Reading Reviews From Member: SilentConfession
315 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SilentConfessionBeyond the Breaking Point: Beyond the Breaking Point

4th May 2016:
Hey, sorry for the late review for our review exchange.

I thought this was interesting and I liked how you focused primarily on Percy and how he became how he was in the books. I also liked how, at this point, there is no misunderstanding of his character. He's just become foul and his belief system has become twisted. You pointed to that Percy has always felt the sting of poverty and eventually thought that it was his fathers laziness that caused the poverty and shame, which made him try to step away from his family. I think this would eventually make his coming back to the light more powerful - that realization that you're wrong and you're strong enough to go and fight for what's right when you're needed.

Good work with this and it was really neat to read about Percy and how there were certain moments in his life that were defining. Good work for choosing those moments to make your story feel complete.

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Review #2, by SilentConfessionTen Dances: Chapter 1: Paso Doble

12th April 2016:
Hi, sorry for the delay.

So, I'm going to give some general comments of what I liked first. I think what stood out to me the most was some of the descriptions you've used and the observations of the world around your characters. I rather liked the opening of this chapter and how it was simply too hot for men to notice woman for instance or the way the apartment was monochromatic. It gave a sense of how lost Ginny feels or how sad she is. So it was an interesting choice of words.

I'm interested to see where this story goes. I'm still trying to figure out if there is magic in your world or just the use of the characters? I think it's just the use of the characters from what I'm seeing and I think it's interesting that you're kept their characterizations and what they're known for - Harry saving the world or Pansy being rich etc. It helps make your story believable.

Generally I think the characters seem real enough so far. I'd like to see a bit more of who Ginny is here and her motivations for joining a dance school. Dance doesn't shout 'security' to me either so I'm curious to know how you'll work with that.

I'm also curious to know why Lavender tries to keep the girls she chooses a secret. So far I don't know how a dance school would need that sort of secrecy, so it makes me think there is something else going on here and it isn't just a dance place otherwise the suspense wouldn't really be needed.
As to some thing I noticed about the first two chapters:

Cigarette packages - isn't it cardboard, so there wouldn't be the clicking?

So I get what you're doing with keeping the young woman's identity a secret until the end and that's a clever and suspenseful tactic. However, throughout the first chapter it isn't clear who you're talking about which makes the transitions a bit hard to follow or to figure out what's actually happening. For instance in the first couple paragraphs you are talking about this woman who is clicking her nails, but then you also have one paragraph starting off with Lavender Brown who is also thinking about life changing things. This makes the reader assume that the finger tapper is actually Lavender. We realize later that it isn't her doing the finger tapping. The POV i suppose is what I'm saying seems a little confusing. So, when you're writing this sort of thing make sure you're intentional with how you're describing things and people. Perhaps having more scene description would help clarify your writing or even having the story start with Lavender Brown was watching the woman across from her tap her fingers... etc. This helps clarify right away that there are two people and the difference between these two.

Twenty storeys above their heads lazy sunlight was filtering through half-closed blends and painting bright stripes on a darkened apartment where stacks of cardboard boxes and covered furniture enjoyed the possibly slimming benefit of a new appearance. -- so storeys should be stories and blends - i think you actually mean blinds? Also this was a long, run on sentence that either needs to be broken up into two sentences or use commas to help clarify your meaning. The whole slimming comment as well - what are you actually trying to say with that? It feels like you're trying to be poetic or create a feeling with the comment, but it doesn't seem like it's actually saying anything. I don't mean to be rude or anything as I probably do this too in my own writing. But make sure that when you are describing things or comparing things that what you're saying is clear and has a purpose.

Those were a couple things I've noticed right off with your writing. The transitions and clarity is something I would recommend work on and that should help your story.

I think your pacing is good so far. You keep introducing new things each chapter that gives us small ideas of what is happening. Not enough for the readers to know for sure what's going on, but just enough for readers to be curious. I really do feel that there is more to this dance school and it seems rather shifty to me. This is exactly what you want if your purpose is to create suspense!

Thank you for requesting me and feel free to re-request if you wish :)

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Review #3, by SilentConfessionRise of the Phoenix Volume I: An Unusual Party

5th April 2016:
Hi, sorry for the delay in your request review!

So, first thing I noticed while reading this is how you've characterized Greyback. I really liked how you included his ability to be theatrical (which was probably one of the reasons he failed here). It's also already clear his psychosis and demented state of mind. The tone that he (and the other werewolves liking children etc) sets for this story is graphic and dark, so the reader gets the idea quickly this story is not a happy one. Rather it's filled with darkness and the awful shadowy bits of a human being. I can appreciate this type of story. I do wonder though how his capture will turn out. I don't believe in the first war he was ever actually captured in canon so wondering if he's going to escape before they actually put him in jail and the Ministry tries to cover it up?

I also admire Aurora here. She is scared and you clearly show that she is terrified. I liked the human element because I've read stories where that is ignored or the author writes that the character isn't scared, but brave only. These things aren't mutually exclusive though. I think bravery and courage comes from being terrified, but rising above that to face the fear. You painted this quite nicely with Aurora and showing both her terror, her resourcefulness, and her courage. She also seems decently consistent with this and her behaviour fits in with who she is. I like her taunting Greyback as well. It works nicely for her personality. (side note: the fact that she feels so fleshed out already for only the 4th chapter is saying something!)

Here's a few things I've picked up over the last couple chapters:

After taking a glance out at the storm raging beyond the window, he stowed both of their wands in his chest pocket, their handles protruding from a forest of lycanthropic fur. - This bit is confusing as the way the sentence is framed it sounds like the fur is coming out of his pocket. I also thought it was a bit wordy and wondered if some of the words *lycanthtropic* were necessary. We know already he's a werewolf and just saying fur or rough, springy fur would probably suffice.

Life force: The whole conversation about the life force in the previous chapter seemed a bit out of place. One mention of it could have been okay, but it seemed a bit out of sync with the rest of your story. I think the main thing that I thought of this was it seemed like you were trying to be poetic, which didn't seem to fit with the chapter and took away from the grittiness.

Floorboards cracking? - we're on a train... not a house or deck.

How did the light not hit her as well? The ending didn't seem to quite work for me ( i liked the idea of it, but the logistics didn't work in my mind).

Okay, I'm done with the critique. I quite liked how you described things most times. You pay close attention to how you word things and making sure that you're clear so the reader can visualize your work. Things like freshly caught trout or the strong words you've used like corroding or searing help bring your story to life. I'm impressed and admire this and it's definitely a strength in your writing.

I won't talk a lot about this, but the Ministry, St Mungo's and the wizarding world in general seems quite confused and in shards. You've shown this rather than simply telling us that these things are corrupted or in chaos. It helps create the tone of this story and captures the essence of what the first wizarding war was. It also gives reason to why the Order was created because it doesn't seem like the Ministry could have any kind of control.

