Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
411 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonCrossing Delicate Boundaries : Black Robes and Roses

21st October 2014:
Howdy! It's good to see you're back! I'm sorry about the lengthy delay. Work and my personal life have been madness. Now that I'm through with the excuses...on with the story.

As regards the flow of the chapter, there was really only one pure transition point for me, which was from the Ministry to the funeral. For me, it was a wee bit jarring not because of the end of the fight (which I think is absolutely right ending abruptly), but because of the way you opened the funeral (with Harry suddenly standing beside her).

As far as characterization goes, I thought Harry and Hermione attending the funeral was rather OOC personally. Not only is it unsafe for them (despite the presence of Aurors) given the crowd, it also doesn't fit for me that they would attend the funeral of someone who quite possibly would have celebrated their deaths. I think Harry and Hermione probably are forgiving people, but that's a stretch for me. Draco, likewise seemed far more selfless and reflective than in canon, which is possible given his post-war experiences, but seems to be a reach at this phase of life. After all, he'd hardly be thanking Harry when they couldn't manage more than nods in the epilogue would he? I don't know. Ron on the other hand did feel rather authentic. Beyond just displaying his temper (we know he can get angry and petulant), you pulled the emotion he must have felt after what he perceives as a betrayal by Hermione through the dialogue itself nicely too (though I would hope this affects how he acts toward Harry too because he should have similar feelings about his attendance I would think).

I think overall your increased patience with developing the endgame ship has shone through nicely, what will be key from here on out is making that development not require other characters to step excessively out of the norm.

Hope this helps! And again, glad to see you back again!

Author's Response: Hey there,
I understand that you feel I am a bit OOC. Maybe I am going overboard with their acceptance of Draco so soon. Maybe it should be a long time before they accept him. But I guess OOC is also unfortunately a part of Dramione :) I am glad you feel I am going at a good pace with the Dramione though and I hope that you feel the same in the coming chapters. :) thanks so nuch, I am glad to be back! I had horrible writers Block for a bit. :):)


 Report Review

Review #2, by TidalDragonBehind You: Run

20th October 2014:
Howdy Sian! First of all, thank you! It was incredibly kind of you to write me something! Second of all, I'm sorry it's taken so long to get here. I've been going a bit off the rails lately to be honest, but I'm thrilled to have made it!

Finally, let me just say that this story...was creepy and disquieting - but in a good way. I really like how you took the "truism" from the beginning and extended it through with Grindelwald. It's such an interesting take on him really because we know from the books and later interviews with JKR that a key point is that Grindelwald and Voldemort were NOT the same. Because of that it's believable that Grindelwald would actually seem less invincible and more subject to one day being forced to see himself for what he truly was.

I also just loved your writing (as usual :p). I think other than the awesome beginning you set up (chilling stuff), what I loved most was how you personified the shadow (reality?). It just added so much to the creepy, inescapable, ever-present feel - giving the ending that air of inevitability that a singularly-focused creepy story always needs.

On another note, though I don't have the kind of heavy load on my plate that Grindelwald would, I'm always hopelessly introspective and so I can totally identify with feeling haunted by decisions you've made and even just confronting yourself from time to time.

Thanks so much for this story Sian! I WILL get back to the PM soon!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin! Of course I was going to write you something, you were just one of the more difficult people to write for :P And don't worry about taking time to get here, it means a lot that you even made the time to review!

Well, I remembered you saying that you liked dark stories, so I went with that because the idea of writing some of your favourite pairings had me breaking out in a sweat :P I really wanted to build up the fact that Gellert's worst enemy was himself, that he brought about his own downfall and while he was running away from his doppelganger, he continued making the wrong decisions and becoming a worse person. In a sense the doppelganger was kind of like his conscience, and only when he finally confronted it was he able to properly show some repentance. Well, that's what I was hoping for, anyway :P It turned out a bit strange...

I'm really glad you liked the writing here, and that you think I did a good job of making it seem creepy - it's not what I'm best at, so that means a lot!

Well I hadn't even thought of the real life link, but I can see it too now that you've pointed that out - I kind of got the idea with that, in a sense. It's cool that you thought of it!

Thank you so much for this review, and I'm really pleased that you liked the story, Kevin!


