Reading Reviews From Member: SilentConfession
  
330 Reviews Found

Review #51, by SilentConfessionIf Wishes Were Fishes: Only Sixteen Once

16th July 2013:
Ah! Another great chapter! I love the dynamics in this story. I've always been wary of the love/hate relationship between James and Lily but I think you've really hit a good spot with them. It's not over the top but there is a certain aspect of banter between them that is really great to read. It's snappy on Lily's part a little and James just enjoys getting under his skin. I think you really captured his arrogance well here though without making it really annoying. I mean, it is a little annoying but he stays in character and part of me just wants to laugh at him.

I also like the brief moment we saw Sirius. He seemed quite in character. Funny, a little darkly funny and he seems vibrant, larger than life. I love that because he is a big character himself and i like how you've tapped into that.

Lily also seems really awesome in this chapter. She's different too. The whole socially stunted comments and her reclusiveness. It's different then most other stories were she's perfect and everyone loves her. I like that she seems more human. Actually desperate to see a less than perfect version of her.

Really great job on this chapter!

Author's Response: aw thank you so much! One of the things I'm always really thinking about when writing is making sure the characters are themselves, you know? Not over the top, just human. I'm so glad you think they are! Thanks :)

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Review #52, by SilentConfessionIf Wishes Were Fishes: Prologue

16th July 2013:
Hey! I've been wanting to read this story for ages and now I've decided it's just about time to get it done. This beginning of this is incredible and really intriguing. I just want to know what James did, what the heck this list was and why Lily is hanging out with the Marauders. It sets this story apart from all the other Marauder stories already.

There is also this crazy sense of urgency here that makes me want to read on. They are running from the people who've found out about their party and there is so much adrenaline that is pumping through my blood to see what's going to happen next and if they'll get away! I love the suspense i'm in at the moment and you've done such a brilliant job at describing things. I have such a vivid picture in my head of what's happening and it really puts me in the mood for reading this story.

Awesome first chapter, can't wait to read the rest of it.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm always worried my prologues won't make any sense to those who don't know what transpired to get the characters to that point, but I'm so glad the urgency and adrenaline comes off and makes you want to read more! Cheers and happy reading!

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Review #53, by SilentConfessionThe Psychology of Gobstones: His Worst Mistake

16th July 2013:
Hey! I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get to this review! I've just been busy with RL stuff and the HC!

No romance? This will be interesting, for sure. You definitely emphasize that this will not be a romance story and focus a lot on how everyone is just not interested in it. It actually makes this story very ridiculous. Not in a bad way, just, it adds to the hilarity is what i'm trying to get at. The fact that there is a massive barrier between sexes and between romance. It's very dramatic but It helps the story along definitely.

The flow of this chapter seems to be okay. There is some choppiness to it because there were times I wished that i could see the characters doing things and have them come alive a little more in certain parts. Something that may help is just to add a little extra description about what they're doing, what their arm movements are like, facial expressions. What do they smell? Things like that help us envision the scene a bit more and I think that's the only thing that made the story a little less flow-y if you know what I mean.

Character wise. I think you generally did a good job. You seem to have a grasp on your characters well and they come across strong in this first chapter. I liked how Lorcan was talking about how his brother doesn't understand intellectual pursuits and yet it's Lysander who's basing a lot of stuff on theories/ideas on some psychologist (who i refuse to name because I don't think his ideas were A+). They are likable and endearing in their own outrageous sort of way. I wanted to smack Lysander a few times but I did enjoy reading him. I wonder why he's so 'fixated' on psychology and Freud. Hope you develop that in chapters to come. I like he flamboyance though and his ability to just say whatever comes to mind. It's a good quality to have. Lorcan is equally as well developed so far. I liked his terror and how he says he's not brave and doesn't ever want to save damsels in distress. You play with that characterization well and I've begun to like him a lot.

The balance between dialogue and description is good. I'm someone who always loves description and i lean towards that a lot. However, I think you have it balanced quite well and the only thing i'd mention is that when there is dialogue don't forget to add some telling details of what your characters are doing. Where they are sitting or what the room looks like or if it's changing as they talk. it just adds a little more depth to those moments and can give us a clear and vivid picture of your scene.

This was a delightful and easy read and if you aim is for a slightly ridiculous plot that seems to take things less seriously then i think you've hit something special. It seems a little overdone in some places, but in a way the comedic release that you get from that is spot on. So it really depends on your goals are for this story. This is a first chapter so no one can expect fully developed characters or plot and if you're aiming at developing them more just make sure that they are multisided individuals. Really, this is a great beginning, feel free to re-request if you found this review helpful :)
-zayne

Author's Response: Hello!

Okay, I have been SUCH a bad person for the past gazillion months because I didn't answer this review for the LONGEST time, but here I am, finally responding. I'm sorry that it took so long for me to finally stop being lazy/busy, if you like to read author responses. Please forgive me!

Balancing dialogue and description is something that I have trouble with, especially when the characters are conversing and I'm supposed to describe what they're doing and what's going on around them. I just can't get a handle on it! Maybe in the future, when I finally edit this story, I will look over the dialogue portions and see what I can do to make things come to life a bit more. Thank you for the suggestion!

I am so glad that you thought that my characterization of the boys was good! Yes, I also disagree with Freud (he was kind of a jerk, but he contributed to psychology, so yay for him, I suppose), but it was fun throwing in all of the references. I wrote this story at a time when I was studying intensely for my psychology exam, so it kind of transferred over to my writing. :)

Yes, my aim was for absolute ridiculousness, and as a result, the characters don't have a lot of good background. Why does Lysander like Freud so much? Probably because the silly girl who wrote him was steeped in psychology at the time. I can definitely try to work on that, though.

Thanks so much for your review, and again, I am SO sorry that I was rude and didn't respond for a LONG time. :P

~UnluckyStar57


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Review #54, by SilentConfessionThe Joker and Her: Holding On, Letting Go

16th July 2013:
Hey! So sorry how ghastly long this has taken. I was getting ready to review it days ago but then the review challenge happened in the HC and I got distracted again. Anyway, i'm here now!

Does this work as a final chapter? Absolutely. It ties a lot of things together and there is a note of finality and closure to this chapter that is just lovely. Obviously all my questions aren't answered but there are other stories (and an epilogue) that are sure to address the mysteries that still surround Brienne.

