad I'm reading more of your writing :)

Even though this was just a prologue, it's made me very excited about what else is to come. You've set up the setting for the story really nicely and I've already got a grasp on the characterisation of your next-gen characters. Rose reminds me a lot of Hermione here. She's clever but she's also not afraid to warn people and to put them in their place. I loved it when she pointed out to Albus that it was mean of him to go to Hagrid's without her! That's the kind of thing Hermione would say, so it was really nice to read. I like that Albus is similar to Harry, too, and you're continuing the Potter-Malfoy rivalry. I think it's natural that they would dislike each other - they've got such different temperaments and values, so of course they would clash, just like Harry and Draco did! I also really liked that you included Hagrid. Often people forget to include him when they write next-gen stories, but I love that he was here. He was very important to Harry after all.

The only bit of Constructive Criticism that I thought would be important to mention was that maybe to make this prologue a lot stronger you could include a description of the classroom at the beginning of this chapter? I think you wrote the characters dialogue really well, and you're really good at writing movement, but it would be lovely to see you include a description of the setting how you think it would be. For example, maybe its a horrible gray cold classroom, because Professor Malfoy loves making the students suffer! Or maybe it's raining outside - something like that. I thought your descriptions in Ivy Manor were really beautiful, so I would love to see some of that here!

I hope this helped a little bit - I can't wait to read more! :D

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi, Laura! Thank you for review swap! You did two at once, I really appreciate that! The constructive opinion is really useful. It will take much time to add some description but I have to. (Yeah, I remembered the word to fix, you pointed out for me in "Ivy Manor", I'll fix it , too.)

When I jumped to this story challenge, I just thought of tengue and a daughter of Ninja, to be honest I had no idea that I would write about the next generation, 'cause my head cannon let me stay in Harry's training days. But thinking over the fact that Albus is Harry's son, I thought I could make up some stories. And the experience that I had a chance to write 21 short stories for House Cup, let me make the decision, too. I wrote some next generation stories for Game On and Game II. From then Albus is like Harry and Rose is like Hermione. Scorp is just like his father, but he is different from Draco as the other authors try to write about him.


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Review #14, by tangledconstellationsclipped wings: the goodbye.

21st July 2015:
I'm just going to weep for all of eternity, I think.

So, okay, my heart was already pretty broken when Edmund did that to her. And then, with the pregnancy, I wasn't sure how she would get through it. But when the baby was born, I really thought everything would be okay - she had found her purpose and she loves her child more than anything and things might turn out okay, as long as they're together. She'd realised that she didn't need Edmund, that he wasn't worth her, even though it hurt. I really thought Hepzibah would be okay. And then the child is LITERALLY ripped away from her!? *cries*

I think what makes this so sad is that the family are so so desperate to have a daughter, a woman they can 'sell on', one who they can pretend is 'unspoiled'. That is what hurts the most. They can't live with the same of what Edmund has done, because for some reason the blame is on Hepzibah.

Even though this has fully broken my heart, this was so amazing to read. Your writing is beautiful, and again, I loved the way it was in smaller parts - the main key moments that stay with Hepzibah and the ones that have dictated her fall from grace. This is a wonderful story and I'm so glad I've read it. Thank you so much for sharing! This was brilliant. ♥

Laura xxx

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Review #15, by tangledconstellationsclipped wings: the quickening.

21st July 2015:
Sian! You have 100% killed me! :'(

Noo! This is actually too much for me. I knew he would do this. I just knew it! He was too good to be true. I feel so sad for Hepzibah, and ugh stupid Honoria - but really, she's just a pawn in his game too, right? He clearly has no regard for these girls as people, he just wants to toy with them and get his own way. I feel so sad for her. I think what destroys me the most is that her family are just so let down by her - she had the chance to fling her family into higher society and into all sorts of prospects - and she blew it. Except - she didn't - did she? I AM SO CONFLICTED. Should she have slept with him at all? Obviously I feel like she should do what she wants because that's fair, that's equal, but in the back of mind, because I don't likem to see her suffering I'm like, she must have known, she should have expected that some people are just horrible and will use her. But I guess that's what makes this worse - she thought he loved her too. She didn't realise it was a game to him. She is just so young.