 Report Review

Review #3, by TidalDragonA Force Of Wills: Purebloods

18th October 2014:
Yes, I'm alive believe it or not (and finally here). Life's been insane recently with no sign of letting up through the end of the month. I'm sorry this is so late.

This chapter was quite dialogue-y, but I thought the way you handled it was largely good despite the imbalance. You did a nice job with the tags or accompanying thoughts/observations so that we were still able to get more out of the conversations than the words themselves.

I also think you're doing a good job with painting a picture of pureblood society within the context of your story rather than beating us over the head with it. The descriptions of settings and activities has really helped in that regard.

What did strike me as rather odd was the number of brazen death threats and the attitudes all the kids (Draco, Blaise, Pansy, Millicent, etc.) had toward each other. I definitely got the spoiled rich kids one-upping vibe, but at the same time, even if they're forced together by these events, you'd get the sense that there's more genuine friendship between them than the heavy almost omnidirectional disdain. Just a thought.

 Report Review

Review #4, by TidalDragonRabbit Heart: Heart Tracks

6th October 2014:
Howdy! It's been QUITE awhile! Sorry it took me so long to get to this, life's been a bit of a nightmare recently and it's only getting crazier. I keep telling myself I'm going to make it to Christmas, but sometimes I think I'm going to pass out for sure before that happens.

ANYWAY...this was a rather simple and straightforward chapter, making it a good one to ease back into the story. James continues on with his mischief, really living up to his namesake, but I'm incredibly intrigued to see just what Albus gets up to now that he (at least ostensibly) has the map. Is there a plot wrinkle in our future? It seems the map would be quite an asset to that little creeper Dillon.

Speaking of his creepiness, it just continues to grow right there along with his boldness. Having his little horde just attack people like that is really something else.

As far as the details of the writing go, I thought you had a nice balance between the descriptions, thoughts, and dialogue. You have a real talent for that, and for accomplishing it with a minimum of fuss but still getting your ideas across eloquently. The only thing that came across as a touch off to me was this bit: "...snuck into the Slytherin shower room to charm one of the stalls to only let his brother in..." To steal his towel, wouldn't he want to make sure he only goes into one particular stall, thus locking all but one against Albus rather than making it so one specifically opened for him? I don't know, it's very late and perhaps I'm confused, but this seemed a touch off.

Even though it's been awhile, I will say I miss Wren. I hope she's alright with that little monster living off her like a leech! Hopefully she'll be around next time?

Author's Response: Hi! Welcome back to crazy rabbits!

The map would be quite an asset, you're right. But I don't want to make things too easy for these characters. I guess you'll have to see how it plays out in the end.

Thanks! I try to have some balance, and I don't like hitting people over the head with spelling out things that they could reasonably figure out on their own. On the flip side, I do tend to lack a certain clarity from time to time. I'm constantly working on that. I'm glad you thought most things were in place. Yeah, that actiony bit kind of ran away from me. I'll put that on my list of things to clean up later. Thanks!

Aww, Wren misses you too. Don't worry. I think this was the only chapter that she doesn't appear in.

Thanks so much for the incredibly lovely review! I'm sure you'll make it to Christmas in one piece. Take some time to stop and breathe. That usually helps with the not-passing-out. :)

Pix


 Report Review

Review #5, by TidalDragonUpping The Ante: Save A Broom

29th September 2014:
Howdy Lo! It's been awhile, but I'm glad to see you're back around and glad to jump into this story again!

I am enjoying the Marauders Era from a different perspective here. In Potions class we got to see a different side of Lily than in most fics in that time where she is a constant object of affection. I thought you did a good job of making her studiousness and a spot of her temper shine through while brewing the Draught of Living Death. And you did an excellent job with canon going through that receipe too - which you supplemented with era appropriate music!

The Quidditch training was also refreshing. I think it did a great job of showcasing that it IS an actual sport and requires a level of fitness to compete, not just skill. It also made for a nice opportunity to showcase an inventive new charm. Even though it's simple, I liked the Countdown Charm. When I'm writing I'm always awkwardly thinking of how wizards keep track of things like time (aside from an hourglass or something medieval) and this was a neat addition.

