Reading Reviews From Member: Rumpelstiltskin
  
543 Reviews Found

Review #1, by RumpelstiltskinPlaying for Keeps: A Face From the Past

14th October 2014:
Hey there!

James Potter -- described as the epitome of a character that I'd love to hate :D. I absolutely love how the narration plays into the MC's opinion of him, possibly skewing his characterization slightly. That's one of my favorite aspects of the "unreliable narrator" (like this, when the narration is driven by how a certain character views the world around them), and you're using it spectacularly. Also, there are some fantastic descriptions in this.

There's a HUGE presence of tension when the two begin to converse, which is absolutely fantastic. Their personalities are just so strong that their (mostly) mild conversation feels like the beginning of a war. I also like the hints about the MC having fallen for (or at least become vulnerable to) James' charms in the past.

I'm beginning to love your MCs vindictive sass, as well. I mean, she's just so amazingly ruthless and brass, trapping James in corners with her carefully-worded questions, and denying him anything and everything that she could -- including teaching him how to play pool. She's fantastic.

Ouch. What's James going to do now? :D I have a feeling that he'll figure out SOMETHING that he could possibly give her. Maybe. Actually, I have no idea.

Anyway, this was a fantastic chapter, and a great fic so far to boot!

Thanks for the swap!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you for the swap! :D

James Potter is definitely a love-to-hate sort of character. He's quite a jerk in this chapter, very arrogant and rather entitled. I'm glad that you caught the whole "never-trust-a-first-person-narrator" thing. My OC sees him through a very skewed viewpoint, and that will be revealed gradually as the story progresses. :D Thank you! I love descriptive language, but I always feel like I don't use enough of it. I'm glad you liked my descriptions!

So. Much. TENSION! And it definitely doesn't end there. Their personalities clash and collide and clash some more. War is a good way to describe it! But for now, battle is only on the horizon. :) Ah yes, their mysterious past! The MC is definitely not enamoured with James, but she did have a very bad experience with him when she was younger. More will be revealed in later chapters. :D

Oooh, I'm so happy that you love her sass! She's like my channel for sassiness--I can't say these things to people in real life, so I let her say them and my life is better for it. :D She has to be ruthless-it's in her job description, and she has a special hatred for James. Thank you!

Ahhh... You shall see very soon!

Thanks again for such a stellar review!

~UnluckyStar57


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Review #2, by RumpelstiltskinLike Clockwork: Antiquity

13th October 2014:
Hey there!

First of all, your use of imagery and description in this is absolutely lovely! I love every bit of it. From those flames that the reader's are lead to believe are quite possibly the result of Cecily's panicked emotion -- and turn out to be the result of magical build-up, instead -- to the terror portrayed as she was facing her (what we though was) her ultimate demise, it was really great.

The tone matched this introduction very well, as did the voice. The combination of narrative and word-choice was fantastic for the time-era that this was set in, and it really gave it the 18th-century feel.

This introduction was a great set-up for what is to come. The name Mason is holding something special, and I believe that you are setting up future character with that small line of, "“You are to do great things, Miss Mason..." Fantastic foreshadowing.

And, of course, ending with "Happy Halloween" is lovely for the season and airs a hint of foreshadowing in itself.

This was great, I can't wait to read more!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

Thanks so much! I'm not extremely familiar with 18th century; I've read a bit and watched a bit, so applying their word choice, perspectives, and actions was a challenge. I'm happy to see you thought it was portrayed well!

Thanks so much with the foreshadowing compliment! It means a lot!

Thanks so much!

-Leigh


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Review #3, by RumpelstiltskinDeath Eaters: Death Eaters

2nd October 2014:
Hey there :).

Microfiction is something that can be extremely challenging, given that you must paint a picture within the limits of word constraint. I thought you did a fantastic job with each section, capturing a single moment in a very artistic manner.

Regulus -- This section was beautifully murky. You've managed to embody his suffering and internal conflict surrounding his decisions in life -- specifically joining Voldemort's ranks -- and the consequences thereof. The object of his affection is even deemed to be unfit for someone like him, who has become befouled by his own devices. The ending of this section was especially fantastic, and was absolutely my favorite part of this section. "...he was sure to explode. And that he did." -- this was a powerful statement that really wrapped up that particular flash-fiction nicely.

Narcissa -- While this section had a strong focal-point on Andromeda -- on how she was able to flee from a life shrouded in darkness, where she would certainly be dragged along through the chaos of a life that she did not agree with -- this also indirectly highlights some of Cissa's traits. I love that you've shown Cissa's sense of abandonment when her only protection from said life (Andromeda) left. In a way, it reflects the same kind of feelings as when Sirius left the Black home, and how I'd imagine that Regulus would feel. I thought that the parallels drawn there were quite clever.

Rosier -- I love how this section really highlights some of the aspects of war and being a Death Eater. Although orders were to eliminate an individual, an entire family was slaughtered just because they were there, and in the way of people like Bellatrix Lestrange. Rosier's inability to stomach the gruesome sight was absolutely powerful, speaking volumes for his characterization. The vulnerable feeling of being trapped with his 'choices' in life, unable to escape without facing a fate that would be surely worse than death, was captured wonderfully in the end.

Fenrir -- I love this character, and you've done him justice. The fact that he was not 'born' evil, but had become evil under the speculation of others, giving way to the pressures of his circumstance (eg becoming a werewolf and facing society, thusly), was truly a unique and awesome take on who Fenrir is.

Severus -- I'm always terrified about reading other author's characterization of him, as he's my favorite, but I was confident that you would do fantastically given what you'd done with the other characters in this (and I wasn't disappointed). I loved the idea that his beliefs about blood impurity was a manifestation of nurture, and I loved the contrast that you set up between Lily Evans and himself. The short build-up you've built here, about love, friendship, and a darkness that just kept lingering, was perfect, and I love the ultimate let-down of this build-up, where that love and friendship crumbled. The end of that section, where he swore not to fail her again, set up what we know of his canon characterization nicely.

Rabastan -- Ah, unrequited love. I love how this section focused on the naive girl who got away (Emmeline) rather than a feeling of hopelessness surrounding being a part of Voldemort's ranks. In fact, he seems quite pleased with being a part of that world, and his discontent surrounded the fact that Emmeline had been 'woken' from her naivety.

I absolutely loved this! The common themes penetrated throughout the story's entirety, while each section stood alone as its own flash-ficiton, capturing a single moment beautifully!

Great job, and thanks for the swap. (Also, sorry it took so long, I have to stop and think when I'm reviewing so that I don't miss anything :) ).

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

Thanks so so much for such elaborate review! It put the largest smile on my face :) writing a bit for each section was so nice of you, and I'd like to thank you for that. I'm also glad that you caught on that the Narcissa part was about Narcissa-some thought it was about Andromeda.

Thanks so much! And I didn't mind the wait :)

-Leigh


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Review #4, by RumpelstiltskinUpper Class: Chapter Six

29th September 2014:
^.^ Hey there, and sorry for stealing your review ^.^.

Of course Hermione would have to examine everything about her life -- about whether or not everything would be different. It's something that I'm sure will haunt her throughout the story, and it could drive anyone a little batty. I love the idea of not quite being able to "put words to her emotions". I think we've all been to that point at some point in our lives, which makes the saying easy to relate to.

Despite everything that's happening, it's wonderful to see Hermione and her parents getting along so nicely. There's a lot of love in that scene, and I think it reiterates the fact that her parents are still her parents, even through the huge secret they'd been keeping from her. ♥

Being gifted a house is something huge, and completely unexpected for Hermione. Naturally, it brings back all of the confusion for her, knocking her back from her sense of normalcy.