And with the pregnancy revelation - :( :( :( I don't think I can do anything except type sad-faces because I honestly don't know how this is going to work out okay. Considering the era, and the attitude her parents have already shown her, and they don't know the extent of it...I really feel like Hepzibah is going to struggle and for Edmund there will be no consequence at all. She is just so, so young!!

Another thing that really hurt when reading this was that Edmund didn't shame her or anything. He didn't announce what had happened, he didn't say that she had seduced him or anything. He's just so quietly ruined her life, in the least inconvenient way for himself. And for Hepzibah, that hurts all the more, because to be rejected like that has just smashed her heart to pieces. It's as though she's not even worth the fuss.

AHH. As you can see I have all the feelings about this right now. This is amazing and so wonderfully written, but this is horrible for my poor heart as well. What have you done to me? What else is going to come?!

Laura xxx

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Review #16, by tangledconstellationsclipped wings: the fall.

21st July 2015:
Hey again!

Okay - I sort of wanted to read all of this fic because I can't get enough of it, so I'm going to review every couple of chapters :D

Wow - the last two chapters were amazing. The way you've written Hepzibah falling for Edmund, the way she knows she's not being sensible but she just can't stop herself, is absolutely amazing. You've emphasised this intoxicated feeling and focused on the smaller moments, such as his hands trailing on the banisters, to give these chapters a really ethereal feel. I love that in every chapter there is a mention of her family, of the people watching the two of them together. It just impresses that this story isn't about the two of them, it's about everyone - everyone who witnesses them, approves or disapproves of them, is involved. I really hope he loves her as much as she loves him (or does she love him? does she just love that she thinks someone adores her?), but this sense of foreboding is so hard to shake, and I have a feeling things aren't going to end well. Especially as the two of them have not waited for marriage...! It must be so frustrating loving someone and spending time with someone but knowing they can't be 'together' together.

Again, I just love that every line of these chapters is so emotive, so packed with double meanings. 'Onto the bed you fall' - amazing ♥ I just really want things to be okay for Hepzibah, but if they're not - does she only have herself to blame? Has Edmund lead her on? Eek!!

Laura xxx

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Review #17, by tangledconstellationsclipped wings: the meeting.

21st July 2015:
Heya Sian! ♥

I've been meaning to read this for absolutely ages, and I was super excited that you agreed to swap!

First of all - I think the way you've formatted this story is fantastic. Having chapters of around 500 words is awesome because I really think it changes the type of story you are trying to tell. I love that this was one moment from one scene. It makes me think that there is already a backstory being spun between these chapters, and that's really exciting. And yet you've managed to tell us all sorts of things in so few words. I feel like I've already got to know your main character, even if its only slightly, and the sort of aristocratic setting is really very intriguing. It has a really dark side to it, because we can see how much pressure there is on Hepzibah. I love that you've hinted at her familial relationships, like with her mother, yet you've managed to suggest a degree of intrigue around why finding a husband is so important, and why this in particular means so much to the family. I can't wait to read on and delve into this issue more, especially because at this point in time it feels like there is so much weighing down on her.

Because of the length, the words you have used are so carefully chosen, and there is such a strong tone to this first chapter. I can picture the ballroom, the music and the swishing fabrics. My favourite description was of the men like a 'flock of ravens'. These three words alone impress a kind of foreboding, but also make the whole scene seem sort of illusionary, like everything is all a little bit strange. For Hepzibah, because a lot depends on this night I feel like it would it feel a bit surreal. I can't really explain it, but I feel like everything here is not quite solid - but in a really good way. The way Hepzibah's eyes 'absorb the sight of the young men approaching', the way she blushes and the 'blood rises' in her cheeks, the neat dip of her curtsy. Everything is moving and is very fluid, all bound up in this short collection of paragraphs, as though it's a kind of surreal memory, or a moment that wont keep still. I thought it was really beautiful.