Meadows- related to Dorcas M??? Anyway, good work and thank you for requesting again!


Author's Response: The delay is fine, no worries. I am having to write this reply off a tablet, which is hardly convenient.

There is an element of nihilism that I am aimed for with this chapter, whilst also wanting it to be gory and in some ways, thrilling. Out of the eighteen chapters I have written in this story, it is probably the one I am happiest with.

So thanks for the observations as they coalesced with my interpretation of the story I was trying to tell - which is very reassuring.

Aurora is really fun to write, and I echo your sentiments on bravery/fear.

I personally quite like the lycanthropic fur sentence, and some trains do have floorboards such as the rickety types from the 1970s. However, I am glad you were keenly observing what was being written down and I think you make very valid points about life force and the light. Although she was under greyback when it hit him, the electricity may have passed through into her too I suppose.

And yes - Dorcas appears ;)



PS - If you'd like me to review anything, feel free to DM me on the forums. I appreciate reviews especially interesting ones like this and I like to read.

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Review #4, by SilentConfessionMonochromatic: Just a Nightmare II

23rd March 2016:
Review exchange!

I can't believe it had to end right there at this point. I feel like this is unfair and you should get to updating this right away!! I was unsure of this story when I first begun and there is an element to it that I had to suspend my disbelief (which is true of many dystopian tales in all honesty) and told myself to just enjoy the story. I mean, I don't think McGonagall would have dealt with it the way she has, which seemed quite cruel and heartless for her. I mean - would she have let equality go so far that it harmed the students? I don't think that's in her character. I'm also left wondering about the wider society (Harry Potter or Hermione, Kingsley for example) and if they could have let it get like that. Would they let their children live that way? So, for that to exist I'd have liked some hints from the last 19 years of what changed so drastically in them for hem to allow this. So that part I sort of gaped at, but the story itself is unique to me.

It's terrible what's happening and how the wizarding world is getting wiped out and the survivors are so broken that they turn away from magic! It was really pungent to me that one day the person is there and the next it's like they didn't even exist. No explanation, no goodbye's. It all seems like a horrible nightmare to have to go through that and know that no one is there to help you. I also think that you drew some nice parallels with our society now. It didn't seem like there was a jump with how the world could possibly become this 'only equality, no differences exist'. It's the dark, dystopian side of equality where people think that taking out how we're different will solve the problems.

I'm also always half wondering if this is really the 'pass' chambers or if it's something else entirely... maybe the P means 'plague'. They all are seeming to die (i'm assuming). So ominous and I don't trust the Healers, but I think she made a point that maybe they are crying on the other side because this is happening and they can't find a cure and all they can do is watch their patients fade away.

I really like your writing style here too. It is compelling and interesting. It also makes me want to continue reading (and suspend my disbelief which is saying something!). There were various times while reading these chapters that I thought your description was vivid and clear. I could not only see what you were writing and play the scene in my head, but I could feel it too. You really made the tone of the story spring to life in your descriptions.

You also have a nice page turner on your hands too. It's jammed pack with action and you leave these annoying breadcrumbs in each chapter that make the reader just have to push the next button!! Maddening because I had things I needed to get done today! However, very well done there. I was hooked!

I could feel throughout the whole thing that Cara liked James or loved him. That whole sparkling eye thing gave it away. At least she loved someone who wasn't awful to her like Gordan. She's a very interesting character and I liked how you characterized her as simply as 'survivor'. I think this runs true through the entire thing so far. She isn't living, she isn't happy, she isn't moving forward, she's simply surviving. Treading water and getting nowhere. I hope that she learns to keep moving (on a side note and somewhat unrelated I wonder how James lost track of her in the first place? When he got ill did he get taken away so they lost each other?)

I am really happy we got to review exchange for Hufflepuff because this is a really neat and interesting idea. I felt like it was a bit AU, but the writing, the characterization and the plot I really enjoyed reading and you've done a really neat job with this. You must let me know when the next chapters are up! :)

Author's Response: Hi!! Don't worry I'll be leaving your review soon. Quidditch and Kecker noms have side tracked me.

Yeah, I can see where you're coming from with the AU. And honestly I've thought about changing McGonagall to just an OC to make it more believable. Honestly though that's the only part that bothers me. equality is something Harry Ron and Hermione risked their lives for and in the beginning, they supported it. However, it got out of hand because people were afraid and well, Harry isn't a politician. He doesn't hold the power. And sure Kingsley could stop it but he's one man and who's to say he's still around in 2022/2023? But yeah I totally see where you're coming from and I'm so happy I kept you reading! You obviously didn't have to and could have reviewed just the first chapter :p

You're the first person to assume that P stands for something else!! And it might ;)

Awe thank you so so much! I've been trying really hard to capture everything properly. It's been a struggle and I'm glad you think my writing is up to par!! And I didn't even realize it was a page turner because of the suspense. Thank you so so much for the compliments!!

And the side note, it will be answered in the end of the flash backs :) the flash backs haven't quite reached that point yet but don't worry they will.

Thanks so much for the amazing review!! :)

- Leigh xx

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Review #5, by SilentConfessionMuggle Studies: Muggle Studies

17th March 2016:
I'm still getting used to these expository stories. They are different to get into when reading. You had some interesting characterizations. I liked how Tibbs was using his new knowledge of Muggles to destroy them. That made it seem realistic and a fun read. There's all too many stories that make a tragic event that turns someone dark. I liked that he just seemed always bad. Good work.

You have a nice writing tone too that helps thread your story together. The characters that you have here seem true to the Slytherin spirit. I quite liked Posy and she had some interesting line and comments. I especially liked her reaction to Nott's father having an affair with a muggle.

I did find the narrative a little confusing - the "oops" bit seemed quite out of place. I'm sure it had meaning, but there was no indication of its importance? Unless I completely missed it. The note to Reg as well seemed a bit odd considering he played very little role in the rest of the story. There was quite a lot of skipping in time and for a story like this, it made it a bit harder to follow the plotline. The bit with A. Burke was a bit jarring. To jump to that moment to the next didn't quite work for me. Along with that there were other things with Tibbs and Posy and her possibly getting expelled etc. There was just a lot of different things happening and it was hard to keep track of everything.

There were times I thought that some points in the entries and notes that it would have been more powerful and clear if written without the notes, or entries. This is just my opinion though so take it as that. Perhaps if you focused on a shorter time period rather than trying to get so many years into it it would have helped with the clarity of the story. I understand you wanted to express the origins and how long a person will focus on a belief. In general I think it works, but tightening up on the narrative and entries could help with that clarity.

However, I think the premise of the story is interesting and you have some unique elements to it. Your writing style and tone, is as I remember, nice and easy to read. Expository stories are hard and there are some good parts that I liked. The diversity of the entries you've introduced (the detention slips, notes, letters etc) was a cool choice and thought you did well working with them altogether.

