Reading Reviews From Member: Cassius Alcinder
  
383 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Cassius AlcinderHow to Fly: How to Fly

23rd August 2014:
Review tag!

This story managed to convey so much depth and emotional growth in such a short span, it truly does make every word count.

The repetition of the line about having flown on a hippogriff and a dragon was used very effectively. It really drives home the point that Hermione has done some pretty crazy things in her life, but that parenthood presented a whole new set of challenges that nothing could have prepared her for.

You did a really good job of capturing the emotions that a new mother would have been going through, and then progressing things as the daughter got older, and ultimately flipping the tables as she went off to school. All in all a very strong effort.

Author's Response: Hi!

Thanks for this lovely review. I'm glad Hermione's mantra didn't come off as overdone. With only 500 words, I didn't want to overuse any of them - haha!

I've had a little experience with motherhood and one of the biggest surprises is how much I learn from my own kids!

Thanks again for these kind words.

Beth


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Review #2, by Cassius AlcinderHogwarts Reclaimed: Ravenclaw - MargaretLane

2nd August 2014:
I remember being pretty fascinated by the opening chapter of book 6 and all its insights into the relation between the magical world and our own.

It was interesting to see the challenges that Kingsley would be facing having to clean up the old regime's mess. It's also good to see that he was able to use his experience working in the PM's office to help bridge the gaps between worlds.

I would predict that Kingsley is going to do a much better job than the likes of Fudge.

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Review #3, by Cassius AlcinderThe Wizarding World War: Prologue : The Wizarding Hemispheric Conflict of 1979

19th June 2014:
Review tag!

This story grabbed my attention right away because of the unique setting and events, which make it look very original. We see some glimpses in the books the the magical community has a global reach, and focusing on China is a very interesting idea that gives you a lot of room for creativity.

I like the way the story starts right in the middle of the action, and the revelation that the Chinese wizards are going to try to take over Europe creates some immediate suspense that makes the reader want to keep reading and find out what happens next.

Also, the main character being a Muggle adds a further dimension of intrigue, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Looks like you're off to a good start!

Author's Response: Thanks for reading & reviewing! Glad you enjoyed it!

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Review #4, by Cassius AlcinderHarry Potter and the Plot of Power: 00 Prologue

1st June 2014:
Review tag!

First of all, this definitely accomplishes the primary goal of a prologue, which is to leave a hook to build interest in the rest of the story.

There was a great sense of mystery and foreboding, as I was instantly wondering what this experiment was. While that hasn't been revealed yet, the fact that the subjects were dying was enough to let the reader know that it is something very dangerous and help build more suspense. There was also just the right amount of description that I got a sense of the setting and what the characters looked like without getting too bogged down in it.

The hook in the last paragraph was excellent. It left me wondering who this man is, what happened to him in the past, and why he has it in for Harry, which obviously I will have to read on to find out. All in all an effective start to what seems to be an intriguing and very original story.

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Review #5, by Cassius AlcinderLike a Rat in a Maze: Coal-black Eyes

12th May 2014:
Here from review tag!

This story was so wonderfully creepy! I really enjoyed the sort of M. Night Shyamalan-esque twist at the end (not to insult you witht the comparison t= though because his movies have gotten pretty lame). Peter is caught in such a mind game and I almost feel bad for him but then I don't because its Peter.

Speaking of Peter, I enjoyed the way you portrayed him here. He just seemed so weak and pathetic, which is exactly how I would picture him at this point. It was great to see the contrast between him and Snape; the man who risks everything for the one thing he believes in against the man with no convictions.

I have to say my favorite part of the story was the dialogue. The way that Snape talked to Peter, his words were just dripping with condescension and contempt. I totally read it in Alan Rickman's voice.

I look forward to catching up on more of your stories over the summer!

Author's Response: Hi, there.

I tried to conceal the twist for as long as I could, and I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I don't think anyone should feel bad for Peter. He made his bed, now he's lying in it.

I was trying to portray Peter more in line with his book characterization than his movie characterization. In the movies, he was almost cartoonish. Fawning and pathetic. I didn't remember him that way from the books.