This was a wonderful first chapter, and I think you've set up this story fantastically. Your choice of character is so fascinating too - I don't think I've ever read a story about Hepzibah Smith before! I'm really excited about this :D

Laura xxx

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Review #18, by tangledconstellationsSweetheart Tom: Little Red Riding Hood

21st July 2015:
Hey there Laura! ♥

Okayy, so we both knew this would happen. I would drop by your Author's Page and consequently be blown away by your beautiful, beautiful writing and fantastic imagination and my whole review would be reduced to mush. I feel like I am only ever capable of leaving you reviews that try and convey how much I love reading your writing, but even that doesn't feel like enough! I'm going to attempt to leave you more of a coherent review, and I'm going to pick out the main things that I adored most of all!

First of all, I love how different this story is to any others of yours that I have read before. Straight away, the setting is so vivid and captivating, and the tone of your writing is totally different, too. I love that you have a more humorous edge here that separates this from things I've read before, and that there are a lot of statements here that are quite wry. It's a dark sort of comedy - perhaps because of the asides, because we're seeing this largely through Fleur's eyes? - and one that isn't exactly 'ha-ha' funny, but one that suggests circularity and makes you as a reader feel quite involved. It really brings this whole chapter to life so much more, because, even though I am so invested in the story that is unraveling and in the characters you have created, your voice as the writer shines through, making reading this feel so much more real and exciting.

Your opening descriptions were astounding! Really, honestly astounding. That first paragraph was just so mesmerising to read. I love that the way you start your writing is always so strong, like, 'Hells yeah. Look at this. I mean business.' It's so awesome and it ups the whole standard of the piece. As a reader, it is instantly comforting and makes us sort of trust your writing, because you've already shown you are literally ready to tell us an exciting story and that you have the talent to pull it off. But that opening description really worked wonders. I think, because in the very first sentence we are introduced to the idea of the forest, and with your descriptions of the light and dark alone a really clear picture is painted, the setting of this whole chapter is immediately strengthened. The setting was really vivid throughout, and it created this sort of menacing, dark backdrop for the action to take place before. Little things, like Fleur wondering about the tiny creatures she might step on with her boots, just made the forest feel so alive. I could feel it breathing, and hear the leaves shaking around her. But yet you wove these feelings in, without straight up saying them, which gave this chapter quite an other-worldly feel.

I love reading AU fics, because in some ways writing familiar characters in an AU setting means that certain elements of their relationship or of the plot become a lot more prominent than they would in canon, for example. It was brilliant to be inside Fleur's mind here (at first I didn't realise it was her! The way you write suspense and intrigue is truly magical!) and to see the fiery, bold aspects of her character in a different setting. I like that Bill sort of underestimates her to begin with - she's just a 'kid' - and to me this sort of mirrors how he might of seen her in the books before he got to know her, as perhaps just a pretty girl. But I love that she holds her own in front of him. They instantly become equal in that regard. The way you have characterised her is just spot on!

I wish I wish I wish I could talk about your writing without rambling, but I don't think I can, ever! I just love it so much! You phrase things in such an original way, and there's always a rhythm to your sentences. The images you create are so clear, and something I did want to mention was how cinematic this whole chapter was. Everything was vivid, and combined with the dark tone you've established and your narrative, it all worked together so well. The way you've described the wind (cold and sly!!) to the little mice scurrying in the grass - it's all so poetic and fluid and really captivating. This was really, really fantastic!

