Reading Reviews From Member: tangledconstellations
  
255 Reviews Found

Review #26, by tangledconstellationsStained Glass: Chapter 1

19th March 2015:
Heya,

I'm reviewing in support of the HPFF fundraiser :)

This was such a beautiful opening to your short story. Draco during the second war is so interesting and you've managed to delve into his mind in this first chapter, to try and untangle his mess of mixed feelings, of family loyalty, of hatred, fear and of curiosity, the one that Luna instilled in him. It was gorgeous to read. The images you've conjured up are beautiful. The final one, of the candle flickering in the breeze that he can't quite protect - that one was my favourite.

I really loved the way he sees Luna too, the fact that he knows her when he first sees her but he's trying so hard not to suggest that he might care about her a little, because after all she's just a student like him and her being there would remind him of who he's been the previous six years at Hogwarts. I liked that you focused on her eyes. I could pictre them so clearly, so wide in the darkness. I liked that they were grey - a sort of non committal colour, and that you didn't go too over the top when describing them. I think it would have been out of character for Draco to think too much about her eyes, but just enough for them to affect him. It gave me the impression that he was paranoid of her judging him, though of course I don't think Luna would do that. But that alone just heightens the state of mind that Draco is in here, feeling as though maybe he is doing wrong after all.

Narcissa going to the chapel is such a intriguing thing to mention, too. She's such a strong woman - obviously she can't speak out against all that is going on around her because she's had a hand in it too, but it's clear that she regrets some of it. I love that you've included this element to the story, and I also love that it's his mother that Draco follows after, as though she is the one giving him some sort of moral guidance, not his father, like it was earlier on in the books.

This was a really wonderful start and it was lovely to read. Thank you for sharing this!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I really wanted to take it slowly, keep it realistic, and I'm so glad it worked for you. :)

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Review #27, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: Meeting the Letter Writer

19th March 2015:
Heyy,

I'm reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser! :)

What? No!! This is the last chapter? But I am soo hooked! I'm going to be that reader and say: update soon update soon!!

If he wasn't an absolute psycho, this werewolf guy sounds kinda dishy. I'm really glad we got a chance to see the sketch because it makes him seem that much more intimidating (and handsome, am I right?) being able to now visualise him whenever you mention him. It sort of makes the thread suddenly a lot more real. His second letter, oh my gosh. I love the tone you adopt to write it, sort of condescending, really dominant and very unstable. It's so cool and so convincing. The way the letters are signed off too, with just 'Me' - it's so freaky, as though Rose should know who he is already. So cool!

Something I really liked about this chapter (and in fact all of them) is your attention to detail. For example, the brief flicker of annoyance that Holly has when she realises Scorpius slept in the hospital wing with Rose. It's such a subtle thing, something that you do flag up but doesn't come up again, but it works really well. It's exactly what would happen in real life to a close group of friends. Undoubtedly there would be some jealousy. It just makes me wonder even more about Rose and Scorpius' relationship, whether it's going to develop any more and become something even more special, and if so, what that will do to their close bond as friends. Ugh, I don't think I can wait until you upload again! I am so excited!

But so far this has been such a successful and enjoyable story. I'm so glad I've had the chance to read this and I hope you keep writing it! It's such a cool idea and you've most definitely pulled it off!

I really do hope you update soon!

Laura xxx ♥

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Review #28, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: Another Letter

19th March 2015:
Heyy

I'm reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser!

Gah, all of the feels right now ♥ ♥ ♥ It was so nice to have Scorpius and Rose have some real closeness. They're so perfect, I love them both so much. Scorpius is so loyal and caring, I think I'm in love with him. I love that even though he wanted to stay until she snoozed, she fell asleep too. It's like they were both waiting for the other to drift off, despite Rose being super tired herself. And Holly, again, is just an absolute darling. It's so great to read a story where the main characters are just genuinely nice people. It's restoring my faith in humanity! And what makes them even more special is that it's just the little things. Like, you've never outright had Rose say 'Scorpius would do anything for me' or 'Holly cares for me so much', you've just shown it so well and we know they do and would. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

The whole thing with the werewolf guy is so intense. Stalking honestly terrifies me, so I am feeling a lot for Rose right now. It makes me feel better that they have got Auror's on the case but that said it's still scary. If he's gone this long without being found for his other crimes whilst following Rose all of her life, he must be so dangerous. And, even though Rose is trying so hard to keep it cool (mainly because of the Calming Solution, hehe) it's clear that internally her body is outright (and for good reason) freaking out. As someone that gets social anxiety when I'm feeling low I really sympathise with Rose. Also, I think it's so important that you haven't written her panic attacks as a weakness or so that she's a 'victim'. Mental health stigma is something that I absolutely despise and so having Rose as suffering but coping (as well as having her family cope with it too) is really important, I think.

I loved this chapter. See you at the end of the next one!

Laura xxx

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Review #29, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: Back to Normal

19th March 2015:
Hi!

Reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser!

Ah, this chapter was so awesome! It felt so much quicker than the last and again I love that you're got such a big cast of characters to use. It makes it so great to read! Also, I feel as though with each chapter your writing is getting better and better - or maybe it's because you're gradually building up more of a picture as the chapters go one - I'm not sure which. But either way, this one felt really well written and it had a really good rhythm to it too.

I absolutely adore Holly. She is such a good friend and it's so lovely to have someone like that in Rose's life. "I love fighting with you." - I love this line, its so special to the two of them and encapsulates the friendship that they have. I feel like I haven't seen Scorpius in forever, but I'm sure he'll make himself known in the next chapter (hopefully!) :P I am actually really excited to see their reaction about the sender of the letter...

AND, speaking of the letter! I was not expecting this dude to come along! It's such a cool idea, it suddenly makes this story so much bigger than just a sort of teenage drama. It brings in a lot more of the wizarding world and adds an element of danger. That said, I am pretty scared for Rose. Why her, indeed? I'm excited to see how you're going to develop this, whether the guy writing to her is the epitome of evil or if he's just misguided, or crazy, or...! The pace has definitely picked up and I'm so keen to read on!

Laura xxx

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Review #30, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: The Letter Brigade

19th March 2015:
Hey again,

Reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser. :)

Another great chapter with an interesting variety of characters. I really like how you're constantly keeping things fresh for Rose and shaping up who it is that she's communicating with in different chapters. It stops its from becoming too repetitive. Although I sort of wish at the end of this chapter there was something like a cliffhanger at the end, or a hint of something to make me read on. At the end of this chapter the motivating factor for me wanting to read on is to see what's found out about the letter, although that was right at the beginning of the chapter. But really, this chapter comes to quite a neat and tidy end with Rose sleeping and no hints at something looming on the horizon. While it does work in the grand scheme of things, as it's contrasted with the last chapter ending with them going to the Headmasters office, maybe a slight rewording of the last few lines would keep the tension running high, even if it was a throwaway line. It would just keep the interest maintained. Hope this made sense!

