Reading Reviews From Member: Hippothestrowl
  
59 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HippothestrowlThe Bottom of the Lake: Epilogue

14th April 2013:
This fic has a really good story plot and lots of interesting ideas. PLOT: 80%

Grammar, syntax, sentence construction very good but flawed by near total failure of past perfect tense which confuses many of the passages. GRAMMAR: 80%

Writing style and storytelling is mostly (not always) poor. There is a lot of author-speak where the author is explaining things rather than storytelling. Some of those parts read like a draft story design rather than immersive fiction. Show not tell is poor for that reason. STYLE: 50%

Pace is very good although variable. PACE: 80%

Overall Readability is fairly good because the decent story plot interest rides over the weak storytelling. This is much better than having it the other way round with great storytelling but a rubbish story that's not worth telling! The fact that I read it through and was often eager to get to the next chapter proves that. The only chapter I skip-browsed is this one - the epilogue; Not a bad idea to round the story off but it should have either been drastically pruned or greatly enriched. So the main story is a page-turner. READABILITY: 75%

Summary: it's well worth reading and easily amongst the better fanfics available but if past perfect tense and storytelling were fixed it could have been really great. SUMMARY: 75%

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. You and I have very different opinions as to use of the past perfect tense, but I do not feel like arguing about it. Most people overuse it or use it improperly, in my opinion, and my avoidance of it is quite intentional. Suffice it to say I disagree with that part of your review, but the rest of it is fair. I especially agree with the epilogue, as I rushed that tremendously in order to finish the story before Deathly Hallows was released (as I had promised my readers). In fact, the whole last third of the story was rushed for that reason.

I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts. G.


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Review #2, by HippothestrowlAn Alternate Yule Ball: Snape, Karkaroff, and Hagrid

20th March 2013:
Good. Nice that they both thought a walk by the lake was worth a week of detentions. I was annoyed when Snape tried to split them up but much more so when Cedric did. What a prat! He split up a romantic couple during a ball just to speak to Harry for about 90 seconds? Why couldn't he leave it till another day? Slightly confused when Harry seemed to tell Hermione to shut up but I'm guessing that is meant to be Ron.

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Review #3, by HippothestrowlAn Alternate Yule Ball: An Alternate Yule Ball

20th March 2013:
Nicely done. Actually this chapter works well as a one-shot but I see there are bonus chapters. :)

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Review #4, by HippothestrowlCause and Effect: Chapter Six - All's Well, but it Never Really Ends

20th March 2013:
Overall, I found this story too clinical and intellectual for my taste and without much emotion, feeling, romance, descriptiveness, or action. I lost my way during the last couple of chapters because only curiosity had carried me that far but I reached a point where I didn't really care so skipped over the end. I think I read enough to get an idea why Luna is so OOC though but that didn't make me enjoy her new persona any better. Well written but exhausting to read all the over-explaining and excessive dialogue.

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Review #5, by HippothestrowlCause and Effect: Chapter Two - We Need to Talk

19th March 2013:
ditto as for chapter 1

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Review #6, by HippothestrowlCause and Effect: Chapter One - The Cat and the Bag

19th March 2013:
Nicely written and technically fine (grammar, syntax, etc) but there are quite a few things here and there which puzzled and confused me and had be searching back to see if I missed something. The only other problem was Luna's dialogue not sounding like her at all. Her behaviour might be okay but her thinking and speech does not work for me. She sounds like a forty-year old efficient company director rather than a dreamy eccentric schoolgirl living by inspired guesswork. That said, the story plot sounds promising and the pairings are okay for me so since the story is not too long I'll probably continue.

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Review #7, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Weasleys Reunited

16th January 2013:
A good chapter with lots going on. The 'feeling bond' is good. It seems to me that magical folk would have extra senses that Muggles (mostly) don't. It's something I'm using in my own fic as well - but I called it magical empathy and only a few have it (like Harry and Ginny of course!)