Of course, we return to the dynamic between Alexandra and Sirius. The thing I liked most about it was the realism of her not fawning over him or immediately beginning to melt after a few funny exchanges.

I did think Amos Diggory seemed a bit out of place here (I've always pictured him as being older, like Molly and Arthur) and that the atmosphere was a bit light given what's going on in the outside world, but it didn't detract greatly.

If outside obligations don't swallow me whole, I'll carry on once I've met my reviewing debts for my challenge.

 Report Review

Review #6, by TidalDragonA Force Of Wills: Half and Half

25th September 2014:
Well, I've finally made it! You probably thought I forgot about you, right? But I didn't. Just had a rather nightmarish load of work recently.

Anyway, it's really interesting to see how much your writing has evolved over time. You're so much stronger with description, word choice, and characterization now than in this piece! Still, there were ghosts of those here, especially in the beginning that I enjoyed. The attire and Greengrass family relationships were fine examples.

There were two things I found most interesting overall: (1) your main character is once again a marginalized figure, even in the circles they travel in - this seems to be theme for you and it's intriguing (I'd love to know the whys, and here particularly the mechanics of Astoria's half-blood heritage) and (2) you had an incredibly consistent pattern of not exceeding 3 lines per paragraph in this story (was there a rationale? At times it felt deliberate, to sharpen Astoria's negativity and criticisms, but other times it made things a bit unnecessarily choppy.

I'll be back for the next chapter soon as penance for being late.

Author's Response: Hello!

Hey, there! It's good to see that you have returned from the struggles of Real Life! I welcome you back with kittens and lots and lots of chocolate. :D

This was my third (Not quite sure but I'm going to have to check) fanfic and I was still trying to get into the groove of things. I'm glad that you're able to see how much my writing has evolved though, this story itself has changed a lot since this first chapter. It's up to about...24 chapters at the moment so if you kept reading, I hope you'll be able to see how my writing has improved. I've been working on this for almost two years now, can't you believe that? Hahahhaa.

There's a lot of mystery around Astoria in particular and you might not expect some of them. Her half-blood status of course is the main thing that everyone wants an answer to but I think that the truth will surprise you and won't be what you think, at least I hope it won't be.

Ah, some of the paragraphs were like that on purpose and others were just me trying to get through this monster in one piece. It's a bit choppy in places where I was trying to get the kinks out but I smoothed over a lot of those problems in later chapters. :D

Hahahah, I hope to see you again soon with a review for the next chapter. I might have you reading this one for a while until I get Transparent back up there, I'll stop by and request again soon.

Much love,

Gabbie


 Report Review

Review #7, by TidalDragonThe Wandering One : England

20th September 2014:
Since I've never experienced it myself it was interesting to read Victoire's experience re-acclimating to her family and "normal" life in England.

Naturally it was not quite as exciting or interesting as the other chapters have been, but I liked it nonetheless and it had a very appropriate "comfortable" feeling as Victoire experienced it.

I did notice these things..."bushy eye-browed" and "relegated" rather than "delegated" up top perhaps?

I can't believe you're almost to the last chapter! It's unbelievable! A great finish is coming to a great story I think and I can't wait to read it once it comes up!

Author's Response: Hi again!! :)

While this chapter isn't at exciting, it weirdly helped me understand Victoire better because of where she comes from and how it feels to return home. For me at least, returning home has always been so exciting for a short time and almost as invigorating as arriving in a new location, and I wanted to capture that excitement. :)

I'll go and check those out!! :)

Ahh, I know! I'm pretty surprised myself. I'm working on the last chapter, it's going to be a long one because of all the material to cover but it's a lot of fun to work on. Thanks so much for all your kind reviews and amazing support!!! :D


 Report Review

Review #8, by TidalDragonThe Wandering One : Santorini

20th September 2014:
Hello again! I'm bouncing around like something of a mad man these days between work and writing and reviewing and everything. I promise I'll eventually catch up to the end of Sevenfold like I promised, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to read more of this!

First things first, I noticed this odd phrase: "...a large, open area open..." double "opens", but that was the only thing really. Now on to the good stuff!

I loved the scene with the sanctuary for magical animals! What a superb idea! And Valena was entertaining, calling them babies, especially alongside Sam going so ashen. I wonder if Victoire's scarred him for life...