I like that while this letter mystery is going on you're addressing really important themes such as body image and sexuality. It's not done in a super obvious way too so they all crop up very naturally. You've dealt with them really maturely as well, without bias and in a way that does further character development, instead of chucking them in for the sake of it. I really liked that Dom is interested in how people really really feel. It gives us a reason to get to the bottom of how Rose is feeling too. Just another little something, about the conversation with Dom (and the firewhisky tea!): it felt super direct and to-the-point, not neccessarily a bad thing as it was written really well, but it was sort of going over things we've only just seen in the previous chapters. I think in this moment in particular where its two girls having a heart to heart it would have been okay if you had wanted to stray a bit 'off topic' and to mention other things that might come up later, things to stoke our interest in the world you're writing within. Even if they're just random anecdotes, or if you're just providing more exposition about their relationship. It just seems like the perfect opportunity for your characters to 'open up' so I think adding even more information here would use that moment to its maximum potential.

I've tried to be a bit more constructive in this one, but to be honest I really enjoyed this chapter too!

Laura xxx

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Review #31, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: Beginnings

19th March 2015:
Heya,

I'm reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser. :)

Oh man, I thought Harvey was just being petty and unimaginative when he called her that horrible name. It absolutely breaks my heart that Rose has seriously taken it to heart and keeps thinking about it - I feel so sad for her :( It was really effective that you kept referring back to it, as it because something I kept expecting to read too, really highlighting how automatic thoughts can be sometimes. I love that her friends are so good to her though and that she has the comfort of her family around her too. That said, it was just extra realistic that a lot of the other students would be amused by their break up. Teenagers can be so mean!

The letter Rose received was so creepy, but it's really exciting that a deeper, less explained element is starting to emerge with this story. Those photos! Who took them? And the letter itself. It was written so sweetly, almost kindly. I wonder if Rose knows the person who sent it? I'm dying to find out!! One thing I wish was slightly different was Rose's reaction. I wanted to hear her thoughts a little more about how strange it was, maybe just ruminate on the weirdness of it arriving so late, or something. But obviously she was pretty preoccupied at the same time so she can be forgiven for that - but just food for thought! It's cool that the letter-plot is taking off now and is pushing the next chapter forwards.

With that said, I'm off to read it!

Laura xxx

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Review #32, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: Endings

19th March 2015:
Hullo!

I'm reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser.

(I know you know that already :P but I need to say it in every review to make it count. Also, every review = $1 to the fundraiser, so if you wanna join in you have until midnight today (GMT) and you need to reply to the post on the forums!)

Right, so: SHERLOCK THE CAT! That is so 100% adorable, mainly because I imagine him to have a permanent grumpy expression, a little bit like Benedict Cumberbatch. I hope that's okay! Sort of writing this as I read it, but - I LOVED the bit as Rose was freaking out, Scorpius and Holly were just exchanging comments. It was so funny! I'm growing attached to these characters more and more and I think Rose is just an absolutely awesome character. Parts of her character are emerging gradually and it's really rewarding to finish each chapter and feel as if I know her more. It speaks ounces that she was so afraid of Harvey breaking up with her even though she doesn't really like him. You've written it so well, suggested just enough of her insecurity to make us care for her and wonder why she feels this way.

And, O M G I literally just finished this chapter just this second. I HATE Harvey!! He is the worst person in the whole world, he is such a berk! I feel so sad for Rose! (sort of wish she hadn't kissed him - from my feminist pov she needn't have justified that she could 'put out' - but her slapping him and her refusal to sleep with him was awesome.) By the end of it, he didn't even have any words. 'Fat cow'? He's such a loser, he couldn't even come up with a good comeback. I hate him! I'm so glad he's out of her life (hopefully!). You wrote that confrontation so well too. You've absolutely nailed the sniggering, petty nature of the friends. I also liked that you focused a lot more on the Slytherin common room - it made imagining it a lot simpler and the whole encounter a lot more vivid.

I'm really excited to keep reading, sorry these reviews are getting a bit shorter, I am just absolutely hooked! If there is ever anything major though I will flag it up :)

Laura xxx

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Review #33, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: A Long Strange Trip

19th March 2015:
Hey! Here I am again!

Reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser. :)

This was another really sweet chapter. I love how important family is to everyone, it's just so lovely! And to have all of their families coming together ♥ so cute! Having Scorpius as a part of that is really nice too. Their friendship group feels really tight and it's so nice to read.

In this chapter the dialogue reads really well and it was great to have a variety of characters asides from Rose Holly and Scorpius. Baby Cecilia sounds adorable and this emphasis on the family makes me wonder about its importance later in the story. Is something bad going to happen to them? :( I hope not! You've shown a really nice distinction between the characters and their ways of phrasing things. I love the way Holly talks, she's hilarious! She really relieves the tension and creates a balance between the three of them.

I'm interested to see where exactly this story is going because at this point nothing major in terms of plot points have cropped up. I'm expecting the general journey/plot begin to emerge soon and it's making me ask a lot of questions and look for secret significance in things! For example, Rose feeling a little claustrophobic was really sad but an interesting thing to include. Does it hold later importance to the chapters to come? And with the animagus aspect, is this going to get them into any trouble at a later date? So many questions!

I really enjoyed this one though. Onwards!

Laura xxx

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Review #34, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: The First Shift

19th March 2015:
Hey again!

I'm reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser :)

This was such a great chapter! I love that you've gone straight to their sixth year and that the first chapter was the prologue. It really works and makes me understand Rose and Scorpius' relationship that much more. Instead of starting it here and just telling me that they've been friends since the first day its so much more successful that you've shown me it previously. I really, really enjoyed reading this chapter!

I thought Ron and Hermione were super cute, exactly how they'd be after the seventh book! Hermione seems so organised still, sort of picking up after Ron in a really loving way. Another aspect I really like is that they've put their past prejudices behind them too and don't mind that Rose is friends with a Malfoy. It really heightens the feeling that a lot has changed since the last wizarding war. I sort of want to know more about Scorpius' home situation, whether he gets on with his dad, that sort of thing, but maybe you'll cover that later on. At this point it was great to see Rose's family dynamic at home.

I love the idea of them becoming animagus together. I thought your descriptions were great, and Rose's thoughts were great in the mind of the dog. I wonder whether they were aware of the Marauders doing it too? It might be a nice touch to have them finding that out. I'm not sure though, but I think it might be illegal for them to actually become animagus at this point though as its very complicated and dangerous magic. I think you have to have left Hogwarts in order to do it and be a proper adult wizard. Unless, of course, the law has changed this far into the future. I think if that's what you're getting at it might be worth mentioning that, just to ease up any potential confusion your readers might have. It might be that the law changing to make it legal from a certain younger age could have inspired them to learn! Also, as it's super difficult, I sort of wished you had focused more on just how hard it was studying for it. It would then reveal more about your characters in a subtle way, in that they have to be really clever in order to actually learn it, which they are!

This was another great chapter though. On to the next one!

Laura xxx

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Review #35, by tangledconstellationsThe Alpha Letters: A Prologue of Sorts

19th March 2015:
Helloo!

I'm reviewing for the HPFF fundraiser over on the forums :)

I thought I'd swing by this fic because a) it looks really interesting and b) you've not got many reviews but you've got so many chapters! It seemed unfair that you should be writing lots of a story but not be getting much feedback. So hopefully my reviews will give you adequate food for thought and encouragement. And if you get time, check out the fundraiser on the forum as it's keeping HPFF online!