One weakness in this chapter was the believability of Charlie turning up within seconds of talking about him - like the Voldemort taboo! I didn't even have time to get worried! Forward planning is better. Talk about him for a chapter or two and raise the tension first.

I like the idea of the Dumbledore card reading a book with the pages turned by a pixie! I want one of those pixies!

Author's Response: I agree about having Charlie turn up like that, I should have spent more time foreshadowing. But, I wanted him home for the wedding and I was heating things up in Eastern Europe so much that I was thinking readers might have put it together already. Anyway, it sort of snuck up on me as well, it was suddenly time to bring him back and I realized I hadn't given it any build up.
I want a pixie too!
Thanks for the comments.


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Review #8, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Hermiones Happy Place

7th January 2013:
Inevitably, most readers reviews get shorter as they progress through a story because on-going loves and hates have all been expressed and no point in repeating them except where one has to. This chapter is okay-ish but still feel not much is progressing. Well, for Voldemort it is but Harry seems in no hurry to save the world. He may get too comfortable in his new home. At least the library seems a good place to research things that might help.

To answer your question about Scrimgeour, I'd like him better if he were offering to help Harry but I get the feeling he wants Harry to help him. He has his own agenda. He wants Harry to be Ministry-led whereas the Ministry ought to be looking to Harry for guidance as to how they can support him. Scrimgeour ought to be anxious to assist in expediting the unfoldment of the prophecy. Harry is the chosen one, not Scrimgeour. If he doesn't believe in that then he must think Harry's just a schoolkid freak who happened to have survived a killing curse but he might be of use to promote the Ministry line. Compare Lupin in DH where he offered his help no questions asked.

Author's Response: I agree, in fact I think I am having a bit of frustration with myself in that regard. The chapters I am writing right now feel very much like housekeeping, or set-up. It is all important events but none of it appears to forward the main plot very much. Which may be why so many of my readers really like the Draco chapters, because at least there the character development is more dramatic and mysterious. I will be happy when I get through the events of the summer and get the characters back to Hogwarts.
Right now I am finishing up the chapter with Harry's Birthday, then there will be the Wedding and probably one more in which they get all their Hogwarts letters and do their final preparations, then finally they will return to Hogwarts. Would some more dramatic action sequences help?
As far as Scrimgeour goes, I was just curious about your thinking on the matter. I get what you are saying, but for me personally it would be extremely out of character for him to follow Harry, or anyone for that matter, when he is the "head of state". He cannot be seen to be following Harry because he has been elected to the highest post, and he must be the leader. At this point, to the Wizard World at large, (not the readers) there is no hard evidence that Harry is indeed "the chosen one", nor is anyone outside the inner circle aware of the content of the prophecy. I think Scrimgeour knows that Harry is indeed significant and may well be "the chosen one" but the absolute best he can do is cooperate with Harry, he cannot be seen to be following him. That is what made me curious as to why you listed him among the "Bad Guys". In Rowling's written encounters I always thought that it was Harry that was being completely uncooperative, I never saw anything nefarious about Scrimgeour's agenda, and in fact as he dies fairly quickly into DH I don't think there was. I think he really tried his best and I felt like he might have been able to do a better job if the Order had cooperated a bit and helped him understand what he was up against. But, it didn't serve the story to do so. To me it felt a bit contrived. It made Harry complicit in the downfall of the Ministry in DH, because he insisted on leaving them out in the cold. Even though he would not have had to share anything particularly vital in order to help Scrimgeour root out some of the evil in the Ministry.
I happily read DH and was glad that the story concluded, but there was a lot I did not like about it. And that was hard after being so involved in the books.
The next chapter should be up soon, I am actually having more problems with validation at the moment so I am trying to find another Beta reader. That and the holidays have been a huge distraction.
Thanks for everything and There should be more soon.


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Review #9, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Welcome to the Jungle

5th January 2013:
Good chapter. Well-written. Be interesting to see what happens next to Draco. You'll have to write faster - I'm catching you up! :) Looking forward to Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Neville bashing Scrimgeour, Snape, Draco, and Voldy! Well... I can dream can't I?