It's not surprising that she doesn't understand why the didn't fight, and why they took such extreme measures to hide from Voldemort, and her parents don't react to it the right way. The revelation that comes from it, that Hermione's mother was pregnant (and then lost that child) was absolutely heartbreaking. :(

I love the back story (even if it was sad)!

On a little side-note on your AN, I had absolutely no idea that English wasn't your primary! I think that it's absolutely incredible that you write so well in a secondary language! I could never write so well in my secondary ;).

Great job!

-Rumpel

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Review #5, by RumpelstiltskinSins or Virtues?: Gula

29th September 2014:
Hey there!

So, I definitely love the idea of this, and I think your approach to the challenge was unique and well-executed. Not only are you portraying the seven sins nicely, but I love the fact that you are pairing them against virtues, and there's an ongoing battle between them.

I found all of the names a bit confusing, only because they're new to me, but as the story progresses I'm learning more and more about their necessity and placement.

Some of my favorite parts of this are the short bits of dialogue that open each piece. They set a proper air to the story, creating foreshadowing and mood. I also love the repetition of "But the war was yet to be fought" that concludes each segment.

Overall, I think you have a very original piece here, and I encourage you to continue. Again, perhaps slowing down a bit surrounding some of the characters, so that the reader can connect with them, would add to the flow of the story. Keep up the great work, it's nice to see a bit of abstracted tucked into the FF world!

-Rumpel

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Review #6, by RumpelstiltskinUpper Class: Chapter Five

23rd September 2014:
Hey there ;).

Format-less Rumpel ramblings, round two.

I think that Pansy's ownership of a high-end dress shop suits her perfectly, especially with what you're doing with her characterization. Pansy never had much of a show of character development in the series, mostly because she was an extremely minor character, so I absolutely love what you are doing with her. She's has hints of what canon we DO have from her, and then so much more depth (from growth through the years and just more characterization in general).

Obviously, Hermione is a bit overwhelmed by all of the different kinds of dresses, heels and jewelry that Pansy has available in her shop. Not being used to such an array of items would be overwhelming to anybody, really. Of course, Pansy doesn't make it much easier on her, with her snide comments about Hermione's sense of fashion ;).

Draco's characterization really shines in this chapter, as he defends Hermione against Pansy's comments.

Despite everything about Pansy, she sure knows what she's talking about when it comes down to fashion advice. I'm curious to see if Hermione will be able to make a good impression at the fundraiser, and if she'll be able to walk in those heel ;).

Another great chapter!

-Rumpel

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Review #7, by RumpelstiltskinUpper Class: Chapter Four

22nd September 2014:
Hey dear, I'm here for the Slytherin review exchange.

(I don't particularly feel like sticking to a format tonight, so prepare yourself for a free-for-all!)

Understandably, Hermione's remains entirely resistant to the idea of her parents' new lifestyle (well, their OLD lifestyle that was abandoned, and now being reestablished). I do love that you've kept this canon stubbornness about her that really is one of the only things about her that could possibly hold her back...and of course, she's holding herself back from experiencing life differently. Though, I wouldn't be too keen on spending time around someone like Draco, who had tormented me through school. That's a tough situation to be in.

Her state of dress caused that much commotion? Oh boy... Well, maybe she'll get the elitist-style dress down someday ;). It seems quite unfair though, that she would be judged solely on the way she was dressed -- poor girl!

Harry's outburst made me laugh a little. He's really a great friend, and I love Harry/Ginny in this, it's very cute.

Of course, with the obligations to her parents hanging over her head, she can't exactly escape the life that she doesn't want. That leaves room for some interaction with Draco, because she does, in fact, need his help if she's going to pull this off. It is also true that she'll be able to escape the grasps of the Prophet if she is able to blend into the society smoothly, becoming invisible instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

Speaking of, that particular part of Diagon Alley is a little intimidating, isn't it? Though, I wouldn't expect to meet someone like Draco Malfoy anywhere else. Hermione may hate Draco, if only just a little ;) but I don't think that she would have any reason to believe that he would poison her (at least not now that the war is over and everything).

I'm excited to see all of the guidance that Draco can provide in leading the lifestyle of the upper class (or 'infiltrating' it, as he's said). I find it humorous that Hermione's getting dragged along into this, especially that she'll be dealing with Pansy in the ways of dressing properly ;).

Great chapter! Sorry about the rambling (it's what happens when I don't stick to my format)!

-Rumpel

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Review #8, by RumpelstiltskinChicks Before Broomsticks: Fast Life

19th September 2014:
Hey there!

Plot/plot arch: Originality is definitely something that shines through here, as I'm quite certain that I haven't read anything quite like this yet, particularly given that it appears to be heavily Quiddich-oriented (as the MC's on a team). The underlying plot that's shining through this introduction is the MC's, Hollie, love interest in one, Roxanne Weasley. The tragedy, of course, lies in that Roxanne doesn't seem to be returning said interest. In fact, she seems to be straight (solely based on the tryst in the bathroom with Logan), which doesn't look good for Hollie.

Characterization: Hollie -- Despite her position on her Quiddich team, the 'Tutshill Tornados', in the reserves, she seems to take her role quite seriously. What hints at this the most is the fact that she chooses to leave the team's celebration early in order to get some rest for practice the next morning. There are several key qualities that shine through in this introduction: she's friendly (like with Elijah), she has the ability to stand up for herself (like with the drunken man pestering her at the bar), but she is still vulnerable, if only in private (like when she cried herself to sleep, pining over Roxanne). She also doesn't appear to be bound by social stigma, as she is far from shy about entering the men's bathroom to escape a line for the women's. She made a logically sound decision that speaks greatly for her character. While she has the ability to be a strong individual, her more sensitive side shines through when it involves Roxanne (whether it be admiring her from afar at practice, or attempting to act like a friend when she really wants more). I absolutely love the effect that Roxanne has on Hollie, especially at the end in the fantastic line, "Hollie was surprised she didn’t end up in Finland or Japan with how badly she butchered her address in the Floo." ;).

Style: Nothing is overly verbose, and the face-paced terminology during Quddich practice greatly assisted the action of the scene.

Notes/other: Great job, and thanks for the swap! Also, sorry it took so long, I tend to get a bit carried away.

-Rumpel

Author's Response: I can't even begin to thank you for taking an analytical eye to this.

You are correct :) at the current moment - when we begin - Hollie is under the impression that Roxanne is straight. We'll see if that changes :)

Characterization! Oh good! I was a little worried that her characterization was getting lost in everything that was happening, but the way you've picked out everything specifically on point puts my mind at ease. I'm glad you got such a great grasp for her (I'm probably going to come back and read this when I'm having writers block. seriously. I don't even know where to start thanking you.)

heh. I'm glad you liked that line.

Anyway, thank you (again) a million times for picking through this. It really brings my perspective around so I really appreciate it. Thanks again for the swap!

Julie


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Review #9, by RumpelstiltskinThe Brave at Heart: Carry That Weight

18th September 2014:
Hello!

Wow, Mel's all about asking Sirius questions that he doesn't exactly want to answer: first about Remus, then the nicknames, and then Regulus -- she's on a role! At least Sirius seems to be opening up to her a little bit, what with actually having a conversation with her about his brother. (Also, I'm sure that Sirius' claw hand looks absolutely fabulous, because he's Sirius :p .)

“The world is not split into good people and Death Eaters, Sirius,” -- That's actually a very powerful line, in my opinion. Not only does being a Death Eater seem to define a person's good or evil status, especially in people like Sirius' opinion, but there are also people who aren't becoming Death Eaters who aren't necessarily good people. Mel's ability to see this, influenced slightly by Nathan's involvement, is a strong show of her characterization as it conflicts Sirius'. Though, there is that strong bond of similarity between them, as both of their brothers are either Death Eaters or soon-to-be Death Eaters, so that element alone provides an essential commonality. Which, of course, means, queue awkward hand-holding meant to be a gesture of friendship ^.^ hahahah. Teenage love.

