Reading Reviews From Member: Rumpelstiltskin
  
466 Reviews Found

Review #1, by RumpelstiltskinThe Penelope Papers: T is for Treachery

16th April 2014:
Hey there, I'm here with your challenge review!

Plot/plot arch: The opening scene is packed-full of delicious scene-setting information. Immediately we realize that our possible main character, Rebecca Parsons, is a witch hiding out from the madness of the second wizarding war in a Muggle community. I'm making the assumption that it is the second wizarding war due to Thicknesse's position as Minister as a puppet under Voldemort's reign. That's a good deal of information to establish already, while saying very little about the situation. It's a brilliant tactic that doesn't overload the readers with an info-dump, while at the same time providing that vital information to lead us to conclusions. What is more interesting is that Muggle officers have come to tell her that Penelope is dead. I'm excited about the Agatha Christie's The ABC Muders route you're taking with this. I'm also excited that our main character could potentially be a victim, given the clue. I'm also pretty excited that Lee is a possible suspect, given his otherwise kind characteristics. This is very exciting!

Characterization: Rebecca -- I love that she can stand up for herself, as demonstrated in the scene with the strange and creepy man. She didn't cower, but became defensive. I think that, then, the same can be said for hiding out in the Muggle war while the war is taking its tole. "My friends canít be killers. I donít want them to be killers." -- That quote is awesome. It's a natural thought process, but I do believe that it speaks to her characterization.

Detail: There's a great deal of description and image-producing details in this that are much appreciated. They help paint the picture of what is happening when, and who is doing what.

Notes/other: This is a fantastic start! I can't wait to read more, and figure out who did it!

-Rumpel

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Review #2, by RumpelstiltskinMixed-up in Magic: one

13th April 2014:
I'm doing the first-chapter sweep of the challenge reviews (and I'll be back to review the rest of the story, ideally before the deadline, but definitely before winners are declared).

Plot/plot arch: A serial murder -- it's perhaps an odd element to become excited over, but I can't help it! As luck would have it, it appears that one of our main characters is going to be Taryn, after all! I'm glad she got a chance to participate! I also love that you've begun taking us readers step-by-step through the investigation. I find this extremely fun...especially since this poor girl seems to be investigating a wizard's murder. Ah yes, the victim is Dean Thomas! I assume that the other investigators are from the wizarding authorities. A clue! I wonder what "wanderers" means. Also, one of the other detectives seems to be part of the Next Generation crew! I can't wait to see who it is!

Characterization: Craig -- He seems very dedicated to this case, causing him to be angry at the murderer. I like that quality in a detective; it makes me feel like I'm watching a television show where one of the character's flaws is an untamed temper. I love it. Taryn -- Is forced to fetch coffee instead of participate in the case. You'd think that Craig would want everybody able on the case to help discover the murderer...but I know how these things go! I like her (if I'm not mistaken) passive-agressive thoughts while making her boss' coffee. I also love that she completely overlooked Mark's advances on her, as she's far too excited just to be on the case. Her sudden fear of messing up stems a little from Craig's fear that she'll mess up, I believe. I like this character so far! Mark -- Every story needs a Mark. The good guy who 'hits' on and reassures his female companion :). Great job!

Detail: Really, you've done a fantastic job at including just enough descriptors to give me a feel of what's going on, but not overloading as to obscure the point. It was a really good choice, in my opinion.

Style: You have a traditional style of nice, full paragraphs and sentences, with just enough dialogue to break up the text. You also have a typical forward progression of time. You are mastering the traditional styles of writing, and it's absolutely fantastic!

Notes/other: I can't wait to read more of this! I'll be back!

-Rumpel

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Review #3, by RumpelstiltskinTerror in the Night: Prologue

13th April 2014:
I'm doing the first-chapter sweep of the challenge reviews (and I'll be back to review the rest of the story, ideally before the deadline, but definitely before winners are declared).

Plot/plot arch: Oh fun! A murder mystery party! From the beginning, I am unsure as to whether there are REAL murders at the party, or if it only part of the party. Either way, I'm excited! You approach to the challenge was very clever, having the Ministry decree this team-building excersize. It's true that there had been far too much death during the war, but having supposed enemies work with each other to prevent more death would definitely establish some community team-building. I can't wait to read more of this!!

Characterization: There's no characterization in this first section, save the skepticism of the majority. Obviously, this is only an introduction, and characterization is not always present :). We'll skip this section for now.

Style: I thought we were jumping right into the action from the beginning! It did give me a fantastic sneak-peak as to what is to come. The remained established what was happening, which was extremely appreciated.

Notes/other: Fantastic start! I can't wait to read more!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Thank you so much! Mystery stories have never been a particular strength of mine, but I've had this plot bunny rolling around my head for over a year and I really wanted to do it.
I wanted to give a reason why everyone was there, and I didn't think that a recreational purpose would be plausible because of the war.
There aren't supposed to be real deaths in a murder mystery weekend, and it is definitely not something planned by the Ministry so their character profiles they're given won't help them one bit.


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Review #4, by RumpelstiltskinSummer at the Abbey: Beginnings

13th April 2014:
I'm doing the first-chapter sweep of the challenge reviews (and I'll be back to review the rest of the story, ideally before the deadline, but definitely before winners are declared).

Plot/plot arch: What a lovely introduction! You've had a large task in combining three different fandoms, and introducing them thusly, but you managed spectacularly. While there is typically another section in my outlined designated for characterization, there is very little in this (as it is an introduction), so we'll exclude that for now. I do love the Doctor's line at the end though, ďHello people who have met Harry Potter before. How may I help you?Ē -- I thought that was perfect.

Detail: The detail, dialogue, and actions of the characters seem very appropriate for each of the three fandoms and different time eras. Furthermore, you've made it seem as if these three fandoms could belong together.

Style: I love the three different places at three different times set-up here. Obviously it's setting us up for the introductions of characters that will most likely be interacting with each other in the future.

Notes/other: This is a fantastic start! I'll be back to finish this another time! I can't wait to see what you've come up with for these characters! This seems like it has a ton of potential.

-Rumpel

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Review #5, by RumpelstiltskinCalculus: 11:57

13th April 2014:
I'm doing the first-chapter sweep of the challenge reviews (and I'll be back to review the rest of the story, ideally before the deadline, but definitely before winners are declared).