On the previous chapter fight sequence I yield the point. The vision in my head was of 10 or 20 Aurors plus Moody and Kingsley all pointing their wands at one man so the outcome was puzzling.

BTW the server or a connection crashed when I posted my original review for that so I had to rewrite it all. That might be why your response was rejected - there's probably a rogue empty review like a spanner in the works somewhere

Author's Response: Draco has a lot to do before he can ever come home.
yes I suspect you will indeed catch me up very soon. I am writing as I can, but with the holidays I had lots of family obligations etc. My oldest daughter is still visiting and she likes to use my computer all the time, but I am working at it.

Sounds like a nice dream, but I think I'm likely to let you down on those specific requirements. I am curious, of that list, what makes you see Scrimgeour as one of the bad guys?

I will look forward to your next. Thanks so much.


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Review #10, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Ministry Mayhem

4th January 2013:
Some interesting things going on here but the fight sequence just does not work. Why did all those trained Aurors not cut down Yaxley in an instant? Why did Kingsley shout "Yaxley!" when he should have shouted "Stupefy!" or some such and everyone else remained silent, pausing for dramatic effect and to give time for Yaxley to strike? The security Muggle reads like someone who routinely murders people and then grins about it instead of checking to see if the guy is dead, or needs help for his injuries, or indeed, is still a threat. He doesn't treat Yaxley as if he were a real person so therefore, I, as a reader, can't either - and the incident loses power and meaning.

The meeting with Scrimgeour was fine at the start but kind of duplicated what was at the end of HBP yet with Harry seeming to yield instead of resist. It also didn't bring out exactly what Harry could do for the Ministry or what the Ministry could do for Harry. Might be interesting to see what comes of that.

Author's Response: All I can do here is try to address each point of your string of questions. I will make an assumption here if I am incorrect I apologize. But I assume you have never experienced any sort of actual conflict of this sort. I myself am a combat veteran and I can tell you in the heat of conflict even the best trained soldiers do not always do exactly as they ought. Why didn’t the Aurors cut Yaxley down in an instant? Well, one can only assume that like any police force they are not necessarily used to engaging in these sorts of battles as they really do not happen all that frequently. They did in fact get the upper hand but Yaxley was able to defeat them with one extraordinarily powerful spell, which Harry and Kingsley were just able to escape by casting shield charms. I take your point that Kinglsy should have just cast a spell when he yelled the mans name, but my assumption was that he was actually surprised by the man’s identity and may have thought that if he got his attention the whole conflict could have gone another way. After all at that point Yaxley was the last DE standing. It was a misjudgment on Kingsley’s part, but not an unprecedented one in such conflicts.
As far as Mr. Flemming goes I believe he is acting exactly in character if you manage to root out the literary reference here and let that inform your understanding of the character.
Sean Flemming is a combination of names, Sean Connery, and Ian Flemming, and the description of the man is almost directly that of the description Ian Flemming wrote of James Bond. Now, I am not in any way trying to write a crossover here, but it is a literary reference to another fictional world, and if you have any understanding of that world it should inform your understanding of who this character is and what he might be like. At the very least, though he is not James Bond, he is patterned from that mold. The name is simply a nod to that other work.
My take is sort of this. If the James Bond stories had been written based on real, Royal Secret Service agents, if such secret service existed Sean Flemming would be one of these guys, and he has been sent into the Magical world at the behest of the Prime Minister. After all, why wouldn’t the Muggles take the opportunity to gather intelligence, especially when the Prime Minister does not know, and is not being told by the Ministry of Magic, any particular details about what is actually going on in the Magical world. Instead he is being treated like a Muggle and is essentially being told, “Oh, not to worry, there is a bad thing happening in the magical world, and it may overflow in to the Muggle world, but we’ll handle it.” If I were the Prime Minister and was getting this sort of a brush off, but the concern was grave enough to warrant the placement of a Wizard (Kingsley) on my direct staff. I would seize upon any opportunity to send in my very best agent as well.

