Reading Reviews From Member: SilentConfession
  
329 Reviews Found

Review #26, by SilentConfessionBlack Cadillac: Unfaithful

31st December 2013:
This is such an interesting story. Something I wouldn't have clicked on without the TGS review swap and I'm really pleased we were able to exchange, this is a really nicely written tale.

I love how you've characterized Dominique. I've seen her with similar traits to how you've done her, but you've taken her a lot further than most. I really like how you've done that and made her truly a hate able character. She's really well written, in how we see next to no remorse for her actions. She seems to be simply going through the motions of her rituals and it has no effect. She's perfected her craft to this point that it's second nature. It almost seems like she seeks these men out rather than all the male species being crap and trying to take advantage of her. I found myself not believing her when she was going on about the Weasley fame. Although I think there would be a certain type of notoriety with the name, it seemed to be warped by her current perception. I felt like that bit was her own delusions and incapability to see reality clearly. So she's come up with her own motivations to live like she does. It gives her a sort of 'go' on the whole they deserve this because they use my family name and want to abuse me. So i thought you wrote all that really well.

The tone of the story was also really well done too. It fit Dominique perfectly! I love stories which the tone of the writing fits the characterization. It seemed a bit detached and cold which is exactly like your main character. It really helped get inside Dominique's mind and feel what she's feeling. You've also really subtly fitted in bits of her backstory that gives us a glimpse of the steps that have led her up to this point, but there are still loads of questions in my head about that. Which I really like to see in a story as it makes me feel like the story is fully and more complete (if that makes any sense, it just has the sense that there is more to it, that someone else could come into this story and write their own interpretations of it).

I also really like how you've added Amelia into the game. It really gives the story a dark turn as Dominique brings down another woman who could have just been heartbroken, but moved on. Now, however, she's going down a tunnel that will make her more and more withdrawn like Dom.

Really lovely job here. Really happy wIw as able to read this.

Author's Response: Hello there, I've finally gotten around to answering this review fourteen days after you left it.

It has been mentioned that I've taken her a lot further than most people have when it comes to writing her personality. I was quite proud of the fact that I made Dom downright psychopathic. It does seem like she's seeking these men out, after doing this so many times it's like she ends up finding these type of men without really realising that she's doing it.

I've been working on making the tone fit the story because it's been pointed out to me that it's something that I need to work on. I'm glad that you like the little pieces of backstory. When I read through it the first time it seemed to me like Dom was doing all of this just because she could, she was going to such extremes just because she knew she could get away with it and that didn't seem like a good enough reason to me for her to do something like harm William. People more often than not have reasons for doing things and something had to have happened in her past in order to set her on the road to being the person that she currently is.

Thank you so much for this absolutely lovely review!


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Review #27, by SilentConfessionThe Tower of Stars: Result

22nd December 2013:
Hey Illuminate,

Another big change from the prologue to this one. It makes me antsy to read this though because I know where it will end up. I also like the tie in at the very end and her determination to find out who did this to her mother. She's taking her life into her hands and going with it. We can see by the prologue where that brought her. This really gives the reader massive amounts of anticipation for what's to come and makes every moment seem really important. Or should be important anyway.

I don't necessarily think that more stuff needs to happen, but I think you should be very intentional with your choices of what to include. I think this comes with what I was saying about how every moment seems to matter in a story that starts with the end first and then goes back to the beginning. It makes the moments a lot more important as the reader knows how it's going to turn out. This can be a really lovely plot device, but you also need to watch out with how you include information and how important this information is. I felt like the chapter was a bit long and full of some information that you could have introduced more slowly. I get that you want this to be sort of a stand alone, but, i felt like there was a lot of telling about her friends and describing what her friendship with each of them was like. The most effective way you did that was when she mentioned she wanted to use Fred's favourite swear word. That was really effective and active, but as you continued it got more tell-y and for a first chapter I think there could have been less of that. Let that information come, we don't need to know her relationship with each character right off the bat. It's information overload.

You had some really neat details here. Those awkward moments when the parents get together and you'e sort of quietly sitting there while they chat, but there are others you could talk to... but it's just you don't because either your parents are caught up in conversation or you don't know what to say. That was great between Paul and Brienne. I also really liked the awkwardness between her and George and how her friends think they are together, but Brienne hasn't even heard from George alone (the letter from F&G doesn't really count). It's great to see that they aren't automatically comfortable with one another, but it's still going to take time for them to actually coexist as a couple.

Generally, I think it was a good introduction chapter. You ended on a really good note with the necklace and I was honestly thinking something was going to happen with it. I still don't trust the necklace, i feel like it's going to do something at some point! However, that end bit really helps pull The Joker and this story together as you can see, again, how much Brienne has grown and how she's now ready to fight to find out the truth. It is a good clincher!!

Thanks for requesting me! It's always a joy to read this series!! -zayne

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm glad you like the plot device I used- I will do my best to make that pay off throughout the story.

I agree with you about the recap of her friendships- thanks for letting me know about it, I will go through it and try to cut it down a bit. You're right- it should come more organically.

Her and George's relationship isn't exactly tied up in a neat ribbon just yet xD

I'm glad you liked the ending! I really want this to sort of seem like a new beginning sort of thing, like something's really kicking into gear.

Thank you very much for your lovely review!



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Review #28, by SilentConfessionDetox: Regrets

21st December 2013:
Hi! Sorry for the wait with this review, I was trying to write for the Winter Duel and finish off another chapter for one of my own stories. Many apologies.

So this chapter was another really well thought out one. I thought you brought up so many issues Draco would have had to deal with post war so brilliantly and flawlessly. Which makes me love this story even more as i've always imagined his life after to to quite difficult. I remember in the books how there was quite a bit of derision for individuals who were thought to have got off scott free from the first war and that same derision I believe would have intensified after the second war. Draco was caught in the midst of it. His very presence at the school seems to spit into the faces of the families that were torn apart. Especially so soon after. It's like tearing into their very fragile wounds and ripping them open again. I think you handled all of this so very well. It wouldn't be easy to see a suspected Death Eater roam Hogwarts just as it's being rebuilt because it's this constant reminder of what happened and who got away.

Saying that, it is really believable that people would react the way they did. Part of me feels bad that the Gryffindor's reacted that way, but it is so in character for a Gryffindor to get into other's faces. Also, completely understandable, given the fact that his very presence served as such a reminder. No one would be happy to see someone who was a bully, follower of Voldemort, and pureblood supremacist still around and unpunished. I think it goes against most people's sensibilities. (Even though we'd all like to believe we'd give people mercy and second chances, if it came down to it, i think many would react the same in that situation.) You handled that like a boss. I also like how Draco doesn't seem all that reformed yet. He can tell that something has got to give, but it doesn't mean he's left behind his old thinking. He also briefly thinks about relying on his old habits after McGonagall tells him off (thinking of going to tell his father!)

I think you handled McGonagall fairly well. She's such a difficult character to get properly. I think her anger is justified and her stance is a stance she would have taken post war. I like how this is hard for him and that people aren't ready to believe in him and his want for change. It's so much more interesting to see this struggle where he's still very clearly arrogant and rude to muggle borns (loved that line about the filthy muggle borns etc, it was striking to see exactly where he stands on the issue now, also, it is so Draco and it's nice to see that he isn't any sort of saint even after the war!). I think, however, that there were parts in McGonagall's speech that didn't have enough professional detachment. It could be explained away quite easily, however, i've always seen McGonagall as quite classy when it comes to this sort of thing. Those few sentences where she's calling him a DE and a coward. Although she would have thought that, it was there I felt she lost some of her professional detachment and attitude. The rest of it though was spot on.

I liked the moments with Astoria. I thought it was interesting to see more of her childish side. I thought you captured typical teen girls fairly well as well. More to the point, Isobel made a very valid point. I think that it was really striking to hear her say it. It brings a lot of light to what individuals who supported Voldemort must have been experiencing post war. This includes Draco obviously. They are all scarred in their own way, had their own demons to fight after their horrible decisions.

Very quickly I wanted to mention Luna. Such a lovely job you've done with her. I could literally 'hear' her accent with her dialogue. It all seemed very her and only she'd put a stop to that display. Very well done.

Really great chapter here. You've really dove into some really great topics and explored them with expertise. You've made this a very complex story with complex and interesting characters. I like how you're making it so clear how many families were hurt and how that hurt doesn't quite go away . You can really feel this story if you know what I mean. Thank you so much for re-requesting!!