I think it's lovely that you've started this story right at the very beginning, with the Sorting. Already, both Albus and Rose are genuinely lovely people. I think it's so original and sweet that they've been introduced as people not holding major judgements, because it means that we instantly like them and want to hear more about their adventures. They're so nice! I thought it was great when Albus corrected Rose in the train and reminded her not judge Scorpius. It feels like we're absolutely starting on a new leaf to the book series.

The sorting was really nice too, very nostalgic. I love the idea of the next-gen kids defying the tradition their parents adhered to and choosing their own houses. Scorpius' sorting in particular was really nice and I loved that he himself was pleased with the result. He's still got that confident Malfoy attitude about him though, doesn't he? I guess that's just who he is, and it makes him an interesting character nonetheless. I'm excited to see just how he'll grow and develop as a character.

The only thing I wish you had included more of in this chapter was heavier descriptions of your settings. I think by creating a more richer tapestry behind your action-aspect of the chapter it would make whats going on that much more clearer and visual. Just little things, like the warmth of the common room (everyone loves reading about the Ravenclaw common room as it's so mysterious - I don't think it would be a bad thing to really describe lots of it!), the food at the feast, the train carriage. Things that you could probably cover in a sentence or two!

But this was a great first chapter and I'm looking forward to reading more :)

Laura xxx

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Review #36, by tangledconstellationsMeet Eibhleann: A St. Patrick's Day Tribute.: Mercy, Zeta, Rumer and Anise.

19th March 2015:
Hey again :)

I'm reviewing again for the HPFF fundraiser over on the forums!

Ah, I see that in this chapter you've spaced the dialogue out a lot more! That's great, it makes this chapter a lot more easy on the eye and more enjoyable to read. I like that you've suggested at Eibhleann's worries a little bit, in that she wanted to make friends so when she does it's such a relief. I'm glad she's a Gryffindor with the others - though I wonder what would have happened if she'd been sorted elsewhere. Do you think they would have made an effort still to see if she'd settled in okay? I can definitely imagine Rose doing that.

It's great to see Eibhleann sort of having the first year treatment, with the Sorting and the feast. I think using this chapter to have wonderful descriptions of the castle from the eyes of someone who's never been there before would have made it seem that much more new and exciting. Maybe it's something you could add in at a later date, or include in later chapters? After all, her old school would be different to Hogwarts. Maybe you could mention how both schools differ. That way, we might be able to understand Eibhleann's back story a little more and see how she feels about the transition.

There are quite a few formatting and typing errors scattered throughout this chapter, though. It might be worth finding a beta reader on the forums, someone who could flag up accidental errors before you submit the chapters to the archive. For example, this line doesn't have speech marks so when reading I had to assume it was Rose: This is the sixth year girls dormitory which you will be staying in your bed is next to mine. - as well as that, the sentence is quite long and needs to broken up with a full stop. It reads better as: "This is the sixth year girls dormitory, which you'll be staying in. Your bed is next to mine." You could even make this a lot more visual by having Rose doing something to show her excitement about this, like patting the bed and grinning, or jumping on it!

This was a good chapter, but bear in mind the suggestion of a beta as it would make your story a lot stronger. I'm looking forward to seeing how Eibhleann settles in even more, and I wonder how she'll get on getting to her first lesson. If I was her I'd probably end up getting lost somewhere in the castle on the way!

Hope this helped a little :)

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Thanks for the advice maybe i will add some of it !!
-xMMx-


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Review #37, by tangledconstellationsMeet Eibhleann: A St. Patrick's Day Tribute.: Hello...

19th March 2015:
Hey!

I'm reviewing to support the HPFF fundraiser over at the forums :)

Wow, so this was a cool start to your story! It's good that you've straight away introduced your original character, as we can get to know her simultaneously with your interpretations of the Next-Gen characters. I also love the idea of an Irish magic school, hopefully you'll mention more about it, and its own quirks and traditions, as this story develops! I thought Rose was a nice character, instantly welcoming Eilbhleann into the carriage and hearing her out.

I couldn't help but wish this chapter was a little bit longer though, and I think there are some areas in particular you could extend it out while keeping the same amount of things covered in this chapter. For example, some sentences are very long, such as ""Al you ok," Scorpious asked, this snapped Albus out of his daydream and into reality but before he could answer his worried friend the compartment door slid open and Albus looked up to see which girl had come to ask him out." - for only the second line this is very rushed. By splitting it up a lot more and providing some staggered exposition on the characters already in the compartment we'll understand who's talking and why. To alter this, you could, for example, answer in separate sentences:
~ why Scorpius might be asking Albus if he's okay (does he daydream a lot and has it previously got him into trouble?)
~ what was Albus daydreaming about? and what does the train carriage look like as he bumps back into reality?
~ what does the carriage door sound like as its slid open? who exactly is Albus expecting to see?

Obviously, these are only suggestions but if you try and cover as much as possible as you go it means the reader is a lot more invested in whats going on. The story you've set up looks like it has the potential to be really good, so ensuring that you're clear and not overly hurried when writing it means that its so much more enjoyable for the reader and we get to understand all the details you're telling us in more subtle ways :)

Just another little thing: try to be careful about the way you space out your paragraphs and dialogue. For each new character that speaks place their dialogue on a new line. It makes it a lot clearer and also helps with the pacing of your chapter too!

But this was a really promising start and I'm looking forward to whats going to happen in the next chapter!

Hope this helped a little bit :)

Laura xx

Author's Response: Thanks it helped a lot
-xMMx-


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Review #38, by tangledconstellationsA Glimmer of Light: A Glimmer of Light

19th March 2015:
Hey,

I'm reviewing in support of the HPFF fundraiser over on the forums :)

Sirius' time in Azkaban is something I think about (and write about) often. I think you covered it really well here and this was such a pleasure to read, even though it absolutely broke my heart. There was a real sense of his claustrophobia and his fears, but also the really brave elements of his character shone through too. The whole concept of 'losing your mind' is just heightened even more in an environment like Azkaban. Blurring the edges of his dreams/reality worked really well in this one-shot because it showed us that Sirius is losing that distinction too. Both are as real as the other, and that came across so effectively here.

Your style works so well for the theme of the piece, too. I love that you have Sirius constantly questioning himself, repeating phrases, such as "They were alright. He was alright" - almost to keep him in the here and now. It's really cool. One thing I do wish for is that you had spent a little more time describing the cell more, just to literally build the walls around Sirius and the reader to heighten that trapped feeling. I think maybe a sentence or two should do it, and it would make this piece that much stronger and would be so much clearer to visualise. It's already such a great exploration of Sirius' emotions and how he's coping with Azkaban, so ramping up the descriptions just that little bit more would nail it.

This piece was really heartbreaking and I really enjoyed reading it. I feel like you've done Sirius justice here, because all he ever needed in Azkaban was for someone to hear his side of the story. Really beautiful!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi Laura!

Thank you for reviewing this story, glad you liked it! :)

I'll definitely be taking a closer look at your work now that you mention it, haha.

About Azkaban, I do agree that I could've been more descriptive about Sirius's cell although I did try to focus on what was going on in his head rather than his surroundings when I first started writing this short piece. Still, perhaps giving a little more information about what Azkaban actually looks and feels like to Sirius would only make this story better now that I think about it. I will consider that piece of advice very seriously.