Thank you for requesting me and I hope that my review was helpful. Feel free to re-request if you wish :)

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Review #6, by SilentConfessionFlaming Quilltips: Pensieve to Parchment

17th March 2016:
Hello, I'm here for your review request. Sorry for the delay! Work has been hectic recently!

I've been gone from this site long enough I didn't realize the journal/diary rule had changed and I opened this and had a bit of a moment where I'm thinking "how has this story been allowed on the archive for so long?" Clearly though, I figured out that the rule had changed!

I'm glad it did because this was an interesting story to read and so different from what I expected. You interwove the stories here really nicely and I liked how it felt like there was two stories happening at once. Dorcas' narrative and everything that was happening to everyone else while she was searching for answers. It just showed really well how she let everything (love, loyalty, war, life etc) pass her by on her search for the truth. That in itself was quite powerful.

I also really enjoyed the small details you added into your story - the information about the auror names, the picture of the Order, and the potion. These connections are really great because it helps make your entries feel like there is a story going on. It helped an image to appear in my brain for what was happening which I think is important for this type of story since there is very little real action in it.

To answer your question of whether this is believable I would say yes I think this is very believable. You have connected it to canon and it would make sense for Voldemort to kill someone himself because they knew about his horocruxes. It made me sad though - if only she had written to Benjy saying what she had found out! Then the Order would have known much sooner what they were up against!

The only critique I have and this may simply be personal preference rather than anything wrong with your story is that this did mostly feel like an in-depth character study rather than a story.

Be as it is though, I enjoyed reading it and getting to know her character and her inner workings. You managed to characterize her, Benjy, and Lily nicely. It was interesting to see her acknowledge her damage and how her damage has influenced others (Lily, Benjy etc). I liked reading about her obsession with her father's death and her inability to let it go. It showed clearly how she let it fester and control her. It also shows her determination and cleverness that she was able to track down the truth. I thought maybe we'd realize at the end she was so obsessed she wouldn't be able to feel love or love anyone other than her mission. I'm not sure what I feel that we realize she does love Benjy and chose to ignore it for what's she's trying to accomplish. I don't know what is more sad though.

Thanks for asking for the review. I enjoyed reading this.

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Review #7, by SilentConfessionRise of the Phoenix Volume I: Into the Void

2nd March 2016:
Hi, I'm here for your review request.

The premise of this story is really neat and I like the POV you've chosen to tell the story from. It makes the story quite intriguing because we've been introduced to this character to who didn't jump out of Hogwarts ready to fight to good fight. It is a new and fresh outlook. I'm interested to know what sort of effects this has on her - if she'll feel guilty for leaving the country for so long and not noticing how the climate has changed and how much of an effect she'll have in the Order. I think she'll be in quite a shock when she gets home. I'm also really curious about her brother's death and think you've done well with establishing how the Ministry is trying attempting to make the war seem less serious - whether due to corruption or otherwise I'm not sure yet, but I'm interested to find out more.

I liked Aurora immediately and I think she's already shaping up to be a character who is complex. It was good to see how her career choice has aligned with her personality and abilities. It didn't seem off or out of place that she was powerful or could think fast in stressful situations like the ones here. She's a curse breaker and deals with things maybe even more dangerous than werewolves sometimes. In any case, it made sense and it wasn't a stretch for the mind to imagine her taking on this adventure like she takes on all the adventures in her job - with curiosity and grit. I also liked how it's already getting clear how imperfect she is too. I hope I see more of this though to counterbalance her magical abilities. You mention she's not a good dueler here, but from what I see she's decent enough, so I'm interested to see how this all plays out with that.

I don't have a load of critique at the moment as this is, so far, a decent job at telling the story. However, I will say that there were times I felt like your meaning and flow was getting convoluted by some throwaway comments or longer sentences. You have a good way at describing scenes and getting your characters characterized - however within these two chapters there were moments where I was taken out of the scene and rereading to make sure I knew what you meant. In a story that is loading up in suspense and tension that isn't something you always want to happen. For instance, in the first chapter where you do more introducing the characters you make mention of the English self-deprecating tendencies and self-loathing. Interesting comment and helps create a strong image in your mind, however it was one of the sentences that took me out of the story and had to go back to reread to make sure I knew what you meant. I noticed this more in the first chapter and I think it comes down to how you say/describe things rather than what you're saying. I hope that makes sense.

"After then rolling the two immobilised, stunned bodies against the wall, Aurora pulled open the cabin window and, wincing at the exposure to the virulent rainfall blowing in from the vengeful skies beyond, dropped both of their wands into the tempestuous abyss outside."

This is another sentence that was a bit long and convoluted for my taste. For one, saying stunned and immobilized seemed redundant and then the sentence just sort of went on and used some unnecessary words. You talk about the virulent rainfall and then go on about the tempestuous abyss in the same sentence. You've already established with the rainfall comment what it's like outside. It gets redundant to hear about it again later in he same sentence. It also borderlines purple prose for me. These are just a couple examples and something I noticed happening in your chapters.

Overall though, I quite liked the story and I think you have a great start with interesting characters and a plot that is unraveling nicely. The build up for the final reveal of Fenrir was well done - I thought it was him, but you wrote him well and made him seem just plain creepy and horrifying. Another thing I liked is some of the smaller details you added into the story - it really made your writing and plot work feel full and specific. It is the details that help make a story great.

I don't know if I missed it, but what year is this? Thank you for requesting :) Feel free to re-request if you wish.

Author's Response: Hi there,

Thanks for the helpful, detailed and broadly positive feedback.

Definitely keep your review thread up, people will be lucky to have you looking at their work :)

I am happy you found so many positives, I think your CC concerning prose is legitimate, it is a failing characteristic of my writing and thus hard to change. Though I am working to improve.

Oh, and it is set in 1976.

Best :)

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Review #8, by SilentConfessionSilent Rumors: A Kidnapping

30th May 2015:
Goodness, who could do this to poor, unassuming Ernie. He doesn't seem to be anybody, but a shop owner. So, it makes this mystery even more intriguing because, at this point, there is no fathomable reason for this to occur. It makes me feel like there is something large beneath the surface. A new group rising to try and change the world in some way - even if it's just to prove that society likes to be in conflict and they want to provide that conflict.

Your writing style continues to be nice. There is a good flow between ideas and action. It's easy enough to understand and makes for a quick read. The details you include here are really great too - from the school rush to the small interactions between Ernie and his wife. It was great that you included that scene because it makes use like the characters and feel invested in their relationship. It's exactly what you want to make the rest of the chapter actually mean something to the readers. If we didn't care about the characters or didn't see how cute they all were together it wouldn't matter as much if they got taken.

I'm also a bit mad at Ernie because this is directly from him not taking the first not seriously. It just shows how naive he was and now his family would have to suffer because he dismissed the other threatening note. He must feel like utter crap for that.