Author's Response: Hi! So glad that you're enjoying the story! And please, don't ever apologize. The fact that you offer your time to help authors grow and improve is awesome!

You pretty much hit all of my thoughts exactly. I expect that there were some pretty big social shifts after the war. Anyone from the "old families" who didn't end up in Azkaban would have been viewed with a lot of suspicion and possibly even overt anger by the survivors who were terrorized by the Death Eaters. On the flip side, Draco's presence at Hogwarts would have seemed like a slap in the face to everyone who fought in the battle or lost a loved one. It's a very emotionally charged situation.

The two Gryffindors responded harshly, but I think that's the life that everyone at the school became used to under Snape and the Carrows. I'm guessing that the Slytherins faced little to no consequences for attacking their fellow students, so it was probably "curse or be cursed" a lot of the time for the Gryffindors. That would have to be hard to move past, even after four months of Hogwarts being back to "normal", whatever that is for Hogwarts.

I argued with myself quite a bit on how to handle McGonagall. In the end, I think my biggest deciding factor was how much she personally lost that she would have blamed on Draco and his family. Draco let the Death Eaters into the castle at the end of HPB, after all. From her point of view, since she presumably didn't know about Dumbledore's master plan, Draco was directly responsible for the death of her beloved mentor and friend. Combine that with all of the other deaths and injuries and I can imagine her professional detachment slipping more than a bit. But you're right, that last bit might have been a little over the top.

I really feel like I put Astoria on too much of a pedestal in the first chapter, so I spend a lot of the next few trying to bring her back to a realistic age and level of maturity. I'm glad you thought they seemed like realistic teen girls, since I've obviously never been one myself. ;)

Whew! Writing Luna is sort of like being in love. You can't explain in words what makes Luna sound like Luna, you just know it when you read it. Again, whew!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate all of the thoughts and feedback!


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Review #29, by SilentConfessionUnrequited: Unrequited

20th December 2013:
Hey Dee! Sorry for the lateness of this review! I was trying to write both my writers duel and a new chapter of Orchard (which is nearly done, by the way!) Thank you for your patience.

Right, i'm no Founders expert. There is a reason I've never attempted to write a story on it yet because I don't think I could ever get the tone of the story right. I think, generally, you did a good job with word choice and making the story feel like it was in era. I think what might have helped even more is in your description. What makes the world you're writing about look different from the world we know now? That would help set it back in time for me. Your dialogue was good, I think you did well keeping their words a little more formal and archaic. If you could also have that reflect in some of his thought processes as well, it would make it seem more connected.

I think the darkness you've introduced to this story is really lovely. How he's fighting it immediately as the story begins. It sets a darker theme to your story which is exactly what you want. I like how you focus on the the wolves, the rustling of the underbrush of unknown creatures, and his journey for something even more dangerous than what the woods have to offer. That really helps set the tone for a darker piece. You set that up really nice. I think that as the story went on, if there had been a little more imagery you'd have captured the horror of the story better. I think what would have helped was a stronger lead up to him pulling the knife on her. It felt quite sudden and it sort of jarred me from the story. If you included a little bit more where the anger flashed across him, and he found himself losing his reason it would have made the end where he took the life of the woman he loved stronger. Also, maybe if we sensed more of the repercussions of his actions (more thought process perhaps before he kills himself as well) would help us feel the horror of the situation. As it is, that moment, which is the most horrifying bit of the story, happens quite quickly compared to the lead up. It felt a bit unbalanced to me. Don't get me wrong, I think what you have here is a good piece, especially if it isn't your usual genre. It's just my opinion that if the end bit was tightened up a bit, you could make this even better.

I like how you added some of the backstory into this as well. We got a small sense of why Helena left, perhaps she felt little love from her mother. Perhaps she wanted to gain the wit that her mother had. It made me wonder why she took the diadem in the first place, but those are questions that I don't think need to be answered in this, it just gives me a sense that there is a bigger story out there and we're only show a short blurb. I think that is an excellent tactic for one-shots to be honest :). I also really liked the contrast between the rational Baron and how he went about finding her, and to the moment where he lost control. That really helped crete horror because it seemed like the opposite of what a character like him would do. It was well done. You're writing style is really easy to read as well and makes reading this incredibly smooth.

Thank you so much for requesting from me Dee! This was a pleasure to read!

Author's Response: Hi Zayne!I'm sorry back for the lateness of the reply :P

I'm not a founders expert either, I've read some amazing founders fics so the idea of writitng this was a little daunting.

Description is something I'm really awful at, though I'm working on it. I always start with it in mind and then as the story goes on I get myself so lost in plot that I forget about it, and this story is no different.

I definitely want to come back to this and tweak it so all of your comments are really helpful. Having read this again, I completely agree about the build up to him killing Helena and using his thought processes more.

Reading DH again gave me the idea for this, the brief talk Harry has with Helena leads to a million questions and a whole story in itself, it's one of the things I love most about JKR's writing, that she has created hundreds of stories that all link with Harry's in some way. You're completely right about the bigger story, if I was better at Founders era writing maybe I would have attempted it haha.

Thank you so much for all of the lovely compliments and the helpful advice, I'll definitely come back to this in the new year :)


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Review #30, by SilentConfessionThe Tower of Stars: Prologue

14th December 2013:
My days Illuminate!

Of course this works as a prologue! Is this in the future? Does all this happen after the story you're about to tell? Or is this propelling the story into action? Whatever the case, i really like how you've begun this. I think this might be the best you've written so far. What i've liked about following this story is seeing so much growth from you as a writer. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, but you're writing style has changed and shifted throughout this and it's really lovely to see how great you are at wielding your character and setting the tone for your story. You've done a magnificent job with this chapter.

I like the emotion of this, it is really catchy. The adrenaline is so alarming and it makes me worried of how Brienne has gotten into this position and how she's found out that a woman is after her. There are so many questions that you've introduced that it really makes me want to read on to see what will happen next. I think you've done a really fabulous job at creating something to hook your readers in.

I also like how you've ended it. You've given the impression that she is going to sacrifice herself for this boy who has followed her into the woods as she refuses to seen I'm die as well. She doesn't want another casualty. I think that tells a lot about Brienne, her growth, and where she is emotionally and psychologically. She seems strong, her ability to not only run from the captures, but also her willingness to give it all away for someone she cares about. That says a lot about a character.

Definitely not too fast paced. I think it's a perfect pace and flow for what you want. I'm honestly blown away by the beginning and I'm so curious to see how things happen in this story as it seems like the woman is going to be making more concentrated effort on finding and kill Brienne. Which brings the tension up tenfold for the reader as we've all become quite attached to little Brienne.

Really great job for a prologue. Thanks for requesting!

Author's Response: Hi!

This review made me squee out loud! Thank you so much! I was really in the zone while writing this, and I really want to try and keep up a certain tone in this story.

I really don't know what to say! I'm so flattered by everything you've said xD Brienne is certainly just on the beginnings of change and she will grow a lot more over the coming months of her life.

Thank you so much for this fab review!


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Review #31, by SilentConfessionDetox: Getting Clean

14th December 2013:
Hello again!

I think that you've started fleshing Draco so much more in this chapter. He's beginning to feel a lot more real and rounded. What I think helped this was the dream he had. As I said in my first review, my sympathy for Draco isn't too big as most of this is his own mess. I'm pleased he's making an effort to change though, but I don't feel massively sorry for him. Anyway, the dream bit helped give us an idea of where he stood even during the war. I think there are a couple different ways you can take Draco and the impression I'm taking from this is that you're taking him along the lines that he sees his part in the war as regret and that is actually was in error? That's what i've taken from this and if that was your intention than I think you've done a really good job at creating an atmosphere for that. The dream was so vivid and i think it dipped really deeply into Draco's subconscious and his thoughts of how following Voldemort didn't bring the power anyone thought it would. It just brought more death. I can't even get over that scene. It was so brilliant and so gruesome. I feel like those two words shouldn't belong together, but in this case they have to. It was so well done.

I didn't think he seemed too eager when he was talking to Narcissa. I liked how he was still leaning on his old training about not thinking before answering. That little bit was really poignant because it gave an idea of how much each person didn't really matter in Voldemort's circle. He wanted puppets and Draco made a good puppet for so long. It will be interesting to read how Draco overcomes this and becomes a better man. What i'd be interested as well to see is how much he stays on this path. It would only not be believable if there weren't any obstacles for him to overcome, or relapses. Typically recovering addicts will relapse and I can only imagine this happening to someone like Draco as a> he isn't the strongest of people b> he's gone through a lot of trauma which have scarred him. I think both things together are tough to overcome and as long as you keep exploring that I think it would remain believable.