I'm really happy to hear that you thought Sirius's state of mind and his shattered heart did not completely shove the bold, courageous part of his personality to the side. As someone who is very new to writing I did not want to make him lose his identity by trying to describe a much sadder, darker part of his life.

Again, thank you!

-Sophie


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Review #39, by tangledconstellationsFarewell, Spinner's End: A WITCH AND A MUGGLE

19th March 2015:
Hey again!

I'm reviewing again for the HPFF fundraiser :)

It really felt like in this chapter Severus had started to come into his own a lot more. Instead of the descriptions being central to his parents and location it felt like he had a lot more control over what was happening in this chapter. It sort of emphasises the idea that now he knows he's a wizard he has a sense of purpose and doesn't feel as downtrodden. But at the same time the parts that you did mention his parents here were really well done, adding to the image we have of them. I love that Eileen paints and falls into this trance-like state. It's a good thing because at least she has an outlet, but the way Severus sort of felt shut out was a really interesting facet to mention.

I especially like Severus' description of Lily. It was sort of reluctant, like he didn't want to let himself appreciate how she looks, because, y'know, girls are gross. But at the same time he was still fascinated by her and he wanted to impress her, even if she is just a girl. She's still a potential friend! His fixation on that really brings home that he's so lonely and doesn't have any friends. And, now that he knows he's a wizard, he's sort of all of sudden doubly-alone, which means he's extra keen to fix that. Something which was quite striking was his immediate reaction to Petunia, calling her a muggle like it was a dirty word. I love that you've hinted here at the bitter, sharp teenage boy he will eventually become.

Your dialogue reads really well and I think in this chapter its your strongest point. You wrote all three characters really fluidly and they each had an individual way of talking, which was good. I love how Petunia talks, stroppily and with a sense of superiority emphasising every few words, like when she said, "I know who you are." I can imagine how exactly she's saying it too, with a bit of a glare and maybe her arms folded too! It was a really clear image to me. And I think it's great that Severus has instantly taken a dislike to her, he already wants her to feel left out and exactly how he's been feeling for most of his childhood.

This was another great chapter! I'm really enjoying this story :) Hopefully you'll have the third one on the archive soon!

Laura xx

Author's Response: Thanks!

I got the idea about Eileen having painting as a hobby from a song about an unsuccesfull painter with schizophrenia (by a band called The Breath of Life ). I always imagined that Severus's parents were negligent to the point they sometimes forgot he was there. I'm glad you find it interesting, at least, and are not disencouraged by the depressing facts that probably made up Severus's youth.

Actually, Severus's first meeting with Lily is something I'm not quite satisfied with, and wanted to edit, but I keep editing these first chapters and once it needs to be finished. I will try to emphasize the things you've said a little bit more. That lashout at Petunia and the dialogue is from JK Rowling actually, so all credit goes to her, haha! I didn't got around to making a disclaimer yet,which I should have done but I'm going to do right now. But I know right? I could picture everything so well when I was reading DH.
And I think Severus feels left out indeed..

I am so happy you are enjoying the story and like to read the next chapter! That is really encouraging.


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Review #40, by tangledconstellationsFarewell, Spinner's End: COKEWORTH

19th March 2015:
Hey there!

I'm reviewing for the HPFF Fundraiser :)

This was a really interesting first chapter and you've done a great job of introducing us to the story. You've chosen to start this story at a really cool time, before Severus knows he's a wizard. It works really well as it's a time that isn't often covered and we see a more vulnerable and childlike side to him. I think it's fascinating to think that this Severus will grow up into the Sev we know from the books.

You've got some really strong, vivid images here too. The part that stuck out to me especially was little Severus watching his father round on his mother. "He was sitting on the ground, holding an old shoe like other children would hold a teddybear" - I thought this way of implying that he was a little stranger, a little more deprived than other children would be, was really well done. It's also such a sad image as all he really wants is comfort! :( it's such a simple line but it has ounces of effect.

Also, I thought the way you described the Shropshire area was beautiful. I'm originally from rural England and grew up in a farm in the middle of nowhere, so it conjured up so many lovely nostalgic images of the rolling fields, knotted together with shrubby hedges. I loved your introduction at the beginning, too, to the Industrial Revolution and its impact on housing in the future, things like that. Quite recently I visited Ironbridge in Shropshire so it was great to have that reference point! I'm glad you mentioned it. I love the idea of muggle developments and transitions being just as pivotal to wizarding society too.

The background information on Eileen was super interesting too. It's such an original approach. It would be cool to have that story developed even more and hear it from her perspective maybe! Tobias was so horrible, I can just imagine him, loud, uncouth. I pity Severus a lot here, something I can't really say for later on in the books, so even though his childhood was tough it was really special to have him reading the wizarding books at the end.

I think you've done an awesome job at fleshing out Severus' back story and I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi, that thing is great :D.

Thanks! The reason why I chose this beginning is because the Snape memories we know go back to when he was, I guess, around five or something... Some stories depict him as already showing signs of magic when he's a baby, so I thought, I make it somewhat different. I'm glad you like it :)

Thanks, I'm glad you liked that line and that it came accross that my version of Severus is a bit weirder than the other children, even without his magic. His youth is a sore spot for many fans. I am glad I seem to do it a bit of justice at least.

It's such a coincidence you've been to Shropshire recently. I'm glad my description gave you a feeling of nostalgia, seeing as I've never been there myself! You are lucky that you live in England and went to the Iron Bridge! I really want to go on vacation to Britain again someday, I think it's a beautiful country. I agree, I find the idea of Muggle and wizard society blending in each other, but not quite, fascinating!

I'm glad you found my approach for Eileen's story original. There are only so many ways you can go with her background, but I wanted to try one that hadn't been done before. I'll explain more about her in the next chapter but also in the rest of the story. I'm glad you thought my Tobias was horrible. He may not be as inhuman as in 'Prince to thieves' by Serpenscript, but nothing beats that...

Thank you. I really appreciated your review!


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Review #41, by tangledconstellationsFive Exclamation Marks: Five Exclamation Marks

18th March 2015:
Hey there Andrew!

This is for the review swap we both agreed to the other day, then I think we both got simultaneously distracted by real life, hehe! I've been meaning to read your stories for a long time - I've had Harry Potter and the Final Year on my reading list for ages now but still haven't found time to start it because of all sorts of things jumping in the way. I'm going to make time for it this month though, and I'm really glad I've finally had the chance to read some of your writing!

I really, really enjoyed this one-shot. I read it this afternoon, then the whole time I was making dinner this evening it was on my mind and I kept thinking back to it. I think for your first challenge entry you did a really great job of using the quote and ensuring it was relevant throughout you piece. And asides from that, even if I wasn't aware that it was based on a quote for the challenge, you managed to create a self-contained tone and include a sort of reflective element that kept the piece feeling very whole. As your first one-shot, did you find it strange to have to keep it contained to a single moment, as opposed to writing a multi-chaptered fic? It worked beautifully in my opinion, I was so swept up and utterly absorbed by the moment you've created here. Ron's final line almost made me burst into tears!