One thing I had to go and read over again was the beginning because when Ernie got up to take his shower Lydia was still peacefully sleeping and yet after... I think Lydia must have some sort of super power to suddenly wake up, get the kids up, have breakfast ready, and have kids behaved and eating by the time Ernie get's out of the shower. There's a lot happening and yet it seems like it happened in the split second.

Another thing I wondered about was the big scene at Ernie's house. If they didn't want anyone to know about it - why did they make such a show about it? You got Ernie's emotion of having his family snatched from him - but it seemed to contradict the note. I'm curious to know why they even took the family first like that and taken Ernie so quickly after the family was taken. To increase the tension and conflict - perhaps more time could have passed between that. However - i'm assuming there must be a reason for this that will come up in further chapters.

Great work with this chapter, thanks for sharing it. I'm intrigued to find out the answers to this mystery. It seems so random and yet i feel like something is going to come and everything it just going to fall into place.

Author's Response: Hello again,

You've made some good guesses as to what's going on. This definitely is a lot larger than poor Ernie and his family.

I'm glad that you felt some connection to the characters. I really wanted them to be easy to relate to in that they're just a normal, happy family.

Yeah, being naive really does get Ernie's family in quite the pickle and I'm certain it's going to be one of his deepest regrets.

Thanks for pointing out that bit about the opening scene. I self-imposed a bit on this because I usually take at least 30 minutes to shower in the morning and another 20 or so to get ready, but being that Ernie is a man, he'd probably take a lot less. Good catch. I'll fix that all up.

So the big scene at Ernie's house is supposed to be only visible to people who are standing in the yard. It gets explained a bit more in the novel, but I'll have to figure out a better way to make that more clear in this chapter. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the kidnapping of the family first. I think this group is just playing games with Ernie. Also, it's probably easier to grab the wife and kids and then take Ernie separately because that's one less adult with a wand at a time.

I know that at this point it does seem random, but I assure you it's working to a main point. It doesn't become super clear in this particular short story, but it does in my novel Atonement Is Coming.

Thanks for the reviews!


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Review #9, by SilentConfessionSilent Rumors: A Letter

25th May 2015:
Hi! I'm here for our swap, finally! Sorry it's taken so long, one thing led to another and I've spent literally no time on this site for the last week. I'm so sorry you've had to wait so long!

The story is intriguing so far. There aren't loads of stories about Ernie and I personally love stories about the Hufflepuff characters. Not only that, but scene is set for something very unexpected to happen. There's a nice juxtaposition between the beginning of the chapter where it's such a normal, domestic scene of someone working late into the night to getting a threatening letter.

I think you handled his character well so far. We don't know a lot about him from the books - perhaps a little pompous, but kids can be like that. He has seemed to calm down here and appear to be a man who simply cares for his family. There doesn't seem, even in this chapter, that there is anything extraordinary about him. He was a wife and child who seem equally normal. People who'd usually slip by the radar of people of interest. It's interesting then to bring these people into the limelight.

I found myself wondering how Ernie could so easily dismiss the Death Eaters. Can anyone be sure all the DE's had been caught and the DA could have made other enemies at school who weren't DE's. I mean, how aware would DE's even be of the DA? Not a lot would be. It seemed far to naive to write it off as quickly as he did.

I think the suspense was pretty good so far, but in more of a calm kind of way. I think if you'd wanted to heighten the suspense more you should focus more on the details of the night. The feeling of the air the shake of his fingers as he opens the letter etc. Even the beginning where it's calm and no one seems to be about could have included a few more details to set the tone. The end itself felt calm, which was nice because the reader can never trust it and feels some suspense simply from Ernie's passivity. I did feel though that there was a bit too quick progression from Ernie's fear of the letter to the end where he was calm and fell easily asleep.

You have a great start here though. There is enough tension and questions rushing through my mind to want to continue reading and to see what's going to happen to him and his family. I'm wondering who this 'we' is and who they represent. I'm curious to know which of the 'we' was watching him that night. Great work! I will continue chipping away at these reviews!

Author's Response: Hi there,

No worries on the wait. I know life happens.

I really try to write lots of different characters instead of just focusing on the Trio. Ernie is one of my favorites since we see enough of him to sort of get a feel for his personality, but his story is largely untold, so there's tons of room to expand on him.

You hit the nail on the head with my choice in characterization. I just wanted them to be an average family. Nothing extraordinary or exciting.

It's definitely naive for Ernie to write things off as quickly as he did, but this setting is five years post war and things have gone back to a nice pleasant normal. I think he's been lulled into a false sense of security by that.

The suspense will definitely build in the coming chapters. This one is supposed to be a bit more mellow. I can see what you mean about the quick progression though and will look into it as I begin editing this.

The answer to who the "we" is doesn't get answered in this particular story. It's a prequel to my novel Atonement Is Coming and sort of just sets up some of the background information for what's happening.

Thank you for such a detailed review!


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Review #10, by SilentConfessionFounders Four: Pillars of the Ages: Chapter Two: Every Beginning is an End

14th May 2015:
I really like reading Ingvar's and Godric's relationship here. It's really natural and it feels like they've known each other for a long time, which they have. Great job at capturing that and making the bond between them feel very strong. I also like how you've characterized Ingvar here and how he likes to spend time in the dark because it masks his emotions. I think we can all relate to that in some ways. It also shows a little Salazaar - how perhaps the boy grew from being the son of a man who was balanced to the person we know him as.

Nice pacing with the action too. It is all to childlike for Salazaar to not think first about using magic before he does it. It's only after that he realizes the danger he may cause. Danger we see first hand at the end when the family was attacked. I feel like this event is going to shape Salazaar into who will be.

The choppiness was much better this chapter. The description and narrative flowed really well. The only thing I was left wondering about was where Godric had gotten to. I am guessing he has left, but I don't think you mentioned it (unless I missed that). It made the end seem a little disjointed because I was looking for him and couldn't figure out why he wasn't there. You did mention he was staying for the birthday party though...

Good work with this chapter though. I like how the action and tension keep building. It definitely shows that this story will be interesting with lots of twists and turns.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review and feedback, I edited the last chapter for that, by the way. About maybe 400-500 words were added after that???

And I love writing for those two, kinda sad they won't be together the entire story. It's fun to do their banter. Then again, Salazar is his son, so there's likely going to be plenty of snark from him. Ingvar is a fun character to write, and he's my first OC since the first story I wrote, which was horrible. I'm surprised I did him this well, honestly.

And it will certainly play a part, a big part, but there will be OTHER parts. Don't worry, you'll see.

Oh, Godric is there. I'll tell you that much, but no more than that. I can't give away all my plans.

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Review #11, by SilentConfessionFounders Four: Pillars of the Ages: Chapter one: The Beginning

14th May 2015:
Hey, I'm here for our swap. I don't read a lot of Founders, but I thought this was a neat start. Usually, I see Godric and Salazaar meeting other ways, but having the connection come from a mentor is a really interesting way to bring them together. I also like how you let us see these characters before they were friends. We have a moment to see who they are and build that characters before all the action begins.