What I also liked was the fact that you brought up some of the questions and tensions here in this chapter so that we don't forget about what's going on. There is still that underlying question about her mother. What/who killed her? Why is there suddenly a necklace about that no one knows who sent? It makes me wonder about the possible answers and keeps me interested in what's still in store.

The necklace was a nice touch and it shows a lot about Brienne actually. How much she's grown in this story to actually be able to rely on her friends for support rather than to internalize everything. That's a huge step. She also seems more able to handle things as well. Stronger. Which i'm assuming she will need. I'm a little shocked that she'd wear the necklace. Especially after everything that has happened this year for her, it seemed a little foolish and reckless if she knows someone is out to kill her. Anyway perhaps she wasn't thinking or too caught up in the emotion. (on that note, it was during that part of the chapter that I felt you could have have delved into her emotions a little more. You're usually so good at getting those across but that moment felt a little staler than usual. Not bad, just I felt like it could have gone deeper. Perhaps showing us what she's feeling. How is she acting? What are her facial expressions, hand movements etc). Anyway i'm curious about who sent this and I have this forebodence about it already. I just can't imagine it getting 'lost' for a year. I don't think that owl post is that unreliable to be honest and perhaps the killer made the mother write the name before he killed her and he's (or she i suppose) was just waiting for the opportune moment to send it. Whether it was cursed or not is another question. I'm sure some deep curses that are well done could be activated by something else than the skin (like... when he saw her it would be easier to kill her because another spell would activate the necklace and he wouldn't have to be open about the murder) or could avoid detection. Or maybe it's just a scare tactic or an emotional bomb! Anyway, i'm clearly intrigued by this necklace! I just want to know what part, if any, it plays in the plot!

The flow was lovely. You did an excellent job at getting through these moments smoothly and made each moment count. Whether she was mourning her mum (i really liked the line she told Angelina about how this would always be the day her mum died. It was really moving and showed what her state of mind was) or going through exams. With that I think you expressed Brienne's state of mind quite well with the anniversary. We really got where she was and how it affects her emotionally. It was brilliant. The only thing i can suggest is perhaps make it a more show. Sometimes she gets all internalized which is great and very Brienne but sometimes i just wished that there were some outward signs of what was going on so i can have a clearer picture of these moments in my head.

This really is a great chapter. I wish i could comment on more but i feel like this review is turning into an essay. However it's a good final chapter though it still raises questions (like Paul!) it does give some closure. I loved the final moment between her and George! FINALLY! They slightly get over their awkward bumbling selves and get through to each other! Great job!

Author's Response: Hi!

Oh, I'm so glad you liked it! Haha, don't worry about having a long review, I love reviews of all kinds or lengths xD

I'm glad you liked the introduction of the necklace. I know there are a lot of possible explanations and answers to where it came from, and I'm hoping everyone reading finds that a good mystery :) Thank you!

About that, I will definetely go through and put more detail in as to her emotions in that part :) Thank you for letting me know about that!

Ooh, I wonder if you like Paul? And yay, Grienne xD Thank you so much for your wonderful review!


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Review #55, by SilentConfessionThe Final Journey: The Final Journey

13th July 2013:
I love the images that this story brings to mind. The fog, the marshes, the bright flying phoenix flying above the earth like a shooting star. Those are the kind of images that make a person get into the story. It sets the stage and it brings the reader right into the story. Which is great because as strange as a narrator as Fawkes was those things helped ground the story and helped us see life through his eyes.

This was a beautifully woven tale with a lot of emotion. I liked how he flew over some of the most defining moments of Albus' life and showed how Albus grew as a person and how they grew together. The theme also of rebirth was really strong here. How everything changes, eventually it changes for good.

This is just such a unique tale! I can't get over the idea that you chose to write with the eyes of Fawkes! Absolutely amazing choice and i'm just shocked at how emotional I feel over this fictional bird. Really stunning work. I think my favourite bit was the end and how he burst into flames and fell into the ocean. It left a really powerful vision in my head of how nothing ends forever and once again good will rise up again.

Really lovely work here! I'm really happy I was able to read this!

Author's Response: Hello there!

Thank you so much for this lovely review! I really enjoyed it and I'm so happy that you liked the story. I wasn't too sure of it until I read the reviews and it's received really positive feedback. I love details so I'm glad those came through. And I'm really happy you liked the "rebirth" element of this. That was important for me. That final scene with Fawkes dropping into the ocean was the only one that I was really positive I loved. So I'm glad you liked it too! Thanks again!

--Emily


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Review #56, by SilentConfessionDeception: Deception

13th July 2013:
Hey! This is fantastic! i've always been interested in this part of the Harry Potter world were Gilderoy was able to so flawlessly steal other people's stories and use them as his own. I've always wondered at how he came to be that sort of man willing to steal other people's memories and their lives. You've managed to create a piece of that here which is really cool. He seems quite dark in your story. The way he craves the power and doesn't see it as being wrong. He's making the tale famous and to him that is the more important than the person behind the tale. It's sad though, how he realizes how important a memory is and how it is the core of a person and yet he just waltz's in and takes what's theirs. Basically stripping the person of their humanity with no remorse. I know this is a little thing but his ability to do it on something as innocent as a rabbit shows where his mind is and how little he thinks of what his spell does to people.

You know, a lot of people see Gilderoy as a bit of a vain, puffy celebrity but they don't see this bit where he had to work really hard to find these people and to track them down. This strips him from that perfect persona that we know him as and we see the raw determination from him and his spotty magical abilities.

It disgusts me to read this. I hate the character even more now that i've gotten to know him better. i don't sympathize with him, i wish he'd embrace similies because they're wonderful like watermelon ;) , and i wish he wouldn't steal from other people. He truly is a despicable man and you've written this aspect of his personality really well. I'm quite impressed with your writing ability! Great job!

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Review #57, by SilentConfessionSoul Pieces: Pride

13th July 2013:
This is an intriguing story. I think there is a lot below the surface with this and that Fred Weasley is going to have to face a lot more before he gets out. I wonder if George will be there to save him each time or will fred fall further and further away with each sin he has to face. I do love the way you've dealt with this. The way that Death just wants to play jokes and petty games. It makes me want to see what happens if Fred were to fail at any of these tests. Which place would he go? If he can't be the hero but fails... what then?