Plot/plot arch: This set up was positively delicious. Reading about a character, learning their habits, occupation, and general opinions invests my attention to them. While I believed that you were introducing a character, complete with occupation, you were instead introducing the victim, complete with possible motive. His position in the Wizengamot-- mainly the key role he has in deciding the fate of a notably controversial economic decision -- is a perfect motive for murder if the murderer suspected that his opinion had already been swayed one way or the other. I do believe that this is one of the only entries so far that has made me connect with the victim, only to have the character killed. Great job.

Characterization: Tobias Hughes -- I may not get any further characterization on this character, but what you've provided (especially for a victim) is incredible in this brief introduction. As I'v stated previously, I know a significant amount the victim -- even enough to already determine a motive! The murderer -- Based on what I believe is the established motive, though I could very well be wrong, the murderer could possible be an angry witch or wizard, determined to maintain the traditional "risk classification system". It will be interesting to see whether I'm right or wrong as the story continues.

Detail: There were several ominous signs that I missed, simply because my brain was tricking me. Since you had me invested in Tobias, there was no way that HE would be the victim. Of course, I was very wrong. Between the rain and clouds -- classic foreshadowing -- and the light in his room not working, I really should have known. The actual murder was gruesome and painful, and I say that in the most positive possible way (this is a murder mystery, after all). The sheer amount of imagery and descriptors in this short introduction was amazing.

Style: Another breif complement on how you've set up the introduction of the victim. I should have saved it for this section, but it was something that really stuck out to me.

Notes/other: This is a fantastic start, I can't wait to read the rest!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Howdy! Thank you so much for the wonderfully kind words!

I always wanted the first chapter to end with the murder when I started, and I never really contemplated the victim being anyone but Tobias, but the big battle for me was giving enough detail about him to make readers appreciate him as a character so that they would feel for him when he was killed just a short bit later. I am very happy you thought that came off.

Though he is dead, more about him will definitely come to light. I can't go any further than that at the moment... ;)

I am also really glad that you thought the murder was well done. While the set-up vs. killing contrast was probably the toughest part for me to get right, this scene caused me the most mental grief because I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. Like you said, it's a murder mystery, so I was obsessed that the murder HAD to be done well. I'm glad it panned out.

Thank you again for the feedback, especially it being so thoughtful and detailed given all you have to read!


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Review #6, by RumpelstiltskinSiriusly Dead: Slughorn's Party

12th April 2014:
I'm doing the first-chapter sweep of the challenge reviews (and I'll be back to review the rest of the story, ideally before the deadline, but definitely before winners are declared).

I find it hysterical that Sirius and James were invited to a Slughorn party because they accidentally created a (very difficult) potion. Of course they did, they're Sirius and James!

I think you nailed the trademark Malfoy personality (you know, somewhere around arrogant) with Lucius. He rivals James and Sirius' own arrogance nicely ("No one's heard of the Potters!" -- that made me laugh.)

I especially love that they call him Lucy; I can see that annoying Malfoy to no end.

Now, although I never expected anyone to kill Sirius off with this prompt, I think you did a wonderful job with it. The fact that James was accused TWICE of trying to kill Sirius must have made him angry. I get the feeling that Malfoy had something to do with this (or some angry girl...I haven't made up my mind).

James' feeling of revenge is natural in this case, somebody killed his best friend and he's bound and determined to find out who that person is.

I can't wait to see Remus and James work together to try and discover who killed Sirius!

Great job!

-Rumpel

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Review #7, by Rumpelstiltskinand in the middle of the flood I felt my worth: i. the letters

12th April 2014:
I'm here for your challenge review!

Plot/plot arch: This feels like a Clue mystery, which is fantastic! This introduction is absolutely lovely, setting up an ominous dinner-party (which is the perfect scene for a murder-mystery) at the Malfoy's. Narcissa's ominous quote near the end of this introduction of, "it's been a long time coming" is dreadfully exciting! Typically the plot/plot arch section is the longest, but most things that I could write in here are better suited for other categories, so we shall continue.

Characterization: First I'd like to say that I loved the introduction of the characters!

Astoria-- Her introduction is particularly spooky. The dread she experiences upon arriving at the Manor is definitely called for. What I find interesting is that she felt a "sense of duty" towards Narcissa as the was the "once powerful Lady of Malfoy Manor".

Ernie Macmillan -- His post-war nightmares tie us back to the era in which this takes place, and continues the set tone (which will be covered in Details). "He'll remember because he has to." -- That is a fantastic line, and it speaks so much to Ernie's personality. It seems that Ernie is also unable to turn down Narcissa's request for a dinner party.

Xenophilius Lovegood -- The uncertainty over the letter continues with Mr. Lovegood. From what I can tell so far, he's very close to his canon characterization, as is Luna, so great job on that.

Andromeda Black-Tonks -- It came as a pleasant surprise to learn that Andromeda had been in contact with Narcissa after the war; there's little reason not to. She's the first person I've seen react with anger towards Narcissa's invitation, though she has good reason.

Draco -- His desire to forget the past, and everyone in it is understandable. The Malfoy name was marred in the events of the second wizarding war. I like that he wants to "see how this all plays out", it seems like a very Draco thing to do.

Narcissa -- Though the letter suggests that she wants to make amends, the story just feels so ominous, as are her words!

Detail: You've given an abundance of detail, all of which point to a very gloomy, forboding tone for this story. It gives me chills! Between the rain, the seal, the spooky Manor, and everything else, this is truly a murder-mystery introduction.

Style: I love the style of this, how you've gone through and given each character their own little introduction. This establishes the guest-list for the party, so we know who this story will revolve around.

Notes/other: This is a fantastic start!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much for this review! I wasn't really expecting one, as I've been unable to write a second chapter :( But yeah, thanks, means the world and I'm happy this suits the challenge!

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Review #8, by RumpelstiltskinInvisible in Death: Ghostly Day

12th April 2014:
I am here with your challenge review :D.