Ginny was absolutely awesome. She's exactly how I imagine her to be in her adult life, even though it was a shame we didn't see lots of her. I liked that she still had that coolness about her when they first arrived at Ron's house, and that it was Harry that gave away that something was wrong. I imagine Ginny to have perfected her lying face, most definitely from growing up keeping secrets from all of her older brothers. The thing that was really special to me about this piece was that the love and friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione was still really strong. They're not showing it in an overt, obvious way - I guess they never really did in the books - but it's there, shown in Ron and Harry's dialogue and the way they all care so deeply about Hermione. Hermione, who always cared so deeply about them too and prepared for everything, for them.

Seeing Ron here as quite resigned and tired, 'he just didn't have the energy to maintain the rage', is really heartbreaking, but at the same time it makes him feel like a stronger character, as though he's grown a lot more than he did in the books. I really think you wrote him perfectly. In a situation like this, I think he would act exactly as you've said. He would be angry at first but then he'd pack it in, try and be more constructive instead. And I definitely agree he wouldn't quite have the strength to admit Hermione to St. Mungo's, and would refuse it outright. "...he knew that once she stayed there it would be for good." - this broke my heart but I really think you're right. It would definitely, definitely be too painful for him to okay that transition.

As for your writing itself, it reads so well. You haven't overdone anything and I think your strengths lie in capturing the characters, the little details of their actions. It was really clear to visualise them as I read. My only bit of constructive criticism would be to build up the settings a little more to give the reader more of a picture of where the characters are interacting. Probably only a few sentences or so, such as of the kitchen (is it super tidy or a little worn out, are the dishes piled up? - that sort of thing, to make us think more about how Ron is living beyond this one-shot) and a little more of Hermione's room perhaps. By doing this it means you can leave some things simply unstated in your narrative because you've implied them through the descriptions of the settings instead.

But yes, this was really lovely to read. I know I'll think about this one-shot often as it's such a beautiful and heartbreaking interpretation of the quote and of the trio's later lives. Hopefully you'll write more one shots like this in the future! Maybe even connecting one-shots - maybe one from Hermione's perspective, or lovely Rose's? (Okay, I'm rambling!) Thanks for sharing, and thank you so much for your wonderful review too!

Laura xx

Author's Response: This is a wonderfully long and detailed review.

I remember back to that, the world did really dump a lot of real life right in our laps and we both couldn't get to what we'd promised at the time. As the two good natured and patient creatures that we are, it all was resolved to our mutual satisfaction ... eventually.

Don't get this wrong, but I'm so glad I caused you unhappiness and grief - that was my intent. Hermione is a 'girly swot' and as such could have been a character who was reviled, but JKR humanises her so well that we all love her. She truly is an inspirational character, one we admire and hope to be like. To do what I did to her, was particularly evil - her fall into madness would be a tragic thing indeed and I wanted to portray that awful event come to pass.

The way I write is that I write in scenes. Once you read my other story you may see. The individual chapters are very much, 'here is a scene, then here is the next one' with transitional interludes to fit it all together and make it work. In HP&FY the first chapter is Draco's trial, the second is Harry meets the goblins, etc. As such I found writing this one-shot to be basically the same sort of thing - just no unnecessary transitions to have to make it work. Easy! ;)

I like Ginny, I'm a big her and Harry shipper - it's cannon and it's great. I think she has a real softly-spoken strength about her, perfect to be married to Harry - a perfect helpmate and a perfect source of comfort. Even though you only saw her briefly here, I'm glad I managed to convey it.

The strength of the friendship of the Trio is one of the cornerstones of the books and I feel that JKR captured it in what was unsaid as much as what was. I tried to keep true to that spirit.

In a lot of ways, the Ron at the end of the books has the most growing up still to do. There is still a lot of progression of the man's character to come till how I see him as the father of Rose and Hugo. If something like this actually happened to his character, I think it would be as you pointed out and it would force him to become stronger, especially for the sake of his two children. I think the thing that haunts Ron, is that he can see the day where he may be forced to have to admit her and he dreads it.

One of my weaknesses is description - I am forever not putting enough in (all my beta's tell me so). I can only say that it is so visually clear in my head that I sometimes forget to translate my clear mental image into the written word. It is a good point and I should go back and elaborate upon the kitchen setting at least.

Yes, after reading TreacleTart's Bunny Slippers, I have the head-cannon that they are both set in the same AU - one which I cannot help but think of as the Sad-verse. I have been thinking about the Neville of that story running into the Ron of mine in the corridors of St Mungos ...

Thank you very much.


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Review #42, by tangledconstellationsTwo Earthly Kingdoms: To Anger a God

18th March 2015:
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was so incredibly beautiful!!

Honestly, this was so so special to read, thank you for posting this because it was beautiful ♥ Your writing is so inspirational! It's so fluid and clear and just absolutely amazing to read. I really don't think I can enthuse enough about this right now. It was just wonderful and thought-provoking and...a million things!

I love reading about Snape. He's such an interesting character and I love your approach to him here. The stance that you've taken is such a new way to look at him. It's devoid of judgement, it's not making him into a hero. It's just so wholly central to him in a really unique way. It lets you start to imagine some of Snape's delusions, his warped, obsessive way of thinking, but at the same time it's who he is, it's how he formulates his plans. I love that here you're implying that he acts half out of desperation, out of things that he's lacking in his life and needs, like love. But at the same time there's the suggestion that he likes this, he wants to be the glimmering in gold, he wants the power. It's such an intricate and beautiful balance. I also love that you really emphasised that bitter, jealous, sort of competitive side to him, making him feel superior but at the same time vulnerable. It's the side I think that he would deny he has, and he doesn't necessarily acknowledge it here either. But it exists in his character, all the way through this piece. This is truly like seeing into his mind. The most unsettling but important quote for me was: "Luck was for lesser men, not me."

The style of the piece was just flawless too. I loved all of the references, I loved viewing this side of the story like an ancient legend, like this was an epic celestial story of the chosen heroes. They fit in so snugly, too. I think my favourite part was The Duel with Apollo. There was something so haunting about it. And having Lucius as this immaculate, overconfident figure that Severus just absolutely brings crashing to the ground was incredible. I loved that, even though once I was sort of aware of the timeline you were following here, I literally had no idea where you were going to place Severus and at which point in time we might be at, so starting each new section was so exciting. You've managed to balance the pivotal 'book bits' with parts that capture our imagination and flesh out the Death Eater aspects to Sev. I wonder what it would be like to read a contrasting one shot in a similar style to this, but dwelling on the 'light' and more 'good' (note the quotation marks!!) parts of Severus' character. It would be fascinating to see the similar reference points but twisted into a story of a sort of heroism.

I love the way you write Severus' feelings towards Lily. I love that it's ambiguous whether or not he does love her. Since reading the books, I've never been sure myself. Here, he hates her blood status so much and that's really fascinating to me, because I guess we will never know if he did or not. I've always thought that he was sort of going along with the ill-feeling of the time when calling her a mudblood, but your interpretation of him actually really resenting her for it is so charged and makes you rethink their whole relationship. It makes him that much more interesting and complex. He hates what she is yet he wants her - and for what? I was semi-expecting lots of descriptions of her beauty and her kindness but I like that here in this piece I can't find that as much. It makes me wonder whether he did love her for those things, or whether he just sort of wanted to conquer her and have her to contrast him. Ahh all the feelings right now!