Speaking of, I love James and Lily's interaction here. That tentative dancing that Lily's doing around her feelings, while showing the desire to speak to James and be around him is absolutely fantastic. Her denial of actual feelings towards James I think is not only for everybody else's benefit, but for her own, like she's trying to convince herself that she really doesn't show an interest. However, it's almost as if she's partially admitted to herself that she's developing feelings for him, already. ♥

Yes, I would think that learning how to dissuade Peeves from his pestering would result in life at Hogwarts being just a tad more tolerable. ^.^

Gah, wow Mel...*cough* thinking before she speaks isn't exactly her strength, is it? Baha, it made ME laugh, though, even if it was a little bit horrifying for her. I do love her rationale when she decided that she was never going anywhere near Sirius ever again -_-...poor Mel. I can imagine that she's quite embarrassed, even though her cover was oh-so-suave.

Of course, it didn't help that Vanessa assisted in the revision and spreading of the tale. I think that, in her position, I would have just locked myself in a cupboard and refused to come out for the remainder of the year...or until someone did something so embarrassing that everybody forgot about the incident. Yeah...

What was he going to tell her?! Stupid, giggling girl *hmph*. I'd like to hex her, myself, to be quite honest. Luckily, Sirius took the events of the previous day lightly, overlooked the rumors, and was able to maintain his friendship with Mel. You've really nailed this charismatic aspect to him that I really just love about him, and would expect him to be like.

“You know, there’s nothing going on with me and Carol,” he said cautiously. “We’re just friends.” -- His justification proves, to the readers, that Sirius might have actual feeling for Mel. Of course, with both of them being teenagers and dancing around the subject like teenagers do, it leaves Mel feeling worn out because these kids refuse to process their feelings O.o! So, yeah, the main topic of this review is teenage love (don't mind me). Obviously, they're just both very confused by their feelings, and don't know how to handle those feelings, so they just play this back-and-forth game. It fits perfectly into the story, building up tension to the point where you want to scream 'Just kiss, already!' -- which is an absolutely fantastic thing.

I'm rambling.

Well, isn't Mandy the romantic ;). Though, Althea doesn't seem to mind the soup incident, and that she does, in fact, have a crush on Hector. ♥

I think one's own personal ghost would be a pretty neat thing to have.

Oh boy, Death Eaters inside the castle...that's going to start a panic. Well, yes, actually that's exactly what happened. Parents (as well as students) will be wondering if Hogwarts is a safe enough place to be.

Ouch, Althea, that was pretty harsh. Though, Slytherin House DOES seem to be under fairly constant speculation...poor Slytherins ;). The war is happening...and it just seems to be escalating! Things are really going to hit the fan when they're OUTSIDE Hogwarts...

:D Great chapter!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Rumpel! You're such an amazing reviewer, like where do I even start with this review other than "bkjasjhkd"

That conversation was one of my favourite parts to write about this chapter as they finally TALKED about important stuff and connected on a deeper level. I really like the connections you drew here between Melanie and Sirius - although they do have the commonality of having brothers involved in the other side, they have very different perspectives of it. I do like that line in particular - Sirius said something to that effect in OotP when talking to Harry (and in my mind at least, he was recalling this conversation with Mel :P)

You hit the nail on the head with what I was trying to convey with Lily, and I'm so thrilled it came across that way. That's the way I imagine it too - she was trying to deny it to herself for a while, but her shell is cracking by this point!

Well, Melanie does usually say what's on her mind, which in this case is unfortunate when things like that are on her mind. Maybe it would have been easier if Sirius actually picked up on it, too. :P

Aw, thanks! That really means a lot to me that you think I've done the characterization well with Sirius.

Hmm.. does he actually have feelings for her? Who knows, because as you said - like teenagers do, they just get awkward about it. Ughhh sometimes I just wanted to yell at all the characters :p I'm glad you like that dynamic and all the building tension though!

Mandy is too much of a romantic! :P Sometimes when writing her lines I was just doing these huge eyerolls at how absurd she is.

Panic indeed. That would be super scary.

That was definitely harsh from Althea - she's normally quite a nice person but as you can imagine she's under a lot of stress, and that does sometimes crack even the nicest people. Poor Slytherins indeed. The war must have been a bad time to be a snake.

Thanks so much for your amazing and thoughtful review!! ♥


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Review #10, by Rumpelstiltskinlove and lycanthropy and other institutions: institutionalisation

4th September 2014:
I have finally arrived ^.^! (And linear timelines are for squares, anyway.)

Due to the plot jumping about, this review is going to jump about just as much, in order to follow the way the story flows. This ways amazing! WolfStar is one of my favorite ships, and I think you're doing the relationship great justice with this. As always, your writing is beautiful, with the absolutely amazing word choice and descriptions. Alrighty then, into the madness we go!

Section One:

I love the way that you clearly define what 'time' we're reading, most especially by using the hours until the full moon as the 'present' part of the time-line (for now, anyways). It makes the transition between sections flow smoothly.

There are so many elements in this section that made me know right from the beginning that I was going to love this. For example, the small details that play into characterization, such as James wearing his Head Boy pin upside-down all year, Peter's questions (and the fact that he's mostly ignored), Sirius' very open public display of affection and Remus' hesitance towards it, made me fall in love with this crew all over again.

The idea of the institution is mentioned in this section, of course, referring to Hogwarts, that will grow in meaning over time. What I love most about the idea of the institution in this section is that Sirius seems desperate to get out, while Remus really isn't quite sure that he wants to leave.

Section Two:

This is where the meaning of institution evolves the first time, from Hogwarts to Lycanthropy, where his sickness is something he's slave to. I do love the idea that it has an order to it, it's timely and to-the-point. You've brought a new level of depth to the idea of Lycanthropy.

The meaning transforms again in this same section, moving from his condition to the Shrieking Shack, which will, indeed contain his more *cough* wild side. "And institution within an institution" -- ;) well-said.

Also, I appreciate this section as it is the beginning to Remus going to Hogwarts, and how others perceived his illness. Of course, he must have looked sickly, especially around the full moon, so why wouldn't kids spread rumors? The rumors were probably better than the student body discovering his secret...even if the rumors did include being a leper.

Section Three:

Peter's fears go unheard in this section, an ongoing issue. His friends aren't truly hearing what he's saying, and I think you've done a wonderful job with that, as it sets a path for his canon betrayal.

Peter obviously feels safe at Hogwarts, but Sirius is, once again, desperate to leave the walls of the institution behind.

Section Four:

This was one of my favorite sections, and there are several elements that really strike me. The first is that Remus was the last member of the group that would come to be known as the Marauders. Furthermore, I loved that one of the boys' first interactions was met through a failed attempt at a prank...it seems perfect to me.

The boys' acceptance of his condition, upon finding out, was awesome. I especially loved that Sirius takes Remus' statement of 'there's nothing you can do' as a challenge, which very well may have planted the idea of the group becoming animagi.

Section Five:

Even Remus, in this section, isn't quite listening to Peter. He hears what the other boy is saying, but the way that Remus answers caters to the idea that he doesn't care so much about what Peter is trying to say. Peter's clearly terrified, but his friends don't seem overly concerned at this point (they're still working their ways through the end of the school year).

Section Six:

Your inclusion of how they all begin to achieve their nicknames was a fantastic small detail, as is the beginning process of how the boys were learning to become animagi (that made me laugh).

I love how Sirius' advances on Remus are met with skepticism, Remus believes that he's just fooling around, and taking it a bit too far to boot ;). I love the slow build-up, here.

Section Six:

Sirius' tenderness -- ♥ -- that's absolutely freaking adorable, that is.

Section Seven:

While the successful transformations are absolutely fantastic, I'm running out of characters, so let's move onto the groping ;).