I also liked the seriousness with which you handled Victoire's worries about things with Sam and his still slightly fearful and tepid reaction to the magical world. I thought that was all authentic when you could have so easily fallen into the trap of making everything hunky-dory.

The next chapter with going back to England should be an interesting take and I'm excited to see what happens! Catch you there!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin! :) Ah, I definitely feel that, and don't worry about reviewing Sevenfold - it's not going anywhere any time soon! :D

I'll go and fix that! :) Thanks for pointing that out!

I'm glad you liked the sanctuary! It was so fun to imagine and to research the animals that might be in Greece - because of all the mythology there were tons of options. Haha, Valena was inspired by a Greek tourguide I met when I was there, she was so welcoming and warm and funny. Sam might have some nightmares after, though he's slowly warming up to all of these new things being thrown at him. Somehow I wonder if it would be more shocking to discover the magical world as an adult, rather than as an eleven-year old Muggleborn who has always known there was something special about them. In that way, Sam has even more to understand and adjust to than a kid going to Hogwarts for the first time.

I'm glad you found it realistic and that they were acting according to character. While this story isn't really relationship-driven, the growing relationship between Sam and Victoire was something which grew up and surprised me along with surprising them, so I'm pleased it feels natural.

Thanks so much for the great review!! :)


 Report Review

Review #9, by TidalDragonDeath on the First: Chapter Four

16th September 2014:
Well-played Sian...well-played. I never considered the murderer might reference themselves by name after the introductions so that's how you tricked my method! Oh well. I'll just have to content myself with the fact that the people I was looking at were the last two ruled out. Small victories...

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and I think you did an excellent job with it. It was an immense challenge, telling it from the murderer's POV and still tricking people about their identity. I've said before the characterizations were great, and having Harry and the Aurors walk through this measured reveal was an enjoyable finish to a well done story.

You should definitely write another mystery!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin!

Haha, well I wasn't going to give anything away in my review responses (which was REALLY hard, by the way), but I'm pretty pleased that I managed to trick your method and keep you guessing at who the murderer was. But your method did work, and was kind of what I was hoping for!

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this and think I wrote it well! It definitely was a challenge to write a murder mystery from the killer's POV but still try to conceal the identity, but I'm so happy that you think it worked. Thank you for all your reviews and for keeping up with this story!


 Report Review

Review #10, by TidalDragonSomebody Told Me: Somebody Told Me

13th September 2014:
Howdy!

This I think was the most up-front of the entries about the secret(s). What's been delightful to me as I read is how almost every author has had a different take on the prompt, which is exactly what I hoped for by leaving it open.

In terms of the mechanics, I thought you did a good job with characterization, especially in the beginning. Scorpius was a straight shooter (in his thoughts anyway) who was appropriately blunt about his situation, yet simultaneously conflicted. Lily was every inch the doting girlfriend, especially the fiddling with the tie. The characterizations diminished a bit in the second half of the story (post-reveal). I think part of this was the pace at which you proceeded from that point on and the other part of which was the first-person perspective, which didn't let us see "behind the veil" of Lily and Albus's reactions.

I noticed some typos and off verb tenses throughout, but they weren't terribly distracting.

Thanks for participating in the challenge!

Author's Response: HI! Thanks for posting this challenge. I was at first unsure about doing it, but I caved in b/c I just couldn't resist.

I wanted to be more blunt rather than create mystery surrounding the secret. I'm glad you enjoyed the beginning of it, but I definitely will need to edit the end, to make it flow better and have the consistency the same. Also to add more depth to the story.

Thanks so much again for reviewing..

P.S.- Congrats to the winners! =)


 Report Review

Review #11, by TidalDragonNym: Into Focus

13th September 2014:
Howdy!

The things I like most that you did with this are big picture. First, it explored Charlie, one of the most under-explored characters connected to a prominent family in the series. Second, it did something unique with the idea of revealing a secret - leaving the revelation until it was too late to affect the world, but turning the impact back on the person who held it.

What was most effective in terms of your writing? I think it had to be the word choice and the clarity and distinct voice you gave Charlie (a distinct voice quite different from how he's typically portrayed).