Also, I am so so sorry about the delay in our review swap! I sort of volunteered the swap in a bout of uni-work procrastination and then the last two days I've felt super guilty about not doing uni work haha so have been tryna catch up. I fail so hard at being organised! But I am really sorry this has taken so long :(

Anyway, this was so gorgeous. I loved it and I love your writing times infinity! Thanks for writing this. It is so special! You never, ever disappoint!

Laura xxx

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Review #43, by tangledconstellationsMiddle Clouds: Black Book

16th March 2015:
I couldn't not review this chapter once I saw you'd updated this fic! So exciting!! ♥ ♥ ♥

I absolutely loved this - I thought the descriptions of Malfoy as a fox were really beautiful. Foxes are so lovely! I live in a city so there are foxes everywhere at night - they're mainly pretty mangy and sad looking, but I still think they're so beautiful and would love to hold one! - until it like, mauls at my face or something. I thought it was a really nice touch that the spell didn't fully transform him into a fox - more like a squishy and safe replica. I think that kind of distinction is really important to consider, because sometimes thinking about all the spells in the HP universe and their potential biological/psychological etc implications can cause a bit of a brain ache. It seems much more realistic and sort of safer that human to animal transformations would work in this way. But yeah, anyway, /tangent, I thought Rose coaxing the fox to go with her was a really wonderful piece of writing. I got such a clear picture of the animal and I loved how sort of *respectful* and gentle she was with him. It was really lovely to read.

Another bit that I thought was just awesome was the image of Rose finding the transfiguration book. It was such a great picture to have in my mind. This line, for me, just totally captures the magical feeling of the HP universe: 'The book was titled Transfiguration for Mature Readers (and Mature Readers Only!) and I felt the ominous weight of its pages as soon as I laid my fingers on the leather-bound cover.' This could honestly be straight out of one of the canon books! I can't explain it, just, for me reading the books the things I am in love with are the dusty, leather tomes, the strange feeling that you're about to come across something incredible/weird, and absolutely (and probably mainly) the witty book titles mirroring the attitude of the wizarding community. Seriously, 10/10 for the book title because it's that little detail which really brought the whole section home for me and really reminded me that we're still in our beloved HP universe. I had this wave of sort of nostalgia as I read it (it made me think back to all the specifics JK Rowling mentions in the books, like the magical types of sweets and the unusual books titles (tangent, but: remember the one in CoS when Harry's in Flourish and Blotts - the Book of Invisibility that the store owner could never find? So awesome!) - like all of the stuff I wish I could play around with!). Ugh kind of rambled again but yeah, it was such a great image. ♥

Also, this made me laugh a lot:
''No, he's been... taken care of.'
Jem's head snapped back at me. 'You killed him?!''
So hilarious! I love that Jem instantly jumps to that conclusion. It's so funny. I feel like that whole bit with Rose and Jem meeting up near the end of the chapter let us see so much more of his character. I love how sort of fleeting he is, being obsessed with one fad and moving on to the next. It sort of hints at immaturity but I like it. I think it works well - it makes me see him as a real character. AND I also love that Rose is falling back on to her old ways of 'I can't possibly go and talk to Malfoy!' Classic Rose. Jem is right - she is far too proud. Again, I love it though. I love these characters because they're as stubborn and set in their ways and habits as I'm sure everyone secretly is! :P

Anyway, sorry for rambling a lot about the book title (I really liked it) and also sorry for rambling a lot about the fox. I think I might officially be the weirdest reviewer ever haha, god I'm sorry! This chapter was awesome though. I think it's great that every single chapter of this fic lets us see more and more in to these characters. It's awesome Rose has kinda found her forte with the (banned!) animal transformations. I hope you include more of that because it's such an interesting facet, her breaking the rules, and a topic that as a fan of the logistic-y side of magic I want to see more of! I'm also super keen to see if she will talk to Malfoy before their detentions, or just let it slide. I mean, Kato intended them to talk during their detention anyway so maybe Rose is just gonna leave it til then! I can imagine her putting it off for as long as possible :P

Ah, I rambled again but this was super great and I honestly can't wait until you update again!

Laura ♥ xx

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Review #44, by tangledconstellationsA Spoonful of Luck: Lottery, Landlords and a Lowlife’s Lair

16th March 2015:
Hey there!

First of all - thank you so so much for your incredible and lovely reviews! You are the best! ♥ They've absolutely made my morning, thank you! I'm sorry its taken me forever to get round to reviewing in return.

This chapter was really awesome and works so well as a kick starter for this fic. I love the tone you've adopted here, it's one I can totally relate to! Early twenties with no clue what to do with life :P Alicia is hilarious and I love how witty she is. You're so good at writing sarcastic and sort of observational comedy. It's such a joy to read, honestly! I suck so bad at being funny so this is somewhat inspirational for me! :D Like, this bit cracked me up soo much:
'That's so great. I'm really happy for you,' I repeat, smiling so widely my cheeks hurt.
It's all lies, of course. I'm not happy, I'm miserable. And also a bit envious.'
- because as I was reading the whole 'yay congrats Joan!' bit I was thinking to myself, 'damn, I wish I could win the lottery', and then seeing Alicia be happy for her I was like, 'jeez am I an awful person for being jealous of Joan?' - so when Alicia was just outright like, I'm totally NOT happy, it was sort of a relief for me! I think I like it best when characters are equally as grumpy and jealous as me, haha! It makes me feel like we can all just be awful people together hahaha. Love it.

There's a really good balance in this chapter between character build up and also plot. I thought Alicia seeing Joan as a mum-like figure was really telling of how stranded she's feeling right now - and it was really interesting to have her suddenly check herself and think she was being pathetic for feeling like that. It's as though Alicia doesn't want to admit how terrified she is, but yet she's joking about it to try and make light of the situation. It just makes me want to see everything get resolved for her! She's already so likable and completely realistic. I really hope she has some luck headed her way soon! ♥

I also totally loved the rest of the employees at the Hopping Pot. They're all so original and have their own super weird quirks. As soon as we met Trevor I knew he'd be interesting - like, his office description alone in contrast to the rest of the pub gives such a vivid image. I think having this chapter from Alicia's POV is great - it makes the characters seem that much sharper and real, because it puts her slant on everything and makes the whole setting and all of the characters feel like they're all existing (and failing at running this place!) in time. I thought Felix was a real winner, crickey, haha! He made me laugh a lot. God, I can totally picture how absolutely annoying he is - especially when he's supposed to be tending to the bar and he's just sort of...floating about. And it's kind of like, can you just tell him off and tell him to get back to work? But I get the impression that kind of instruction to him is like water off a ducks back! So much of this fic is applicable to situations I've been in, it's great! I am so equally frustrated with everyone as Alicia is! But saying that, I feel so invested in her and this story already because you've really impressed in this chapter how vital she is to the pub.