Sirius' advances are more forward here, but Remus is still reluctant. Something tells me he won't always be reluctant and, you know, that was a fantastically hot little scene :D.

Section Seven:

Remus' body becomes the institution, trapping the real him within. That was an absolutely fantastic addition.

Section Eight:

James' wholehearted acceptance and Peter's hesitance towards discovering about Remus and Sirius is a fantastic contrast. It does highlight the difference in the two characters personalities. 'You're going to ruin us' -- fantastically powerful words that truly speak to Peter's character.

Section Nine:

I love that Remus wakes up, believing that he's going to be all alone, to discover that Sirius is there with him. Whatever tension had been between the pair before the transformation, is suddenly gone, and some spectacular flirting ensues, as it must ;).

Section 10:

I love the idea that Sirius refuses to let his guard down, even with Remus, and even over something as trivial as the fact that he's afraid of water. Yet, the pair are still there, together, because Remus accepts that about Sirius. And kisses.

Section 11:

James seems to be the glue, reminding the group that they are just that, the group. It feels like a bit of foreshadowing, because once James dies, the group ultimately falls apart. And of course, there's the wonderfully tender moment between Remus and Sirius in the Hospital Wing ;).

Section 12:

The final mention of the institution...little do they know that the institution is what was holding them together. And feels.

This was amazing! Thanks for the swap!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hello Rumpel! ♥

Oh god I'm SORRY how long it's taken for me to respond to this amazing amazing review -hides- It scared me a little when I received it, but asdlkjaslfkh THANK YOU SO MUCH. Your comments reduced me to a puddle of happy slush.

I'm glad to hear that wolfstar is a ship you ship! I'd been hoping to get feedback on this story from fans of this ship, and yay! Thank you!

Ahahah linear timelines hahaha. No such thing exists in this fic, for sure!

I really think I needed to add the 'time', or a sense of time to the start of each chapter to differentiate the timelines. I wasn't going to at first, but I realised that things got confusing pretty fast, especially since both timelines are only a few years apart, and they grow closer together towards the end. And they're both set during the Marauders' school years so yeah...the full moon thing allowed me to help sort out the time a bit.

I love small details! THANK YOU for noticing them! James and his upside down badge haha!

The 'institution' term does gather more meaning and connotation as the story progresses; it's not all bad. I do hope the metaphor isn't too forced or anything... o.O I thought the concept of the institution would indicate things like an established framework of rules, society, patterns, familiarity, protection - but it also includes the rigorous cycles of the full moon that Remus suffers so terribly from. And then there's the war outside of school which threatens to shatter comfort zones, with death and violence...etc. The Marauders being such a band of free spirits would want to always escape established patterns; I feel that most of them would react against the norms, stand up for each other while being highly individualistic (I hope I'm making sense). Hogwarts for all its fun times can start to become a prison for James and Sirius, who want to go where the action is.

ARGH RAMBLING SORRY

Section 4 was one of my favourite to write too! Before I wrote this fic, I never thought that Remus would be the last to join the Marauders! But then it all started to make sense as I wrote more of him, and so I made him thus.

Peter was such an interesting character to explore. I know there are lots of Peter fics out there all examining his motives in detail, and I couldn't help referring to them, at least foreshadowing things and how he will soon be splitting from the Marauders.

SIRIUS IS TENDER YES. He's harsh sometimes, but he can go the other way too! I wanted to write him as fairly open with Remus, in terms of their relationship. Not so much in terms of all his past and his personal issues which he's trying to put behind him.

GROPING GROPING :P

Flirting, hospital wing scenes, etc. My god we all need some fluff after all that transformation horror. :D

I love your analysis about James being the glue that holds the group together. OF COURSE. It completely makes sense. Argh, the ending was meant to be hopeful...because for now, the boys are united, and their tensions are cast aside as they revel in each other's company and enjoy the present moment. Unfortunately, if you put the fic in context with the Marauders' entire lives, then things do become bittersweet and take on that tragic undertone...that's the thing about writing the Marauder Era: we already know their fates. The bitter end to their lives. :(

ARGH BUT THANK YOU SO MUCH RUMPEL! ♥ This was absolutely wonderful, and your review made my whole week AGAIN just by rereading it! And sorry again for the late response.

-teh


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Review #11, by RumpelstiltskinThe Lost Wolf: Go to Sleep

3rd September 2014:
Okay, I'm here! Sorry about the delay...I needed to get back to this story anyway.

I love this chapter ^.^. Okay, so one of the elements that really stuck out to me was the way that Sirius' thoughts run the narration in the first section, Minerva's in the second, and Remus' at the end. This narrative style is something that really appeals to me, as it allows for a wider range of character and plot exploration -- so that the readers can see all sides of the story rather than just one (which does have its benefits, but I find this more fun, especially for this story).

I love Sirius' frantic thoughts of 'is this Cassie?', 'no, this can't be Cassie', 'why not?', 'It IS Cassie!' :D. It's sad to think about Sirius not being able to reveal himself to her, because, as he said, even if she does remember him, she'll think (like the rest of the world) that he's a murderer. For now, he'll just have to settle with keeping her company as "Doggie" ;). At least he's making her laugh -- poor Cassie has gone through a lot.

Cassie's characterization is great. I really like how strong she is, despite being so broken. She's a strong person (and goodness, being able to stitch your own leg must be incredibly difficult...I don't think I could do that), and I have a feeling that's going to play into the story.

McGonagall's characterization is spot-on, and I loved every second of her.

Remus' story of why he didn't approach Cassie when he saw her was heartbreaking. While, yes, her life seemed to be looking up -- but her entire world shattered since he last saw her :(. But, he knows that, though he thinks that he's killed her.

Ah! I can't wait to see how this all plays out!

Great chapter!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry for the incredibly late response and the incredibly late return of favor...

Thank you so much for your review! I have to say I missed your comments, since you were my first reviewer ever and you managed encourage me to keep writing in a way you couldn't imagine!

I am glad you liked the shifts of POV, especially since they will be a constant in the next chapters. I found that I couldn't express the story with the depth I aimed to if I just conveyed Cassandra's and Sirius' view of the events. As it may transpire from this chapter, things are just too complicated to be seen just through a seventeen-year-old girl and a slightly unstable escaped convict. I am also incredibly happy that you like my OC: many told me she is a Mary Sue, and at the beginning I understand that she may give this idea... But she had her inner debates, and she is not perfect. This will probably become more and more evident as the story proceeds, and more difficulties arise :)!

MicGonagall is great! I love her, and I certainly want her to play a major role in this story. Remus is a tad bit darker than in the books, but I keep fooling myself that he's not OOC, probably because book Remus tended to take foolish decisions when it came to family (ehm... Tonks.ehm...). The "Restaurant misunderstanding" will cause quite the drama, I warn you!


Thank you again for the review, I really hope to hear from you soon, and congrats for the mini-Rumpel ;)!


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Review #12, by RumpelstiltskinPlaying for Keeps: Shooting Star, After Midnight

2nd September 2014:
Hey there :).

The first, and most obvious, element that I love is the atmosphere that the story conveys. I love that 50s, Monroe-era feel that this is giving off. The way that you've tied in the casino-life with the wizarding world is very entertaining. In fact, this era is actually very enticing for me, so I was very excited from the beginning.

The main character, of course, fits perfectly into this setting. Dancing on stage, and hustling games of pool -- she just emphasizes that atmosphere in this that I love so much. And she can really play well (meaning that she's perfect for hustling). I kind of feel bad for the guy that she tricks, but, hey, it's all the more fun. I also really enjoyed that she acknowledged herself as a showoff ;).

This was really well written, and I love the mystery in the end of this chapter. I wonder who is lurking in the shadows, and if her night being over was referring to more pool, or something else.