If Snape's voice sounded like Alan Rickman's Snape to you, then I accomplished what I set out to.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #6, by Cassius AlcinderPlaying Pretend: The Last Remaining Fan

14th March 2014:
Wow, it looks like you have a bunch of new stories that I have to add to my summer reading list!

This was a very interesting take on Lockhart. In the book he was something a comic figure, and I couldn't help but chuckle at how he ended up. However, you managed to spin a much darker and introspective look at what would have actually happened to somebody who met his fate.

There seems to be a strong sense of karma in the way that Lockhart had constructed his whole identity through dishonesty and co-opting the experiences of others, and how when that is taken away from him he doesn't know what is left. His lies have come back to bite him, but I also sympathized with him even though he made his own bed because he just seems so sad and lonely now. While it may have been satisfying to see him try to right his past wrongs, he was probably too far gone at this point.

As usual, the imagery in the story was excellent, and really set the tone. You could really get a sense of the broken-ness and confusion that surrounded him.

Looks like I have some catching up to do!

-James

Author's Response: Hey James!

The story was actually way darker the way I wrote it initially, but I ended up wanting some kind of redemption for Lockhart. I felt that he had done the penance for his lies and deserved to have a little peace and dignity in his final days--which he would never have gotten had he not been forced to give up his farce of multiple roles.

He definitely was lonely and confused in his final days, but I actually view it as a good thing. His memory loss forced him to try to piece together who he really was and live with that, though I don't believe he was able to accomplish it fully before he died.

It's great to hear that you liked the imagery, too, as I worked especially hard on that. Hope you return for more stories later! Thanks so much for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #7, by Cassius AlcinderThe Network: Rat

13th December 2013:
Here from review tag!

I have to compliment you on the overall idea of the story. I looks very creative, and I especially enjoy stories about little known characters. I didn't find Marietta very sympathetic in the books, so I'm really curious to see how you make her work as a protagonist.

The opening set the scene very well, giving a vibe of boredom and drudgery, yet with a dark sinister air seeming to lurk below the surface. Whatever is happening in the network, I'm sure there's something shady going on.

I feel so bad for Reg! Wasn't he the guy Ron turns into when they polyjuice in Book 7? He just seems like a nice simple man, oblivious to the dark machinations around him.

That was an interesting twist with the face potion, I almost felt bad for Marietta even though I was totally rooting for Hermione in the books.

I'm very interested to see what happens next.

Author's Response: Hello! I'm glad the premise of the story sounds interesting to you :) I didn't find Marietta very sympathetic in the books, either. But I do like writing these sorts of minor antagonists; it's always fun to explore the way they think and why they do the things they do.

Reg is indeed the bloke Ron turns into with Polyjuice. And yep, he's a pretty naive and ignorant character, at least that was how I saw him when I read DH for the first time.

Glad this story has interested you! Thanks for the lovely review :)

-teh


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Review #8, by Cassius AlcinderThe Joker and Her: Holding On, Letting Go

22nd August 2013:
Back for the penultimate chapter! (love that word)

The scene where Brienne receives her mother's necklace was very well written. We could really feel the sense of memories and nostalgia coming over her, and how anything that reminds he of her mother might be a reassuring presence, kind of like Harry's stag patronus. But of course, there might be danger lurking inside it. Stanley can be such a killjoy, but its probably better to be safe.

Just like Harry and friends, they still have to be students and take exams on top of everything else that's going on, so it was good that you included that.

Paul's presence adds an interesting twist, and I imagine he may come into play in the sequel.

And the closing scene between Brienne and George, just perfect. Totally sums up the awkwardness of all their interactions so far, and how they're still drawn to each other in spite of it all.

Can't wait to see how this ends!

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm really glad you like this chapter, it was a tough one to write what with the last scene and the introduction of Paul.

Thank you very much for the review and I hope you like the epilogue :)


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Review #9, by Cassius AlcinderThe Joker and Her: Birthdays

16th August 2013:
Back again for Chapter 21!