Thanks for sharing this super story for the challenge!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for such a lovely review. I've always felt like Charlie's a character worth exploring, and have a feeling this won't be the last time I write him.

I'm glad you felt it was a good interpretation of the challenge. I had slight reservations that it might not fully meet the criteria, given that the secret doesn't have an impact on the world. But the impact on Charlie is huge, and I'm really happy you like that.

Thanks so much for such a wonderful challenge! I had a lot of fun writing this.

Emma xx


 Report Review

Review #12, by TidalDragonPainting Over: Painting Over

13th September 2014:
Howdy!

That was QUITE the secret! To make sure I'm reading it correctly, Rita Skeeter lost her daughter. It seems likely from your story she lost her husband (Jack?) as well and thus she became the bitter person we know from canon.

The description and internal thought in the story were impeccable, from the details of Rita painting her nails to her self-description to her unavoidable reflection on Posy. The tone and emotion were well-handled, building nicely from the tug of past pain she fights desperately to suppress and the fatigue it causes to the acknowledgment of the reality (once again) that it happened and cannot be changed.

You packed a lot into a quite short, tidy package - a commendable effort that you executed very nicely!

Thanks for sharing this story for the challenge!

Author's Response: Howdy! I'm glad you liked this story, and your challenge was so compelling I just couldn't say no to it! In my mind, Rita used to work for a smaller paper with neat, tiny articles, and took a hiatus because of her pregnancy. She was happy, and her beloved husband was supposed to be home before Posy's birth. Then she got the stillborn, and her muggle husband, Jack, was pronounced Lost at Sea. She came back to work, painting her anger in cruel slashes of articles, and worked her way up to the Prophet. So yeah, you read right :) I was worried about the execution of this all, and I'm glad to see that people enjoyed it. Thank you so much for the honorable mention, once again, and I'll PM you soon!

-Meena


 Report Review

Review #13, by TidalDragonThe Letters to No One: a girl can dream;

13th September 2014:
Howdy!

Well! This story had more than one secret and while I normally don't like the infidelity angle in stories, you did something quite different with it, with the second secret making you wonder if he really was still married or if that's a type of strange delusion Draco clings to after Pansy's death (along with her body...creepy indeed). This is the kind of mature handling of infidelity (maybe?) that I can read.

I really liked the patience you showed in developing Astoria's character though and what ended up connecting her with Draco. The description of the post office process was neat and well-executed and having them truly meet the way they did was unique.

Astoria's character was also refreshing. So many people seem to paint her as this saint who makes Draco a better person, rather than as someone who might be similar to him (part of his world so-to-speak, by which I mean pureblood high society) or even someone with her own agenda. Boy oh boy does Astoria have an agenda here, as laid out clearly in her interaction with Daphne. You make Astoria and Draco two parts of an ultimately rather disturbed pair and I liked it. Astoria is so single-minded about ascending into the Malfoy stratosphere. I'm not sure if you're a Once Upon a Time fan, but in some ways it was very Cora-esque (given her simple beginning - despite her heritage - as a postal worker).

The balance between description, dialogue, and internal thoughts was well done and the word choice excellent!

Thanks so much for participating!

 Report Review

Review #14, by TidalDragonEmpty Promises: A Lone Figure and a Dark Street

13th September 2014:
Hello again!

Well this was a much heavier turn than I was expecting. Not that it's a bad thing by any measure.

I thought the descriptions were stronger in this chapter overall, and that helped set the mood very well and it meshed nicely with Scorpius's more isolated and introspective portrayal.

Overall, the characterizations were sound too. Looking back over the whole story, I think the choice of "soldier" as a pet name was interesting and a nice touch. It proves to be excellent foreshadowing of the darkness to come and a possible future role that Scorpius could play if you re-open the story and develop it further.

If there's one thing I'd look at in this chapter it's the dialogue. Particularly in the break-up scene, it didn't feel as authentic as it could have, owing in part to the rapidity with which that was handled. I thought Scorpius's cutting line was excellent, especially versus his conflicting true emotions, but the build-up portions and dialogue made it a bit less effective than it otherwise might have been.

Overall good work though and I'm really glad I got a chance to read your story! Thanks for participating in the challenge!