Anyway, I think I've rambled a lot a lot a lot here. I thought this was a really awesome first chapter and I'm super excited to read more of it. I love the way Diagon Alley feels bigger, how you've considered more sort of mundane elements of the wizarding world not covered in the books like bills and rent (the kind of stuff I genuinely find interesting!). This was great to read, so thank you so so much for sharing! I'll be reading later chapter for sure :)

Laura ♥ xx

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Review #45, by tangledconstellationsSomebody's Heartbreak: Somebody's Heartbreak

25th February 2015:
Heya!

I'm so sorry for the slight delay with my side of the review swap! But here I am, here I am!

Okay, first off: I am officially a Fred/Hermione convert. This was such a good story! As I was reading I was like, WHY have I never thought about pairing them before? I love that Fred kinda watches Hermione from afar and I love that its his rule breaking that kinda keeps them apart initially. I also sort of like that he notices how much Harry and Ron take Hermione for granted - it's so sweet. I never really pair Fred or George with anyone - I guess cos the books are so Harry-centric and that's not something he would think about. But this was really good - he's the perfect amount of cheeky but self-conscious for him to be believable.

One thing I did notice was that there were a couple of typos - I think another read over and you'll be able to catch them all. It wasn't really anything major, just an extra letter here or there. Also, sometimes your sentences ran on quite long. One example in particular is here: "He’d also gone on to say that his best bet would be a quick shg in a broom cupboard if he could actually slip her a love potion or something similar to get her to even consider the idea of something so temporary and Fred had been forced to slip him a Puking Pastille before refusing to give him the antidote end of the sweet and watching him suffer whilst grinning gleefully the entire time." I think if you broke this up a little bit more it would give more a "punchline" to what you're saying. The end of the sentence was sort of lost to me because I was reading it in one great big breath - but I think once you've split it up the impact would be much greater. It's a great few lines though! I love Freds sense of humour! :)

I can picture Hermione really well in this piece, too. I think you've balanced her perfectly. She's not too bossy, she's still got that feminine charm about her. It was really lovely to read, really nice to give her an alternate few moments at Hogwarts. I felt myself sort of wishing she was a little more fiery though, maybe a little more reluctant to be wooed by Fred but nonetheless attracted to him - but maybe that's because I'm so used to her seeing her interact quite stubbornly with Ron and Harry. It would be interesting to see what you think?

Anyway, this was great and I really enjoyed reading it! :D

Laura ♥ xxx

Author's Response: Hey Laura,

Thanks so much for reviewing for me. I totally didn't catch those typos when I edited, but I'll be sure to edit it right now. And I know what you mean about the run on sentences. I do them all the time. I can't seem to control them. LOL.

I usually like to write Hermione as being a little more fiery too, but if I had this would've turned into a novel length book rather than a one-shot for the song-fic. I'll definitely get right on editing those run on sentences and the typos. I'm totally blushing over having missed them.

Thanks again for review swapping with me. I can't wait to read more of A Single Point in Time.

xx-Ellie


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Review #46, by tangledconstellationsThe Department of Spectral Affairs: Darkness

25th February 2015:
Hullo there :)

Wow...

Well, I most definitely did enjoy reading this. I thought it was absolutely beautiful. I love that you've created a really spatial distance between us and Regulus, suggested through the format on the page but also the theme. I'm really, really interested in your story Not Normal now, because I love Regulus as a character, probably because there is so much speculation about who he could really be.

As a prequel this definitely works because your writing really makes makes me want to read on and to develop this idea further in my mind. And, "Not the end." - I LOVE that this is the last line. It's so captivating, it really makes you not want to leave this piece. It feels like poetry, it's so abstract and flowing. "My eyes snap open" - snap is such a good word choice, it's almost a contradiction to the way eyes operate, how normally they're, y'know, a bit squishy and human-like. But that line just gives you such a clear image, suggesting the sound and the way he almost can't not do it. Ugh I'm rambling, and I probably could ramble for every single line here. They're all so beautiful, they all work together so well.

One thing I think is really cool about this piece is that there's no real mention of time - like, I have no idea how long Regulus is drowning or falling for. And it doesn't feel relevant - you don't need to say at all. It could be a single moment for all I know. Or it could be for ages. The piece has been manipulated in such a way that it doesn't matter, its not your focus, just, Regulus is. And it's done so, so well. His thoughts are so abstract, too, just bouncing off one another. While I was reading it I was thinking about synapses in the brain, just like passing messages on and on leading on to the next thought and the next thought. It's such a cool effect.

Anyway I rambled a lot just there - I'm sorry I couldn't be more constructive. But I am totally in love with pieces like this, pieces that are just like poetry and manage to so expertly use a little number of words to create a huge and expansive picture. This was wonderful!

Laura ♥ xxx

Author's Response: Hello!

Ah! Thank you so much! This piece is a quite a bit darker from my usual stuff, so I was a little concerned about how it would be received. I really wanted to focus on space as part of Regulus' death experience. Playing with our perception of it was a lot of fun, actually.

I'm glad it makes you want to read on, haha! Not Normal is quite different to what this story will end up being, but I hope you enjoy both if you do read them. Snap is just a great word in general. It's so versatile, like I can use it to describe frozen peas to the way people open their eyes.

Not mentioning time was a conscious choice. For him now, time has no meaning. He just is, like you said. It tied in with the way I manipulated space - you can tell I'm a bit of a physics nerd, and a Doctor Who fan besides :P And OMG! Yes, random synapses is exactly what I pictured his thoughts to be like! Just neurons firing as they please, manifesting as this slightly disconnected thought process.

Thank you so much for the lovely review, Laura :) ♥


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Review #47, by tangledconstellationsChaos Theory: ii. the journey

25th February 2015:
Hey again!

I think I'm hooked on this story - it's got so much energy and it's so great to read. I love your characters, I love how you're really playing with the modern wizarding world. It's so cool! I also love that they love Coke and Dairy Milk. After my own heart..

It's interesting that so much about Hogwarts has changed, but like I said before you're making this wizarding world your own and you're creating your own very new setting for your story. It makes me more intrigued than anything - especially with the altercations to the assessments and also things like uniform. In some ways a bit of the magic is lost too, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It makes sense: in the modern world, with technology absolutely everywhere, it seems natural that traditional magical conventions would fade away with the new generations of students. It feels a bit sad - BUT it also feels a bit exciting, trying to comprehend how a magical society can survive and flourish in the modern day.

I really like your characters, I love that you're pushing the boundaries with 'conventional' characters, as always. I think it's so important you're doing that. Like, even if your story is one out of hundreds featuring a lesbian or gay character, but not making a big deal out of it, that's awesome. They shouldn't be a big deal, and casually including them like this is the way to do it, to get rid of sexuality being a novelty, being a 'character trait'. It should just be the norm, obvz in real life, and writing characters like you have here help make that real and helps change perceptions on another front.

Anyway, this was super and I'm really excited about reading the next chapter! I'm gonna be that reviewer: update soon, update soon!!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: hey!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

here, these are all for you because ily and your wonderful reviews.

(coke and dairy milk is so ♥ as well. I feel like those would be my provisions if I was on the hogwarts express. doritos, too.)