It was amusing to see which Muggle traditions crossed over into the wizard world, and I wonder if the super sweet 16 thing will catch on with them.

And of course, Fred and George couldnt let their their own birthday be forgotten. And then when George tried to kiss her, that captured the painful awkwardness of teenage romance very effectively.

It's also good to see that Stanley is finally making some progress on the investigation. Now that we know who the suspects are, the tension seems to be rising.

Can't wait to see how this ends!

Author's Response: Hi! :) Nice to have a review from you again!

Really glad you like this chapter and I hope you enjoy the ending when you get to it :)

Thank you very much!


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Review #10, by Cassius AlcinderGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Prologue

15th August 2013:
Here from review tag!

This seems to be a very ambitious project, and it appears that you're off to a good start. The descriptions and imagery were really well done. While we don't really know anything about this girl yet, we can already feel her plight, establishing her as a sympathetic figure. It is pretty apparent that she has a great significance that we may find out more about soon.

That was an interesting bit about that animagus cat as well, I'm guessing it was Minerva?

Anyway, this was a very effective prolougue that gives the reader just enough to be a hook, but doesn't overwhelm with too much right away.

Author's Response: Two review tag responses? WOW! How did that work? Not that I'm complaining because these just made my day!

Yes, this is a huge project. I've been working on it off and on again for 6 years, but never dared to post it until now. I was just so unsure of myself and afraid people would blast this character I'd come to care about to shreds for being a Mary Sue or cliché or dumb or whatever. I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to have you say you connected with her while reading. And in only the first little part, too.

Good guess on the cat...although just a little off as well.

Thanks so much! So nice and reassuring to get a positive review on something I was so worried about.


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Review #11, by Cassius AlcinderAlbanian Knights: Prologue

5th August 2013:
Here from review tag!

First, I have to complement the originality of the premise. The idea that everything just completely ended after the battle of hogwarts just seems too easy, so it's totally believable that there would be some sort of underground movement.

The setting was effectively used, and helped set a mysterious and foreboding mood about the events. I'm pretty confused about what happened to the wife between entering the circle and finding out that she's dead, but perhaps that is something that will be revealed later on.

The ending was an effective hook that makes one want to find out more about what happens next and how she will grow up.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the kind review! Hope you continue reading :)

The events that happened at the ruins were left pretty vague intentionally. Don't worry, eventually you'll get a full run-down about what took place that night, why Edona was killed and why Abner left Isabelle.


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Review #12, by Cassius AlcinderThe Truth About the Marauders: Two

4th August 2013:
So now that the House Cup craziness is over with, I can finally get back to this story.

I think its to be expected that James and Jennifer would go their separate ways to an extent, and that part was shown pretty well. While they'll always be family, they're each going to have their own friends and interests.

And it looks like James is scheming already! It really shows how strong James and Sirius' friendship is becoming that he's willing to intentionally get detention.

Oh the angst of middle school romance! That part seemed pretty realistic and believable from what I can remember of being around that age, and since 2 years is a pretty big difference when you're that young, it's probably true that he wouldn't even be aware of her existence. We shall see what becomes of her newfound friendship with Lily!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I think after a while, James isn't going to be Jennifer's first go-to person, something that I do see a lot at school. Haha! Middle school romance! I remember when I was in middle school, it just seemed like the BIGGEST deal with your crush didn't like you back and everything. Again, thanks for reading and reviewing!(:

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Review #13, by Cassius AlcinderTravel Bug: Travel Bug

13th July 2013:
Here for the House Cup!

So here I was, waiting for Ron to come home, and it turns out it was Blaise, you got me there! That's a really good way to sell the ship for those who wouldn't ordinarily read it, and by the time we've realized its Blaise, we're already willing to give it a chance.

You did a good job of capturing the romance, one could really feel the tension. It also makes a lot of sense that Hermione would want to go to Australia since that's where she sent her parents, but Greece seems like it would be a good compromise.

This had a nice flow to it and the appropriate amount of fluff. Good work!