The conversation with Scrimgeour was intended to be much informed by that of HBP, with one very crucial difference. Harry is now ready to actually listen. Hopefully some rather interesting things will come from that conversation, one of them being an ongoing dialogue and the other being the formation of a Wizard Army, both of which are hinted at and will take shape in further chapters.

As ever I am enjoying your observations and comments. I look forward to more. However as the next chapter is a Draco chapter, I will anticipate a pre-stated lack of interest.
As always, thank you so much, and happy reading.


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Review #11, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: The Most Noble and Honorable House of Potter

3rd January 2013:
Firstly, let me say I'm pleased to hear you mention in a previous response there may be some Hogwarts time. I feel more at home there (even though some of my fics have travelled to other locations.)

I like the creaking step. I hate it when someone just turns up by amazing coincidence without a good explanation so this seemed very reasonable. Ginny would mostly be thinking of Harry quite naturally and keyed up to this opportunity if she was awake (maybe even if she was half-asleep!)

The manor scenario worked OK and was readable for me even though not a big WOW factor. I wouldn't want to read it twice though - big house and erm... an elf... in a big house. But I didn't skip anything. Promise.

One thing puzzles me. The doorknob thing is not what I expected. I thought it would be more independent like a portkey. So where's the security? I mean, what happened when Mrs Weasley went to get the bacon out of her pantry that morning. Didn't she say to herself, "Funny, don't remember my pantry being this big?" It can't be Potter only - or Potter with guest(s) because they all came through later with the elf. And suppose Scrimgeour or somebody pops in via the floo network into the Burrow while they're gone? Or Mundungus Fletcher? When they get back they may find all the silver gone.

Anyway, your Burrow kitchen is like my concept - back door, pantry door, door to living room (which I call parlour in my fics as it's more old-fashioned.) Sometimes I visualise a hallway with foot of the stairs in between kitchen and parlour. Funny that.

Author's Response: Yes, They will be returning to Hogwarts.
Hmm.. seems you are a tough one. I will have to eventually come up with an amazing twist or something to really get you engaged. Still, I love that you are reading the story.
Forgive me but I truly enjoy the irony of your asking me a question about a detail that was only implied. Okay, I am not asking you to go back and reread or anything, but, right before Harry and Ginny stepped through the door, while it was active and full of ribbons of light, Harry removed the Portis Omnibus and put it in his robe pocket. When they were in the new space and the door shut, there was no light effect, the implication being that the portal was no longer active. The entry security is handled by the combination or turns of the nob, which Harry got from the poem, and since he kept the knob with him, there was no risk of anyone accidentally finding an active portal.
Now, to the issue of Molly going in to the pantry. Well, this is really the missing detail, because there is no mention that she found the wooden nob sitting on the counter where Harry had left it. I did almost write this, but ultimately it is a very minor thing and I thought no one would notice. In fact, you are the first to notice, or at least to say anything. My own explanation for this omission is that The Burrow is not in the best condition, and the nob probably comes off on a fairly frequent basis, so Molly did in fact find the nob when she got up to start breakfast, but she just thought nothing of it. Simple I know, but it didn't seem worth a couple extra paragraphs at the time to explain.
Obviously then, when Jarvy returns to the Manor and brings the others he has the Portis Omnibus from Harry, but this detail also seemed hardy worth the words required to explain it.
The floo network is another discussion entirely. It is sort of a pet peeve of mine that JKR never defined it further. I have always imagined that there must be some way that a floo traveler can announce or even request to uses a private floo prior to travel and or arrival. And there must be some way to lock your private floo to prevent unwelcome arrivals, for the very reasons of the example you give. In my other story, (which I am not suggesting you read as I doubt you would be interested) I have the floo as lockable. Of course this creates some problems with canon. In CS when Harry arrives at Borgin and Burkes via floo I always assumed that Harry arrived at the nearest unlocked grate closest to his intended destination. But, this is just my assumption as the information in canon is not specific. His mispronunciation of "Diagon Alley" was clearly enough to prevent a solid floo journey to his intended destination, but it was not sufficiently like "Borgin and Burkes" to send him directly there without it being some sort of proximity. Anyway that is my take.
I do hope that answers your question.
I am pleased that we have a similar take on the The Burrow kitchen. Every once in a while I get so involved that I will actually draw out a floor plan of a structure I am writing about, but I have not yet done that for any of the structures in this story. I have come close for both the Burrow and the Manor, but no blueprints yet.
Well, anyway, thank you for reading and commenting, and as always happy reading.