Plot/plot arch: You definitely captured the 'bad week' prompt; poor Myrtle! Between the teasing about her weight, her glasses, and her general awkwardness, things couldn't get much worse for her. Except for the fact that it did...it got much, much worse. It's really bad enough to be teased, but to be tricked into thinking that somebody likes you... well that's just cruel. Poor Hagrid was dragged into the situation and, although kind-hearted, he unwillingly became part of the joke. Olive, the M-rated word, played an unforgivable prank, in my opinion. I think I feel worse for Myrtle than I did for Snape in the Marauder years (which, as you know, is a big leap). It wasn't bad enough that she was publicly humiliated when she started "flowering" in class, mercilessly teased by Olive for it, no less, but to give the girl false hope and take it away from her...that's evil. I'm not surprised that Myrtle would believe that Olive was the one who, in the very least, ordered her death. If I were her, I would haunt Olive too. I have two favorite quotes in this: the first, "'You care now that Iím dead,' Myrtle said angrily. 'None of you talked to me while I was alive.'" and "...she was finally able to return some of the brutality laid upon her while living. Afterlife would be the best revenge."

Characterization: Myrtle -- from what I've gathered from her canon, I think that you've nailed her personality. All the events that took place in her life would explain the way she acts in her afterlife. While I never exactly felt bad for Myrtle in the HP series, I can certainly say that I feel for her now.

Detail: There's just enough detail in this to get the picture, and I think that too much would have taken away from the message of your story. So, I think that you made a good choice on the amount of detail and description that you added.

Emotion: Feels. Like I said, for the first time, I actually feel bad for Myrtle. I can sympathize with her.

Notes/other: Fantastic job! This is a great entry!

-Rumpel

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Review #9, by RumpelstiltskinManor of Secrets: The Library

12th April 2014:
Hey there! I'm here with a challenge review :).

Plot/plot arch: The introduction was lovely, as it established a detailed scene of what would become the murder scene. It also introduced the pure-blood family, the Shafiq family, and established a possible murder motive. There were three people in the alcove: a man and a woman -- appearing to be possible lovers -- and a third person, who is the murderer. That's a lot to do in slightly over 10 lines, so great job with that! Ah, then we move on to some Black family ancestors -- that's always fun. After some brief and effective character introductions, so that we know what's going on and who everyone is, we discover that Orla's been attacked. It also seems as though Hoyt has been the one murdered in that library alcove. Oh, what fun! I can't wait to see what happens next!

Characterization: Arcturus -- the oldest brother, meaning he is the heir to the Black nobility. From what I can gather, he seems like a properly-raised pureblood and a decent person. Regulus -- as the younger brother, he seems a bit more freely expressive. I believe it was from Arcturus' perspective that we learn that the younger sibling is 'too charming for his own good' (I may be paraphrasing). I do love the brotherly love between the two! Lycoris -- oh, the poor sister, being over-protected by her brothers. These three siblings appear to have a very tight relationship, which I love.

Detail: You did an amazing job at providing enough information about the characters and the situation so that I understood what was going on where and with whom, but you've also left out just enough so that I'm absolutely puzzled by the murder. Who did it? Which is exactly what I am supposed to be asking at this point. Fantastic job.

Style: You've definitely given this the murder-mystery feel! I also think you've captured the dialogue and language of the time period for an upper-class family (or two families, in this case).

Notes/other: At any rate, this was a fantastic start. There's so much potential and I can't wait to see where you're going to take this!

-Rumpel

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Review #10, by RumpelstiltskinUpper Class: Chapter One

9th April 2014:
I wasn't sure which one to pick; I hope that this is okay!

Plot/plot arch: You have a ton of information in that first section, nicely intertwined together to give the reader a feeling of general time, date, and place. We get a feeling of normalcy in a post-war world, with Hermione's parent's returning and a typical dinner. That, however, doesn't last very long, as we are hit with the news that Hermione isn't actually a Muggleborn. Now I want to know if one or both of her parents are Squibs, or if perhaps Hermione's adopted. Then you immediately give us that answer (thank you), and we discover that Hermione's parents are NOT Muggles. So, either they ARE Squibs or have been suppressing their magical abilities. The next scene was mildly humorous, but I felt so bad for Hermione. Her explanation of "I'm a witch" was sure to leave anybody confused, just like the two boys. She's obviously in a bit of shock, so I do fell really terrible for laughing, but her comment was just so funny. Then we finally get the information of why Hermione's parents have hidden their identities to everyone, including their daughter, for so long. It's understandable; they feared the fate of themselves and their family (or Hermione, anyway). Naturally, once the danger has passed, they felt that it was the right time to "come out", so-to-speak. Then, we get another kicker at the end, her parent's were really good friends with the Malfoy's once upon a time. Gah, cliffhangers :D.

Characterization: I think you've nailed the canon characterization, from what I can tell. I think my favorite piece of characterization was Harry telling Ron that perhaps he should clean up, but it was already getting late ;). Typical males.

Detail: You have a way of providing only minor details, important ones, but you exclude any extra ones that are irrelevant to your story (ie, the couch color or the style of Ron's shirt). I find that refreshing, as I tend to get all caught up in imagery in some stories, and it can drown the main points.

Style: Each section is separated into a natural progression of time without having to come out and say, "thirty-five minutes later" or whatever. I like that. Also, this is dialogue-heavy, and I do love dialogue. Keep in mind that dialogue-heavy chapters move much faster than text-heavy chapters, because dialogue is action, and people naturally read action faster. If you ever wanted to slow down the flow, just throw in some dialogue-free text. I did think that the flow was just right for this chapter, however.

Notes/other: Sorry it took so long, my mother called me halfway through the story ;). Great job!!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

It's totally fine that you picked this story :)

I love your reviewing style. It gives so many great information, suggestions and gives me a good idea of where I stand with my story and writing :)

It's funny actually, because I got a review (after yours) that I should be more descriptive with what they wear, what the rooms look like etc. Totally different opinion, hehe :)

Yes, you're right. This chapter is really dialouge heavy and it is more than the others. I'll keep that in mind next time I write a chapter with long conversations :)

Thank you so much for your review! I'm still haunted by that scary story of yours!

- Avi


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Review #11, by RumpelstiltskinRabbit Heart: Have a Heart

9th April 2014:
Hey there! Sorry about the delay, there was a minor and unexpected emergency that had to be dealt with. Onwards!