I do wonder about Draco a little at this point. I feel like if I continue reading it'll be clearer of where he stands as I get the impression this is going to be a very complex story. However, with his character it has seemed in the books that he does believe that he's better than muggleborns because of his blood. I think perhaps he began questioning whether it was worth his life, but i'm not sure if I buy that he thought it was wrong and i don't think it ever fully left him that muggleborns weren't proper magical. I think the word i'm looking for is entitlement. Saying that, I do like where you're going with this, i'm just curious to know more about him and if his part with the DE's was just survival or something more. The scene at the cafe really helped with that though and explored some of his struggles at becoming better or toning down his own sense of entitlement if he's to survive post war. I also think it makes sense that he's worried about his reputation. That always seem to be an important thing to him at Hogwarts.

I like Horatio. I think his explanation made sense, even if he was a bit naive about the whole thing. I liked some of his comments about the puppet king and the like, but it made him seem like he had no idea what actually happened in the war. Which will make it interesting down the road when things begin to pick up between Astoria and Draco and when Draco probably tries to explain what it was like to be in that circle and the pressure that he had to face.

Anyway, this is turning out to be an essay of a review. I'm so sorry, but there is so much to analyze with this chapter and so many questions. This is a really good thing though and you've done brilliantly with this chapter. I've really enjoyed it.

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I'm glad that Draco started to come to life a bit more for you in this chapter. The first one was meant to show him at rock bottom, so he was necessarily a bit overdone, I think. Here you start to see some of the reasons why he was such a mess in chapter 1. He's haunted by a lot of the things he saw and took part in during the war. Dealing with the risk of dying on a daily basis left him with bad anger management issues and depression. You're correct that he came to realize that it wouldn't have been a good thing if Voldemort had won the war. It's hard for him to square that with the fact that he spent nearly his entire life believing that the Dark Lord was "the right side".

I'm glad the conversation with Narcissa didn't seem overdone. She really becomes his biggest supporter, aside from Astoria, so it's important that their relationship seems genuine. Draco will definitely experience a few setbacks along the way. Much more on this to come.

Draco still has a lot of that prejudice and arrogance in him. He does still believe in the superiority of pure magical blood. That's part of what attracts him to Astoria. But, he's also realized that some beliefs aren't worth fighting and dying for. In the course of this story, I hope that I never stray into that place where Draco starts to seem "redeemed". He did some terrible things, both before and during the war, and he still holds some fairly odious beliefs. He is a very complex character.

Horatio doesn't understand the real power structure within the Death Eaters because he was never a part of the organization. He only has an outsider's perspective combined with what he was told by the Ministry. Horatio doesn't understand powerful dark wizards, he understands money. Therefore he undervalues the importance of the former and overvalues the importance of the latter.

I really enjoyed your review, so please don't ever worry about the length of them. It's always a pleasure and I'm really glad that you enjoyed the chapter. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #32, by SilentConfessionRise: One of Us

13th December 2013:
Hey!

So, i adore Regulus stories. I've realized reading this that I don't read enough of them! Why did you chose him as your protagonist? I'm really excited to see where this is going though as he's a delightfully interesting character. There are so many ways you could take him and I like how this has all started. I like the fear he has, but even better, I like how he's so desperate to control himself. It shows how young he really is and how horrid it was that someone as young as him had to become part of this. He could have been so much more.

Another thing I liked about his character was that he wanted to be there. He dreamt of being a DE. Sometimes i find that stories with Regulus in them, it always seems like he's getting dragged along with the group. Or, he doesn't really seem to make many decisions for himself. Or everything he does was to be different from Sirius or make his parents like him better than Sirius. I like how this whole thing started out with him wanting this life (at least, a little, even if he's unsure a little about it. Who isn't when they make any sort of decision) I thought you did that very realistically. There is an aspect in it that he doesn't quite fit into the world, but, on the other hand, it seems like he actually wants to clean the world of this prescribed 'filth'. He's already starting to feel dynamic. I'm excited to read more on his motivations and what has brought him here.

The chapter definitely makes me want to read more! You've written the tone so well and crafted the other DE's in such a believable way that makes me itch for more. Honestly, the other DE's are so distinct, there is Malfoy who's dark and powerful, Narcissa who seems afraid, Bellatrix and her usual crazy, and finally Dolohov. Dolohov was excellently well done, creepy, but not so over the top either. Maybe sinister and i loved the detail about his breath. It's stuff like that that makes me want to continue reading a story as the details matter and make a story really full and rich.

I also really appreciated that you didn't give an overload of information here. It is one thing that makes me want to read more simply because there is more to know. It makes a first chapter come alive when you just start off without falling into the temptation to vomit all the backstory out into the first few thousand words. So, lovely job with keeping that in check :).

Honestly, for a first chapter, you've done a great job at hooking readers and writing with a lovely tone. It is very readable to me and I don't think you have much to worry about with this chapter. It introduces your story really well. I'm really curious to see how Regulus goes from this to a betrayer. :) I think, perhaps, the only thing you could watch out for is word choice. I noticed a few times the same words being reused in fairly close succession. This is a small thing and didn't really bother me too much, but it does help with readability if there is a varied vocabulary. (i.e - shiver/shivered, nerve/unnerved, fear, afraid) Generally, some of the repetition was fine and made the story more poignant, but as you continue writing just remember to keep it from being repetitious to the point where it makes the writing boring because the same words are reused. I suppose i'm trying to say here is be intentional with your word choices and use repetition to your advantage and not let it take advantage of you. I hope that makes sense!

Loved this chapter though and I'd definitely want to read more! This is really nice work, thanks for requesting.!

Author's Response: Hey there!

I've always found Regulus' character fascinating as we know very little about him but, like you said, have had trouble finding a story about his life on fanfiction. So I decided to write one for myself!

Though, as we know from the HP books, Regulus begins to have doubts about where he stands, I definitely think a part of him wanted to become a Death Eater, so I'm glad you think I portrayed that well.

Thank you for such a great review, I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter.

Courtney:)


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Review #33, by SilentConfessionThe Joker and Her: Epilogue

12th December 2013:
Hey!

I can't believe this is the end of this story! Mental! So much has happened here!

To answer your question of whether this works as an epilogue I'd have to say yes! It's intriguing and it's clearly setting the story up for another story. Which is super exciting. I think that's the best bit you've done with this is make the reader wish for more. I also think you've added so much action and interest with this one chapter that really do help this whole story seem like the beginning of a very large story. Another thing this has done is tie up some lose ends. Some really important lose ends as well that give this story a feeling of some closure. What I mean by this is that we've learned the killer of the mum and we've learn some about the motivation. Or, at the very least, we can make guesses at the motivation of the murder. Was it a spurned lover? For revenge? Why does she need to wipe away every last memory of the mother? Or did the mother find out something that they think Brienne knows? Whatever the case, we've learned a bit more about the murder which makes the plot seem a lot fuller and I can connect to it even more as it has left me thinking.

It is confusing to follow. But that is only because these are completely new characters (i think, unless we've met a few of them before, i was toying with Paul for a bit there, but decided against him being the visitor) and it was in a whole new setting. That does throw the flow of the story a little, but not in a bad way, it just gives us another curveball to try and sort out. I think it works to have the new characters and new setting because it adds to everything we've learned about the situation so far.

Not only that, but the characters are very distinct. The woman feels threatening and cruel which I like and there is this tone of malice in every word that she says. I think you really characterized her well and I wonder what she and this visitor are to one another?? Has the visitor been to Hogwarts before? If he has, why hasn't Brienne noticed another French man at the school? I know when i've been in new places and even if they are quite big, I always seem to be able to spot out someone who is from my own culture fairly quickly. It's like we group together.

Overall, i thought this was an excellent last chapter and i'm really glad I was able to review this story. You've done a really nice job at setting out the pieces for a large mystery story. Great job Illuminate!

Author's Response: Hi! Wow, what a lovely review xD

I'm glad you think the characters are distinct- I definetely didn't want them to just blend into each other.

Thank you for saying it's intriguing and works as an epilogue, I really didn't want it to be just vague and weird. I'm glad it's making you think!

Thank you for the review, it made my day!