I really, really enjoyed this chapter, and am definitely going to read the second one soon! Thank you for agreeing to swap - your writing is always a real pleasure to read! And this was just so amazing. Everything about it - the fairytale tone, the somber colours, the foreboding feeling - it was awesome! You're such an amazing writer, and it's always so rewarding reading your work ♥

xx

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Review #19, by tangledconstellationsfirst: first meeting

21st July 2015:
Heya lovely! ♥

Woohoo! I'm here for our review swap! :D

Gah, I thought this was so so lovely! Honestly, I think I am in love with this story and I'm definitely going to read more of this. I straight away love the tone of this first chapter, and this story feels really original. PLUS your writing is so beautiful throughout this!

I don't think I've ever really come across a story about Gabrielle that's more than a one-shot, let alone Gabrielle's family. You've done such an awesome job with setting up their individual family situation. I really liked that you hinted at some of their family problems in a really staggered way, so not as to 'info-dump' or anything. Like, the way Esme starts off desperate not to worry her mum, and then it comes out that her parents argue a lot and that it's something that really bothers her. It makes their family feel so much more real - and even though it's really sad, because poor Esme shouldn't have to see her parents fighting, you've presented it in a really legitimate and convincing way. I wonder if we will see more of them arguing in later chapters, and whether that too will be a part of the plot? OH - also, on the subject of Esme's family - I really liked that she is the middle child, between boys. I like that you've acknowledged that this would be something that affects her and that might make her feel left out. I often think about that a lot when reading Next-Gen stories - often all of the siblings gets along just fine and dandy, but I think it's so much more believable when their relationships are slightly more complex - especially as children grow up and mature at different paces! I really like Esme so far - she seems really mature already, but also really sad. I want things to work out for her so much!

Your writing is just wonderful in this chapter. I really liked the way everything is seen through Esme's eyes. Your descriptions are so beautiful - you include colour descriptions but in such a way that everything feels sort of pearlescent. They are tinted slightly with Esme's perspective and so they change the tone of this whole chapter. If I had to try and describe the tone I would say it is quite shy and quite uncertain, and I think that's because you have so successfully shown us how Esme is feeling, without explicitly saying it. One part I thought was lovely was the way, just before Albus arrives, a group of teenagers pass Esme by, but she can't distinguish between them. She can only catch little details, like someone's laughing blue eyes, someone's brown hair, but they're not there long enough for her to work out exactly who they are. This makes her come across as very isolated, and so when Albus does talk to her it really does feel like a saviour! But yeah your writing - I just love it. You write so fluidly and beautifully and you're just so able to shape the tone exactly how you want and it's always so brilliant! ♥

OK OK so lets actually talk about Albus properly!! Albus himself was just such a great character here. I am his number 1 fan at this point :D I really feel like you've written him so well. I absolutely love the way you've hinted at some of his insecurities, because in a way that draws us closer to him and in later chapters I really hope we see more of this. He just seems like such a convincing character, like you've considered so much about his personality and dropped it in at little points, but not all at once so it's not overbearing. You set up characters so well, really you do! I honestly think that's one of your strongest points as a writer - all of your characters are so real. The way he actually talks to Esme too is so charming. It was so cute when he wanted her to stop crying, but wasn't really sure how to do it :D he is just so natural, and he's so kind, too. It's lovely that the feeling of being isolated is what is bringing Esme and Albus together, because this is something that will make them feel less alone. I am so excited to see them interact more.

This was such an awesome first chapter and it was so enjoyable to read. I'm most definitely going to read more of this because you have got me extremely interested indeed! :D Ahhh I loved this - this was amazing!! ♥

Laura xxx

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Review #20, by tangledconstellationsFaith, Trust, and Crystal Balls: Step One

16th July 2015:
Heya Madi!

How are you? I saw you posted this on the forums and I loved the idea, so I just had to come and check it out!

I thought this was lovely. There was something really whimsical about this first chapter that captured my imagination. I love that you're writing about Sybil - she's such an underloved character and I'm really excited about where her story is going to go. It was also a lot of fun to see her doing ordinary wizarding things, like painting the walls with magic - just little details that are really charming and fun!