Anyway, you have an intriguing start. It's different and unique take on travel and taking us on our journey through the afterlife. There will be more demons for Fred to face i'm sure and things that he may not be able to get out of. But in the end Fred likes games just as much so it'll be interesting to see the rest play out (as you say there will be more once the HC is done)

The beginning was hard to take. Having to see Fred actually try and deal with his mourning family. It just showed his personality there because he didn't want to put his family in pain, he wanted to protect them, to save them from their grief. It was a really touching and sad moment. You have fantastic descriptive skills and it helps set the scene absolutely wonderfully. I'm really glad i was able to read this!

Author's Response: Helloo! So glad to see you here. Thank you for taking the time to review my story :)

You are absolutely right. This is just the top of the iceberg of Fred's journey. There are many more inner battles he will have to take before his 'destiny' will reveal itself to him. As to who will be there to save him next time (or not...), you'll have to find out for yourself :D The story can go either way: he could save himself from falling into each sin, or he could not. Nothing is guaranteed ;)

Fred definitely enjoys games, but I don't know how much he enjoys being played with. There will be moments when he realises that Death is only mocking him, toying with him to see if he's going to break or not, which will make him very angry. But once he has chosen this path, he cannot turn back. So he has to play the game of life :) (as I like to call it).

Thank you for the compliments on Fred's characterisation. It's an aspect of the story I wasn't sure I got completely right, but now I can rest assured that I've handled it with enough care. It was very hard writing him in that scene. I tried not to overdo the intensity of the scene, but describe enough to tap into the desperation of his situation and the effect death had on his state of mind. I really hope I did him justice :)

I can't thank you enough for this review. It was a real pleasure reading it and responding to it. I do hope you will come back later and see what's in store next for poor Fred :D I can guarantee a bumpy ride haha


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Review #58, by SilentConfessionNon-Omnis Moriar - Not All of Me Shall Die: The Beginning of the End

13th July 2013:
I haven't thought too much about Voldemort's experience with the afterlife. I had this image of it being terrible and grotesque like the skeletal figure we see at the King's cross station when Harry gets there. Something akin to being stuck, destroyed.

I did like this though. How he saw his life before him. Moments that made him who he was, moments that defined him. It was clear that not at a single moment he felt remorse which I appreciated for a story like this because it wouldn't have fit in with who Voldemort was as a person. He wouldn't have ever felt sadness for who he was, any kind of regret for the choices that he made.

You did Voldemort well I think. It's hard to write him and it's daunting to be honest to get him perfectly in character. I think you generally did well with him though I think he could have had an edgier feel to him, a more sinister feeling might have made this even better. Generally though I think you did well in creating Voldemort on page.

I thought it as interesting that you likened this state that he is in now with how he was when he was first stripped of his body. He has to cling to the idea that he wouldn't die completely. That his reign will never be over and his unending hope that he could not be destroyed. Least of all by someone like Harry. I'm only guessing here but by calling Harry a mudblood are you saying that anyone who doesn't have pure blood must have 'tainted' blood like a mudblood?

I suppose with all that though i would have liked to see bigger moments, moments that defined Tom Riddle and I felt like although it was cool to see some of his past that there could have been moments that showed his growth into being a monster. Though I guess it does bring up the idea of nature vs nurture and maybe Riddle was just born being evil.

Anyway, this is a really interesting look at Voldemort's afterlife. I loved that you chose to expand on his afterlife.

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing. Originally, I was going to add more scenes but had to narrow it down due to time constraints with the HC deadline. It was difficult keeping Voldemort in character with him being dead. I wanted to keep the evil emotion but draw on the fact that he was indeed deceased.

Thanks for reviewing!

~Celtic~


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Review #59, by SilentConfession( [ { final destination } ] ): the end

13th July 2013:
Wisty!

What is this? What have you done?? I'm speechless because this whole thing is completely different and out there and I love it. It truly is an incredible piece of writing and i don't even know where to start with this review. I just want to flail about and hug the writing to pieces. Honestly. I don't even know why i like it so much, i'm speechless and that's not normal for me.

I loved the () [] {} bits of the story. How they all led to one another and brought the story in a circle and it was harsh. It was jagged and cut the story up. It stopped the flow of the story but somehow that really worked with this. Worked for Snape because the whole time I kept thinking how very much like Snape this whole thing is. How jagged, unclear, how harsh and it just fit perfectly with what you were trying to do. The self-loathing you have pervades the story completely. It seems like every remembrance, every thought is a regret, a mistake.

I loved the overall tone and the style of this. It made the theme and the emotion really prevalent. In a detached sort of manner. If that makes sense because i felt like this story was very based in reality that he was losing his reality and on this journey that was detached from anything we know and yet i still felt the story. You have an excellent use of imagery. The blue black of his veins, his bruises. Every word it seemed had a purpose and conveyed something to the readers. This is honestly something you should be proud of making. It's a great piece!

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Review #60, by SilentConfessionJust Keep Running: Just Keep Running

13th July 2013:
This story is exceptional. Gah! So many emotions are running through me at the moment and it's so haunting and stirring. I don't even know if I can be coherent with my review with this piece of writing. I loved the beginning of this. The gripping sensation that this character, who ever they are, is in so much pain and turmoil. I can't help but care with the character, to feel their pain as if it were my own. There is also this urgency that you begin it with. The fact that she is running, trying to escape something that's been chasing her. We don't know what it is but we do know that if it catches up with her than it feels like she could cease to exist. Something bad anyway. We also get this sense that she's at the end of her rope. That there is nothing left for her and I find myself wanting to reach into your story and help the character.

I loved how you added in that the war was throughout the whole world. That's interesting because most stories just explore the happenings in Britain. I usually do that as well but I suppose it would have been more widespread, especially if there were people leaving the country and going into hiding I can imagine that the snatchers would be ordered to find them. It's a great detail though and makes this seem like it could be another epilogue of the story. A lost moment in the Potter world.

The moment when she comes undone. When she spills everything out to this muggle man was heart wrenching because I think it shows a lot of where her state of mind is. Especially when we find out that it's Angelina who seemed to be more practical and levelheaded. She doesn't seem like the kind of character who'd break the Statue of Secrecy. However she does and it shows how broken she is at the moment. The end where she oblviates Sam's memory too was just too much. The one person who just sat and listened, who didn't try and tell her to be better but just tried to understand her and care for her. there was nothing else she could do but that but it was just sad to me to see that moment and see that it wasn't enough for her to get a grasp on the situation. She is still lost, runing from her grief and the truth.