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Review #34, by SilentConfessionEquilibrium: Prologue

11th December 2013:
Wow! This has already grabbed my attention right away. I love love love the style you've chosen to write this in. Second and first person is such a weird combination, but it can be done really well. I think (if i can remember properly when i read the book) that The Reluctant Fundamentalist is also told in this style. I think. Don't quote me when I say that. It is so interesting though that you've chosen to have Eileen tell this unknown person her story. I'm really curious to know who this unknown person is. Anyway, back to the style of this. I think it's absolutely wonderful that you've chosen to try something like this. Honestly, i don't know how it'll turn out for you, but so far in this first chapter, i'm intrigued. The only thing I can suggest is make sure you also flesh this person out and she doesn't always remain unknown to the reader as the story goes on. It isn't necessary now as I like the unknown bit of her, but eventually if she just remain an unknown entity I think it may hurt the story a little.

I think your description is lovely so far. I was really drawn into the story and how things looked. I think that you've done a really nice job with that and have nothing to worry about at all. Especially as an introductory chapter I think it's great. It gives me just enough to imagine things and you have a really nice tone to your writing that made it really easy to follow as well. The only thing that made your writing a bit difficult to follow is the paragraph lengths. I'm such a paragraph nerd, but these were really large and chunky. I found myself finding it hard to read and follow because there were so big. That's the only time I was confused with your writing.

About Eileen's motivation, I think there is adequate knowledge at the moment, but I think you would need to explore it a little more as it continues. Right now I think it's all that needs to be told. The style and the description of this keeps me interested to read on. It also is the unknown aspect of why his story is so interesting and makes me want to continue reading to figure out exactly what it is that makes it interesting. I like that unknown bit, the way it dangles in front of me. So lovely job with that! Honestly, this is good so far.

Another thing I really like is how you've subtly put in Eileen's character here. How she rambles, is steeped in the past, and how she's fighting cancer. There is a kindness in her soul as well that i've gotten the impression from and it makes me curious to see how she was changed by Tobias and what her relationship with Snape was during the years. Did he completely cut her off? Did he visit her every so often?

You raise a lot of interesting questions wit this really short prologue and I think this is really great that you were able to do that. It shows that there is going to be a a lot of meat to this story and I'm really curious to see were you're taking this. Thank you so much for requesting, i hope ou found this review helpful! -zayne

Author's Response: Oooh, thank you so much!! The style was actually inspired by Nicole's one-shot Sanguini, the Vampire -- if you haven't read it, you really must because it's amazing! As for The Reluctant Fundamentalist, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that book. The unknown person is inspired by Rachel, the giftee of this novel, and don't worry -- I plan to include more and more clues towards her identity as each interlude of the story progresses. ^.^

Thank you so much! I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the description and that you felt there was the right amount of it. I see what you mean about the paragraphs, I'll definitely keep that in mind and see if I can go back and break up the paragraphs so they're easier to read.

I do plan to expand upon Eileen's motivations in future interludes -- I'm writing interludes, scenes in the café as Eileen takes breaks from talking, to go where there are large gaps in the timeline. I'm happy that you feel the current information is enough, though, since I didn't want to bombard the reader with information but at the same time they did need some information. It's great to hear you're enjoying this story so far!

Oooh, thank you for such lovely compliments! It's wonderful that Eileen has endeared herself to you! As for her relationship with Snape, unfortunately that has to remain under wraps until it's revealed in the novel -- I wouldn't want to spoil you ;)

Thank you so much for this review, Zayne, I really appreciate it, and I truly apologise for the unacceptable length of time it's taken to respond to this! I assure you that it won't take so long again ♥


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Review #35, by SilentConfessionDetox: Sobering Up

11th December 2013:
Hey from the review tag :)

This is really interesting. I've been meaning to read this story for a while now and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to just start it. I'm really glad I did. You write Draco really well and I love how you've portrayed his anger and bitterness. I have always felt very little towards Draco other than annoyance. I felt a twinge of sympathy here. I've always thought his position was a bit precarious in the war, but his cruelty didn't make me feel much when we found out more about how he and his family were in just as much danger on that side as they would have been on the other side. It didn't make me feel too sorry for him in the books though because there was a subtle feeling of you sort of deserve it dude for getting mixed into that. I suppose i did feel bad for him not being stronger. Anyway, I felt like you've made me feel a little more sympathy for the bloke and yet were still able to get Draco's anger across in the chapter. I felt bad because even though he deserves to an extent, he doesn't deserve the prejudice or being humiliated and it made me feel sad that the 'good' side was doing the same thing that they were fighting for.

I love post Hogwarts stories as well and the feeling of having to rebuild life. I like how Draco has made that choice and that we were shown how far he'd fallen and only in the midst of hitting rock bottom he was able to see that he needed a way (with the help, obviously of Astoria). I also like that you're showing the trickiness of life after war. How there was so much to deal with and there were still remnants of the war thick on people's minds (or even the boarded up shop). It just shows that things weren't perfect and lovely once Voldemort was gone.

Again, your portrayal of Draco is great. He's not someone I've ever dared ventured into because he's tricky, but I thought you've done a good job so far. I liked how you showed that even in his intoxicated state he was thinking of how to be a 'proper pureblood' with exchanging pleasantries or how he was defouling his family name. It really helped make him seem like his canon character. I also like the conflict within him and the toil he will have to go through after this.

Overall, this is a great start, really glad i was able to read it!

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Wow. I didn't realize Detox had a reputation. I'm glad that the first chapter lived up to it. I felt like Draco would have been very angry and bitter after the war. It seemed like he pretty much became Voldemort's whipping boy after Lucius failed to get the prophecy. He was given an impossible and deadly task as a punishment and it was only the fact that Snape was a turncoat that kept him alive. Then he spends a year just doing what he has to in order to stay alive, but he ends up on the losing side of the war. I think I'd be bitter, too. I'm definitely not saying that he didn't deserve a lot of what happened to him, but probably not all of it, either. One thing I've tried very hard to do is to preserve some of the nasty, prejudiced, arrogant parts of his personality. I can't imagine that those ever went away entirely.

If there's one thing that puts me off of a post-Hogwarts story right away, it's the idea that the sun came out the minute Voldemort died and everything was suddenly flowers and puppy dogs and happy group hugs. Too many people died and too much was destroyed for that to have been possible. Draco hits rock bottom at the same time that the magical world is struggling to repair the damage and move on from the events of the war.

I'm really pleased that you like the way I write Draco. He is a very tricky character to get right. One of the things I loved most about Half Blood Prince was the way that JKR took Draco and Narcissa -- two essentially disposable characters in the first 5 books -- and turned them into very complex, interesting characters with a lot of contrasts and conflicts. You'll definitely see some of her in this story, too.

I'm really glad that you were able to read it. I hope you find the chance to read more. Thanks for the awesome review!


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Review #36, by SilentConfessionRadio War: I, Ciara Jordan

11th December 2013:
Hi, just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for this late response to your requested review! I took a bit of a break from these, which wasn't massively fair to those requesting. Anyway, I am sorry, but it's better late than never, right?

Right, so I thought this was an interesting start. I like how you tried to get us to understand and know your main character. She seems like a bubbly, likeable character so that's always nice. She also seems to be a good mix of her parents and has a nice slice of sarcasm that spices up her characterization. It's a little early to really comment too much on her characterization as it is the first chapter. You have given us some helpful hints so far though. The only thing i would suggest is to keep her rounded and to add in some faults and weaknesses she has as the story continues. Also, it would be best to show these weaknesses, not just tell them. There were times throughout this chapter I felt this was being told more things than being shown through her actions. It would make the story feel more active if we learned what she looked like by way of actions rather than a blocky paragraph about it for example. Or, if we saw her sarcasm rather than being told she was sarcastic at the Quidditch matches at school.

I like that you put some background information here. We have a good idea of where she came from and what she was like at school. We also are understanding her motivation to be a Healer instead of a Quidditch junkie. That's a really interesting twist and makes your story really lovely as it makes her seem dynamic. However, i did feel there was information overload here and it was really hard to keep all the facts straight in my head. It's okay to leave some background information out in the first chapter and let us keep guessing. It'll also help readers click the next chapter button because they want to know more. Speaking of that, there was a lot of characters introduced and i'm interested to see how they each play a roll and how you're going to handle them. It can be hard to deal with a massive list of people.

I don't typically comment too much on grammar, but there were quite a few issues in this chapter with missing words, articles, and commas. It made the flow of this chapter fairly clunky and it would definitely help if you went through this chapter and cleaned that up. Think of it as a first impression and you want people to keep getting to know the story as you move on so you would dress this chapter up and make it as perfect as you possibly can. Have you tried a beta?