Author's Response: You are not alone in having thought my leading man for this story was going to be Ron! And I didn't even do that on purpose! I agree with you, though, that it worked out in the end in having people give a ship they usually wouldn't read a try. I'm glad you enjoyed it and feel I captured the romance. I wanted it to be romantic without being insufferably fluffy. You're right about my reasons for picking Australia to start off with! Thank you for all the kind words :)

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Review #14, by Cassius AlcinderPassports Required: Passports Required

13th July 2013:
I love how you managed to take one of the saddest events from the books and turn it into something lighthearted, while still respecting the gravity of it.

Fred's interactions with St. Matthew were great, and it was very funny how even the afterlife is slowed down by massive bureaucracy.

The scene of George's wedding was very touching, and I totally agree that he wouldn't pick a best man. It was great to see the twins interacting again!

Author's Response: Aw, thank you!

Fred's death tears me up inside every time I think about it. So, usually, the only way I can bear to write about it is by making something funny and irreverent. Otherwise, I'd just be a sobbing pile of goo who never wrote anything at all. I think I've become something of an expert at "saving Fred from dying." LOL.

Ah yes, bureaucracy. It follows you everywhere, doesn't it.

The wedding was so much fun to write. George and Fred just belong together, don't they? And when I have to write George alone, there's just something so wrong.

Thanks again for reading! I'm so glad you stopped by.


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Review #15, by Cassius AlcinderFinal Call: Final Call

13th July 2013:
I have to say, this portrayal of Petunia was very touching. When we see her from Harry's perspective in the books, she doesn't seem very sympathetic or likable at all, but here you were able to plausibly explore a side of her that we don't really see, but that seems to fit well with her character.

On the surface, Petunia seems to have everything she needs, decent house, stable marriage, but on the other hand, it's kind of sad that she's missing the spark and spontaneity. the part about the passport was a nice touch, showing how reality was reeling her back in.

Good work!

Author's Response: You phrased this really well! Right, she feels like if her environment shows stability, then she'll feel it on the inside as well. "Reeling her back in." Great way to put that. You...you just get it. Thanks so much for the review! Great stuff!

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Review #16, by Cassius AlcinderThe Truth About the Marauders: One

24th June 2013:
Hey, here I am for the first chapter of our swap!

Jennifer seems like an easy to relate to character so far. While many stories have employed a female character who serves as sort of a "fifth marauder," usually that character is a Mary Sue who is bff's with Lily and is the only one who can tame the wild player Sirius, but Jennifer is definitely more well rounded than that. I also enjoyed that her interactions with Lily were a pretty realistic level of drama, there was some conflict, but it wasn't over the top or anything. But I fear I can't get too attached to Jennifer knowing that she can't be around when Harry is born.

Sirius's segment was pretty enjoyable as well. I think you captured the attitudes of 11 year old Sirius pretty well. You could tell he came from an aristocratic family, and he wasn't a full fledged rebel yet, but maybe the seeds were there.

I'm looking forward to Remus and Peter's entrance!

Author's Response: I'm glad that Jennifer seems very realistic. When I started this novel, one of my goals was to make the characterization realistic because the main character of my first novel seemed to me sort of like a Mary-Sue.

Sirius is always a fascinating character for me to write because whilst he is my favourite character as well, he is still so complicated!

Remus and Peter's entrance will, unfortunately, take a bit longer because I had wanted to focus on the girls before I get into the Marauders more in depth before Fifth Year.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! (:


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Review #17, by Cassius AlcinderHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Prices Paid in Blood and Sorrow

23rd June 2013:
Aha, an anagram! It's one of those things that I wouldn't have guessed, but now that you've revealed it, it seems like it should have been obvious. Percy really was acting strange.

I was really warming up to the idea of Harry and Esme, so cruel haha

Author's Response: Yep, Percy has been under her control to a greater or lesser extent all along. And I'm glad you liked the anagram.

About the time I was writing this chapter, I really wanted to give Harry and Esme a future together. Not guaranteeing it would have been smooth sailing, but I think they could have worked it out. Some things just aren't meant to be.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #18, by Cassius AlcinderHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Acts of Faith

22nd June 2013:
I loved the Darth Vader reference, so fitting!