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Review #12, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: The Lock-Box

3rd January 2013:
The second half of this chapter draws more interest - more actual story. The leaf flutter charm is an inventive idea and the SPEW badge pin doubly strong because it impresses Hermione as well as being a useful, believable tool for the moment. The lockbox contents progress the story. I think that's the weakness elsewhere for me: slow-paced and lacking progression - too much routine background. Maybe I've read too many Potter fics but I think background story should be going on in the background as a 'given' while the real story, a focus of interest, continuously unfolds on top, eg, the lockbox opening is the story here, the tree house is background. So if this had only been a tea party in a tree house it would have been rather routine. I think I like the main young characters though - it feels like them.

Author's Response: Point taken.
It pleases me that the characters feel right to you, I am taking liberties with them of course so that they grow through the story, but hopefully this growth will feel natural.
I find myself anticipating your comments on the next chapter. It is admittedly background building in nature, but also foundational.
Thank you for all your time, reading and commenting.


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Review #13, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Appenzeller, Gutzwiller, Lienhart & Prcht

2nd January 2013:
Another good chapter. May be an inheritance too far? He's already got an inheritance from his parents and from Sirius that is incalculable. Plus there's the inheritance that's gone to the Dursleys. Now another inheritance to top the lot many times over by the sound of it. OTT. The only thing of interest might be any extra goodies; the money isn't story-interesting for me at this point so I wish his grandparents had been poor and just left him some exceptional magical gift, a personal item, a moving message, etc.

Good riddance to the Dursleys anyway. I loathe and despise them for the abuse and torture they have put Harry through for sixteen years and am unable to care much for Petunia even if she is having a change of heart (after sixteen years?) I'd be happy to see them thrown into a dungeon forever for child abuse. Instead, they are rewarded for their evil.

That said, it is perfectly acceptable and even laudable to write about any aspect or change in the Harry Potter story and this writing is above average and very good (apart from things I've mentioned before like adjective listing - I really don't care that one of these legal guys has blue eyes or what pants he's wearing.)

The problem is that no matter how well written, readers have different values and interests. So I love some of the chapters but others are mixed or soso not because they are bad but because they are not my kind of story. I hate shopping so a shopping trip is boring to me. Fashion is boring to me. I hate Petunia. I hate Draco. I'm not interested in giraffe diseases or chamber music or the wheat production of Kansas in the 19th century so I hope there are no chapters about those. That's how it is. ;)

What I am saying is that this is not a criticism. This story is in some ways one of the best-written fics I've read. It's what it is writing about that varies the interest and enjoyment for me. For anyone who loves good Draco, money, good Petunia, fashion, (Muggle) shopping trips, etc. this is perfect. Chapters 2 and 3 are probably my fav chapters so far.

I have this bookmarked so will keep reading - but it is competing with a lot of other stuff!