Anyway, enough CC for the moment. The story has an interesting premise and I think that you have some good characters to work with. I like how Ciara is a hardworking and strong woman and that helps me really connect with her. She doesn't seem like the person to fluff about so she is a good voice to carry this story forward. I hope you found this review helpful.

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Review #37, by SilentConfessionDying in Consortium : Dying in Consortium

10th December 2013:
Hi, so, i'm really sorry how late this review is. I took a bit of a long break with requested reviews and i'm only now trying to get myself back into it. So, i'm really sorry for the long wait!

Right, first off, i love that you've chosen Marlene. Minor characters are absolutely fabulous to work with and I love how you've explored such a poignant moment in her life. You've made her come alive as she seems really emotionally distraught at the moment. I like how this captures how the war has completely taken away everything that she knew about herself. Her hope is gone, her desire for something better has been ripped away and it seems like all she sees is darkness. You've explored that theme really well as I feel like there is a lot of lovely imagery here that really hooks the reader into her emotional state. I love stories like this. The first couple paragraphs were you strongest in this, imagery wise. You could really just feel her and see this bleakness that she's facing. How could anything ever get better when so much is going wrong?

I also liked the contrast of that Marlene to the one in Hogwarts. It really helped us see how much was taken from her and how much she was forced to change. It really brought the story home for me because it makes you realize that everything in her life had been altered.

You asked about length and I think that this specific one-shot could have been longer. I have a few unanswered questions and although sometimes having unanswered questions can be really good, i felt like the unanswered questions i had made this piece seem unfinished. For example, there was a little blurb about Regulus. I felt like if you explored that a little more it could tie things up more, why did he confide in her? What did he confide in her? How had she lost her courage to tell anyone he was betraying Voldemort? There was also a little bit of confusion for me when you were talking of Regulus' death. It almost seemed like you were talking of Sirius' death at the Department of Mysteries? Anyway, that bit could use some cleaning up as Marlene would have been dead well before Sirius died.

Grammatically too this could use some work. The first couple sentence had some comma issues, and that was scattered throughout the piece as well. Your piece is quite poetic and I think that if some of the grammar bits were fixed you'd have a really strong and beautiful piece of work. It already is quite good, but another look over would help with the flow.

I do like this moment you've chosen. I'm curious about Marlene, why she's in Grimmauld place with Remus and how she's lost so much. This makes me invested in her character and I think overall you've done a nice job at taking her on and defining her a little bit. Good job! Hope this review helped!

Author's Response: Sorry for responding to this so late. I'm working on catching up on all my hpff this February break! Thanks so much for your input, and I'm glad you like the basis of the story.

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Review #38, by SilentConfessionLate Nights: Seventh Year: 1977

9th December 2013:
Hey, i'm back for your reviews! I will get these done, i promise!

Right, so this is a lovely chapter. I still like how you've written them together and I think it works. It is an interesting concept you have here. The idea of those moments that happen at night time. I find that some authors seem to forget that some of the most impactful moments can happen in the middle of the night where people seem to lose some of their inhibition. Also, typically, all the action happens during the day and at night people all sleep and nothing happens. I love that this whole series is focusing on night and these 'lost' moments of lives really have defined Lily and James' relationship.

Also, i think it's really neat how you've added to some of Lily's depth here. She seems more rounded. I think it's important to keep focusing on that otherwise she will seem like a perfect little character who has few proper faults. I'm not saying she's there, but keep an eye out for how she's portrayed and make her seem alive. I like how shed seems young here and how you've kept part of her innocence. She seems very teenager like and I think that it's great to capture that about her.

I like how you've continued to chose moments that seem really important and that they aren't random. This one was really important as it was the moment they both realized they loved one another. And it wasn't some grand moment, it was a normal moment where they were both tired and living in the moment. There was something really raw about how you had them express themselves.

There was the time that Sirius was telling them that he could still hear them which was really confusing for me. I thought the fact that he was a comedic relief was really lovely to add in and made the chapter seem really full, however, i felt like you needed to lead into that a little more. It felt like Sirius' conversation sort of interjected itself into the paragraph and it really jolted me out of the chapter.

Overall, i think you have a decent chapter here that takes on the sweeter aspects of lily and james' relationship. I wonder if their relationship and time will get darker with the war or you will remain focussing on their innocence (which can be just as interesting).

Author's Response: Hello again! You don't need to stress about them if you can't do them! I understand that life can be really stressful and this isn't a priority! Please don't stress over this, I COMPLETELY understand! :)

But thank you anyway for continuing to review this story! It really means a lot to me! ♥

Yeah, many authors do forget about the night. As a student, most fun things happen in the night for me and I wanted to reflect that in my stories!

I always see Lily as very flawed but I never really know how to write that in so to hear you saying that you like it makes me really happy! :D Thank you for that!

Okay, I understand what you're saying. I just kind of wanted to show how much time had actually passed but had no idea how to :p I'll work on it in the future, however, thank you for the tip! :)

Thank you so much for these reviews! But in all honesty, if you have too much on your plate, I completely understand if you don't have time for these reviews. I won't hold it against you or anything, haha :p

- Kayla :)


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Review #39, by SilentConfessionAngular Cuts: Angular Cuts

25th October 2013:
Hey, I'm here for that's final review you won for my challenge. I'm so pleased that I picked this story to read. It's so good and I love how you've explored pansy post war. It is so very bleak and she has absolutely nothing left in her life. Her family deserted her and she only has the empty house for company.

I really liked how you portrayed her and how she knew that's Draco wouldn't be coming for her. I suppose we get this image from her that she actually believes that Draco likes her back, but you've made it clear here she has no illusions of that. She's very centered in reality with that, but there is also a sense that she's lost all connections to reality as well. If that makes sense anyway. This was a new way to look at her though and thought you did a good job at balancing it all out. It didn't seem too angsty, but it was enough to feel how she's lost hope for herself and the world. I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.

I liked the imagery of the angular cuts as well. I thought that really captured the sense if brokenness that pansy was feeling. I also liked how it came up a few times throughout the story so we really feel the jaggedness of her very existence. It is like she is only part of a person, sort of like Frankenstein who's been smashed together but not truly human.

The writing of this is really smooth too. You did such a great job of capturing her emotions and writing that in a clear and concise way. I guess what I'm meaning to say is that your flow and pace for this was done inpecably and it made it a joy to read. The only CC that I could give with this is that although you did a wonderful job getting into her state of mind and the description of that was phenomenal, it would have been nice to place her somewhere so we could see the actions she's making or what her environment looks like. All we know is that she's at her house, but if there was that little bit extra description it would make the story really bounce out and seem a bit more active.

This was a really good piece though and I'm really happy to have read this.
Sorry for how long it took to get you the review and if there is spelling or grammar issues as I've written it up on my phone. :)

Author's Response: Sorry for the late reply, I've been away until today!

I'm glad that you liked my portrayal of her and Draco because that pairing has always intrigued me. We always got hints from JK but no one ever really knew what happened between them and then suddenly Astoria appears so exploring it here was really fun. I'm glad that you didn't find it too angsty, because I always feel that Pansy has a lot of pride and probably wouldn't to pity herself too much even though it's hard not to.

I was worried about how I toed the line in regards to the use of Angular Cuts so I'm glad that you thought it was alright. The Frankenstein suggestion is really great now I thing about it as she always has to keep on changing herself and never really keeping her true form as she's being moulded by others.

I'm glad that you found that the writing was smooth, because I did have a few issues with it earlier on so I've been working at it to improve it. Reading your CC though, I feel like such an idiot for not including any! Now you mentioned it it seems like perfect sense to have included it so I don't know why I didn't, I'll edit in some after this!

Thank you for this wonderful review, and I'm so glad that you liked it so much!

-Kiana


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Review #40, by SilentConfessionLate Nights: Fourth Year: 1975

15th October 2013:
Hey girl! I'm back reviewing! I'm so sorry (again and again) how long these promised reviews are taking!

I have so many feels that i'm having a hard time controlling myself. I love Jily to no end and i really am liking what you've created and the feeling of the piece. I like the mixture of the humour and darker edges and the way the characters interact. I love that the war is so apparent even then in fourth year. It seems like a lot of stories start the war in 7th year and forget that it started many years before then. However, i'm still really pleased that they were able to be children and joke around a lot as well.

There were so many moments in this that i thought were so funny. Mostly Sirius' pieces and him being a bit of a dramatic, sarcastic show off. But it suited him well and I think you did a great job at capturing him in that light.