Plot/plot arch: I really enjoyed the way this began, with a mysterious light that captured Wren's full attention and wonderment. I may be speculating here, but I'm going to make the assumption that this light has an important role in the story (and I cannot wait to see what that is). You did a very good job at building in humorous aspects via natural conversation, as it was very subtle (for example, the mildly embarrassing comment on the clean-status of Wren's undergarments). The interactions in this opening scene was fabulous, and gods know I love dialogue -- especially when it's fantastic dialogue like this.

The section involving Gran and Alice and Frank Longbottom was extremely interesting. The medical ideas to solving Alice and Franks condition, as well as providing Gran with nothing but "more time" was extremely fitting. It was not only interesting, but it provided some background information that ties this back to the familiar, which was very nice. It was also a fantastic idea, though sad, to say that by losing Gran, Wren lost a piece of herself as well. That's a congruent feeling among many people when losing loved ones.

Packing is never a fun experience, especially when it involves packing the belongings of a dead person. I can just picture all of the old-timey purses and mounted fanged gerbil heads -- all musty and antique-looking of course -- with perhaps fine layers of dust over some of the lesser used items. You've managed once more to intertwine some humor into this scene, which was very much appreciated.

I found Wren's counterpoint to "it's only a house" very level-headed. Everything is only what it is (well, typically), but that doesn't mean people can't form natural emotional attachments to them.

The bunny must have a great deal to do with the story, considering the name and the fact that the mysterious light came and swept the bunny away. That's very interesting, and a very mean (though brilliant) place to end a chapter! Cliffhangers!

Characterization: Wren -- A photographer, that's interesting in itself. She likes to capture images of real-life occurrences and perhaps either has an appreciation for beauty or the bizarre (or both). Her distraction with the mysterious light speaks to her possible sense of curiosity and even adventure. Some of the indirect characterization, especially of Wren being able to tell somebody off with her eyes was also extremely helpful in deducing the puzzle that is an OC. Her connection to the house isn't just because of the house, I'm assuming, but more of the memories that the house holds for her. There is a great deal of delicious character details in this chapter, and of course this is only the first chapter, so there will be additional characterization along the way.

--Albus: He seems like a great friend. So far, I really like his personality. I find it intruiging that he's the only one that isn't subject to Wren's wrath. There must be something to that.

--Rose: She's a spunky one, and she certainly makes me laugh. Fantastic job.

Detail: You've added a lovely amount of detail in this. It's enough to give me room to explore the setting with guidance and my imagination, but doesn't overpower the story. Perfect!

Style/Emotion: One of the things that I enjoyed most about your style was your dialogue-tag relationships, or rather lack thereof. Instead of constantly having a dialogue and tag, you surround the dialogue with character actions that give the reader indication as to who is speaking. That's highly unusually in many of the stories I've read on this site, and absolutely wonderful. On the emotion side, Wren's emotions felt real in this and were completely understandable. She was not only losing her Gran and her grandparents, but also her home. That's a lot to deal with for a young girl.

Notes/other: I've actually wanted to read this for a while now, so I'm really glad that I was able to get at least a chapter in!

Spectacular job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response:

No worries over the delay. I'm just glad you're here!

Lots of people I talk to say that the first chapter is easy to write. They're all excited about the story, and it just flows right out of their brain. For me, the first chapter is excruciatingly difficult to get right. Maybe it's because I overthink it too much, or maybe it's because every time I write something longer than a one-shot, I always end up rewriting the first chapter when I'm done. Several times.

I love natural conversational dialogue. I love it when someone thinks that I've succeeded in it too! :)

Dealing with Augusta and the Longbottoms seemed like a great place to start. I haven't read very many fics that dealt with them in the future, and I was insanely curious about what their lives might be like. I'm glad you liked the humor that I threw into the packing scene. Overall, it turned out much heavier than I wanted it, but I didn't want to downplay the effect it had on Wren.

Yay for characterization! It's hard to get people interested in an OC, unless you give them something to connect with. I'm also happy that the details weren't too overbearing. I don't like cluttering up my story with stuff that doesn't matter, so it's good that you felt there was enough small stuff thrown in there to give you a clear setting.

Thanks for coming by and trying out my new-ish story! And thanks for the wonderful review!!



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Review #12, by RumpelstiltskinThe End of an Era: The Prank

8th April 2014:
I'm really excited for the Fred/George fic; I've been on a bit of a spree lately.

You set the scene nicely as soon as the story got rolling. We immediately know that today is the day for, well, SOMETHING...and with the twins, it has to be spectacular. Poor Lee ;) -- it has to be draining to be friends with them, as I'm sure they were subject to many tests. Though, I'd much prefer to be their friends than their enemies, as I expect that the particularly nasty jokes are played on enemies. (Their joke is particularly funny though, I would love to be around somebody who is forced to speak only in rhyme.)

;) Two heads are better than one, even if one is a cabbage (or both, perhaps, in Angelina's opinion)!

Aw, they've postponed their little event until the next day, in order to give Harry a chance to speak with Sirius! Oh, oh, oh -- this is THE big event, the leaving of Hogwarts event, isn't it? I need to learn to read summaries before hopping blindly into stories ;).

:( Yeah, it would be sad to learn that your friends are leaving unexpectedly, especially when the end of your time at Hogwarts is swiftly approaching anyway.

The Weasley boys have a stockpile of Galleons! That's fitting, especially coming from an exceptionally poor family.

That's sweet, George went to say goodbye to McGonagall :D. McGonagall's pretty awesome, and I would have wanted to say goodbye to her, too. Aaand she tells them a story about the infamous Marauders (more squee from me). Can you imagine if Fred and George time-traveled back to the Marauder's era and assisted in wreaking havoc? Poor teachers and Dumbledore would have to close the school 0.0.

Haha, of course the boys would treat the Marauder's like heroes :D. That's fantastic! Peeve's is also fantastic, but, that's a known fact.

This was great! I loved every bit of it, especially the ending! ♥ I should stop by your MTA soon and start asking some questions about some of your stories, because there's so many things I want to know! That'll be on my to-do list!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for the swap (I think this was a swap. Right?)

I've been on a writing spree of them!! My other new one-shot is really F&G heavy, and I'm writing another one for the Eggstravaganza.

Lee acts like he's tired of them, but deep down he loves them, too.