Author's Response: Thank you!
A very fair assessment. I completely understand. If I were writing this story for publication I would edit out tons of material, probably better than half because it feeds Fanon and not necessarily the plot. I have found that many, many fanfic readers really crave all the little details, because they want to know everything there is to know about Harry Potter and the world he lives in. So, I am knowingly guilty of creating a detailed and expanded Potterverse for this story to exist in, which as you know now includes things like juxtaposing Diagon Alley, in one chapter, with a Muggle shopping center in another. I can completely understand, particularly for the more discerning reader that this can become cumbersome. However, I would argue that the majority of readers I run in to here are simply soaking in the detail. If you were to read reviews I think you would see the same. It is a Fanfic and so it is admittedly indulgent. That said...

The money is not going to be the important aspect of Harry's further inheritance, Harry already does not care about money. And, you are past dealing with the Dursleys! there may be a reference to them later in the story, but you'll like it, I think.
Hmm... giraffe diseases, chamber music and 19th century Kansas wheat production... Maybe I'll work them in just as a nod to your beautifully illustrative list. (Just kidding!) Your point is well made and understood, and may actually inform some of the new chapters. I have long anticipated that once I get them back to Hogwarts the story would come much more into focus.
I do appreciate your high praise and I hope you will stick with the story, your observations are quite valuable.

Thanks again for reading and commenting, and as always, Happy Reading!


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Review #14, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Alert and Alive

2nd January 2013:
Interesting but feels like a separate story - which it is. Also, hard for me to relate to because I don't like Draco. :(

Author's Response: I don't normally like Draco either. I cringe when I see all the Fan fics that center around him, especially the ones that feature impossible pairing like Dramione fics. So I set out to strip him down and rebuild him. to do that he has to be set outside himself. I know that it amounts to a separate story, and from your comments that is obviously a technique you do not approve of, but it will all come back together eventually. And hopefully, through the process Draco may be transformed in to a character that is actually likable. Anyway, that is the goal, but I am not one to try to compress the complexities of a story into a few paragraphs, so it will take some time. It has to, in order to be believable.
Thanks for the comments and the reading!


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Review #15, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Muggle Shopping

2nd January 2013:
Interesting chapter but a lot of over-detailed routine stuff and Petunia is hard to believe.

Author's Response: Sounds like I am losing you... I understand that for some people it is just impossible to see any of the Dursleys as characters capable of anything other than the pettiness of their small lives.
Thanks for the comments. I am glad you are still reading!


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Review #16, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Diagon Dalliance

1st January 2013:
Very interesting chapter. But who set up the account? Not Dumbledore. Not Sirius I don't think because he would not know about the Dursleys taking in Harry. Remus was always skint - but maybe that's why he was skint. Peter Pettigrew out of guilt? Only Hagrid and McGonagall really knew about the Dursleys originally. Can't see either of them having enough dosh. Snape? He might have an interest in caring for Lily's son but I don't think he ever had much money either.

Author's Response: A very interesting question, and astute considerations. The answer will come soon enough, and I will be curious as to your reaction.
I do hope I have you hooked by now and you will continue with the story. Thank you so much for all the comments! See you next chapter, and looking forward to it.


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Review #17, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Life and Learning at Privet Drive

1st January 2013:
The whisper was a great idea. Petunia? I almost felt sorry for her until she realised how much money there was!

Author's Response: Thanks for continuing with the story.
When I originally wrote all of this there was a fairly large argument with a couple of reviewers about the whole issue of money and the Dursleys. Just made me understand how wide the differences in character interpretation can go, and how passionately some people feel about the issue of "abuse" in the Dursley household. Hopefully as you read more chapters everything will fall in to place.
Thanks again and Happy reading!


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Review #18, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Draco Displaced

1st January 2013:
Nicely written but we're in a completely different fantasy here without foundation or connection.

Author's Response: Doesn't it connect directly to the prologue? This is uncharted territory with little or no foundation in established canon, so you may have to bear with it till it starts to make sense. The whole idea is to put Draco completely outside anything he knows. Trust me, the parallel stories will eventually come together.
Thanks for the read and the comments, hope you are still enjoying.


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Review #19, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Privet Perplexed

1st January 2013:
Very good chapter. The letter to Ginny was very moving. Dursleys' behaviour intriguing. Maybe a tad too much fine detail, e.g., open and close every door, 2 mins in microwave, but not too serious.