Another thing that I thought was great was Remus and how Remus he seemed ;). He was all self doubting and awkward. That side of him isn't always explored and I liked how you've shown a very unsure 15 year old boy who clearly has tried blocking everyone out before this point. It was exciting to read that bit of it. Peter was also quite cool and I loved this bit where he is so earnest about not staring at Lily's bum. It was so sweet and it really told of his character.

The only thing I could say is clean up a little bit of your description. There were times when they were at the Shrieking Shack that I found myself stumbling over the sentences a little. I think if you looked over it again and perhaps cleaned up some of the grammar stuff this would be really great.

Another thing i wondered about is why they'd show the girls the Shreiking Shack? Remus has just opened up about him being a werewolf to the boys and i don't even think they've become animagus yet. (that happens in fifth) So it would be strange that they would be so open to saying they are the ones making the noise and letting the girls into Remus' hideaway.

Anyway, overall, I think this is a great look into the Hogwarts life and I've really enjoyed reading this!!

Author's Response: Hey, Zayne! Don't worry about it, I totally understand that it takes a long time to review! :)

Aw, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it! :D

I remember I had a reason for the Shrieking Shack but I can't remember at the moment! I think I was going to write it in but it was useless to the chapter so I just left it out. Now I wish I had written it in there!

I'll definitely work on description in the future! This definitely needs a thorough editing and once I've finished editing my other novel I'll go through this one! :) Thanks for the tips!

Thank you for the lovely reviews you've left! They really mean a lot to me! :)


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Review #41, by SilentConfessionFlight of the Heart: Boys Will Be Boys

15th October 2013:
Hey Jami!!

This is lovely. I love how you've written Mia and Aidan together. They seem so natural as mother/son and it's really neat to see them together. It's too cute. Aidan is the perfect little boy and so keen on learning and reading. It's adorable and i can hardly handle it. He reminds me of one of the students in a class I TA for. You've got that part written perfectly. So many tiny details that perfect like packing his rucksack or falling asleep as he's reading.

I really like Mia and how she deals with her own dreams and that of her sons. It's clear how much she loves her son that she's willing to put aside the things she loves in order to give him roots and a life. It's really great to read a single mum story where these issues are actually being dealt with.

I also really liked the Oliver portion of it and thought that he seems like the Oliver we know from the books. I think it's lovely too that he's coach, I think he probably suits that role better than a player even in the way you've written him. He's still hard, but secretly really pleased over all the teams successes. It was really sweet to watch his sister come as well and it gives us an idea of where the rest of the story is going as i'm thinking the interview is going to be at the sisters shop. It will make their futures intertwine in a realistic way.

Keep up the great writing. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this. It's really a well put together chapter and the writing is very easy to read and it flows quite well. :) Sorry for taking ages with these reviews!

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Review #42, by SilentConfessionMemoirs of an Object: Little Girl Lost

13th October 2013:
Amanda, I can't say sorry enough for how long this review has taken. I'm mortified that it has taken so long. It has truly been a mental few weeks for me and although i read this a bit ago I never had the time to sit down and give it a proper review.

What I really liked about this is how human Lily is. Lily can be a really hard character to get and I'm constantly plagued by these perfect little Lily's who seem full of butterflies and daisies. That never really sits well in my mind for some reason. But she's so different in this. So much more than that and I really can feel her as a realistic character that's actually relatable.

One of my favourite scenes to read was when she was looking at all these pastel covered things, the camels and the toys. It all seemed so joyful and pretty and innocent. Lily seemed really out of place there, like a really big dark spot. It was just her connection to the wizarding war and how that is anything but innocent and yet she finds herself here and it's a really weird juxtaposition that my mind really liked.

I really appreciated the darker undertones to this as well. It wasn't overdone by any means, but there is a general sense that she's fully realised the position she's in. Her thoughts on the fact that she was married at 18 and pregnant at 19 really summed the tone of this whole one-shot up. It captures their melancholy in a way i don't think anything else could. It is like life is happening to her so fast and yet she hasn't quite figured out what it all means and what her emotions of the whole thing really is. We just see her unhappy. Conflicted about her emotions both on the baby, her husband and his suffocation and an old childhood friend. This is all twisted together in a really beautiful way.

I like how run down Lily seems. How exhausted she is of being love and showing love and trying to deal with the shadows in the world. She seems like she's had too much and this baby is just one more thing that she's almost sure she cannot handle its demanding cries for attention. I also have this impression that she's felt imprisoned for a long while and having a child isn't going to set her free. She just feels like it's one more thing that will control her life. I like how you've presented that.

I like this whole thing actually. I don't think i have one CC to give as I loved how you've conceptualized this. How Lily's gone back to her roots and throughout the whole thing she cannot stop thinking about the times she had before her life was poisoned by walls and magic and the complexities of human love and emotion. It is truly a stunning piece of work.

Author's Response: And now it's my turn to apologize profusely for how long my response has taken. Urgh!

I agree; so often Lily is portrayed as this fluffy little package of perfection that is continually stalked by James's doe-eyed stare (see what I did there?). I had one reviewer on Post Scriptum who postulated that my Lily was too good and sweet and that as a result she became a flat character. That critique--which I think was quite founded--was part of my inspiration in attempting this piece. I loved the idea of Lily taking herself back from legions of shipper arguments and blogger drawings.

But yeah, I really thought it would be hard to go from this fairytale romance and ostensibly simple life to being suddenly thrust into a war and a marriage and now motherhood at such a young and naive age. And I think Lily would be too smart just to eat it all up and force herself to accept it. I think she would resist and fight the things that were happening to her, not just the obvious example of Voldemort but even the smaller issues that plague her here. In fact, they wouldn't even be considered small problems if not overshadowed by a war. Poor Lily hasn't done anything to deserve her circumstances, but she feels trapped in them all the same, and I wanted to give her her own way of coping with this realization.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the story. Thanks for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #43, by SilentConfessionThe Network: Rat

7th October 2013:
This is such a unique story!! I love minor characters and the fact that you've chosen Marietta is brilliant!! There is so much history here and I love how you've handled it. The makeup was especially clever. At first I paid it no mind, just thought it was a girl who liked the stuff. But then as the story went on and there was such a strong focus on her make up coming off and you kept mentioning it I knew it was important and remembered that she had her face written on by Hermione (go Hermione, way to inflict a life of pain.) But I loved the slow realization of this, how much she tried to hide it. I felt like that really related to how she hides herself too. She doesn't seem to really know herself, her side, or how she is perceived. She just seems to be be hiding herself whether it is out of shame or fear I don't know.

This makes me really interested to know where this story is going and how she'll come to decision. It seems that most people distrust her and even fear her. Probably because of her mother's relationship with Umbridge how and high standing her mother is. This trickles down to Marietta and people paint her with the same brush. Not saying she isn't like that because she seems a bit of sneak and undecided about everything. I can easily see her going both ways with the war and i'm curious to know where you're going to take her. She seems to like the fear Reg has for her (i wanted to give poor Reg a huge hug in this chapter, poor bloke!) which isn't a good sign really of her ethics and morality.

This is really well done work Teh! I'm super excited to see where you are going with this! (also stoked that you're writing a longer fic so i can enjoy your brilliant writing even more!)

zayne

Author's Response: Zayne! ♥

What a completely unexpected and very lovely review! Thank you so, so much; this has just made my day! :D I'm glad that you were interested enough to click on the link and read it.

Well, you know me; I love my minor characters. :P I'd been wanting to write Marietta for a long time now, and I actually started this fic aaages ago. And you're spot on with your comment about how much history and baggage Marietta carries with her: her acne, for which she requires daily treatment, her reputation for disloyalty, and her mother's affiliation with such a despicable group in the Ministry. Not to mention that she's a fairly young school-leaver landing her first big job at the Ministry (kinda like Percy Weasley, who also sort of betrayed his own people - hmmm, maybe I could get him and Marietta together...baha!).

And yeah, I'm so glad you noticed that she seems to revel in Reg's discomfort! My intention with this is that she herself feels so insecure and out-of-place and alone with her boring job that she enjoys what little power she has over others; well, yeah, that's kinda trivial and not very nice, but I never got the impression that Marietta was a particularly nice character in the books!