Great job, and thanks for the swap!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi! Here I am, finally answering your review from our swap. :)

I'm so glad that you love the atmosphere! I really like the Gatsby-esque, Roaring Twenties vibe, and that's what I was going for, but I can see how it can be taken as 50s-ish, too! Lots of weird gender politics going on. :)

I am personally in love with my MC. Is that bad? I don't know... She's the first character that I've created that I have any real attachment to, and I love how talented she is and how snarky she can be. She is definitely a showoff! Every performer needs a stage to perform on, and this is her stage. :D

Thank you so very much! Everything will be revealed in time!

~UnluckyStar57


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Review #13, by RumpelstiltskinHere, There & Everywhere: Here, There and Everywhere

2nd September 2014:
Hey there! :D

This is a fantastic look into Ron and Hermione's developing feelings and blossoming relationship over the years. The time spent alone during that first summer seems to have really brought them together, until Harry comes into the picture. As they are still very young, of course any feelings that they're having for one another are confusing. With everything that transgresses over the years, it's really no wonder why they would not only turn those confusing feelings into bickering, but also refrain from perusing them.

The transition into the following year by highlighting the subtle changes (Ron's height and Hermione's hair) made me smile. After some time a part, these things could be very noticeable, and noticeable because they do care about each other. The small things that they argue about, and the way Ron ultimately sticks up for and attempts to protect her, is very, very sweet! ♥

This line, "any kisses with others were for the secret purpose of practice for when he finally plucks up the nerve to kiss her" is (of course) one of my absolute favorites ^.^. It's just so sweet, and it emphasizes the fact that Ron really does have feelings for her, but he just can't bring himself to express them in ways other than his protectiveness and argumentativeness.

Again, with everything going on, and all that Harry is facing, the pair feel obligated (because they're great friends with him) to focus on Harry (and, hey, there's a war brewing -- so that probably was a good plan of action) and leave their feelings on the back-burners.

The extent to which they go to be close to each other, to touch hands or just be in each other's company, is really sweet. His laughing at her joke, simply because it was just that bad of a joke, was another one of my favorite moments in this. And then there's the first kiss ♥ ! Aww.

The ending really tied this all together, bringing all of their July's spent together to a meaning. July no longer represents their time spent together alone, but not their time spent together with everyone that they love. The way their relationship was finally able to transpire after the war was the perfect way to end this.

This was so sweet! I think everything else I've read of yours so far has had a slightly more solace tone to it, so this was a new way to view your writing style, and it was fantastic (not that it wasn't fantastic otherwise) ;).

Thanks for the swap!

-Rumpel

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Review #14, by RumpelstiltskinForget Me Not: bloom and wither

27th August 2014:
I'm (finally) here! :D

Holy crows, where do I begin? I'll stick to a format, so that I don't ramble on endlessly.

Plot/pot arch: This is absolutely fantastic. I love how desperately in love Scorpius is, and how it ultimately caused him to Obliviate his memory because of what he had to do BECAUSE of how loyal he was to Rose (and I do hope that this run-on sentence makes some kind of sense). The love story is just so tragic here -- Rose leaves Scorpius and enters an abusive relationship that she can't quite get out of. Instead, she chooses to hold an affair with Scorpius, stringing him along and absolutely destroying him, because he loves her so much, can't stand to see Rose in that relationship, but can't do anything about it. Then, of course, what she asks of him at the end...and just the ending itself... :( It was a beautiful tragedy.

Characterization: Scorpius -- This is an entirely new, vulnerable side of this character than I've previously seen. I loved the tortured-soul aspect, where he's completely lost control of himself. His personality and actions are being driven by his loyalty to and love for Rose. In fact, he loves and cares for her so much, that he's allowing himself to succumb to destruction. Rose -- She's just so perfectly conceded and self-centered. Even in the wake of an abusive relationship, it appears on the surface that she's far too interested in money to really leave that relationship. However, there's also a layer hidden beneath that, hinting that her fiance is far to powerful, and that she's too afraid, to leave. Either way, she seeks comfort in Scorpius, using him for her own personal gain. It seems that she IS still in love with him, but perhaps just not quite enough.

Detail: Lovely, gruesome, magnificently awesome ;). You did a great job at bringing the reading into the story, so that they could live and feel Scorpius' pain, and the horror that ensues. The imagery at the end was absolutely fantastic.

Style: I love the progression of days, counting down until the inevitable end. It allows for the linear progression of the story to stay clear, letting the reader know exactly how much time is elapsing through scenes, and the extent to which Scorpius and Rose' quasi-relationship is developing (and degrading). Also, second-person POV is always lovely.

Notes/other: I'd say this love story would definitely challenge that of Romeo and Juliet. I absolutely loved this! Thanks for the swap!

-Rumpel

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Review #15, by RumpelstiltskinThe Brave at Heart: Second Hand News

27th August 2014:
Ah! There are so many of your stories that I need to read!...and I need to finish this first!

Jeeze! Hector is all over the Quiddich tryouts (but who wants to try out for a sport directly after eating lunch...yuck)! It's a bit adorable that he's so excited, though :). After some of James Potter's classic nonsense -- because how do you possibly involve James without his nonsense -- I was glad to see the Mel made the team ^.^. Yay! Oh, this means that there will be a fierce competition between Gryffindor and Slytherin this year...whoo!

Unfortunately for Mel, Jasper WAS good at the tryouts! I don't suppose breaking his legs would do much good, with magic and all...wouldn't keep him out for the season.

Haha...I love the way the next section began. Charlotte's little crush vanishes at a bad grade...that was pretty priceless. My friends and I weren't as kind as Mandy was in school -- we'd laugh at each other if they got a bad grade and we didn't... *cough* all in good fun, of course ;). Charlotte's course of vengeance (doodling unflattering caricatures) seems like a good outlet.

Vanessa Saltz...that's never good. Oh, bahaha, spider-in-the-hair is classic ;). I would have freaked out, too, if somebody told me there was a spider in my hair (but it's much funnier to see someone like Vanessa freak out). Ink on your essay is not as funny :( (escape, before you face the wrath of Pince)!!!

*Cough* Anyway. Aww! Lily's flirting a little with James :D. She may not realize it yet, but I think he's starting to grow on her ♥ .

I've seen people's hair dance on the breeze before...though mine never seems to do so. If the wind catches my hair, it typically flies back into my face, blinding me in the process. I must find out the secret to dancing hair.

At any rate, the girls are right -- that's completely adorable of James :D. I do love watching this slow process of Lily figuring out her feelings...it makes it all quite romantic.

Are Mel's attempts to flee from Luke's sight finally at a stop? Is Luke finally going to stop asking her out? Hooray! (For now, any way.) I feel a little less bad for him now that he has a girlfriend, though that doesn't necessarily mean that he's still not harboring feelings for Mel. Ugh, teenage love is complicated.

That's true...Voldemort won't stroll into Hogwarts until the next war...but that's besides the point. At least they know where Mark is, but Hogwarts might be one of the safest places to be at the moment. O.O Hopefully something doesn't happen to Mark.

Though, with Death Eater's being recruited, it might not be the absolute safest place ever. Camille's not worried about Voldemort...oh boy...she'll figure it out.

O.O Oh goodness. The wrath of Pince! I love how much she worries about the books ;)...she IS the librarian, so if she didn't worry, then there would probably be an issue.

Aww...poor Mel. Sirius just likes playing with everybody's emotions, so I can't blame her for feeling that way. Aha, but Mandy's over him (for real this time) or so she says. That's difficult to judge. On one hand, Mandy's straightforward telling Mel to ask him out, but I'm kind of afraid that Mandy will become jealous again, and they don't want to fight anymore!