Furthermore, I like how you've also let leak that there is something brooding for wizard kind. It lets us know that the action is going to start happening, but now all we know is that something has forced Godric to search for his old mentor after 10 years. That's pretty substantial and it must be serious. It makes me think as well that it may have to do with the world not being safe for wizards and witches if Marcus' actions were at all telling.

I wonder how this fairytale telling is going to work. I think it's an interesting way to try to tell a story and I think you have a pretty good start at getting the tone right for it. Just, when you insert yourself (the narrator of the tale) into the story like you've done in this chapter try and make it a little smoother. Generally, I think it was done well, but it seemed a bit choppy and a little jolting as I was reading. On that note, your transitions from paragraph to paragraph and the chapter as a whole seemed a little choppy and didn't flow smoothly all the time. Not to the point it was hard to read, it just seemed like sometimes the smoothness of writing wasn't quite there. Something to watch for.

Generally I like how you've started this. The characterizations you have for both Godric and Salazaar are starting to unravel and take hold which is great to see in a first chapter. I like Godric's brashness and cheeky personality. I'm excited to see where you will take this next. Onwards to the next chapter.

Author's Response: Honestly, I'm not ever completely sure how I came up with the mentor idea, I think it just happened. I don't remember really planning that, my first draft wouldn't have had him in there at all, or anyone else besides Amara, Salazar, people coming to attack them, and Godric who'd been tailing said people. Godric wouldn't have known any of them, but I wasn't happy with that version and this came out. Very happy I trashed that first draft, I like this much better. :)

And, well, you'll meet who Godric came to talk with him about soon. Some people will be there I'm going to have a lot of fun writing.

Thank you again for the feedback, and I hope to see you again later on!

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Review #12, by SilentConfessionThrough the Black: First First Date

13th May 2015:
Hey, I'm here for our swap! Sorry it took so much time to get here!

The first three chapters help set the stage for your story really well. I'm pleased that you haven't just thrown Sirius and Julianne together. Rather, you've established they are friends, but haven't made it completely obvious that they have a thing for each other. I like how you've begun your story before all that. It lets us get to know your characters better this way! It's only in this chapter Sirius has been acting weird. Jealousy makes people do weird things.

I actually quite like Cameron. He seems nice and awkward, especially at the beginning where he was just floundering on what to make of the date. I'm glad it went well and they have a love for Quidditch to bond over. I also like their banter and relaxed demeanour together. Also, showing that they have now reached that stage of a relationship which they don't spend every waking moment together but not even realizing that it's happened. I wonder how that will play into the chapters yet to come. I hope he doesn't get too frustrated either over Sirius and James' antics. It would be the worst if he were to ask her to choose. I'd hate him so much!

I also like your characterization of Julianne. She's down to earth, a little sarcastic and witty, but not over the top either. It's a nice balance and it works well with the story you're telling so far. She has a strong enough voice to carry the story on and make it interesting and dynamic. I also like how you've worked in how logical her brain works. She seems less dependent on emotion and looks for a logical conclusion. I think this is a great trait of hers and shows that Ravenclaw side of her. I loved how you've finally let on why Julianne and Lily don't get on. It's a great glimpse into the life of Hogwarts then and how Lily was actually like. So many people make Lily this character everyone just adores and gets on with. However, you've twisted that a little here and have them having a slight feud over an accident. It makes goths characters feel more realistic.

Description wise you have a nice start, but I felt like sometimes I felt like you could have had more description to help set the scene and create tone and tension in the story. I felt sometimes I wasn't able to see where the characters were in any given moment. Like James sitting down beside Julianne. Where were they? Library? Since they are from different houses some explanation and setting the scene and tones can help further the action and emotion you want to express.

Good start on this story though! I'm excited to see where it goes and you've set the action and drama well so far! Glad we swapped so I could be introduced to this story!

Author's Response: Hello. I'm so sorry that this took me so long to respond to, real life has gotten in the way a lot.

I'm glad you like Cameron so much! He quickly has become one of my favorite characters from this story. He's just so sweet and took on a life of his own and it makes me incredibly happy when people like him as much as I do.

Julianne is my baby, so thank you so much for letting me know how much you like her! It's literally taken me years to get her to this point and she's changed so much. It makes my day when I hear that people like reading about her.

Yeah, I'm sure my descriptions could use some work. I used to go way overboard and I swung the complete opposite way to correct that. Still trying to find a happy medium :)

Thank you so much for the review and I'm sorry again for how long it took me to get here!


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Review #13, by SilentConfessionHourglass: 3 years 35 days

11th May 2015:
This note is actually going to drive me crazy. I just want to know what it means and how it has such power over him - to the point it seems to be influencing his actions! This is the sort of thing I could write better, the underlying suspense and things happening to make readers really want to read on. I'm much more of a slow writer who gets to the suspency bits eventually or I put in a lot of obscure clues no one seems to get and so there really isn't much of a point. But hey ho, I have really enjoyed reading how the note with no explained origin keeps coming back and hanging on to Albus. It's thrilling.

I also love Rose. I'm so glad you haven't thrown Albus immediately into that 'other time' and we've had a chance to get to know present characters. She's so much fun and hopeful. The descriptions of her actions are so realistic and clear it's easy to see this story play out like a film in front of my eyes.

I also think Albus should go to practice this whole not going places that he loves is making me feel uneasy. What's going to happen to him?? Especially with that dream that made him scar in his waking life. So strange and I can only think that it's the other time and this timeline getting moulded together. Like they are on top of one another and Albus has to live through both of them, but every time he leaves that other timeline he doesn't remember it, leaving this strange and mysterious girl heartbroken. Just a theory :)

Great job again with this chapter. It sets up your action really well.

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Review #14, by SilentConfessionHourglass: 3 years 40 days

11th May 2015:
Great second chapter. Even though there didn't seem like a lot going on it was nice to get introduced to the characters in your story, have them interact with one another, and get a glimpse at how obsessive (and it is obsessive) Albus is being with his note. It probably seems like the biggest deal to him right now, like it's all he can be or his fate is tied up in a little note. Very well done at capturing all that.

Scorpius seems like such a punk. I don't know what I feel about him, right now, but I'm glad you've made him that way. It seems more in character that he isn't pleasant. He isn't overtly horrible either - just sort of rough and angry which I think plays well with how you're characterizing him.

I think the biggest thing I like so far here is how natural your characters are. They just seem like friends and act in ways you would with people you've been around your entire life. I like Rose and how she refuses to let Albus dwell because she things its dangerous and is just trying to look out for him. I like the brief mention of Joel too and how we now know him as a best mate.