Thank you so, so much for this brilliant review, Zayne! ♥ This story's already finished - just have to edit the next two chapters and I'll put them up. :) And I hope you'll continue to enjoy! Thanks again! *hugs*

teh



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Review #44, by SilentConfessionCrossing Jordan: Bloodlines: Welcome to Day One

28th September 2013:
Hi,

You know what i'm really shocked at?? How few reviews this piece has gotten. I mean, it's so different and unique that i'd have thought people would flock to this idea like flies. There are so many different twists and turns to this that I had to keep reading to try and figure things out. I still don't have a thing figured out, but i'm absolutely enthralled by the plot. I wish more people could read this just to see the creativity that is bouncing out of your mind. I think my favourite bit is just how much i don't know and how much i just can't figure out. It keeps me guessing and wanting more. Yet, there isn't so much of this that i'm feeling confused or annoyed that i have no information because you give enough that is satisfying and yet introduce more. I feel like a cat whose owner is dangling a little string in front of me. I get it some but then it always gets pulled out of my grasp.

I really like Lena too. I like her rashness and her cold attitude. She's charming in her own way and so pigheaded but she's like Lee that way. So over the top (just in different ways). I like how you've chosen Lee's daughter to create this. I also hated it because you've effectively killed one of my favourite characters before the story began. However, i like how the trauma in her life has created her into this and how she pushes people away. What i would like to see more of though or at least some sort of mention is that you talked about her scars... was this metaphorical scars or literal scars from that curse? If it's literal scars it would be great to see how that's affected her now and growing up? Does she embrace them? Hide them? That tells a lot about a person.

While your writing is very clear and easy to read and follow i did find myself wanting more description. I suppose it would give a little more context and make a person feel like they are in the story even more. You've generally done a really great job but if there was one thing that would have made me love this more was just more description. I want to see it.

Another thing i'm wondering about is Umbridge. She was such a massive part of the second war that i doubt she'd ever climb the Ministry ladder again. I don't think anyone would let hrt and, frankly, I was shocked to see her not in prison. I'm wondering if this will be explained more in later chapters or if you will expand on that at all as i'm really curious to know the history of that. It takes a great leap fr me to believe she'd have gotten off free.

Honestly though, i really enjoyed reading this piece and it's so original with so many different thoughts in it that have made me fall in love with it. It's just creative and different and you don't always get that in ff all the time. I feel like this is really branching off into something completely unknown to hpff so lovely job with this! Can't wait to read more :)

Author's Response: wow! this has just made me day, you have no idea! thank you very much for your wonderful review, and i'm so glad you like it that much. it became a little worrying and discouraging that no one seemed to respond to this story i was beginning to wonder if i was doing something wrong. there are so many unanswered questions and they will be answered in the coming chapters. i'm glad you like lena too. as for umbridge, hers is one story arc that is also instrumental to the story, i can't say much without spoiling it, but i'll explain how she's where she is now.
anyway, thank you so much :)


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Review #45, by SilentConfessionLate Nights: Fifth Year: 1976

5th September 2013:
Hey! I'm finally here for your first review! I had this plan that they'd all be done by September but hey ho, life gets busy. I am sorry for the long wait though. I haven't forgotten.

I commend you on choosing such a charged moment to start your story. I think this moment would have meant so much in their relationship and I like how you've chosen this path for them to go down. In a sense we can tell that James and Lily are friends already of a sort. If they weren't she wouldn't have forgiven as easily and the chemistry between them is undeniable. There is a charge between them that can be read into their actions, especially Lily's, that can only be seen as they weren't enemies before. I think that's an interesting and refreshing look into their relationship. I've read so many interpretations of lily/james and it's always nice to come across one that seems to set out in a direction that is different than a lot of them out there. But the mere fact that they don't seem to be bitter enemies is something that makes this unique already.

I like how you've made Lily seem really human here so far. I mean, it's far too early to tell too much about their characterization, but her dialogue seems to really establish her as a confused teenager. She seems young, her wording, the way she talks about becoming an auror. It all seems like she doesn't quite understand the war yet and it hasn't affected her very much at this point.

It was interesting to see James here too. You've humanized him as well. A teen who really has no idea what he wants from life but doesn't really care at the moment. I think it's really great that it's Lily who wants to be an auror and not him. It is refreshing to see that change and to see this more carefree aura come from James. I can imagine him being that way where he just accepts life in the present where Lily feels like she needs to plan.

I think it was great too that Lily wasn't good at every subject and that she needed help. Obviously with that interaction we can tell a lot about the characters. That Lily doesn't ever ask for help and refuses to admit a weakness. She's almost rather hide her inadequacy rather than show it otherwise she would've asked for help before now. The whole using the animagi as a point of misunderstanding is a bit overused however. I don't know why i'm picky about that, but it seems to come in nearly every one i read that everyone goes to the Marauders on help with that specific thing. If they were really trying to keep their secret they'd probably even pretend they don't understand it themselves. Just to keep their and Remus' secret better and not give anything away. But anyway, it's a small thing.

I would've liked to see more description. I felt like there were times i wanted to know more about the scene. More about what they were doing or smelling. It was very dialogue heavy and although that can tell us a lot about the character there were times i wanted to know about the world you were constructing around them so i could be pulled into it with them.

Overall this is an interesting start and i'm really pleased I was able to read it. I am excited to read a few more chapters of this to see where you are taking this. Lily/James is one of my favourite pairings :)

Author's Response: Hello! Sorry for taking so long to get back to you! It's frustrating not being able to respond on your phone!

Thank you so much! I'm not going to lie, I actually LOVED that scene! Even though James was a naughty little bugger, I liked that it showed people CAN change (for better or for worse) so I've always wanted to experiment with that scene.

I know when I was 15/16, I was so confused about EVERYTHING (I still am, really :p) so I did try to channel that out. It's the age when people really start shaping themselves so they're so confused ALL THE TIME. :p

Girls at 15 and boys at 15 are a LOT different. The boys hardly ever have plans (at least the ones that I know) whereas girls are always thinking of their future. So I'm glad it came across, haha!

It is a bit of a cliche, I do admit. But I loved writing it, hehe. If I ever write another James/Lily story (which I'm sure I will because I absolutely love the pairing), I'll make sure not to include that! Thanks for the tips!

I see what you're talking about! I remember trying to make it more descriptive but I see that that didn't work out! I'll try to work on it in the future, thank you for pointing that out!

Thank you so much for this lovely review, it really means a lot that you took time to review it! :)

- Kayla. :)


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Review #46, by SilentConfessionThe Fallen: The Fallen

22nd August 2013:
Hi! I'm finally here for one of those promised reviews!

This is absolutely stunning. I'm out of words for it but there is so much grief in this piece that I can't find the words to describe my reaction! I've never read a story about the funeral of James and Lily. Nor Remus' reaction to it. There either isn't many out there or i've been living under a rock. Whatever the case though I loved the angle of this. These intense emotions that run through Remus are very vivd and poignant. It was the perfect scene to trigger his introspection. I also liked the abstraction of this and the way Remus goes through the motions of the funeral together with everyone. It really highlighted his need for community and acceptance. And also his loneliness and how he had no one now.

One of the things that I thought of while reading this, especially the bit about Harry was that this gave an even stronger reason for him to have run after Harry in the last book. He as sick of being an observer, perhaps, but he was also trying to protect and save the last bit of Lily and James. He wanted that flame to live on as well. It must have been had though because he kept losing everything he loved and knew.

This is such a heart wrenching piece. There are some really lovely details you've included that made this seem realistic. Writing his guilt, the idea of people being innocent or not, of him hiding and being thought of a traitor really brought me into the story to begin with and it gives a view of how uncertain life was then. How uncertain allegiances were. The way his his guilt was brought in quite a few times throughout the story was brilliant and how he was constantly second guessing himself. It would be hard when he was always defined by his friends and now he has to wade into the unknown alone.

You've written a brilliant piece that I think has captured this moment for Remus perfectly. You have a great balance of angst and description. I felt the story a lot but I also felt like I was there and could experience this moment clearly. I know how hard it is to find that balance but you've nailed it with this. Lovely job!!

Author's Response: Wow, I can't really find words to respond to this amazing review either! I've never one about it either, so I thought it would be great way to combat the not so nice part of the end of school feel! I'm so glad that you liked his thoughts because I found myself thinking like him when writing this. I'm really glad that you picked up on his loneliness as I never realised how hard it must have been for him until writing this.

I'm glad that you liked the way it tied into the book. I always found their relationship a rather odd one in way with Remus never looking for him so it was nice to come up with a reason here. I'm just so glad you got exactly what I meant to write!

Yay they were realistic! I've fortunately never really had to experience grief so it was a bit of touch and go as to whether they made sense or not. I think his guilt over their deaths would never fade and that really saddens me. He's just one of those people who could never really see it wasn't his fault.