I also liked that you were able to tell us so much about Sybil and what it is she wants to do, without overloading us with backstories/feelings etc. We got just enough here to adapt to her personality and to see things through her eyes, but it wasn't overbearing and this chapter remained really entertaining and nice. I also love that she moved to Nottingham! I've been to Nottingham lots as I used to live nearby the city so trying to imagine where her shop could fit in was a lot of fun!

I really liked this first chapter and I'm looking forwards to more :) great job!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi Laura! :)

Pixileanin gave me this prompt, and I'm so happy it's finally turned out the way I want it to go after having it sit for months! The biggest issue I had was determining how much I wanted to describe and make backstory versus how much I wanted to make an actual scene, so you just confirmed that I made the right decision in how to do that! :)

Her character is very unloved and there's not much known about her, so I really had complete creative license to write her how I wanted to. It took me probably an hour just to decide what city I wanted her to move to! I was just scrolling through the hp lexicon for forever when I happened upon Nottingham and saw that it was near enough to London to make apparating plausible, so that's where I had her go! I was also looking for someplace a bit larger so she would have mixed clientele and yet small enough her parent's wouldn't worry about something bad happening to her. Nottingham was the perfect city and I'm super glad you liked that selection! :)

I'm currently looking for a beta on this story but I think the next chapter will be up in mid-August! Thanks for the lovely review! :)
~Madi x


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Review #21, by tangledconstellationsGame On: Checkmate - merlins beard - Ravenclaw

6th July 2015:
Hey there,

Reviewing for Ravenclaw for the House Cup 2015.

This was so lovely. It was so fleeting and gentle and so incredibly romantic. I like that it's from James' perspective, I think it adds such a nice touch that he - the messy-haired 'WillYouGoOutWithMeEvans' James Potter is actually so gentle inside. That in turn makes me think about Lily and how lovely she must be to have captured him like this, and even though this piece is only short I think it's wonderful. You've said a lot with so few words - the way he can't wait to kiss her at the end, the way she has 'won', the way James is so in tune to Lily's smallest moments. The way Lily hurries James up to take his turn! That's so like her. That's just how I imagine them to be. This was really well written and has a whole sort of energy to it - just really mesmerising to read :) Yay for love and fluff and such! ♥

Laura xxx

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Review #22, by tangledconstellationsGame On: Two Duels - FireOpalQueen - Ravenclaw

6th July 2015:
Hey there,

Reviewing for Ravenclaw for the House Cup 2015!

This was so awesome! Really, truly. I love the contrast between the two duels, and similarly between the two characters. I think this story captures so much about their relationship - the way they are two great wizards, and their magical ability will always get in their own way. The way you started this story in a really quite humorous way drew me in and got me interested. I love that the two of them are witty and silly. But then this sort of matured into competition, and in the second section you writing style changed to something far more urgent and far more serious. the way Albus gives a 'bitter smile' encapsulates how the characters have changed and how duelling for the two of them is not just a case of tickling charms anymore.

Your writing was absolutely wonderful here, and this is such a good entry!

Laura xxx

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Review #23, by tangledconstellationsGame On: A Very Boring Day - shadowkat - Ravenclaw

6th July 2015:
Heya!

Reviewing for Ravenclaw, for the House Cup 2015!

The idea of playing capture the flag around HOGWARTS is just hilarious. It's so huge, there are so many things that can go wrong, but I think that's what made this idea so fun! It was really refreshing and really cool to see the Marauder-era characters just messing around and having a laugh, and I think you characterised them really well here. The way this game turns into a collaborative effort was really cool - 'traps snapping' etc - and I thought it was so funny that it was SEVERUS that stumped Sirius. They're all sort of putting aside their qualms with one another to play this game, but at the same time the rivalry is still so totally there!

This was really enjoyable and really funny - and now I wanna play Capture the Flag at Hogwarts too!

Laura xx

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Review #24, by tangledconstellations(Parenthetical) Asides: Unattainable

5th July 2015:
Hey Mallory!