The only thing that I was slightly confused with was 'them'. Who are these mysterious 'they' that she is running from? The people she cares about? Are they actually searching for her or does she just imagine that they are hot on her tail? That part was left unexplained in my mind and it left a hole in the story for me. Kept me from fully believing the story as i kept wondering about it and wishing that there was just a little more clarity in it. Even if was the people that loved her (which i think is a really cool aspect of it because you're not always running from evil) I also think that those same people are in such grief themselves that they'd understand her need to be alone for a time. Unless she's just imaging they are coming for her and that she's made this fiction in her mind that she's in danger of having her grief misunderstood.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this story, a lot. It was emotional, it packed a lot of punch to it and it was just so good. I don't even know if this review makes sense but this is a good piece of writing!

Author's Response: Hello there. Thanks for the review!

I did try to show a lot of emotion through this as she was a very broken woman here. Everything she ever had was lost and destroyed in this one war and she and the baby were just left alone.

I also think that the war too would hav ebeen widespread throughout the whole world as Voldemort doesn't seem the type to just settle for British domination, why not just go the whole hog and have the entire world whilst he's at it.

I know what you mean about the statue of secrecy but she only ever went in there with the view to obliviate him afterward and that's quite poignant for me.

They here are her friends and family who are really worried about her. As soon as she heard about the death she disappeared so noone knows how she is although they know about the baby. They want her to come home rather than keep running as they will want her to know that whilst they've lost Fred she's still part of that family.

Thank you


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Review #61, by SilentConfessionA Peculiarity of Sorts: A Peculiarity of Sorts

13th July 2013:
One thing I was impressed with was your inclusion of all these weird animals and creatures. So many times i've read people who make Luna more normal and ground her. Sometimes that works to an extent but I liked how you didn't really try that but just embraced her quirkiness and made it a major part of the story as well. It really helped get a picture of Luna and made her seem canon and wonderful. I've always had a soft spot for her and I think you captured that essence of Luna that i've always loved. The ability to just be without worrying about other people's expectations of normal. Also, Nargles taking her wellies? Brilliant.

I love train journey's too which made this one-shot very dear to me. You made that part of it really realistic and true to life. I liked how you tied the journey of life is like a train journey as well. It seemed very Lunaish as well to have this deep understanding of life. Which I think is great and realistic because it seems sometimes like that's true to life, the quirkiest people, the ones who don't shout out their opinions but rather travel through life doing their own thing have this really strong idea of what life means.

I loved the inclusion of Rolf and that they met this way. You can tell they hit it off and i've always thought that Rolf would have to be someone special to fall in love with someone like Luna and he must have some of her quirks in him as well. I can just imagine them searching for creatures the rest of the live together. Which is sweet. I really liked your nod to the war before, whether it was mentioning Neville's haunted face or the fact that she struggled like everyone else to get through.

The only thing I wish I saw more was more description of their surroundings. A bigger feeling of being in the place that they were in with them. It seemed very focussed on them and sometimes i found it hard to vision them in their surroundings.

Great job with this story! It was a lovely read!

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Review #62, by SilentConfessionMum's the Word: Romania

13th July 2013:
I really loved this! Charlie is such an unrepresented character in fanfiction and the books and it's great to see him feature in your one-shot. I like how you played on his need for adventure and life. This seems very Charlie like i'd imagine. It would have to be for a guy who wanted to work with dragons. I also loved how he got the carpet. It was quite clever to be honest and I was like 'go Charlie! you barter with that hag!' Brilliant.

I liked the humour in this. It was sly and subtle at times but it seemed to fit in with your characters. It also goes really well with your writing style which is very smooth and almost poetic in a way. But I feel that way with almost all the stuff that you write as the tone of your writing voice just makes it easy to like the story itself.

It was funny to see such a determined boy to get to the Dragons and trying to even make himself look like a Dragon keeper before hand by thinking of how hard they must be to keep up with the job. It was a nice touch. Showed that he was just a teen, especially with his sheepish answers after being caught and him admitting he ran away because of a row. It was all very true to life.

Great story! I really enjoyed reading this a lot!

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Review #63, by SilentConfessionThe Twenty Two: Scotch Bonnets, Cakes and Buses

13th July 2013:
Hey!

This was an excellent piece. The narration you have for this story is really quite strong and poignant. Your main character, although we never find out who it actually is, has a strong voice and carries the story on really well. I love her observations about life and buses as well. They were dryly observant at times and other times a little outrageous. I like how you named the boys by something that signifies them - elbow patch boy, scotch bonnet etc. Tibbie seems so normal, so lovestruck that it's quite funny actually to see the similarities. Her slightly stalkerish ways just made me laugh and her obsession with drawing the back of his head. Excellent use of her skills I think ;) .

It was also cool to read a completely normal and almost insignificant way to travel. Buses. It made the story unique though and true to life. I don't think people make as good of use of that as they could. It adds a lot of hilarious content to it anyway.

Aww, Henry! Such a sweet guy to come to her rescue like that. I liked how it was just so natural between them as well. His absolutely adorableness and sweeping in when she just experienced rejection as well.

The only thing i could suggest with this is I wish i could have visioned this a little more and got a feel for the place. It started out good because you gave these smell of smoke and mint there but as the story continued I felt like some of the description was lost a little.

Anyway, lovely entry to the HC! Glad I was able to read this!

Author's Response: Hello! Wow, what a fantastic review!! I'm so glad you reviewed because this is lovely and also very good and satisfying and YEAH I'm sorry I took so long to reply because you know this is so nice idk.

I'm glad you liked the narration because, idk, I feel like that's important in this kind of fic? I think really the only way for Tibbie to use her drawing skills was drawing the back of her stalker-crush's head- I mean, why else would a teenage girl /need/ to be good at art?

I really liked buses, even though sometimes they intimidate me a bit haha- it's really interesting watching people on buses because they all behave like they're in these little tiny wee bubbles, when really they're in a large, moving room, haha. Anyway, it makes it a really interesting location to write about.

Ah, I know what you mean about the description! I think I got a bit distracted by the plot; maybe later I'll edit this to put in a bit more description!