This story just seems like it would happen at Hogwarts. You paint a really nice picture of the events - the library scene, outside in the sun, then into the dormitory. It just feel like Hogwarts. Really nice job! I'm digging it!

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Review #15, by SilentConfessionHourglass: 3 years 47 days

11th May 2015:
Hi! Sorry for lateness in reviewing! Today ended up being hectic!

You have a really great writing voice. I think it really helps capture Albus' character here and how he's this sort of this careful, very detailed orientated, confused fellow. It works really well and he's so sweet here I just want to give him a hug. I think it's also a common, normal feeling for a teen to get to that age and just ask 'what have I done' I've lived for 17 years and what do I have to say for myself? It's such common feeling and you displayed that angst really well in him.

The dynamics he has with Scorpius is fabulous. I love how it isn't quite a friendship, but it isn't not a friendship. You balance that line very well and it seems so believable because I think there are always those people in your life that you kind of get on with, but if it were to happen you never saw them it'd be okay because it was more friendship out of obligation - whether it was a shared feeling like Al and Scorpius or just years and years of knowing each other which makes you feel like you have to stay friends.

I'm excited to see what happens to Rose. She's already stands out as being a little bit different than I've read her before and that's exciting for me. She doesn't seem uptight, angry, or incredibly overbearing and it's interesting to see what you will come up with. However- with the hints of time travel here i'm not sure if i will get to see this.

Great start! This has just enough mystery of where does this note come from, why is Albus like he is, to keep a reader interested. I also like how you describe things. Things like the syrupy note and keeping coming back to that which really drills that image into my head. That or Rose's tangled mess or droopy eyes. It's really helps me visualize the story and feel the story alongside Albus.

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Review #16, by SilentConfessionThis Time.: The Storm

6th May 2015:
What an ending! I reckon this isn't the end of Louis, but he is going on a completely different journey than what he is used to. It makes me want to continue reading just to know how this weird storm came about and what will happen to Louis next! I think the acknowledgement at the end about wishing his family would forgive him struck me the most. I wonder if this will come into play as the story continues. Will he try to go back to them- or not. It also shows something really nice about his character. It makes him seem human and recognizable.

The description of his sailing was also really great. It helped get a person in the mood for the story and feel how much the sea affected Louis. It shows his free spirit and need for adventure. I liked that a lot and it really just made me want to go sailing as well! The description of it also set the premise of the story well too and i'm hoping this continues to play a part in his character.

Nice job at setting the tone and premise of this story.

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Review #17, by SilentConfessionA Terrible Mistake: A Terrible Mistake

6th May 2015:
I was surprised that this was from Lucious' POV. I thought it was Draco and was confused for the first few paragraphs and then I realized what you'd done! This was refreshing to read it from a perspective that wasn't Draco's and regretting his part. It was nice to see if from Lucious and see how he was thinking in those moments. A tormented man who realized that his choices have led him further from what he wanted. I liked, also, how you mostly stuck with how he wanted power and dominion over others which bodes well with his characterization.

It was neat as well to see it from his POV because we don't get that chance all the time. It's a huge contrast of what we see from him in the books as well. He accepts his mistakes, his shortcomings, and even thinks he would accept going to jail for it. That's huge. I think i'd have liked to see more examples and specific moments that brought him to these conclusions. It is such a big contrast some more information could have helped make it more believable. However, you did a good job at making his perspective unique and sympathetic.

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I may expand on it in future.

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Review #18, by SilentConfessionStill Into You: Need you now

5th May 2015:
Hey! I'm coming in for the swap! I strangely like stories with Teddy and Victoire breaking it off. Guilty pleasure. This was loads darker than I thought it was going to be. But I think you captured the essence of her being so obsessively in love without being melodramatic about the whole thing. That's a very thin line to get through and I think you did it phenomenally.

You also were able to get at the complex emotions someone must be feeling in that situation. The knowledge it wasn't healthy but knowing that you would always feel this way. Also there is a slight madness to it, I think I get that from how long she's been pining for him, how she's let it control her. I thin ought as well it made it more realistic when you examined how he's always been at her side. She took her first steps with him and now suddenly without that, she is nothing.

I liked how ambiguous the end was. How we don't know the outcome, but we can imagine what happened. I can almost see her becoming a vegetable or becoming permanently emotionless or numb. Or the combination of drink and potion killed her. Either way it was chilling to read how far she's gone in her pining that she would seek out an illegal potion (and it doesn't matter so much how she got it here, only that she has it) and would take it without knowing what it would do.

Great work!

Author's Response: Hey! Thank you for reading and reviewing.

Haha I am not a Teddy/VIc endgame fan so I like writing their break up too xP I am pleased you liked this over all and found this dark. Victoire was definitely obsessed and I'm glad that came through.

I have been in a similar situation (not a good time) so I tried to channel those emotions while writing this. It's good to know you found them realistic.

The ending was open to interpretation - she could have simply passed out or she could have died. In my mind, she dies though. The illegal potion here was the equivalent of drugs. And I'm glad you liked it all.

Thank you!

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Review #19, by SilentConfessionOne of a Kind: The Extensive Failings of the Modern Magical Education System

19th April 2015:
Another really interesting chapter. I like how you've jumped right into the action of the story and starting to put all the pieces together. I know I have a habit of meandering for a while putting ambiguous pieces in place for a bit too long. I find it inspiring to see how there is already this underlying tension. I mean, if I was offered a job at a place that I could not research at all right away I'd feel really apprehensive. I can't decide yet if Lucy is just naive or I'm far too skeptical.

I really like how you've provided a little background knowledge on the place. It's a small amount, but we know they have access to the Hogwarts library, there is some really old things there that could start wars, and they never have a Gryffindor working for them. The web is tangling around Lucy who seems to be falling right into it.

Again, I really enjoy Lucy as a character. She perfectly reflects this sort of 'who am i' 'what do I want' 'something that isn't what I have' feeling where she's ready to jump into whatever opportunity comes her way. It fits perfectly in how she accidentally falls for whatever this printing press is involved with. Furthermore, I like how you slowly introduce Lucy's family. Even though we all are probably aware of them it's nice to be slowly introduced to them so we can get to know how you've created them to be.

Nice job on the chapter, excited to see where it goes.

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Review #20, by SilentConfessionOne of a Kind: Prologue

18th April 2015:
Hey, here for the starting of our review exchange! I've never had the chance to read any of your work before now, but I'm glad I was able to. This is an interesting start on a story. I really like Lucy so far. Her character is very distinct and fun. This is great because it'll make the interesting so much more interesting hearing it from her side. I also like how she interacts with others. It is so natural and flows well. The conversations don't seem forced or rushed. Very natural, like you would talk to a friend or family member. I loved that. I could actually see this conversation happening in real life. I also like the little nuances you have that support her independent yet quirky personality. Just how she interacts with Percy, his stunned expression at her actually asking for help. It all worked really well.