I really have to feel bad for Molly here, after all those years of thinking her kids were in "mortal peril" she probably let her guard down for a while, but now its happening all over again.

I really enjoyed the Terry Boot storyline, it really adds a whole new layer of suspense hoping he can stick around.

Author's Response: Hi!

I love a good Darth Vader reference. Although I find Lady Tenabra to be more similar to the Emperor.

Poor Molly is caught in that bad place between what Dumbledore would call "what is easy and what is right". She wants to know that all of her children (including the grandchildren and great grandchildren) are safe. Unfortunately, that may no longer be possible.

Terry will be around, but not in as prominent a role. I'm glad you enjoyed his subplot.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #19, by Cassius AlcinderDivided: The Tale of the Hogwarts Founders: Chapter II

22nd June 2013:
Review tag!

I enjoyed your portrayal of Godric and they way he seems to fit in with the traditional traits you would associate with Gryffindor. He's definitely brave and also noble. It was also very interesting to see the dynamics of wizard/muggle relations before the statute of secrecy was in place. As one might imagine, some wizards were probably able to adjust to living with muggles better than others, and that was explored pretty well here.

My only slight critique of this chapter is that the dialogue tends to seem a bit modern. But on the other hand, it can be pretty difficult to write medieval dialogue and I don't think anybody expects you to write in Old English or anything.

The battle scene was well executed, and it also demonstrated how easily a dangerous misunderstanding can occur when there is magic involved.

Author's Response: Thank you! I couldn't imagine wizard and muggle relations were always easy, even when wizards lived among muggles before the Statute of Secrecy, and there had to be some impetus to form a school of magic away from Muggles at that time.

You're the third person who's mentioned the dialogue, so I'll definitely go back and edit. It's a tough balance though - if I make it too medieval sounding, they all seem really pompous and the dialogue seems forced. (They got away with modern dialogue in the movie A Knight's Tale, but I don't think I can, haha!)

Thanks so much for your review!


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Review #20, by Cassius AlcinderHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: The Silliest Thing Ive Ever Heard

19th June 2013:
So now the plot is starting take form a bit more. Lady Tenabra seems like quite the formidable foe, and I'm pretty anxious to see what her endgame is.

It was great to see Luna make an appearance, and it seems like one of those times where her outside the box thinking is just what they needed.

The characterization continues to be very strong, particularly in how Hermione is struggling with her new condition, and the pressures Harry is under.

But I still think the best thing about this story is the attention to detail. Gonna read some more!

Author's Response: Hi, there! It's awesome to see you back.

Lady Tenabra is a very clever and cunning villain, and she has a lot of different angles that she's playing in this conspiracy. Her endgame is tied up very intricately in several of the story's subplots.

One of my greatest regrets is that I couldn't think of more opportunities to work Luna into the story. She's such a fun character to write, although rather intimidating at the same time.

I'm really pleased that you like the characterization. I worked really hard to try to keep them all true to the books while aging them in a realistic way.

Details really help to sell a story, I think, so I appreciate the complement.

Thanks so much for the review. I'm really glad you're enjoying it!


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Review #21, by Cassius AlcinderBad Blood: One

17th June 2013:
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction for review tag!

The descriptions in the opening section were so effective at setting a tone for the story. It was so creepy, and had the same kind if feel as an Edgar Allen Poe story. Like seriously, there were chills.

Then there was a transition from the scary to the mundane as we joined the Marauders for breakfast. You did a good job at capturing the nuances of their characters, and especially showing that while James likes to joke around, he also has a very serious protective side when somebody he cares about is in danger.

And the ending was pretty much the perfect cliffhanger, and it kind of had an Agatha Christie type feel to it.

I'm def looking forward to reading the rest!

Author's Response: Thanks for taking me up on reviewing this! I'm really pleased you liked that opening section, too -- I concentrated especially on the descriptions, making them creepy enough to separate from James's section later on. You had me grinning like mad at the Poe reference; I adore Poe. ♥ And for as lighthearted as I try to write the Marauders, I do aim to make this story a bit creepy, so you've really boosted my confidence in that respect as well.