I actually had to get the rhyming approved my WTM because I was worried it would be considered poetry... I'm glad it wasn't!!

Yes! It's THE big day! Don't worry, if I'm swapping or something, I don't read summaries:p

Lee is sad. But he understands.

They're successful businessmen! Of course they do!

I wanted George to say goodbye to her because I feel like he was the more sentimental of the twins. I try really hard to make them two separate characters, and for me, George thinking about others before himself is a big one. Not that Fred doesn't, but he'd be more likely to take a prank too far, or not know how to deal with emotional situations etc.

I couldn't leave them without knowing who the Marauders were!! Of course they treat them like super-heroes. They're Marauders!

Ooo! Yes. Ask questions. I never get questions. I'd be so excited.

Thanks for such a nice review! I always love reading your reviews!

-Georgia


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Review #13, by RumpelstiltskinMagpie: Trouble

8th April 2014:
Dawlish *grumble grumble*.

Perhaps I should have begun by saying hello (hai!)...

Anyway, poor Verity can't get away with anything, can she? Well, she DID sneak into the Department of Mysteries (and kissed George), but I'm going to blame everything on Dawlish due to his natural ability to be a vile person. She thinks she can trust him because he's an 'authority of the law'? Eheheh...she's so wrong. As for George, well, he does have a bit of a reputation (specifically tying himself to the Ministry through the fun-tastic exit of Hogwarts during Umbridge's reign). Luckily for the pair of them, Arthur and Kingsley work for the Ministry.

So, they are free and clear from the Ministry, but George still has to answer to the Order now (that can't be a delightful experience...), and of course Molly (which is equally frightening). It's not so terrible to want to call their little break-in to the Ministry a date. She's been having relationship issues, and it may be natural to want to look elsewhere (though, she should probably end things with Sebastian first). AND it's George Weasley...so, well, you know.

Verity hasn't met Molly, has she? Haha, George has good reason to fear the wrath of Molly Wealey ;). Good old Borgin... I love that he expected her to bring something back from her escapade (or at least attempt to).

Aw, Sebastian's a bit of a scaredy-cat, isn't he? That amuses me :D. Oh gods, he knows *covers eyes*. Of course he knows, he has connections! Just tell him before he questions you about it! Do it! Wow, evidentily I crack under pressue. Anyway, taking a break sounds reasonable and logical. Wait, why is her relationship reasonable and logical...is it because there's some strain in this relationship? Yes, yes I think so! (I'm just really excited that they're taking a 'break'.) Aaand, she glanced into the tower. I think that she subconsiously doesn't want that relationship to work out... *cough*. I may be biased though, because, GEORGE!

At least Christian is being mildly helpful, and I'm overly curiuos about what happened before Penelope died. Hopefully, we'll get some answers for that soon. Ha, Judah's trying to ask Verity on a date.

Scabior's a pleasant fellow, isn't he? Verity handled that very well, and I'm assuming, in her trade, she's used to shady and unpleasant customers. I would have told him where he could have shoved the hand of glory...*ahem* which is why I'm not in customer service.

Ending on a mysterious storybook is mean! This was awesome! I can't wait for more!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hai! :)

Ugh, Dawlish, I know. He actually makes an excellent mini-villain though, since he's just so useless.

Verity, if you haven't noticed, tends to have things go wrong and get herself into awkward situations. Haha, but she did let George lead her into mischief here. They really got lucky with getting off the hook, and it's a good thing Kingsley was on call to save the day with Arthur. :P

Haha, George really has a good scolding in his future, poor guy. He just wanted to impress Verity with how adventurous he is. I'm glad you approve of her relationship choices when she leans towards George - I feel like it's only natural considering her strained relationship with George.

She hasn't met Molly yet! But sometimes soon, perhaps. And yeah, I just love Borgin. I feel like in the books he was so much creepier but I like the Verity-Borgin relationship a lot.

He is! But I don't blame him, I would be terrified of the ghosts as well. And oh god, yes, that scene was SO awkward for me to write. I was just cringing the whole time for both of them. Haha, I'm glad you like the decision to go on a break, and I'm excited to post what happens next with all of that. And yes, George. ♥

He is! For now... and I'm excited to tell the readers what did happen with Penelope! It's this big convoluted plot but it's quite fun and crazy. Oh dear, Judah would never be voluntarily nice to Verity. :P But who knows!

Ah, Verity does have some experience with these shady characters. She has a cool head on her shoulders and she's good at keeping a good face for customers, but she also has been quite lucky so far. Haha, agreed! Customers are evil, and Verity's are often actually evil. Dark Marks and all.

Thanks so much for the brilliant review!!! :D


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Review #14, by RumpelstiltskinThe Voice: Chapter One

7th April 2014:
Hey there, I'm here for our swap :D.

Plot/plot arch: Pansy's mental instability is astoundingly thrilling, and I do love stories that feature characters with mental instabilities. I really liked the concept of her reflection becoming a 'living', speaking entity that Pansy could interact with on certain levels (at least, while she was staring into a mirror). Are you ready for my best guess as to what the haunting voice/reflection was? From what I can surmise, this entity reflects Pansy's inner-most thoughts and feelings -- one's that she may not be able to confront herself. What better way to represent inner turmoil than personifying the character's mirror image who brings life to said turmoil? I think it's a brilliant element that you've added to the story. Furthermore, this entity acts as a source of confidence and motivation for Pansy. While she's devastated that her relationship with Draco is over, the reflection tells her that she's beautiful, and that Draco never deserved her. So on and so fourth until we reach the end, when things really get interesting. The image, or perhaps Pansy's inner self, is telling her that she should kill Draco and the other girl. What a wonderful bout of madness... I love this psycho Pansy.

Characterization: Pansy -- WOW psychoPansy! Gosh, I love every bit of her ♥ . I don't think that I would change anything about her.

Detail: You've payed little attention to extraneous detail, which is a fantastic tactic as this stories focal point is on the inner workings of Pansy's (unstable) mind. I also think that this was a nice choice because extra detail could have taken away from Pansy's mental state.

Style: I do love the flashbacks in between "real-time" sections of text. Flashbacks have the tendency to reveal relevant information without having to come right out and say it -- which is exactly what you've done here, bravo!