I quite like James too. He isn't over the top like some people make him out to be. But he still seems fun and spunky himself. More charismatic I'd say than how some people create him to be. I liked that though because he seems like a real person. Great job! I guess I could say I liked all of your characterizations. They were really well done and you have a nice amount of background knowledge or little allusions to what happened in the past to create interest in the Emily/Lucy dynamic. Their interaction was fabulous. Loved all the sarcasm.

Great start on the story. This introduces the characters and the beginning of the plot really well. I'm already so curious to know about this printing press and what it stands for. How can someone like Lucy get caught up in and I find it very ironic that Percy would be the one to make the suggestion to work there (not that he could really know what was going to happen). This prologue really helps set the scene and tone of the story, i'm excited to see where this goes.

Nice job! Glad I got to read this! I shall be back for further chapters.

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Review #21, by SilentConfessionA Beautiful Ruin: Just Breathe

29th March 2015:
There just isn't enough Hermione/George stories out there. I'm glad I ran across this.

I like how you've made the war affect Hermione so strongly. A lot of people usually make her the strongest and so unaffected because she really was portrayed as a strong leading female. However, I think there would be scars on all of them. Hers are extremely visible in her interactions with others, very much like how PTSD could look like in soldiers. I'm curious about Molly's reaction to her though? I felt like Molly disapproved of her or was annoyed by it?? Which doesn't particularly seem like a Molly thing to do who was always so supportive and welcoming. She should understand what a war could do to a person. I'm curious if there is more to this than meets the eye? Does she also know about George and Hermione?

Overall, you have a nice premise. I like how you've included the horror of the war in a different way than i've read recently. I think it would be believable for the three of them to get a flat together, and I like how you've continued with the banter between the three of them. They really did seem like good friends. I should have probably looked but is this following canon or AU? It doesn't matter either way just curious to know if Harry was with Ginny or not?

Nice start :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you ran across my story too! :) I really wanted to go about this story in a different way than A Wonderful Love. By the way, have you read that? I don't mean to push a story, but I'm not sure by your review that you've read it. It's the prequel to this story, so that may be where your confusion is coming from. The characterization of Molly stems from it, because I wanted to try to play with her a bit more than what I commonly see while trying to keep her as realistic as possible. Anyway, A Wonderful Love is the root of George/Hermione. This story is about the after effects.

This isn't following canon completely, because I've changed some things since DH; however, Ginny/Harry will be seen in this fic together. I took liberties to make Hermione/George an intrigue, but most of the events are the same or similar. I hope you continue to keep an eye out for updates :D Thank you so much for reviewing!


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Review #22, by SilentConfessionPorcelain Hearts : Prologue

16th April 2014:
I really like how you've formatted this. I am actually always a fan when someone formats stories a bit differently because it raises so many questions and I felt that with this first chapter. I also liked how you've packed in a lot of information into the first chapter and yet it was done in such small snippets. That is really a neat thing to be able to do and capture it well enough so you get the readers attention.

I think that is your strongest bit here is how you've introduced your story. You thrust the readers into the world were we see James finding out about Bellamy and Scorpius. Then we learn that they were together, James was going to propose, a friend knew that Bellamy would break James' heart but, for some reason, cannot actually do anything about what she knows. I think it was skilfully woven into the first chapter and definitely makes me interested in what else is to come.

I think the only thing I felt was a bit more needed was some more narrative. Maybe not entirely for this chapter as it is more of an attention grabber, but perhaps for future chapters keep in mind balancing description and dialogue and inner thoughts. I want to see the world they live in. Right now it almost seems like the characters are hanging in space. It will make me care about the story more and make me remember and think on your story. It's the small details like that, that make a reader get in the mood for the story (hope that makes sense).

Another thing I quite liked was the moments you chose to show in this chapter. I like how we can see how these characters interact with one another. What their relationships are as well. Hannah seems really close to James, so much that he has his own nickname to her, she's also close to Rose and Lily. We get to see the dynamics and it'll make it an interesting cast to work with and read about later.

Lovely job, glad I was able to read this. Good luck with the rest of it!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I've been working on adding more detail into the prologue (so many wonderful people have suggested this) and I have put more detail into the following chapters.

Yes, I'm rather in love with the prologue. Everything there is important and crucial to the rest of the story.

Thanks again for the lovely review. I hope you like the other chapters! :-)

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Review #23, by SilentConfessionRabbit Heart: 3. Cold Toes, Warm Heart

31st March 2014:
I'm still loving what you have here. I like how you have this concept here and yet we're still in the dark about what that actually is. To an extent anyway. I think you've structured it really well as you want the first few chapters to really spark some sort of questions and ambiguity. So, although there is very few answers thus far, it isn't disheartening because you keep packing on these layers that make us question everything that is going on in the story. I really like to read stories like this because i'm constantly spinning out theories of what is actually happening and how it is all going to tie up in the end. You've also don't a great job at introducing it slowly and subtly so it isn't just shoved into our faces. It makes the story loads more interesting.

Saying that there are few concrete answers is a bit of a lie as we do know or, at least feel, that this rabbit means bad business and Wren is completely going off the rails at the moment. It adds to the tension and fear of the story simply because something that is normally quite innocent is turning into a horror. Like it's possessing her, or bonded with her in some strange way that makes her act like she is. She is, however, slowly beginning to question. Sort of anyway. She's wondering how she could've forgotten the film and how so much time has passed. I think that shows that perhaps she won't always be in the dark of how her world is twisting out of control. I am left wondering if she'll figure it out too late though.

Again, I like the tone of the story. Having this told from Wren's point of view is lovely as she has the is really lovely way of perceiving the world around her. Also, you have show a lot of their youngness in this. Which I like because it is so easy to write characters and make them seem older than they actually are. However, Wren is young, so is Albus and I like how you explored Albus hitting this awkward stage of puberty and Wren being awkward (though that could have something to do with this fuzzy bunny that is taking over her). I liked that because it made the story feel a bit more real as they're dealing with normal teenage things. It grounds the story and I hope this continues throughout.

You've done an excellent job at introducing questions and giving the bare minimal answers to anything. It makes me want to continue reading so I can learn more about the characters and figure out how a bunny of all things can be so evil. Or maybe it's just a bunny and Wren's emotions and confusion are being displaced onto something that is just an animal (doubt it!). However, there are plenty of ways this story can go and i'm really interested to see how you take things.

Author's Response:

I worry sometimes that I've complicated the story mechanics so much that people won't be able to follow it once I start explaining things. I tried really hard to show how things worked instead of telling the reader. One, because it's more fun that way, and two, it's easier to understand when you can see it happening. I'm glad you have lots of theories! It makes it more fun that way!

This is my first attempt at writing a "horror" type story. I wanted to use all of those elements that horror stories have, while keeping the overall tone from falling into the blandly morose melodrama. Who knows if I'll end up succeeding or not. It's a challenge, definitely!