Thank you so so much for the fantastic and detailed review, I'm so glad you liked it!! Really this was like the /best/ review!

Charlie
xx


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Review #64, by SilentConfessionFear and Loathing in Branson: Around the World, Wizarding Style

12th July 2013:
This is such a bizarre story and a weird take on Neville. I think I like it as i've never really thought what he might be like drunk but if i were to imagine it I think it would be very much like you've done it. I can't imagine what would be going through Rick's mind as he's hearing all this stories which he clearly think are complete rubbish. If someone walked up to me and talked about brooms and magical swords and cutting snakes heads off it would be absolutely ridiculous to hear.

I absolutely loved the differences you portrayed between the american and britishisms. It was hilarious because it made his explanations so much better. I just keep feeling bad for Rick that he has to deal with poor Neville and has to try and understand what the heck he's trying to say. It just makes the whole thing so much more difficult and funny to see the barrier between them. I couldn't stop laughing at the whole entire thing.

Great job! I really appreciated reading this and this really funny take on Neville's and Luna's personality and what they experienced after the war. 'm so used to reading angsty stuff that I think it was a good break for me to read this!

Author's Response: Hi, there! Sorry to have take so long to respond!

Poor Rick obviously doesn't believe what Neville is telling him. He just can't decide whether Neville is pulling his leg or completely crazy.

It was fun to try to figure out little cultural differences that would throw the characters for a loop. This is the first time I've ever written a story where I take a British character and drop them into the middle -- very nearly the geographic center, in this case -- of America. Maybe I'll do that more often.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #65, by SilentConfessionFollow Me Down: Follow Me Down

12th July 2013:
this is an absolutely stunning story. I absolutely loved the tone of your writing and the slightly whimsical feel of the tale. With the wishing well, the flowers, the songs, poems, - it really gave the whole thing a really beautiful feeling to it and made it seem more bittersweet. I found myself sad for Rosemerta for being so attached to her first love and not being to let go of him. This whole story seemed like a self journey as well as she finally left the one place she'd always been and as her journey continued her memories also came and it seemed to bring her comfort and closure.

Rosmerta was really well written as well and i liked her characterization. Her hard working spirit, and the way your wrote her sadness. It seemed to permeate even her actions at times, especially at the beginning she had this air of acceptance that she'd never be quite happy.

The only thing i'd have liked to see is why she felt attracted to the brother. A little more lead in with that might have made it flow a little more clearer so that it didn't feel like she was replacing Jax with Jay. But honestly that's such a nitpicky thing and the rest of the one-shot was really nice. You're tone of writing is really lovely and makes it easy to get lost in your writing and in the story itself. It was perfectly described as i felt like i could get a good image of her surroundings and yet i didn't feel like there was a description overload either. So great job with that!

Good work with this!

Author's Response: SilentConfession,

Oh, thank you for your lovely review of this heart-breaking, but hopeful story. You point out so many things, it is hard to know what to say.

Yes, this story was meant to be heart-felt with a bit of whimsy and magic, but with hope in the end.

Yes, Rosmerta was attached to her love, very attached. I think the pub really took over her life and she found a certain peace in continuing the dream.

I'm so glad that you like her characterization. She is not written about too often and as a business owner, I feel that she would have to very intelligent. And yes, she has loved and lost and learned how to live with the hurt. ;(

I agree, I should've said more of their differences so that it wouldn't seem that he was just a replacement, but the word count wouldn't allow it. I had to cut and cut and cut it down. It was painful to do and I felt like I was butchering it, but it had to be done for the competition.

Thank you so much for your in-depth and wonderful review.

From my heart,
Thank you,
Dark Whisper



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Review #66, by SilentConfessionGoodbye, Molly Prewett: One

12th July 2013:
Hi!

This is ridiculously sweet. I liked how this began so drearily with so much suspense and drama though and the way that you set the stage for the rest of the story. It really captured the sort of pressure and fear that was around during that time and i loved how all this was happening in the early 70's. So many people write the first war as if it started the last year of the Marauder's time at Hogwarts. However you have it already beginning then which is canon! Anyway, small detail but i enjoyed it nonetheless. I liked how it seemed like it was the idea that life was precious and fleeting that made Arthur finally ask Molly to marry him. It seems like the thing that would happen anyway as people realized that life wasn't guarantee.

I liked the dialogue too. The way you had Moody speak and even Rufus just seemed to on par with how I see him in my head and how he acted in the books that i'm honestly amazed at how you were able to nearly perfectly reflect that here.

The small details you have here as well make this story special and stick out from all the rest. How Arthur doesn't know the exact way to pronounce the muggle objects, Molly's family's knowledge of plants, and even bringing Aunt Muriel into! It settled this story right into canon. (on a completely unrelated note Arthur's brother called Lancelot!!?? Loved it!)

Great story! Really glad i could read this!

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Review #67, by SilentConfessionsoul of the city: soul of the city.

12th July 2013:
I love this piece so much! I just wanted to hug Ron and tell him it was all going to be okay. I loved the journey feel of this though. They way you made it seem like each one was a new stage of his life and a new reason to celebrate not only the differences in the world but the changing of seasons, and of life.

I loved how you described each new place, the detail and the way you've written it makes me actually feel like i've been there myself now. Also, the fact that you also gave reasons behind each celebration and festival was incredible. It seemed like a very Hermione thing to do though, to write out a plan like that and to have that sort of information in it.

Everything about this one shot though was really well written. You can tell you've either been to many of these places or researched it enough that you could get the feel of the place in just a few snapshots. Which is an amazing feet to be honest and I really enjoyed reading this. There is this sense of wonder that you captured that I think anyone who's travelled will be able to relate to because, for me, there's nothing as awesome and inspiring but to be moved by the world around us.

(can I also say i really liked Cho, it was awesome to see her in a different role than what many portray her as and that she's happy and that she's friends with Ron, enough anyway to let him stay with her)

Great work!

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you were able to enjoy the journey that Ron was on. That's really what I was going for: an understanding that it was a journey, both physically and emotionally, that someone would be able to feel like they were with him, and also that someone would be able to come to their own conclusions/realizations about how and why this was taking place.

I'm very happy that you were able to relate to it and thank you!

(I was very glad to portray Cho as something more than usual because she's Asian like me and also a 'Claw! House pride whaddup??)