I know what you mean about the magic feeling lost. in a way, it is. sadly. a lot of the traditionalism associated with the trios era is gone in this, replaced with a much more modern outlook. of course there's still people like sinistra (in this) who dress like they always have in long, drapy robes but a lot more people are succumbing to a more muggle-esque way of living, so to speak.

yay for lgbtqa inclusion! like you said, sexuality in this is really just a passing thing -- I don't think I've actually explicitly said anyone's sexuality yet, have I? maybe I have idk I can't be bothered to go back and read this chapter. I tried not to. it is going to become more prominent in aspects such as coming out and queer rights activism because these five are not excluded from bullying and not all of them are out yet, anyway. for interests sake though -- lucy is bisexual, rowen is asexual panromantic, orla is demisexual, will is (the token) heterosexual and kit is bisexual too. mostly, I'm going to focus on monosexual privilege and biphobia.

anyway I'm just rambling now really aren't I?? sorry I'm just super hyped about this novel haha

glad you enjoyed! don't worry about being THAT reviewer, I enjoy those reviewers because they motivate me ;)

thanks for reading!!

- jess, xo


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Review #48, by tangledconstellationsChaos Theory: i. the introduction

25th February 2015:
Heyy Jess! ♥

I've been meaning to read this for a while but real life ugh. I love the idea behind this - it's so cool, and so funny! I think Lucy is perfect for the main character, especially considering Percy is her dad and he would probably go mental if he knew what she was doing. I love that you've really thought out her character and I'm positive that she's gonna remain devoid of stereotype like she has here. Like, right now she's a rebel and it's awesome - she is literally unpredictable and independent and it's great.

I also love how real you've made next-gen feel. I've always really struggled with it, I don't know why. I think how broad it is intimidates me haha. But I really like it here. Maybe it's because you've put more of British emphasis on it - like with the footie, with the swearing, with the wrestling for the seats in the car. These guys are literally just like people I went to sixth form with ahaha. And it makes me love them! I really feel like I know them and it's cool to instantly have a connection to characters and root for them. The world you've set up is so coherent and doesn't necessarily depend on what 'next-gen' is like in my head - which is good. You've made it your own.

The sisterly dynamic you've set up is also really interesting because it adds a different dimension to the story. It makes me think of Ron a lot, with that massive chip on his shoulder because he's so overshadowed by his brothers. It makes you think about the character on a new level and question their motives a lot more when it's kinda like their being attacked from all sides with expectation.

Eep this was super good and I'm gonna carry on reading! :D

Laura xxx

Author's Response: hey!

ugh I know tell me about it. I'd been meaning to write this story for several months before I actually got round to it haha. I can't promise lucy is NEVER going to fall into stereotypes but I can promise she's going to be an interesting, sour, sarcastic character we all love-to-hate for most of the novel, if not it all. there is going to be a big focus on maturing and character development though so who knows?;) (me. i know.)

aw, bless you no I promise next gen is not as big and scary as you think. I mostly just write as if they were teenagers in this day and age which is particularly prominent in this because of the muggle subculture lucy and some of her friends are into. but yesss!! I was sooo hoping to get across the sort of 'typical sixth formers' type thing oh my god I'm glad somebody got it this makes me insanely happy.

(hint: the molly/lucy dynamic is going to get a whole lot more interesting towards the end)

thank you eternally for this wonderful review! I hope you enjoy ♥

- jess, xo


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Review #49, by tangledconstellationsFull of Grace: It's Better This Way.

24th February 2015:
Hey Beth! ♥

This was absolutely beautiful. You made me well up a little bit at the end - this is such a beautiful portrayal of the complexity of grief. It also worked so well as a song-fic. The lyrics and your accompanying prose went together so nicely, neatly. You managed to capture the emotion of the song and put it so seamlessly into a situation. This was really, really special to read.

I've always loved Molly as a character. I think because we only see her as headstrong, fiery and overly-motherly from Harry's point of view it's easy to forget that she's as vulnerable as everyone else. I can't even imagine losing a child - and she must feel the burden so much heavier because her role as the mother is so ingrained within her, it's who she is. I imagine everyone instinctively looking to her for help or support and this song fic really hit home that she might not be able to do that so effortlessly after the war.

Your writing is so lovely! It's interesting that you said in your authors note it took you a long time to write this - well, I think it most certainly paid off! You captured a certain tone throughout this piece and it didn't falter at all. I was so swept up when reading it. It's so heartfelt and painful but there's this underlying abundance of love - for Molly, from Molly - and for all of the survivors, really. This, in particular, I thought was really beautiful: "The crisp air is a shock to her warm lungs, but she feels more alive in this moment than she can even remember. Her head cocks to the side and she notices how deep the snow has become since she’s been out here. She reaches forward with her raw fingers and swipes the top of the stone, so his name is visible, but that is the extent of her cleaning. The rest of the snow, she leaves." There's such rhythm to it and it's simplicity is what is really special. But there are a million other bits I could pick out too!!

This was really beautiful - thanks for agreeing to review swap otherwise I may not have had the chance to read this!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hello Laura!

Wow. Thanks so much for this lovely review. I've been reeling for a while and I had to take some time to respond to it. This was a really hard piece to write, but I'm glad I did it, as I hadn't seen a story that I though had covered the depth of grief Molly would feel from losing Fred. I'm a mom and I think that was a big part of me wanting to write this.

I did rewrite parts of this a LOT and I was so happy to see that you found a rhythm to it. I wasn't intentionally going for that, but I can see what you mean by it.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #50, by tangledconstellationsResisting Ardour: Most Days, He Was Okay.

10th February 2015:
Heya!

Ahh, this was so beautiful! I'm so glad I had the chance to read it! I've never really explored much of George and Angelina before, sort of accepting them as one of those couples that just are. But yet reading this it was really great to consider the bumps involved with them getting together. After all, its not just physical attraction they're dealing with - they've both got this connection to Fred and it's so sad that George naturally feels like he's doing something wrong by him in liking her.

They way you wrote George was spot on. He's hilarious! He's so inappropriate and awkward, but at the same time you've balanced that with the loneliness he feels and with him struggling with his grief. It was a really honest and convincing portrayal. At the same time Angelina was awesome too. It was sort of as though she had her head and her heart organised before George had, and she was willing to help him through his grief too. But that's not to say the situation wasn't weird for her too because I think it was. I think you've captured the complexity of the issue really really well.

Finally, your writing is such a pleasure to read. You've set up the scenes really well, really nicely. Even when you refer back to Christmas, or moments in the shop a few days previously, I still get a really clear idea of what you're showing me and how the situation played out, even if they're only portrayed as memories and mentioned in passing. What I think is especially great about this piece is the way that it is George through and through - your style is perfect for him and the way he talks, the way he repeats things - it's so George!

This was so good! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this :)

Laura ♥ xxx

Author's Response: I don't read much George/Angelina myself, so this was new territory for me. I'm glad that it had you considering them a little more! They have a few more bumps than your average couple, but I like to think they make it work.

I'm glad that you think George is in character. He was the hardest part of this story for me. It was a little difficult to balance the humour and the loss and the awkward feelings so I'm really pleased that you think everything works out with him. Angelina does have it worked out far more than George - they need at least one person between them who knows what's going on :P The situation is definitely weird for her, but she's more accepting of that than George.

Gah! Thank you so much! My writing style can sometimes get a little confusing for the reader, but I'm so pleased that you didn't find yourself getting lost. Woohoo!

Thanks so much for the lovely review :)


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