The teen thing does have a grounding effect on the story, doesn't it? Some things just have to stay normal enough for the reader to not have to grapple with it. I guess it's a lifeline of sorts to what is "normal" in this world that we're writing in.

Thanks so much for your reviews! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on my story!

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Review #24, by SilentConfessionRabbit Heart: 2. Trusting Hearts

29th March 2014:
I really like the pacing of this story so far. The first chapter was such a brief look into what is going to happen and I think with this chapter you've added just the right amount of layers into it that give it a really full and dimensional feel. One thing I like is the atmosphere and tone. Where we feel this sadness from Wren and through Wren we feel Grans' sadness as well. There is despair there, the knowledge that someone who used to be so strong has become unravelled at the seams. It's also sad to see how they're losing hope. All that is lovely because that is already quite a few layers, but then you go and add this other layer with Dillon and the light and rabbits. It'll be interesting to see where you are taking this and seeing that unravel from Wrens' eyes will be really interesting.

Speaking of Dillon, he gives me the creeps. I do not like him and I kept telling Wren to stop being so nice to the kid. He is not normal and why isn't she stopping to ask herself why he's lugging about a bunch of rabbits. Who does that? Kid or not. Use your head Wren! It's weird. And, the whole biting of Wren's hand... does that mean something? Why was Dillon saying she would definitely keep the rabbit now? Is she forever bonded to that thing or... or maybe it's a tracking device or maybe SHE'S the monster your summary is referring to (haha, right). But I like the mystery and the suspense this chapter has. And the fact that this suspense is built up by rabbits of all things. But i'm really curious to see where you are taking this because of all the tiny hints and details you keep dropping. I can't help but think that Gran wanting them to move has more to do with it somehow. Perhaps she knew something was off and demanded that before she lost her wits completely. I don't know, but I'm now insanely curious.

Another thing I really love about this is the perfect balance of her thoughts and grief and the outward action of the story. It's all very subtly done, but it has a really beautiful flow to it that way. It feels real to me. It doesn't make me feel like anyone is overreacting and beating their chests, but it's just regular people dealing with life's ups and downs. You are handling it really anyway because it is hard to decide where that line goes, how far does grief go? When do you stop? Can there ever be acceptance?

You still continue to have a firm hold on the mystery and suspense. None of this felt forced, too ambiguous, or frustrating. You've added layers and yes, there is a a lot of ambiguity to this chapter, but in a way that adds to the story and makes it feel so real. It seems to this point you are still very much in control of it and I would say that the ambiguity is good as it makes people want to read more to find the answers. (like who are you Dillon and why are you masquerading as a boy?) I have so many different theories floating in my head and I feel like they are all completely off the mark. But hey ho!

Great job with this chapter. You're writing is so nice to read and I like how you you keep packing in the mystery here.

Author's Response:
Yay for pacing! I was concerned about the tone being too depressing for the first two chapters. I like to mix it up, but the story needed to have some low tones at the beginning before I could lighten it up.

Yeah, Dillon's weird like that. You're asking all the right questions, and I love that you're curious about the story. I found it interesting that both of our stories dealt with grief, and it's fun to read how another story handles it.

I'm glad you're finding the story easy to read. That means a lot!

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Review #25, by SilentConfessionRabbit Heart: 1. Have a Heart

29th March 2014:

I'm here to start on my reviews. Since we were also paired for the review exchange i'm going to do more than I would regularly do for my thread (which is two each request). :) So expect at least 4.

I need to comment first on how i'm shocked I haven't read this story before now. Or any of your work. There is a really beautiful quality to this and it shows how much you are in control of your writing. It is something I very much admire in writers. I think that's because i'm so not in control when I write. I'm far too impatient and distracted. However, I love all the small details in this chapter. It really gets me into the story. I can literally feel her emotions and the descriptions of her surroundings really help a reader get into the mood of it. For example, describing how the dew from the grass soaks into Albus' trouser's, or describing that whole scene with Wren and her animals. There was something so simplistic about it, but it really seemed to capture this whole leaving your childhood behind and being thrust into the unknown.

I already feel like your characterization is strong. I get a strong feeling of who Wren is with this first chapter and I feel connected to her life. Which is saying something as it is only the first chapter. I like how, at the moment, she is so focussed on the past (who wouldn't be in her position?) but I like how that it seemed so contrasting to her currently situation. Like how you focus on if her Gran was here she'd go investigate or she'd go and tell her to be practical about it. It gave a really beautiful sense of how much is changing around Wren. It made me feel really sad for her to see her life ripped apart so completely. The scene with the animals nearly made me cry because she's so compassionate with those animals and yet she has to let them go before they're ready. (the line i absolutely loved the most 'Fly. Be free.' because it seemed like that was how Wren was feeling herself.) It was such an emotionally charged moment and ending it with the bunny 'disappearing' or what have you with the flash of light made it that much more poignant. It immediately grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to read more because we're so involved and caught up in that moment.

On to your concerns of story dynamics. I've brushed on this a little, but at the moment it feels very in control. I don't think you have much to worry about with this first chapter and I don't think it confuses readers at all. There is a sense of suspense and foreboding in it, but it doesn't get convoluted or twisty in ways that would make it difficult to understand.

The only thing I found a bit off were those few paragraphs near the beginning introducing the problem with Gran and her grandparents. It seemed a bit convoluted with a lot of repetition of Gran and grandparents. For me, it was hard to keep it all straight especially since it was the introduction of it. It made it hard to focus on the details of what was wrong. I think if perhaps there was a bit more clarity of the difference between the two (as Gran and grandparents are used so interchangeably it almost felt like they were the same). Even if it was something as simple as using Gran Augusta once to differentiate them and say who you're actually talking about. It would probably make the rest of the chapter go smoother as well.

Overall, I think you have a powerfully written first chapter, there is mystery and suspense that you want for a firstie as well. I'll continue to keep my eye out for the story dynamics you asked about, but for now, it is looking really good. I am a fan of a bit of ambiguity and I think how you've introduced the story really leads to interest rather than confusion.

By the way, i really, REALLY hope that it isn't Albus that the summary is referring to!

Author's Response: Hi there!

I know it's after the end of the month, but I really want to get to the last two posted chapters of your story. RL is banging me over the head at the moment, so just know that I'll be over there by the end of the week. :)

Wow, so I am in control of something? That's great! I'm so glad you get a solid feel for Wren and where she is in life.

I struggled with the Gran vs grandparents thing here, as you could see... so did my betas, but I like the idea of adding "Gran Augusta" somewhere. That would definitely distinguish her from the others. I'll try that when I tidy things up a bit.

It's good that you're a fan of ambiguity. So am I. But I've learned that too much of it makes the story difficult to read, so at the same time as I'm developing the mystery, I'm also keeping a firm eye on my clarity. Since you weren't confused much, I assume that it was okay here.

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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