I adore writing about those boys, and this story was largely born from my mourning the end of the Marauders era trilogy I've been working on for nearly two years. ;) Is that sad? Maybe a little bit. They're just such a fun group, and I do think Marauders is my favorite era to write. James is also my favorite of the four to work on, which is largely one of the reasons he's the narrator of this first part (even though it also just makes the most sense). He's matured more than Sirius here, definitely, and I do think he has a more serious side; he can recognize the serious from what's more appropriate to joke about. (No puns intended in that last sentence!)

You've referenced two of my favorite mystery writers in one review! How can I ever, ever thank you for that?! Carolyn Keene and Agatha Christie drove my young reading tendencies, and being compared to Christie is one of the best things I've ever heard in a review.

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this for me! I appreciated it so much -- I can't even tell you. :) You're awesome!


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Review #22, by Cassius AlcinderThe Joker and Her: Information

13th June 2013:
So I first of all, I saw that you've completed the story now. Congratulations! Not too many people can say they've written a whole novel, its a pretty big accomplishment.

This seemed like a transitional chapter where we needed to process the new events, and move forwards towards whatever is coming next, and it worked really well in that role. Siuris' instrusion was a lot to take in, and it would likely have a pretty big effect on somebody in Brienne's situation.

We got to see a little more of Fred and George's serious side here, which we didn't see a whole lot of in the books, but we know its there. For all of their joking around, they're definitely ready to fight if their family is in danger.

Can't wait to read the rest!

Author's Response: Hi! Great to see a review from you again :)

Yeah, this is basically a reaction and aftermath chapter xD And I like writing all sides of the twins, serious and playful, I think it makes them more human :)

Thank you so much for your review!


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Review #23, by Cassius AlcinderDivided: The Tale of the Hogwarts Founders: Chapter I

9th June 2013:
Review tag!

So I really enjoyed the Medieval setting and how its employed here. A canon nerd would note that this takes place before the statute of secrecy was passed, so wizards at this time may have lived openly among Muggles, which you incorporated nicely.

I also enjoyed the incorporation of the historical context, such as the Viking raids on England, as well as the social norms of the different classes.

Rowena seemed like a Ravenclaw, being witty and all that, and Helga is pretty much a model Hufflepuff. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Author's Response: Thanks! I figured it'd be important to mention historical events from the Muggle world, because even wizards from that time period would be concerned about them, since they weren't living in separate societies then. I'm glad you liked the characterisation. Thanks so much for your review!

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Review #24, by Cassius AlcinderHow I Saved the Wizarding World with Hair Potions, By Gilderoy Lockhart: Hair-Care Potion Maker Extraordinaire

2nd June 2013:
Review tag!

So I've always thought Lockhart was a bit overlooked in fanfiction, but you really captured him perfectly here. His arrogance and vanity, combined with a complete lack of awareness for what is actually going on around him, were totally spot on.

Giving James the fins was such classic Lockhart, and was very good foreshadowing of how he eventually is as a professor. Just like when they go into the chamber of secrets, Lockhart manages to make things worse when he tries to help, and every time he has to actually do something, his myth unravels a little more. The part with the potion at the end was pretty great too, especially how he was completely oblivious to the significance of the name Lily and what that would mean for James.

Great job at completely nailing Lockhart.

Author's Response: Thank you so much. It was really fun to write from the POV of such an oblivious, biased narrator, lol. I'm so glad you liked it!

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Review #25, by Cassius AlcinderHer Other Soul: Prologue

28th May 2013:
Review tag!

Right from the beginning, you can tell that there is a lot of potential for suspense and excitement. It's nice to see that you used the classic "in media res" technique, beginning the story in the middle of an action filled scene. That draws the reader's attention in right away, but the downside is it can be a little confusing, so I would recommend including some more description at the beginning to help the reader understand the setting and why they're there.

The scene with the boy at the end added a very strong element of mystery, and the ending of the chapter was a perfect cliffhanger to lead into the next one. Overall this looks like a good start to the story.

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