This was so awesome. I love how experimental this was and yeah - I just thought it was great. Taking the 'fanon' aspects of James/Lily and blowing them to a crazy extreme is somehow really satisfying to read. The writing style itself was really cool and gave this piece a really abstract feel. In some ways, it made you zoom in on Lily and James all the more, and to see both sides of the story in quite an immediate way. I thought you pulled this off so well and I was just so excited as I was reading this. Maybe it's because I love anything angsty and love stories that = broken hearts but idk this was really fresh and dark and really awesome to read ♥

I'm sorry this isn't the most helpful review but I really enjoyed this and deffo think you should write the whole 'were James and Lily ACTUALLY perfect??' thing again because it made me rethink their relationship totally. Even though this was AU it can be applied (to some extent) to canon - I mean, we never hear about their feelings for each other except through other characters so in that respect as writers this is awesome and we can literally do anything we want with their relationship and it goes :D ok ramble but what I mean is - this was great and I like that you've taken a new approach with their relationship!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi Laura!

Thank you so much for your review! I was a little nervous about experimenting with this kind of format because I almost never do, so it was a bit of an experience. Fanon is the worst sometimes, you know? Because it makes a creepy stalker out of James Potter, a guy who (in my opinion) was less evil than Snape made him seem. As they say, there are two sides to every story, and in this case, James's side was very, very skewed. Haha, broken hearts are fun to write about, if you're feeling evil (which I was when I wrote this).

Aww, no worries! It is so nice to know that you liked it. ♥ And maybe I will do a few more AUs with a less-than-perfect Lily/James dynamic, because it was really interesting for me to explore the dark themes in this story. It's like, taking fanfiction characters and putting them in a frame of reference that I know--aka, a college campus--and writing about them within the context of relevant issues--aka, the propensity of certain types of people to never understand the word "no" and the importance of consent--made them seem more real to me. Yeah, we never did hear about their true feelings for each other--we get Sirius and Remus and Snape talking for them all the time, so a lot is assumed--but giving them a chance to talk about it themselves (in an AU setting) was really interesting and fun. (Although I really, really think that they did love each other in canon. It's hard to sink your OTP, isn't it?) No, rambles are fine! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it in this review! :)

♥Mallory


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Review #25, by tangledconstellationsMy Identity: My Changes

23rd June 2015:
Hey again,

Ah this was another super chapter! It was really good to see Bella and Andromeda interacting. I really like the way you've written Bellatrix. The line about her walking with purpose so that people would know that she knows what she's doing was just perfect. She's obviously still young and is really trying to prove something, but she has a dangerous confidence too. It's interesting to notice how a lot of her behaviour has been passed down from her parents. In a way that makes me rethink the 'villain' Bellatrix we see in the books. Maybe if she had come from different circumstances things might have turned out in a different way?

I really feel for Andromeda here. She's pining so bad for that change, and yet at the same time she is at that age where she's becoming self aware and will be growing up into a woman. She's a really interesting mix of excited but also let down - she's impatient, in a way, I guess. I really can relate to her - when I was younger (and still now!) I always used to pin myself to something in the future and get so excited about it, heralding it as the thing that will change me! It's sad because it never usually works out like that and having such high expectations of something always means they won't be met. I feel really close to Andromeda, and really invested in this story. She's just such a nice character, and because she feels like she doesn't really have a place, I just want her to find one. Your writing is lovely in this chapter, and the tone is so solid throughout.

Ahh, I really enjoyed this chapter. I can't wait to read more :) ♥

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Yay, a second review response means I get to tell you you're awesome again!

You're awesome!

All the Bella love. I thought at one point I read something about Bellatrix being one of the top students at Hogwarts at her time. I haven't been able to find where this came from, so maybe my brain made it up, but it's head canon now. In my head Bella is extremely intelligent and powerful. Whatever she chose to do she would have been amazing at. As it happens, she followed her passion. And it's a little hard to condemn her for that.

Andromeda is also a product of her environment. SO MUCH. I am glad you like her. Things happen.

Sam.


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