Author's Response: Thanks, I am definitely guilty of going into detail when I write. I actually edit quite a bit out of initial drafts. It is an uphill battle for me as I personally enjoy fine detail. You should have seen to architectural detail that got cut from the original first chapter. You'd have blown a gasket.
Still, you seem to be enjoying the story overall and I thank you for that.
Thanks again.


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Review #20, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: A Little Advice

1st January 2013:
Another well above average chapter. Dumbledore sounds like Dumbledore. I think though, he is so polite he might use a ruse to send away R & H by saying things have changed and would they double-check the train again? Look for anything out of the ordinary but don't arouse anyone's suspicions with too many questions. Harry rises to go with them but D says no as he's not a prefect and it would attract attention. Once outside, Hermione drags Ron to end of the train where Fawkes came. Ron says what you going this way for? H says, D'uh! D knows we'll have already checked the train. He just wants to talk to H privately. This is where I'd put the first kiss with H taking the initiative. But if you really wanted to stay Harry-centric then this would have to be implied on their return.

'petite, boisterous, quick-witted' is adjective-listing like the catwalk again only this time it's a CV. Just use one there and slip the others in elsewhere if they are really needed. Now the next-but-one para described Harry's view of the different aspects of Ginny and this works perfectly to bunch together a lot of stuff about her without being an obvious author's list.

"Harry?" Dumbledore reminded gently. - I love this stuff; just how JKR writes, simple but spot on.

Dursley's should be Dursleys', where Dursleys is the plural that Dumbledore uses later so he can't be wrong!

A gem of a chapter with attention to little details! The frog card adds another dimension and I really, really hope that Harry and Ginny get together or can keep in touch. Not perfect but close to the look and feel of the original works by JKR. I think I'm starting to fall in love with this story and I've never said that about any other fic. :)

Author's Response: Thank you, very high praise I must say, thank you for that.
As far as your comments on how you would have done things differently, all I can say is, I will write as I feel the scenes and hope at least to be consistent to my characterizations. I hope my interpretations don't put you off.
I will go back and correct the misused plural.
Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading, I will definitely look forward to your comments on further chapters.
Happy reading!


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Review #21, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Beyond Friendships & Chocolate Frogs

1st January 2013:
Technically well-written, flows along nicely and is comfortably readable. I really like some of the ideas expressed and the simple words chosen so carefully (grabbing Ron's free arm ... She pulled him into motion.) Only another writer probably notices these things. But repeating that phrase soon after is bad. Except for emphasis or dramatic effect it's almost always best to vary words and phrases when they are within a few sentences of one another. Prowritingaid is good for spotting these and it's free - and I'm sure you already use a thesaurus.

I didn't quite feel the Ron and Hermione getting together thing quite worked for me - it felt staged, contrived like you want them to have 'the big kiss scene'. Firstly, blushing is overdone in Potter fics. I know because I probably overdo it in my own stories - it's an easy way to convey character embarrassment. But mainly, I don't think Ron would propose a romance to Hermione so formally, especially in front of Harry. Who knows? Maybe he would do the awkward scene.

I agree they could be holding hands spontaneously from comforting one another at the funeral and that they might pull apart, embarrassed when Harry pointed it out. But then I'd like to think Ron, after a minute or two would again take Hermione's hand in his left hand and place it symbolically in his right, look Hermione in the eye, and say something like "To hell with Harry," and nod at her questioningly and she would smile her agreement back. That's a powerful proposal. Maybe she would hug him. I don't feel they would snog right there but would grow together more naturally without any formal declaration and a kiss would happen more spontaneously, probably when they had more privacy. That's my take anyway in that situation.