Or...Mandy has a crush on Remus. That's too cute. ♥ Well, Remus is closed-off for better reasons than 'most blokes'...but we'll see how that plays out. *Excited*

Just ignore Jasper, Mel...this is what practice is for...to practice :D.

Great chapter! I seem to be taking forever to read today, sorry about the delay!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Wow, Rumpel, what a review! ♥

Hector has to be enthusiastic, he's the captain! But yeah, no one else wants to go immediately from lunch to tryouts :S Haha, yes, as if Gryffindor and Slytherin didn't already have fierce competition!

Mandy is generally very kind. Which is good I suppose because Charlotte is generally not! And a bad grade definitely gets a professor out of her good graces. :p

I always had the feeling that Lily had excellent hair - absolutely the type that would dance. Ah, bummer about you getting a face full of hair when it's windy, I sympathise. Mine usually just looks like I hugged a Van de Graaff generator (ie a huge mess).

I loved writing Lily and James' slow (REALLY SLOW) process of growing up and changing. Aw! Glad you enjoyed that too :)

'Ugh, teenage love is complicated' - yep. Pretty much sums this chapter up :p

It is a weird time in the war - some people don't realize the danger (particularly the younger students), no one really knows where is safe... as I see it, it was probably a lot like the beginning of the second war, only no one knew quite what to expect the first time around! :/

Thanks so much for your review!!!


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Review #16, by RumpelstiltskinHear us Roar: If All Time is Unredeemable

26th August 2014:
Hey there. I'm here for the August review exchange :).

Plot/plot arch: Oh goodness, you've left so many questions that need answering (which, of course, is perfect for an introduction). Obviously, something has happened to cause Ivy to go into hiding, unaware that the first wizarding war is already over (which was caused by her isolation).

Characterization: Ivy - Due to her long period of isolation, she's become paranoid. Obviously there will be character development in future chapters that will add to her present state, but from what I gather, she was a confident and possibly talented witch at one point, until she gave up magic for her own safety.

Detail: You've described her haunting, self-imposed prison perfectly. I loved every minute, and I couldn't suggest adding any further detail to make this better ;). Fantastic job.

Style: This is one of my favorite ways to read/write a story -- beginning at a certain period of time and then hopping backwards in order to answer those questions posed by this first chapter.

Notes/other: This is a fantastic beginning! I can't wait to read more.

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hiya Rumpel! I've gotta say I was a bit worried when I got you for the exchange because you're just so good! That's why this review just means so much!

Oh my goodness you just totally got the prologue. It's like you're in my head or something. I was totally going for the mystery thing, but I was worried that it was just too mysterious that it became annoyingly confusing. It's great to see that you get it. :)

Ooh you totally got Ivy as well! She's a shell of her former self, and I really wanted to make sure that people knew she wasn't born a paranoid agoraphobic.

I have to admit I do love the starting-at-the-end style as well, for selfish reasons because it means I always know where I'm going to end up, which means I can't change it however much I want to!

Thanks so much for your wonderful review. Made my day.

~Aimee~


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Review #17, by RumpelstiltskinMy Little Secrets: The Walls Are Falling Down Around Us

20th August 2014:
I got sidetracked ^.^. Now I'm here!

Lucy's obsession with how disgusting food is, and how disgusting it is to witness people eating, is really quite disturbing. It highlights her ongoing problem, which is quite probably heading towards an eating disorder. O.O This story is going to make me cry, I see it coming.

Meanwhile, her sexual orientation is under speculation from some people at Hogwarts -_-. Teenage life was never easy, and you're highlighting that phenomenally. Lucy, like many teenage girls, really doesn't think much of herself, does she? She even believes that she isn't deserving of her own father's love, even if he did react the wrong way when she told him about Gwen :(. Poor girl.

At least he apologized in the letter :). Even more so, I'm glad that he's accepting of Gwen and of his daughter's preference in partners.

I do love the display of affection at the end, between Gwen and Lucy, and all of the small details about Gwen that Lucy suddenly notices. The thoughts that keep weighing on Lucy, as well as her refusal to eat, however, is really worrisome -- it's no wonder why Gwen looks a little stressed out.

Great chapter!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

I'm so glad that you're back! I'm glad that you've caught her distaste and dislike for food and everything to do with it. She's definitely not healthy, and you're headed in the right direction, I'll give you that. Keep what you said in mind for later chapters and prognosis'. It might help you figure out what she's ailing from!

I'm so glad that you liked the story so much. I was hesitant about the ending, but it didn't feel right to show the relationship as being perfect when Gwen really seemed to be holding them together.

Thanks so much for the review hon!

xoxo Sarah ♥

P.S. I do hope this story ends up making you cry :P


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Review #18, by RumpelstiltskinTrue Romance: Hold Tight

19th August 2014:
And here I am! XD

I do enjoy the theme for the majority of the story -- family meals. I'm not just saying that because I'm pregnant and every meal sounds like a good idea. *Cough* Nope, it's a great excuse to bring people together for good times and conflict ;), which of course all happens in this chapter ^.^.

I love Harry and Ginny together in this, with their kids grown, each with a lovely person of their own to love ♥ . You know, if James had entered the house like Albus, then he wouldn't have been witness to a little kitchen flirting. Though, I'd say that they can flirt all they'd like, after what they'd been through as children.

Ugh, I hate being to the dinner table last at large family events. Mostly, for the exact reason that happened with Lily and Archie -- you never get to sit together. Sometimes, you're stuck sitting next to someone you'd rather not sit with, too. But now I'm off topic.

Heheheh, and who LET little Cora get carried away in the sink? Oh, I bet Molly would absolutely love to see the little one ^.^. I can't really think about Molly without thinking about babies.

Cindy seems nice still. The Magical Accidents and Catastrophes department sounds like a fun-filled department to get involved with. Do they get to go on investigations like murder detectives (you know, ideally with the lack of murder)? How do they judge their accident to catastrophe scale? ^.^ I like this department.

*Cough* Woosh, Archie dodged a bullet, there. Lily's already talking about babies ;) tehe.

I love how Draco is blissfully unaware that he will be hosting his son and Corbin at dinner, though Scorpius is under the impression that his father knew about it. Astoria and Corbin are scheming in the best possible way ^.^.

It is nice to see Draco and Scorpius getting along, even if Draco is still holding his grudge about family standards. Corbin and Scorpius are so sweet together, though, especially with the I love you's and the kisses :D.

I will always, always, always love Molly and Arthur. I mean, they're just so perfect ^.^. Ouch, Arthur, with the Brad reference. That one hurt *falls over*...followed closely by the Fred reference (you just weren't satisfied that nobody has cried yet, were you?)!

Yes, yes, Brandon is amazing -- good call Albus ^.^. He's even willing to be swept away by Arthur for muggle device talk ;).

O.O Oh my, well, Al just laid it all out right there on the table, didn't he? I can't say I blame him, but I do feel a little bad for Rose at the same time. At least she realizes that he's just trying to clear the air so that there aren't lingering hard feelings.

Poor Rose needs somebody to love.

Just saying.

^.^

-Rumpel

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Review #19, by RumpelstiltskinActions Speak Louder than Words: Broken: Rose POV

16th August 2014:
I'm here for the swap!

Plot/plot arch: I love this introduction. Exploring the idea of a character suffering through panic attacks -- something that is not to be taken lightly -- is a fantastically refreshing idea. I appreciate the realism of her world collapsing around her as they overtake her, and how she works through them. The tragedy that Rose has experienced, her reluctance to tell her friends about it, and the way she's handling her situation (dealing with her emotions alone) definitely make me wonder what's going to happen during the story.

Characterization: I want to know if Rose will be okay, which is fantastic, because that means I already care about her (and connecting with a character is a wonderful thing to do, especially so early on in a story). At the moment, her sufferings are driving her personality, as I would expect from somebody who is going through what she's going through.