Char


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Review #68, by SilentConfessionDown Comes The Night: Chapter Eight

11th July 2013:
Now i must wait for an update and can't vicariously read through your wonderful work. These last couple chapters have been absolutely wonderful! I couldn't help but smile at all the little Helga/Salazar moments! They are so perfect for one another. She brings out the best in him and is his strength were his weaknesses lie. He does the same for her. It's wicked how you've worked that together.

Also, Godric! Yes, i'm so pleased that he could see right through her little act and knew she was behind Salazar's changes. Brilliant. I loved her reaction too and she just splashed water on his face. It was very sister/brother like and it was great to see their interaction again. He doesn't disapprove of it it seems which is good but i wonder how it will develop over time.

There's one thing i've noticed about the way you write this, especially writing their dialogue. Most of the time you are spot on with keeping it formal and very on par with the period. At least, enough that makes it believable. I also like the moments where you hint to propriety and having her go down to his chambers and wondering how proper that was. Obviously Helga doesn't have those kind of restraints on her as much being raised a gypsy and Salazar only pretends to have it. It works but I wonder when Rowena finds out how she will view it or how the kids would view it.

I have this sense of fear though. I read a one-shot of yours which i think ties into this and they aren't together and she's with someone else and obviously the founders split at some point and all i can think of is NOOO! I don't even know why i like them so much. I mean, Salazar killed someone. He isn't a good person, but there is something about how you've written him earnestly wanting to be different than what he was that makes me believe in him too. I think i'm just as optimistic about change as Helga is and although i fear that it won't work out I want to believe in him growing past his hate. Or i'm just under his weird charming spell like Helga and I wonder when she (and me for that matter) will wake up and see what he is. Or maybe he's just a good person and when he finds out she's lied to him all this time he loses it completely.

I'm massively tied up to this story! Can't wait to see what you have in store next!

zayne

Author's Response: Hi Zayne! I'm finally going to catch up on responding to your wonderful reviews...they have really meant the world to me. I am so happy that you've enjoyed this so much!

I loved writing these last few chapters, because we get to see Helga and Salazar really connect with each other. They've grown to appreciate what the other has to offer, and that's been a wonderful foundation for their relationship. Not to mention Helga's instinct to seek out those who need help. Combined with Salazar's troubled past, they were definitely on a collision course :)

I'm so glad you're still liking the style of this! I've described it at "earthy" before, but I don't think that's the word I was looking for. I want this to feel sort of folk-ish and whimsical, but still formal enough to fit the time. I'm glad the dialogue fits that! As for the propriety issue, I never put much thought into it. But Rowena is more straight-laced than the other three, so she might very well wind up voicing some objections. And I always imagined they would keep their relationship a complete secret from the students.

I wish I could just tell you what's in store for Helgazar! But I will say that this story is winding to a close soon, so all will be revealed before too long. You aren't the only one who's conflicted about Salazar. He's got such enormous potential for good or bad, and at this point it could easily swing either way. Hopefully I won't keep you waiting too long for the answers!

Thank you so much, again, for liking this story and taking the time to review! I have loved responding to these, and I hope you continue to enjoy it :)

--Maggie


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Review #69, by SilentConfessionDown Comes The Night: Chapter Five

11th July 2013:
I think it's official. I'm addicted to this story. Actually addicted. I love the dynamics and the heightened tensions that are building up in this chapter. The idea that Helga can't turn her back on her ideals because having feelings for Salazar could very well mean that very thing. Pursuing him could easily mean her fall. It's not an easy situation by any means and I like how Rowena was able to see those feelings Helga had. It's given Rowena a deepness that she hasn't shown before now and it's made her seem more human and relatable as well. The walls of her propriety were torn down momentarily and we see the kind of friend and person she is.

I loved Helga's anger. I just wanted to punch my fist in the air and scream 'FOR HUFFLEPUFF!' She really is a strong character. I love how you showed this side of her, how hard she is to anger but when she does get angry it's for a just cause and that she can also put aside this anger in order to care for someone else.

Salazar and his secrets! I'm still gunning for the idea that his family was killed by fire or something by muggles. That's why he hates them so much and why he fears fire. I love his character still. It's so opposite from Helga and if i knew him in person i'm sure i'd dislike him but he's wonderfully complex and is a challenge for Helga because she catches glimpses the man behind his prejudices at times and it keeps her hoping that he will be that man again. It would be maddening i'm sure.

:) Excellent chapter! On to the next!

Author's Response: Hey! Wow, I'm glad I've got you hooked! Yes, things are starting to get a little more serious with this chapter. And I'm so happy to hear that you like Rowena here. This is kind of where she begins to open herself up, and I'm glad you liked seeing that about her. I'd love to write a fic with Rowena as the narrator, just to allow her to tell a bit more of her story than cones out here.

I really did want to show Helga's fierce side, because she does have one! But as you've seen, it doesn't come out too often. And she can't stay angry with Salazar long ;) I'm glad you enjoyed seeing that part of her personality--I was really searching for a way to include it.

I'm kind of the same way about Salazar...I'm not sure I'd want to meet him in real life either! He's been a real challenge to write because he has so much going on internally, and it's hard to represent him the way I want to. But I'm so happy you're catching glimpses of his potential, like Helga is. He's not a completely bad guy, and I've tried to show that (but sometimes he just won't quite let me :P) And if you can't tell, he has a soft spot for Helga. He can't keep her out forever :)

Thanks again for the wonderful reviews! I'm getting through them slowly but surely :)


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Review #70, by SilentConfessionDown Comes The Night: Chapter Four

11th July 2013:
Oh Helga is so smitten with Salazar! She keeps digging and I love the comment 'don't come too close' from Salazar. Just perfect. It adds all the dimension you need for him. He's obviously terrified of people seeing beneath his mask and Helga is one of the few who will continue digging till she sees everything she can. I'm curious to know what will happen with them though because he won't lose his prejudices and when he learns of her heritage what will happen? How will Helga continue to stand up for him be be drawn to him when it's her kind he hates? As great as it is that she sees the best in everyone, how far will this go?

I liked her scene with the Boggart. It was intense but really hit a cord with me. It was also great because a lot of times we see the Boggart take on tangible things but taking on a more abstract fear like losing freedom was interesting to read about. As was her reaction to it. Her need for freedom seems to be a massive pull for her and I wonder how this will affect her later especially with her secret heritage. Will Salazar putting constrains on what makes a good witch/wizard affect her as strongly. It is in a way caging her and saying that because of her heritage she isn't as good.