Heartbreaking for Ginny to begin to reach out to Harry then pull back. There is other subtle, well-observed behaviour like that - such as when she shakes her head not saying 'no' but shaking herself free and diverting to another topic of conversation. But 'obviously avoiding eye contact' is ambiguous and might mean 'it's obvious why she avoided eye contact.' I think better might be, 'her avoidance of eye contact with Harry was obvious.'

Clothing is, at first, mentioned minimally as part of the action (good!) but then Hermione emerges and it starts to read like a catwalk commentary (though not as bad as some fics!) Avoid! Do it more subtly, maybe via Ron's thoughts or just leave it out.

The idea of the card base was brilliant - but I got the early impression from words like 'bit' that it was a piece of broken pewter so got confused later when talking about 'the base' and had to re-read that section, so it kind of spoilt it... a bit. Oh yeah, the only grammar error: Headmaster should not be capitalised when used generically.

Very good chapter. I'm back in the Potterverse! Don't know how I've missed this story before because I look for canon relationships, etc. set in Hogwarts era as my fav.

Author's Response: Thanks, and welcome back. I am pleased that you seemed to enjoy the chapter, I hope you will continue to appreciate the story.
I do not have much to say about your comments on the Ron/Hermione scene, except to say that we all have slightly different takes on things and envision things differently... But then again that is part of the joy of fan fiction to see different interpretations. For my own part, I really like Ron, but I always feel that he, at least at this point in his characterization, needs a push to get him going. In this case he gets his nudges from both Harry and Hermione who know him well. I also felt it was quite natural for Harry to play a roll in this. But, that is my character interpretation and I think perhaps, for my story it is most important that I treat the characters in a consistent way that is my own.
I am glad you like the card base, I was rather pleased when I came up with it. Hopefully I have peppered my story with lots of little items meant to enhance Rowling's magical world.
I am happy that you have discovered my story and I will look forward to reviews eagerly.
Thanks again, and welcome.


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Review #22, by HippothestrowlHarry Potter and the Heart of the Hero: Wrath of the Dark Lord

30th December 2012:
Excellent writing and a promising start. From the warning, I had feared it might be an indulgence of torture but though powerful it was well controlled and restrained.

Author's Response: Thank you. I do hope you will continue reading and comment on chapters as you proceed. It is wonderful to hear from new readers. Thanks again.

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Review #23, by HippothestrowlNeville and Luna and the Wrong Sort of Toad: Mr Pengryphon Goes Shopping

20th December 2012:
My connection crashed yesterday so my review was lost. I thing I said good chapter but story over-describes clothing and food like a list but less descriptive of other things so a bit uneven. Also bit out of character. Neville sounds a bit like Sherlock Holmes and Luna rather spoilt which she isn't. Maybe it's me. But very well written and it feels well planned.

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Review #24, by HippothestrowlNeville and Luna and the Wrong Sort of Toad: Niblick's Dilemma

17th December 2012:
It's turning into a too-light comedy that doesn't fit the Potter drama-angst-tension-with a little humour style for me. Though I did like the blue bottle line! It's so non-serious that it's in danger of not being taken seriously and we don't care too much what happens. Interesting though.

Minor grammar: 'make do' should be 'make do with' and arm chair should be armchair. But otherwise near-flawless grammar and sentence construction.

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Review #25, by HippothestrowlNeville and Luna and the Wrong Sort of Toad: Chapter 1: The Mystery of the Mill

17th December 2012:
Very interesting and intriguing story. Nicely written, good grammar and syntax. Maybe a little over-explaining here and there (characters explain to readers about no-Apparating from Hogwarts instead of talking as they would to the other character.) Perhaps rather simplistic and over-light (considering the seriousness of the situations.) Some logical anomalies (chatting, scraping off gloop yet wands out when they go upstairs? Also why aren't they asking the Ministry (ie, Kingsley) about her dad being in prison. Isn't that the most likely place to start looking for him? And why wait 10 days? Wouldn't the first thing you want to do after months locked up at Malfoys then fight in a battle, is to go and find your father? Maybe I missed something.)

However, overall, very readable and promising and the author has potential.

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