Detail: In handling an extremely delicate situation, you've done a phenomenal job. Hinting around the what happened to Rose was tasteful, letting the reader know what had happened without directly coming out and saying it. Fantastic job. As far as overall description goes, you've done a great job with that as well, enabling the reader to obtain a firm understanding of surrounding and emotion.

Style: Your structure in this is lovely, moving through the moments of the chapter with purpose and direction. Also, the repetition of 'Get up, get washed, get dressed...' was a fantastic addition.

Notes/other: Overall, this is well-written and extremely interesting. I think you've done a great job. Thanks for the swap!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

Wow!

Thanks for this. I'm glad I hit a chord with you wanting to know more about the story and characters - Rose especially. Also relieved to hear that you feel I handled Rose's trauma well. That is really important to me. I wanted to convey the physical and emotional feelings of a panic attack and not have it come off as contrived, unrealistic or over-the-top.

"At the moment, her sufferings are driving her personality..." That TOTALLY sums it up! Yes! Rose really isn't this person she's become, but is so far gone at this point, she can't see it.

Thanks again - I'd love to do another review swap some time!

Beth


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Review #20, by RumpelstiltskinTrue Romance: Don't You Want Me

16th August 2014:
O.O It's odd being here under the guise of a swap. :D

Aww, I love that Scorpius is happy, and finally falling into a relationship that could be stable (well, for now, anyway...there's no telling what you'll do to destroy his happiness :p). A 'second-sight for exes'? Haha, I think that might actually be a real thing, along with the instant response of 'see-how-happy-I-am-without-you'.

Anyways. You know, sometimes you just need to strip and attempt to seduce somebody to see exactly where a relationship is or isn't going ;). Yeah...I can see how that'd be awkward. Aww, look at those two, carrying on a conversation like adults about relationships and whathaveyou. ^.^ It's great to see them getting along, without, you know, the odd tension of possible relations (though, that it kind of fun, too). That was a nice little get-together...which makes me wonder what you've got up your sleeve for a smack-down.

Oh Beatrice. Always nice to see your man's mother...*cough*. I think Brandon's poor attempt at singing while in the shower is absolutely adorable ^.^.

Oh goodness! What happened? With the crash and the bang? O.O WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE BABY!? Oh ^.^ heheheh...never mind. I probably would have freaked out a little, too, if something like that had happened. At least Al was concerned for little Cora's well-being ♥ . That's something, right?

Ouch :(. Well, at least Brandon's telling Al about the kiss with Rose, which was started by Rose, and stopped by Brandon. I understand that it would probably still hurt Al a little...but it's not Brandon's fault that he's irresistible. I'm glad that they're getting it all out on the table (it's probably better than trying to keep it hidden) and --

HOLY CROWS THEY SAID 'I LOVE YOU'!! :D Aww, it's so awesome ^.^. (Insert many incoherent squees!) Everything's going so well...what are you going to do? I'm afraid.

Heheheh, whatever kind of meetings Lily is going to sound exciting ;). Archie and Lily are adorable together...just saying. Also, kissing festivals sound much more fun than business trips, anyways. Rose is so skeptical of Archie...which amuses me... “What has he done that’s so wonderful?” -- that really had me cracking up. Rose needs to find herself a good man (or woman, or whatever she wants)...who isn't Brandon.

I don't know if Lily would have reacted as poorly as Rose thinks that she would, and crushes are natural...so long as nobody goes running about and kissing ;).

^.^ This was such an upbeat chapter, with only a little down on Rose's part and her lack of lovelife. That, of course, leaves me terrified...because I KNOW you've done SOMETHING!

O.O I'll just have to read more to find out.

-Rumpel

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Review #21, by RumpelstiltskinEvolution: Ain't No Sunshine

16th August 2014:
I still owe you reviews on this, so I'll push the ones I owe you to the next chapter (2,3,4 instead of 1,2,3) ;).

Plot/plot arch: Obviously, with this being an introduction, there isn't a large plot arch to explore yet (as anyone could expect in an introduction). However, the way the story (the plot line, so far) is currently flowing really stands out to me. I love the idea of backtracking via reminiscing, as it provides the air of past and present, and how the past is affecting the present. As I previously stated, the method in which you took (displaying the memories through James' memories, so that there can be breaks in the past to progress the present) makes this introduction flow phenomenally. Also, I do enjoy the cannon and speculated cannon of Marauder's-era events.

Characterization: James -- His voice shines through the narrative fantastically, and he's every bit as James-Potter-like as I could have hoped for. His love for Quiddich, extreme distaste for Snape, and a piqued interest in Lily Evans are spot on. One of the things that really strikes me is the fact that James hadn't been forever and ever in love with Lily, and really isn't at the present point of the story. I like this idea of a newly blossoming interest in Lily, and the real reason behind James constantly asking her out (just a funny bit of teasing).

Detail: There could be some additional details of physical surroundings, but really it's not overly relevant to the story. As far as non-physical descriptions, however, you're doing great.

Style: I really love the way you set up the introduction, where the readers are gently dropped off into a story that makes me feel like I should already know what's going on (which is one of my favorite ways to read an introduction). It establishes a closeness to the characters and plot, which can take chapter after chapter to develop in some cases. I, personally, enjoy the feeling of being close to characters from the get-go.

Notes/other: This was definitely fun, and I really appreciate a fresh perspective of the James/Lily ship (because, from what I can gather, this isn't going to be the same old Jily story) :D. I'm definitely interested to read more!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: First off, thanks for the swap! I remember your wonderfully detailed reviews from Calculus and it was awesome you left one on this too! This is (obviously) the story I've been working on longest since joining and the first fiction I'd written in nearly five years at this point so I'm always really interested to know what people think of the beginning in particular as I was sort of finding my groove again still at this point.

Anyway, I'm really glad you liked the characterization of James! Your comments were spot on of what I was going for as regards his feelings for Lily. Call me crazy, but I've never seen James Potter as a "piner" who's just yearning desperately after Lily, so I've always wanted to explore that idea through of a story of my own. It's definitely INTENDED (and hopefully will be) as a very different perspective on James/Lily from both sides and WHEN I finally finish it I hope that will ring true.

I'm also glad that you liked the "ease in" introduction where James reflects on a mixture of canon and non-canon events before truly taking note of seeing Lily in a new light. I definitely didn't want him to come across as too into her this early (we'll see if you think I've messed this up after Chapter 3 - I hope not), as I really view the development of their attraction as VERY slow-burn before they begin dating 7th year.

Thanks so much for your feedback and offering a swap! I really enjoyed your story too!


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Review #22, by RumpelstiltskinTrue Romance: Ice Cream

12th August 2014:
Just look at all of these chapters that I haven't reviewed (I guess I know what I'm doing over the next few days) :p.

I kinda love that Teddy named his son Remus. Actually, when I opened the chapter, it was the first word my eyes were drawn to, and I was wondering what on Earth was happening for a moment O.O. Luckily, actually reading cleared that up ;). I don't see why Al thinks he's a bad father -- his little interaction with Teddy was sweet... so, really, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. He just likes to make excuses :p.

Okay, okay, so he does have a point with the difference between being the "fun" adult who comes to play for a bit and being the parent...but really.

Little Remus is adorable ^.^, and he can do accidental magic fantastically...AND he can count ;).

Rose so has a crush on Brandon O.O. Poor Al, first Scorpius (albeit unintentional) and now Brandon... Well, we can't exactly blame her for her crush on Brandon, now can we? ;) Oh boy, well, will the kisses *closes eyes*...*peeks*...*closes eyes again* no, no, no -- Brandon is Albus'! Doesn't she know my ship of choice for this fic? She's supposed to be paired with some nice dude who isn't Brandon! O.O *Pitchforks* Okay, yeah, I do feel bad for her...but it definitely needed to be done! :D

Ah Paris. See? Scorpius and Corbin are getting along smashingly ^.^. Well, actually, I have no idea if Scorpius will actually take that leap and move to Paris to be with Corbin. The chemistry at the end suggests that he might, but with Albus' habit of playing with hearts...he might not O.O.