Note/other: I think psychoPansy! has become part of my secret crazyCast! head cannon (along with insaneVoldy! and derangedFenrir!). Welcome to the crazyCast!, Pansy! ;) You did a fantastic job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

Wow, I love your style! I've never been reviewed like this before.

Your guess on who the voice was, is spot on! That's exactly what I was going for. Pansy being an unstable woman, always second guessing herself and having little, if any, selv-confidence, I imagined she'd be able to unintentionally create an alter ego. An evil one, at that.

And I'm so happy you loved my crazy, psycho Pansy! *jumping up and down in joy*
And thank you for welcoming my psychoPansy! to the crazyCast! :b I bet she'll love the company!

Thank you so much for your review! It really cheered me up.

Big hug,
Avi


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Review #15, by RumpelstiltskinAt Midnight: Mirage

5th April 2014:
I'm here for our swap!

Plot/plot arch: I hope you were anticipating a gushy review, because that's what you're going to get ;). I really loved this story concept. It's not a complicated plot, but it is highly addictive. Molly wants to be with Teddy, and he doesn't want to be with her. The conversation between the two is painful, and I really feel for Molly. I think one of my favorite points that Teddy brings up is, "Everything you just described about me is only what you wish you were." This is a fantastic point, and it's easy for a young girl to idolize people who are what they want to be (so, exactly what Teddy said). With Teddy's harsh complex that you've given him in this, and as much as I feel for Molly in this, he DOES raise some very good points. I love the fact that Molly truly believes that Teddy only needs the love of a good woman to change him, a common complex that I've seen in a few stories. The thing that I absolutely adore about this is that it DOESN'T work out that way, and Teddy is set in his stubborn mind-set. I do love the ending as well, because, although Molly doesn't ultimately get what she wanted, she found someone -- Ethan -- to at least assist in healing her pain. She's vulnerable right now, so any predictions and speculations that I could make about the future of that relationship could very well be biased. At least, for the moment, he's helping ease her pain.

Characterization: Molly -- Oh, young love. She seems to have quite a bit going for her through the beginning of the story (as she said, the day started out perfectly, influencing her confidence). I also love certain aspects about her characterization, including her love of events that allow her to dress like a princess (because what girl doesn't) and that she does have certain character flaws. She seems to be comparing herself to Victoire in this, and reaching the outcome of her own shortcomings (in example, her body isn't as "fully-developed" and curvy as Victoire's, and she "knows what she's lacking". Self-consciousness is a fantastic flaw to include in a character, especially in a teenage girl. Her lack of "social grace" only further emphasizes her flaws. Her love for Teddy is desperately heartbreaking because of the unrequited aspect. While she attempts to stay strong and be okay, her emotions threaten to overwhelm her, which is another fantastic quality to include, as is speaks a great deal about her characterization.

Teddy -- In every single other Next Gen fic I've ever read that include Teddy, he's typically the nice guy. You've completely flipped this concept and given him a whole new persona and I LOVE IT ♥ ! Giving him this arrogant, level-headed, frustrating personal that urges me to smack him upside the head (and makes me glad that Molly slapped him) is absolutely brilliant. Furthermore, he KNOWS and RECOGNIZES these things about himself...which is even MORE frustrating. He has to be my favorite representation of ANY NG character, ever. Goodness, it's the love-to-hate complex that I'm obsessed with (which is why my favorite HP character is Severus Snape)...and you nailed it.

Emotion: Oh, the frustration and heartbreak. That was an intense story, with some high emotions. Fantastic job at capturing them.

Other/notes: Next Generation has always been my least-favorite era, but this has to be one of the best NG fics that I have ever read. Not only that, but with the fantastic writing and the addictive plot-line, this has surpassed some of my other favorite stories that fall into my favorite eras.

Absolutely fantastic job!

-Rumpel

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Review #16, by RumpelstiltskinMottled Blue: One body.

5th April 2014:
I'm doing my first-chapter review sweep (and I'll be reviewing all of the posted chapters, ideally before the deadline).

Plot/plot arch: I like this a bunch, so far! In the first section, the second-person perspective really pulled the reader into the role of the killer, being able to sympathize with the emotions and thoughts. There's a sense of mystery in that beginning; what happened to the murderer to make them feel the way they do, what was their motivation for murder (though, there are hints surrounding this quote "You made her as marred as you, suffer as much as you" which I loved, by the way), what is the murderer going to do now? I'm really excited to see where this is going. In the second section, I really liked Lily, she makes for a really great character in this (but there's more on that in the 'Characterization' section). The idea of viewing the bodies as puzzles is really interesting, I like that idea. When the victim is revealed at the end, I get the feeling that Lily's analytical approach to her job will be thrown for a loop. That's a fantastic place to end a chapter, because it definitely leaves me curious and wanting to read more. This is a very appropriate story for the challenge!

Characterization: The Murderer -- having only just committed the murder, this character could be reacting to the stress of the situation, and I suspect that a lot of the characterization was dependent on the situation. Though, even in the situation, I also suspect that there are some key qualities about the character's true self that have been revealed. For one, something was able to push them far enough to actually kill somebody. Second, returning to the "just as marred as you quote", the character may have been seeking revenge or perhaps justification for what the character had to suffer themself. It's a really interesting dynamic. Lily -- I really like her take on her job ("Another day and another body to analyse"). I suspect that, given her occupation, that this is a very appropriate way to deal with death. She's surrounded by it every day -- it's her job, and she treats it as such. I liked that analytical quality that she has.

Detail: I love the amount of gruesome physical detail, and it really ties me into where things are happening and when they are occurring. I also think you did a great job with emotional detail, connecting the reader to the characters.

Style: Second-person perspective is always awesome, and I can really connect with the murderer (although I've never killed anybody). I'm also a fan of the date/time, as it gives the reader a sense of time passage without any further transitional text. I don't believe that I've read anything of yours yet, so I can't comment on the style of this story versus the style of your other stories ;).

Notes/other: I'm really excited to see what happens next -- great job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Rumpel! Can I just say this review is fab? :D

I'm so glad that you liked this plot as it was so different to anything else that I've written before and so much fun to write, it's honestly been one of my favourite stories so thank you for doing the challenge! Whoo for the hints! I'm really glad that you liked that aspect of Lily and the bodies as it's almost a fascination of death which she has, and as the story goes on, we can see that in the murderer too, so it's weird how similar they are in a way.