Thank you for these wonderful compliments, they really did make my day! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it so much! ♥


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Review #47, by SilentConfessionFlight of the Heart: A Chance Meeting

13th August 2013:
Hey Jami!

Lovely first chapter. I really loved how you constructed this and introduced us to Oliver. I really like your Oliver. I don't read many of him actually and I like how right off I already feel like I know him a little and can understand him as well. You really did well with seamlessly weaving in some of his backstory into this so that we get a sense of him but not making it so over the top that I get bored and start to wonder why you're giving me all the information now. I loved that. I liked also how you've added bits about the war and how it affected Oliver and how he's grown from it. The image of Colin was especially gripping for me.

I like how this is an older version of Oliver. Really, an older version of everyone. Not many stories deal with this era and it really sticks out to me that you can really just pave the way and create something here that's new and exciting. I like the way you've described things here as well. There is a very subtle touch here but it paints a really lovely picture and I really do feel into the story like i'm in this small, dark cafe as well with knitting older woman. It makes me laugh a little thought to imagine Oliver coming here to do his Quidditch planning. He seems almost out of place but it would be a good place to hide from fans.

I'm curious about Mia and how closed she seemed. You had a lot of really nice touches of showing us exactly what she was feeling and how she was responding to Oliver. A lot of authors can have trouble with that but I think you did a great job with not just telling us what's she's doing but really putting that emotion behind it. I really can't wait to see her character development and I think there are really exciting things in store for her.

Aiden is cute. I don't think anyone would argue with that. He's bubbly and outgoing and a little outrageous but I really like him. He's also different too because he's more interested in the people behind the scenes which is really different for kids. He's really sweet and i'm curious to know what role he plays in the coming chapters. I'm guess a lot and that may be how Oliver steals his way into Mia's life.

I don't think i have anything else to say! I did enjoy this though, it was sweet and lovely but I loved how you mixed the backstory in and some of the pain involved there but also added this element of hope and light. I know I have troubles with that and I like how you've shown all these characters moving on from the war. Really lovely job Jami, I'm glad I was able to read this! :)

Author's Response: Hi darling!! I'm so sorry this response has taken so long! I'm on vacation right now visiting family, and really trying to focus on spending time with them and not let my HPFF obsession control all :P

I'm so excited that you like my Oliver! I haven't read much about him, and so I sort of had a blank canvas with no previous head canons interfering. I really love this adult age, as well, and wanted so much to do a story about a single mom. But I'm not crazy about writing next gen, and didn't want to go that far into the future, so yeah. Adult Oliver era just fit :P!

Awww your compliments about using small touches to show what Mia's feeling instead of telling are putting such a huge smile on my face! I'm so excited to see what you think of the chapters that deal with more of her!

Aidan will definitely play a huge part in the whole story. He and Mia came first, and I Mia won't be a person to ever let someone try and use her kid to win her over, so her wondering if Oliver's trying to do that might cause some issues.

I'm so excited you liked this first chapter, m'dear!!! I'm so behind on everything HPFF, but I can't wait to get over to review the new chapter(s?) of ATG! Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by to review, it's put such a huge smile on my face!!!

♥ Jami


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Review #48, by SilentConfessionOf Dragons and Daring: Welcome to Romania

24th July 2013:
Hey Amanda! I'm here for the TGS review swap!

I really enjoyed this story and love that you made it about dragons and Charlie's work! There is so few stories about Charlie that when I get to read him i'm always so excited. He's such an excellent character. I like some of the things you introduced about him as well. The way he talked about the dragons or the eggs just made him seem like he was in love with his job and lived for it. It was a great detail to include.

I like that this was a Luna/Rolf. I've always liked them as a pair and it's really great that you've had them get introduced this way. It works with their personalities and their histories (at least, Luna's). She's an odd ball and I can see her getting very interested in naturalism and herbs, plants. Even her desire to get into Carnivorous plants added to her characterization. Can't imagine too many people being massively into that to be honest.

The details you include here about the magical world make it seem broader and wilder. I suppose I don't read enough ff where jobs about research or wild creatures enough but this story made it seem like the options after Hogwarts were limitless rather than being stuck to Ministry work.

You interpretation of Luna is interesting. She seemed quiet normal and less loony. I realize this can be explained away as she is older, she's gone through a war which is bound to change someone, and it's told from her perspective so perhaps she doesn't realize how she comes off to the world. However it did make me feel like I was reading a different character at times and it might have helped to ground her in canon if there were even a small mention of some of her outward quirks. Like how she reacts to things, her body movements, or conversation. Generally though she is believable and I wouldn't say i'm turned off by her characterization at all. There were a few things that helped me see her like her odd though of a good singing voice and her interest in plants. It helped me to connect with her anyway :) .

I really enjoyed reading this though! It's a great story and i loved reading all about the dragons!! Great job Amanda!

Author's Response: Hey Zayne, thanks for coming by! Just so you know, I am going to try to get over to your story in the next few days. I'm excited to read a Peter story--been really interested in Peter lately, actually--and just haven't found the time.

I agree that Charlie is an intriguing character and I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed writing him. (Weasleys are something else that has been quite trendy for my muse lately.) It was my first try, so I'm happy to hear that you felt like his personality was right and that you enjoyed getting to observe him in his "natural environment."

It's great to hear that you liked seeing Luna and Rolf here, too. They're another part of canon that I feel like is mostly unexplored but is also really very interesting. I've always got research on the brain as a grad student and so thinking about this part of their lives was easy for me--and it was fun to put a magical spin on it! I agree that Luna didn't feel quite quirky enough, and I think that'll be one of my main foci if I decide to continue this into a longer work (which it feels very much like I might someday). I am pleased that you picked up on some of the more subtle quirks I included.

I think you're definitely right about fanfiction not covering many professions after Hogwarts. I've written a couple of stories now that focus on the working world and I find the possibilities absolutely limitless, and also fun to envision.

Thanks again for your wonderful review :)

-Amanda


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Review #49, by SilentConfessionIf Wishes Were Fishes: One Little Word

18th July 2013:
Wow. Loved this moment in the story. The harrowing idea that the person you thought you knew wasn't who you imagined them to be. That kind of thing cannot be easy for anyone. Seriously it's like everything she knew about a person was completely snatched away from her. Her base for reality and the base she has for knowing about the magical world. Severus really was this rock for her and now that rock has been smashed. How would that make a person react psychologically? I don't know but it seems like having her completely lose it would be a fairly decent reaction to have. To make the banter between her and james escalate into something grotesque.

I'm curious to know what happens now. How will their life look, how it changes and if she will forgive Severus at all or is this actually the break. You've really handled this moment well and it's mega believable. You handled it with care and with sensitivity. I liked how i could really feel her world coming apart around her. Loved that. Really well done!!

Author's Response: Ugh yeah this chapter was actually hugely difficult to write. Because of the restrictions for quoting the book, I couldn't put in as much as I wanted and that was frustrating and limiting but I'm glad you liked it anyways!

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Review #50, by SilentConfessionIf Wishes Were Fishes: Someone Else's Girfriend

18th July 2013:
Cool chapter. I can definitely this as fuel to make the relationship between Severus and Lily fall apart. First we see that Severus already doesn't want people to see her with him and it embarrasses him in a way but he really wants to be around her still. He's just so worried about his reputation but it wouldn't, at this point, stop his infatuation with Lily. I can see something like the other man that would make him colder and throw cation to the wind. Even enough to call her a mudblood. It was fueled by anger and jealousy and this is a perfect lead up to that moment. It just seems so perfect to be honest. I've always thought about what would cause Severus to say that and I like that you've introduced a few things already in this chapter that's going to drive them apart. His friends, how he already stands up for them, and this new relationship she has with Alex.

Your characterization of Lily is great. Honestly. So far it's really interesting. She seems like a regular girl who focuses a little much on school but you can tell that perhaps she's not perfect in her studies as she has some trouble with the spells. It's refreshing to read this because she's usually just so perfect at everything in most stories with her.

I really enjoyed reading this chapter. The growing tensions in this chapter, the dynamic between Lily and James which seems almost playful rather than hate. Another really cool thing about this is pairing someone with Lily and even pairing someone with James. Most people can't even imagine them being anyone but each other but to be honest they were teens full of raging hormones and they probably had boyfriends before one another. Lovely chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks! Honestly though, they were both 16 and I don't think it's realistic to think they didn't at least go on dates to Hogsmeade with other people, you know? So I'm glad you like that!

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