The flow and the way you tell stories is really nice. It just works well together. You have the perfect balance of description and dialogue. You don't go overboard with either one of them and you give a really great mental picture of what's going on rather than slapping your readers in the face with everything.

Anyway, i'm loving how this is developing and you continue adding new elements to the story that keep the plot moving at a great pace.

Author's Response: Yep, she's under the spell for sure! And as to the digging, Helga's a badger isn't she? ;) She's bound and determined to get behind that mask. And you'll just have to keep reading to find out how she navigates that conflict between her heritage and Salazar. There are rough waters ahead.

I love hearing people's reactions to Helga's boggart. I'm so glad it resonated with you, and actually, you read more into it than I did! Now that you mention it, though, it does bring up a good point; the way things stand now, Helga could never be free to be herself with Salazar. But the story isn't over yet :)

I'm trying to be kind of earthy with the style of writing here, and not go overboard, like you said. I'm so glad you're liking the feel of it! Thank you again for the lovely reviews :)


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Review #71, by SilentConfessionDown Comes The Night: Chapter Two

11th July 2013:
I loved this chapter. I like that beyond their differences there is parts of them that connect. I'm really interested to see the other ways that they connect and why they are drawn to one another. I think it's a lovely ship and that he's been watching her just as much she him even though she cannot hide a thing. It's cool to see her get under his skin and how she can see past everything he tries to hide.

Helga continues to be my favourite character here. She's so free and open and walks around with bare feet! What's not to like about her? She's lovely and you write her in such a consistent and relatable manner as well. She has this spirit that I think would draw a lot of people towards her, like a bird about to take flight or something. Salazar could definitely learn something from her.

Salazar as well is brilliantly done. He's cold, harsh, has this weird superiority complex about him and yet we just saw in this chapter this vulnerability from him when he gets his feathers ruffled. I like how underneath his 'noble' facade there is something se there that's engaging.

I like the cliffie too and the Boggart? they are fighting. I'm curious to know how this is going to play out in later chapters. His fear of fire? (was his family burned at the stake or something?) anyway i'm dying to know what happens next. You've developed your characters and your plot brilliantly so far!

Author's Response: Hi again Zayne! This chapter is one of my favorites too, because this is the point where Helga's curiosity about Salazar is really sparked. At first glance they don't seem like they would work, but they do have some things in common. I think even Helga and Salazar themselves are surprised by that :)

Helga is absolutely my favorite character I've ever written. You're right, she doesn't think much of convention and enjoys marching to a different drum. I'm so glad you're finding her relatable, too! It's funny, I've tried to describe her from the POV of other characters, and it never works the way I want it to. She comes off as this out-of-touch, Luna Lovegood type, which isn't exactly her. It's only when she's narrating that she comes across as down-to-earth and real. It's so strange how that works out!

Salazar hides his vulnerability very well most of the time. He likes to do it by placing himself above everyone, and he's a very convincing actor :) But you're right, there's much more to him than meets the eye.

And as to that last paragraph, those are very good guesses :) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review, Zayne! I hope to catch up on my responses very soon.


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Review #72, by SilentConfessionDown Comes The Night: Chapter One

11th July 2013:
I've been wanting to read this story for ages and i've finally decided to just sit down and read it. I really love your writing tone and how you've written this. It has this story telling voice to it as if i was sitting at the feet of an older woman in front of a fire. I don't know why the tone feels like that but it's cool.

I like your characters so far. I love Helga for one. You've really characterized her well, her kindness, mother hen like ways. Her freedom and laughter. How she was in a traveling troupe and i like how that ties together with the qualities of a Hufflepuff. I guess i've always had the impression of troupes to be all accepting, very open, free individuals who go with the wind.

The histories you've made for all of them are brilliant actually. From what we know anyway it just seems like it fits perfectly with what we know of the houses. I'm curious about Salazar's history though. Where he got his magic. There's an underlying mystery with him that i'm curious about.

Really great start on this! I love your description and your story telling skills. It makes the story easy to read and makes me want to come back for more!

Author's Response: ZAYNE. These reviews were a day-maker for sure, and I just love going back to look at them. I am so thrilled that you're enjoying the story! Now I'll try and respond coherently :)

I wanted to go for a folk tale-ish sort of style with this. I love that image of a storyteller...I'm so glad the tone conjured that feeling for you! And oh goodness, these characters. I have grown to love them so much, especially Helga. Your description of the traveling band fits what's in my head exactly, and I just knew that's how I wanted Helga to be.

I'm glad you liked hearing a little about their histories. I don't delve into Salazar's early life much yet, but that comes :) I wanted to keep just a touch of mystery about him.

Thank you again for taking the time to read and review! Your kind words just mean the world to me :)

--Maggie


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Review #73, by SilentConfessionChanged: Changed

10th July 2013:
Hey! Thank you so much for entering my challenge.

It makes sense to me that someone whose experienced what your main character has would hide from the world. Would punish herself for being a coward. It shows how much the war and the event affected her. I mean, i think if anyone is faced with that decisions to save oneself or your friends and they chose oneself it's going to leave them hollow afterwards. Or, at the very least, questioning who they are. I liked how you rolled that into this story. How she's doing penitence for her regret and it makes me think like it is easy for us to make the decision that of course we'd chose to stand up and fight for our friends but when you're actually in that situation I can't imagine it being as easy as that.

I wish there could be more and I almost feel like having a bit longer story would have made this a little more impacting. Sometimes it is hard to get the emotion and the horror really apparent in such a small amount of words. You spent a quite a lot of time describing her looks and the beauty around her. Sometimes horror relies on the way you use words and how you describe these things. The hopefulness of some bits of this (how you describe the autumn, the colour of the sunlight etc) negate the horror that she went through a little.

I don't mean to say this isn't a good story because it is. I think you've done a nice job at capturing an OC's role in the war and the pressures that people face, namely my life or theirs? Really lovely work, thank you so much for entering my challenge! i really enjoy being introduced to this piece!