Wow, you already have such a good idea of the murderer already! The marred quote is a very important one so good job for pointing that out as that theme continues throughout, as is the revenge one because more of what revenge it is, is revealed in the next chapter. Haha, yeah, Lily has a very dry humour shall we say, almost inhumane but it fits well with her job and so much fun to do :P

I'm glad you liked the style/detail choices, as it is rather different from what I tend to do with the mixing and matching of points of view and dates.

Erm, this response felt very garbled and confusing so apologies for that and thanks again for an amazing review!

-Kiana


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Review #17, by RumpelstiltskinMarianne Regrets Nothing: Page eight

5th April 2014:
Hey there!

I love spooky voice entities, and the voice portrayed in this is certainly spooky.

Like I mentioned in the beta, you have some really good descriptors in here, so keep that up! By adding descriptors and imagery, you can lengthen your text, give something fun and interesting for the readers to read, and provide a scene-setting so that the readers can envision where the characters are, and how they react to the environment.

Marianne's conviction is really quite devistating, and also reveals a HUGE portion of Cassius' characterization. As it turns out, Cassius isn't quite the man that neither Marianne nor the reader thought that he was (though some of us probably suspected that Cassius would turn out to be an antagonist, given his pureblood status.

I really like the effect that the ending has, the incomplete sentences almost act as scattered thoughts as Marianne is observing her new dwelling.

I also loved the mood throughout this, as a pseudo-horror story coming to life.

Anyway, fantastic job!

-Rumpel

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Review #18, by Rumpelstiltskinlow tide: a meditation

3rd April 2014:
Whee! I love second-person (though I should be reading "Brave at Heart" *cough*).

This was very poetic -- which was fabulous.

You've definitely captured the essence of meditation, while at the same time there is an underlaying haunting story of the Battle of Hogwarts.

If I'm not mistaken, and I'll have to check the character list once I'm done reading, I believe that this may be from George's point of view (with the mentions of Fred, Percy, Angelina, and Lee). I thought it was very touching.

Your imagery is beautiful!

This was awesome, especially for such a short story. I think you've managed to capture your message in a short period of space, which is a feat!

Fantastic job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Rumpel! Aw, thanks for reviewing!

I really appreciate you saying it was poetic and that the imagery was beautiful! The imagery and flow of the piece were my main focus in writing it so I'm really glad they stood out to you.

It's good to hear that the meditative aspect and the references to the battle of Hogwarts and the rather silly memories all blended together well for a short fic. Thank you!

And you're right, it was indeed George. :)

Thanks so much for reading and for your lovely review!! ♥


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Review #19, by RumpelstiltskinThe Lost Wolf: A Reminder

31st March 2014:
Hey there!

This is great for Cassandra's characterization. The fact that she would go out of her way to carry a stray dog (in her condition, to boot) all the way to a vet in the middle of the night says a lot about her personality. I've already gathered that she's well-disciplined, given her raising in the military, which assisted her in completing the task. However, this shows her compassionate side, which is really fantastic.

Bill's a great character too! Actually, he reminds me a lot of my grandfather, so that's all I can picture when I read this. He does act very grandfather-y towards Cassandra, however, so I suppose that my insertion is fitting!

I have several favorite parts in this, so I'll cover a couple of them! My first favorite probably has to be the fact that Sirius (or Padfoot, or whathaveyou) is disappointed in himself for not being able to find Cassie in London, or figure out anything as to where she may be. However, Cassandra's the person who has taken care of him, and he doesn't realize it at that point. Furthermore, his constant thoughts about Harry emphasize his mission.

Then, there are the flashbacks. It definitely left me wondering why a little girl was at Hogwarts, and the events that led up to that! A mystery in the middle of a chapter! Also, is Remus her father? That's an interesting twist! It would make sense why Sirius is determined on finding her, though.

Anyway, this was another terrific chapter!

More about the Forum issues :D. After speaking with somebody, we found the place where you can post on the Forums as a guest, where admin and other people who know more about this kind of thing than I do can help you. (I even logged out and travelled around on the Forums as a guest in order to make sure that you can post as a guest in the thread, and you can!)

There are a couple more things that I just want to run by you, before you post (because if I can solve the issue, then there's no point in waiting for somebody else to solve it) ;). There's one more spambot check on the registration page, I believe it's a question asking you What Day of the Week Comes After (whatever day it is), so make sure that BOTH of the spambot checks are filled out. Also, the Author's page link requires a number that I believe you can request somewhere on the Forums. At this point, don't bother entering anything into the Author page link. If you had been entering a URL, that could be the reason why you are unable to register. Each person has their own number for their AP, and I can't remember exactly where to request it, but we (the Forum people) can help you with that once you've joined. The last thing that I can think of is to make sure you've checked the Terms of Service agreement box at the bottom of the page.

Now, if none of that is the problem, then here is the place where you can post your issue as a guest. Links aren't allowed on reviews, so I'll have to walk you through how to get there. As soon as you hop onto the Forums, you should see the big boxes with the main headers (Aministration, Member Information, etc.) You want the box that says HPFF Issues and Problems. In that box, there will be a sub-section called Forums Issues. That's the link you'll want to click.

I've already checked out the FAQ in the Forums issues, so you won't have to worry about searching through all of that (the only thing related is not using a Gmail account, but we've been over that). There's a red box all the way at the right of the page that says "Start New Topic". Then, you can just add your name (probably something along the lines of Guest_maryhead or something) and a topic title (probably, Unable to Create a Forum Account or something). Then you can post your problem. Make sure to tell them what you've already tried (all of the solutions that I've already given you that haven't worked) and you can also give them the exact message that the site is giving you when you are trying to create an account. They should be able to figure it out :D. Just check back there every once and a while to see if anybody has been able to give you solutions.

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review... And for your advice! I'll post my problem as a guest, as you suggested.

Bill is a quite deceptive character... He'll come back in a few chapters, and you'll understand what I mean.

For now, stay tuned :)



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Review #20, by RumpelstiltskinI Specialise in Murders: And the stage had been set.

30th March 2014:
I'm here to begin your challenge reviews!