-Rumpel

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Review #23, by RumpelstiltskinSacrifice: Of Beginnings, Aurors, and Torn Photographs

23rd July 2014:
Hey there, here for our swap :).

Plot/plot arch: Oh, I'm dying to know what happened to AJ, Adam, and Addison' parents. I'd really like to know the backstory there, but perhaps there will be more of that in upcoming chapters. This is certainly an interesting concept, what with several children left on their own (who are all still in Hogwarts), under the care of their oldest sibling (who is of age, but still will have to struggle between school, raising her siblings, and having a job). It will be interesting to see where this heads, as it seems like AJ will be facing some significant amount of hardships.

Characterization: Since the narration reflects AJ's inner thoughts, the readers are able to obtain an effective analysis of her personality (or at least a taste of it). This is fantastic, because the her quirky characterization is something that really shines through in this. Consider spending some more time on the introduction of original characters, even if it is something brief like what you did for Ben ("my good friend Ben"). That way, at the end of the chapter, if you were to ask the reader "who is Ben", they'll be able to at least say, "Ben is AJ's good friend". I'd like to be able to do that will all of the characters, but I have no idea who Adelaide or Adalyn are (though, given the names that begin with "A", I can only assume that they are relatives or siblings to AJ). Otherwise, I have a decent understanding as to who all of the characters are.

Notes/other: Overall, you've done a very good job, especially for your first story! A few typos escaped you, but there were no major issues. Perhaps slow things down in certain sections and make room for backstory or introductions. Otherwise, fantastic job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: I'm so happy you like the plot! Everyone so far is dying to know what happened with the parents. I was going to put it as a prologue, but I decided that it was be even more interesting if I didn't tell you, and you had to keep guessing til AJ revealed it. And yes, hardships are inevitable for AJ! Hopefully she gets through it.

Now that you say it, I do realize that Adalyn and Adelaide weren't really elaborated on. I'll go back and fit it in. Though I did say in the second paragraph or so that Adalyn was the eldest of her two younger sisters. But it was vague and I will definitely go back and elaborate :) with Adelaide making a late appearance, I suppose I just forgot to straight up say she was the youngest sister. But in the second chapter I tell the ages and years :)

I'll definitely slow down a bit and add detail. Thanks so so much for a great review!

-Leigh


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Review #24, by RumpelstiltskinTrue Romance: Only Myself to Blame

22nd July 2014:
Okay, let's see if I can write a review that'll post right ^.^...now that I have my reviewing blanket back. (Warning: blanket will not make this review any less rambly.

Al may be able to catch up on sleep at home, but poor Brandon will never be able to sleep again O.O. On the other hand, how freaking cute are babbling babies? Adorable :D (my hormones are still making things extra cute).

He's not very keen on moving in with Brandon, is he? I did like Bradnon's smoothness in sneak-asking Al to move in with him ;). Well, he IS a Savage, after all, and everyone knows that they are smooth by nature. Oh dear Merlin, Albus Severus Potter! You will sort out your feelings for Brandon this instance, young man (and move in with him)! No? Well, it was worth a shot. *Anger diminishes at slow kisses and wandering hands* Distractions...

Oh boy, Henrik's checking Rose out. Eyes to yourself, Mr.!...or not... I haven't decided how I feel about that yet ^.^. Bahahaha, her 'client'? That's pretty priceless. *Gasp* Hit him, Rose! Hit him with something heavy...the kiss thief!

Well, now, Pedro seems to be having a better time than Henrik ;).

D'aw, when I'm just barely unsure of Archie, he has to turn out to be super sweet ♥ . Lily deserves to be treated so nicely, so Archie has climbed the ranks a little. Well, Archie meeting Harry will certainly be an interesting interaction :D. Hahaha, I wonder if Archie will screw it up or actually impress Harry. Best of luck to Archie!

Lovely chapter (with no crying to boot).

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Rumpel!!!

You managed a review that didn't get cut off. *confetti*

Brandon has to face the fact that he may never sleep again. I have a plan for Albus - I might PM you about it. and, I don't ahve the same hormones but I think babbling babies are adorable. ^_^

Moving in is a big step. Brandon was totally asking/notasking :P quite the sneaky guy. IT'S A TOTALLY SAVAGE THING TO DO. *dies laughing* I put in the slow kissing and wandering hands just to distract you. :P

Henrik is kind of ... awkward. I can get why he got mixed up feels but, yeah. Definitely not a cool move. Pedro was much better (looking).

Finally! Someone as sappy as me. :P Archie is slowly recovering from his first mishap from the lunch with Rose. The brunch will be interesting... that's all I can say.

Thank you for the awesome review!!! (crying is yet to come)

-Rose


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Review #25, by RumpelstiltskinHermione Granger and the Dead Man's Mark: Chapter One

21st July 2014:
Hey there. How about a 'Welcome to Slytherin' review? ;)

Plot/plot arch: I can safely say that I haven't read anything quite like this before, and I definitely appreciate its uniqueness. Your introduction was lovely, and we gently guided into a bit of excitement with the unresponsive prisoner, Skerbetz, who had seemingly predicted his own death (or, at least, had heard of it otherwise). The scene change effectively created a mood-change in the story (and I love the idea that some tattoos, like cats, take some time to adjust to their owner before they'll appear). When we (the reader) learns that the tattoo artist in this scene is, in fact, be a relative to the dead prisoner, the story becomes even more interesting. Of course, having a father like Skerbetz, and his reputation, must have been difficult.

Characterization: In Weston you've created a flawed character, especially given that he was never particularly skilled as a wizard. The quality to depth that his flaws give him are tremendously refreshing. His reactions under the pressures of being a guard at Azkaban (...and who wants that job *shivers) are extremely human, which makes him incredibly relatable. I love Imogen's tough exterior. Her life couldn't have been easy living in the shadow of her father's reputation, and it's really no wonder why she'd choose to take her mother's maiden name or why she'd feel relieved that he's dead. Her confusing reaction, again, makes her human, which is absolutely fantastic.

Detail: This was packed with excellent detail, descriptions, and imagery. It was especially effective for scene and mood-setting, like the introduction surrounding Azkaban. It is extremely difficult for me to choose only one favorite description, so here's one OF my favorites: "On every floor and wall of every level there was evidence of decay and rot as nature did its best to take the black tooth of Azkaban back down into the ocean from whence it had apparently sprung." -- This was a particularly hauntingly breathtaking. It reminds me of nature's method of preserving order by attempting to destroy disorder (or in it's creation of disorder) -- and Azkaban certainly isn't of natural order.

Style: The elegant word-choice in combination with a well-written, thought out, unique and interesting plot created the perfect mixture for an enjoyable read.

Notes/other: My absolute favorite line overall? "His job was to preserve order, not create his own brand of mayhem." Perhaps standing on its own, it doesn't have as much impact as it does when reading the paragraph in its entirety, but I really love the way it speaks to Weston's character.

I'm really interested to see where Weston and Imogen's stories will intersect, and to find where this plot is headed!

On another note, this reviewing style is one I use in order to prevent rambling, especially late at night (such as now). Even still, I have the tendency to ramble so hopefully the majority of this review was somewhat coherent.

Fantastic job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Thanks so much for such an in-depth review! I'm very happy that you enjoyed it. I'm still getting the hang of writing with magic in mind, but I don't think I've committed any serious errors yet. Please let me know if I ever do in your opinion.
The next chapter is being validated and will be up soon! Thanks again!


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