Author's Response: Hello!
First of all, thanks for the wonderful challenge. It was hard to fit everything in 500 words, so I was afraid the story wasn't effective enough. Your review made my day! :)
I know I should've written more, but at the same time, I wanted to try my hand at the Every Word Counts challenge. =]

Thank you so much dear! :D


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Review #74, by SilentConfessionLosing the Happy Ending: Tears in the Dark

3rd July 2013:
Hey! Thank you so much for entering my challenge!

This is such an interesting time to explore! I don't think i've ever read a story that documents the last months/weeks of the Longbottom's life. It's part of the first war that definitely gets ignored. But I think it could be one of the most powerful times because although Voldemort was gone was the war truly over? Did all the murders, tortures, and abductions just suddenly end? I would probably say no and i'm excited to see where you go from here.

I like how you described some of the things they had to do for the war and how their house had to become another extension of their office at work. It's like they could never have a moment of reprieve and a moment to be away from the war. it consumed them.

The moment you chose to kick start the story too is really great and I feel like there is a more horrifying story to come because of this. I feel like it's going to push Alice over some ledge.

It's interesting that explore how they chose certain calls over others. It makes me wonder though why they wouldn't have send some to tend to the muggles and others to tend to the wizarding folk? Also another question I had while reading this is would the Ministry allow files or reports to leave the Ministry and to stay at a home? It would be much to easy for those files which would be confidential to get in the wrong hands if the Longbottom's are attacked (or any of the other Auror's who do the same).

You have a good story telling voice though and you've chosen a good moment to start your story. There is a weird bittersweet sense to it because we know that the war is over but Alice doesn't and we also know that it eventually takes their lives. It makes this moment especially sad because I can't stop thinking of what's in store for them and that their horror isn't over yet.

Thanks so much for entering my challenge!!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I was actually pretty excited about writing this one and I am currently working on the next bit which would be the one the dooms them both. I think the Longbottom situation really intrigued me for precisely the reason you pointed out...just because Voldemort was dead, that didn't mean the war was over. This is something that armies in the history of the world have dealt with so many times over in real life that I thought it was important to delve into. Just because peace is declared or the evil tyrant in charge is beaten, doesn't mean soldiers at the front just get up shake hands with each other and go home.

I like that you caught on about the files being at their home. My whole point in that was, in a way, to showcase just how chaotic things were at the ministry. In regular, peacetime operations, the thought of bringing files home would have been a HUGE security breach and not have been allowed under any circumstances. But also along those lines, a case, in non-wartime situations, would never be ignored and/or forgotten about either. Their home office was symbolic of the whole desperate times call for desperate measures. The increased operation tempo and the dwindling staff members caused certain things to be overlooked or ignored. (But this will be made a little more clear in the next chapter as well...)

Be on the lookout for the next bit, because I have some awesome ideas if I can get them to translate to paper! LOL!


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Review #75, by SilentConfessionSoul Set Aflame : Chapter 1

1st July 2013:
Ah! Jami! What can I even say about this? This is a really powerful story and the perspective you chose to write it in is absolutely perfect.

The beginning bit was really well written and you got across Tully's emotions of disgust so vividly that I felt it myself. Images of acidic vile, the million cries for mercy, hopeless faces. It really brings across the horrors that were happening in just this one family home. It makes me think that if this was happening in this one place than the carnage that were outside the walls were so much worse. So even though you were writing very specifically here I got a bigger sense of what was happening in the world, weirdly enough.

I love how you chose Tully to tell the story. It was was a lovely choice to make to really see through the eyes of an elf. It made me really sad though to see the progression of her thoughts. How she used to love her master but then he got cruel and those feelings were slowly chased away. It made it really seem like it was a hell that poor Tully was having to live through each day. Also the fact that the destruction was happening all around her and she couldn't do much about it. It takes a really special elf to break the rules of their master (like Dobby did sort of though there were things he couldn't say even) and to see how it ended for her, although inevitable, made me massively sad. Obviously I wanted her to just go but I think it was a lot better you did it the way you did. You gave her a hopeless situation and she died in an equally hopeless situation. That has a more impact than if she had some grand exit.

There was also this disturbing theme of death throughout the whole thing and tied your story even with the slaughter of the Bones' family (?? I'm assuming anyway). It was all really well tied together and I like how you sneaked in that little canon detail in there. It helps ground your story and makes it that more believable.

I also love that you snuck James and Sirius in there! *swoons* I love how you've written them, Sirius with his dark humour and James' sarcasm. It mixed really well together and I liked how you mixed some of their plans with Tully's own commentary of how she knew they wouldn't get free. It just made it all seem more chilling and dark. Also, it is exactly how i'd see them act in that situation and humour is a way that some people use to disassociate themselves from the current situation.

The ending as i've mentioned before is great! It really ties the whole story together I think and makes this story really special. It just reminds me of the theme that being good won't always get you out alive. Really lovely job at writing this Jami and i'm so pleased that you entered the challenge so I had a chance to read this! Thank you! :)

Author's Response: Hi Zayne ♥

When I saw your challenge I really wanted to join with something that wasn't any of the 'big' first war tragedies. I've always wanted to make myself write something dark without using the dark canon facts, like Lily and James's death or Alice and Frank's or Peter's betrayal. Whenever I think of writing horror those always come to mind, so I was super excited to try and write something that involved first war horror but not as much in my comfort zone.

Ahhh I'm so happy you liked Tully! The idea of showing something terrible through the eyes of someone who had no choice but to experience it totally drew me in. Naming Tully was a pain, though. I always have trouble naming house-elves :P!

I wanted to give her a happy ending too :(! But it didn't seem realistic. Dobby is actually who I used for a point of reference trying to figure out how MUCH elves could disobey. And it just didn't seem like Tully would be able to break the bonds that easily when Dobby couldn't even tell Harry exactly what was dangerous. I'm so excited that you understood why I gave her the ending I did, because I felt kind of mean for it, haha!

Yes! This ties in with the slaughter of the Bone's family! I'm super excited you picked that up. That's the best part about other Marauders writers, they pick up on the small canon details most people don't :P

Hahah I couldn't resist getting those two in there, could I?! :P I'm so excited you liked them in it! I'm just excited about everything you're saying in general, and you're making me feel too happy and fuzzy ♥

I'm so, so happy you liked this and thank you so much for holding the challenge! It was a lot of fun, well, sad fun... to write and I loved the challenge of trying to come up with something!

♥ Jami


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