Plot/plot arch: The theme is perfect for the challenge, so I'm glad that you entered it! I love the set-up of the crime scene, including the post-mortem wound from the knife and the fake blood. I also liked the tie-in to include another character (Lucy), which was done fantastically. The fact that the knife was enchanted against piercing living flesh was a nice touch, especially since it inflicted post-mortem wounds. I think I love the end of this chapter the most, naturally. Having the suspect be Scorpius' grandmother is a fantastic twist! You set this up nicely, and ending on a cliffhanger (which is perfect for a mystery)!

Characterization: Scorpius -- Obviously with little cannon detail in this Next-Gen world, you have a ton of room to play with these characters. I think that Scorpius' characterization was done nicely. I love his thought process, and the way he regards all things pureblood (which contradicts his raising, most likely). I think that I love his attitude toward his job the most, wishing that all murders were simple and sans theatric flare. Lucy -- The contrast between Scorpius and Lucy was most apparent in the first scene that involved Lucy by herself. I love the fact that you have two very different characters interacting in this.

Detail: You have some fantastic detail in this, not only surrounding the murder-scene, but throughout the entire chapter.

Style: One of the things that I like most about this is the narration. It has a sleuth-like essence to it that allows for the short, stunted sentences that are abundant throughout the chapter. While sentences as such should only be saved for certain occasions (such as action scenes and macabre portions), I think the short and punchy sentences work fantastically in this. They act as thoughts and actions, and I really think that they add a spectacular element to this piece.

Notes/Other: This is a fantastic first chapter. In order to take a first impression from all of the stories entered, I'm going to do a sweep of first chapters before I come back. I will be judging the stories as a whole (or at least all posted chapters) so all chapters will be reviewed before the winners will be announced. Of course, the deadline isn't up yet :D! Great job!

-Rumpel

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Review #21, by RumpelstiltskinMarianne Regrets Nothing: Part two: quelqu'un m'a dit*, Page seven

30th March 2014:
Hey there!

It's just like Marianne to have a backup plan in case Cassius ever decided to kick her out :D. It's understandable that she's upset and nervous about getting ready to go out on her own, especially since she was the type of person to have somebody always take care of her.

If I didn't have previous knowledge of how this turned out, the ending would have taken me by surprise. My first thoughts would have been questions as to what had happened, and why she was now locked in a prisoner's carriage. Of course, I already know the answers ;).

At any rate, it was a nice cliffhanger!

Great job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Great! I was wondering if people didn't like the huge plot twist... but i'm glad you like it.
Thank you for reviewing again!


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Review #22, by RumpelstiltskinJames Potter and the Dark Lord's Trail: Chapter 4

29th March 2014:
Tag!

Ginny's feeling of loneliness is abundant in the beginning of the chapter. I almost want to feel bad for her, because she's Ginny, though I suppose that she did do this to herself. Obviously, people are allowed to make mistakes, I'm certain this mistake may have caused her a great deal of alliances and friendships.

Oh leprechaun -- sneaky little rabble-rousers they are! That leprechaun isn't going to keep her secret O.o I know that much, if I know anything about leprechauns!

Nice job at ending the chapter on a mild cliffy!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hehe, I can't tell you what'll happen next! Thanks for reviewing. HEG.

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Review #23, by RumpelstiltskinJames Potter and the Dark Lord's Trail: Chapter 3

28th March 2014:
One more!

Ginny's half-hearted excuse for her mood isn't fooling Harry, is it? There's drama afoot! I can't help but feel bad for Harry at this point, because he's been through so much and I'm sure he's been there for Ginny time and again. Yet, she's betraying him. :( Feels.

Her friends, of course, resigned their alignment with her, just as she traded her own alignment. It's understandable that they would, as she's betraying ALL of them by attempting to help Voldemort. Now, that's all she's left with.

I fear her fate!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: HI again!

I know Ginny isn't the best at excuses is she? And she doesn't particularly have an excuse for Helping Voldemort does she?
HEG


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Review #24, by RumpelstiltskinJames Potter and the Dark Lord's Trail: Chapter 2

28th March 2014:
And back!

So, Ginny's working for Voldemort? That's a twist, I certainly did not see that coming! It's almost as if Ginny is standing in as the new Peter Pettigrew (the traitor, assisting him in regaining his strength and power). That's a really cool concept, and I really like the idea. I think what appeals to me most about the idea is the fate that Pettigrew ultimately faced in DH, and it makes me fear for Ginny. If she switched to Voldemort's side, then I believe, much like Peter, that at some point she'll be unable to commit the acts asked of her, which will result in her ultimate demise.

(^Oh look, I'm making predictions :D )!

I really want to know what she gave him! Is it something to help restore his power? Or maybe it's something to help him defeat Harry. Also, you left other questions such as what is Hermione doing with Draco, and Ginny's second-guessing herself, what will be her true alignment?

So. Many. Cliffhangers! :D

Great job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hiya, thanks for reviewing :).
That's a nice prediction there but I can't tell you what'll actually happen sorry. I'm glad you like the cliff hangers :D!
HEG


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Review #25, by RumpelstiltskinJames Potter and the Dark Lord's Trail: Chapter 1

28th March 2014:
Hey there! Since you have some short chapters here, it means that I'll have to leave shorter reviews. As such, I'll leave a couple reviews to make up for the shortness :D.

So, one of the elements I really enjoyed in this was the POV change. I think that was a really cool technique to include to separate dreams from reality (actually, it was quite brilliant, but I won't gush over it for too long).

So, Voldemort may not be dead. Or, he could be dead, and somebody may be messing with Ginny. Either way, it's an interesting concept. Naturally, Ginny is frightened by the idea, and Harry tries to comfort her. I also liked the concept that Harry's first instinct was that Voldemort was simply tricking Ginny. However, as she stated, "How can he trick me if he's dead?"

This is definitely interesting, and I'm off to the next chapter!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hiya Rumpel!(nice pename by the way)

Haha, yes my chapters are short aren't they? They do get longer throughout the story (around 1000-4000 words). And thank you for leaving these lovely reviews :D.

I am glad you liked the POV dream at the start. I personally would have liked it longer so I'll probably edit it when I next submit a chapter. Thank you for saying it was brilliant!

Thanks again,

HEG



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