 Report Review

Review #15, by TidalDragonEmpty Promises: Out of the Shadows

13th September 2014:
Howdy! I'm currently working through all the entries and I've reached yours!

I'll confess that while I've read a number of Next-Gen stories, including Scorpius/Rose tales, I don't think I've ever read a Scorpius POV. That was intriguing from the start and it only got more so as it went on.

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of this chapter was the comment that in the aftermath of the war, prejudice had essentially inverted. I've always thought that would be a very likely thing to happen and I liked that you addressed it, rather than having it just be an "all was well" world.

As far as the more detailed mechanics, I thought you did a good job overall, especially handling the balance of internal thought and dialogue in the first-person perspective. I think there's always a delicate dance when you've chosen that path of not making the character too introspective, but at the same time not overwhelming a chapter with dialogue to the point where they don't really stop and think.

I did notice one apparent typo in this otherwise great line "Her red tinted lips, from which so many promises have spilled from..." I think one of those "froms" needs to go. Another interesting point was the reveal. Based on the story up that point, the manner in which it happened seemed rather OOC for the relationship. While you make it clear in the second half of the chapter that this had been a planned reveal the initial moment was just a little off based on what preceded it, at least to me.

See you next chapter!

 Report Review

Review #16, by TidalDragonOhana: Scum

12th September 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to do my part for the exchange.

Overall stuff first! I enjoyed the story. It gave a different dimension to Kreacher than stories I've read before. Those I've read have primarily focused on Deathly Hallows forward, culminating in his "big change" - fighting AGAINST what the Blacks stood for by opposing Voldemort. However, it was refreshing to see how you delved deeper by exploring how he changed over time, and using the dynamic of changing masters to reinforce that.

On the micro level, there were a few typos and a couple of odd word choices. On word choice, the one that stood out most was at the very beginning, when Walburga is about to blast Andromeda from the tapestry. Perhaps it's me, but "fallacy" doesn't feel like the right word for her choice or the way Walburga quite clearly views it. It's not disgusting or borderline-criminal enough.

All in all though, I thought you did a nice job with the examination of Kreacher and the mechanisms you used to add impact to his life and growth. The symmetry with the beginning and end and his reaction to scum was also excellently done.

Thanks for sharing this super story with us!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin! Thanks so much for the awesome review!

This is a new sort of writing style that I'm venturing into in that its content is more of description than conversation. I was hoping that I could use this sort of style to portray Kreacher in a unique light. Rather than emphasising on his ability to fight, it was more about where his loyalties lay. He still considered Bellatrix and Narcissa as girls he help to raise and, after seeing the destruction, did not shift his loyalties but expanded them. He realised that while he still cared deeply for the Black family as people, he also began to care about fighting for a new cause he believed in that did not really coincide for the one he was accustomed to. I'm glad that you could notice how his depth of character increased with the changing of his masters.

To be honest, I would be surprised if there was a piece of my writing that was not riddled with spelling errors. I'm going back to check up on that fallacy issue right now. I'm sure a stronger word is required. Thanks for pointing that out!

Still, I'm happy that you enjoyed the story. It was a ton of fun to write! Thanks a bunch for the constructive criticism and analysis; I really appreciate it :)


 Report Review

Review #17, by TidalDragonRose Weasley and the Chudley Chaser: Chapter One

11th September 2014:
Howdy! First off, thanks so much for participating in the challenge! It's my first one and I was excited to see so many people interested! Now let's jump in to your story!

I was initially struck by the setting and Rose. I don't read a lot of Next Gen, but when I do, I've seen her written as either a carbon-copy of Hermione or, interestingly, Lily (which seems to feed the hate-to-love dynamic people like to do with Scorpius/Rose). Here you made her an individual free of both those stereotypes, which was nice to read. Development of the other characters was relatively limited due to the first-person perspective, but I don't think this inhabited you since I'm taking fromt he title that this is (or may become) and introductory chapter.

In terms of plot, the only inconsistency I noticed was the party being introduced as a celebration for winning the Quidditch World Cup (which involves national teams), but then involving just the Chudley Cannons (a club team). These are the kinds of observations you get from the rogue male members of HPFF like me! Sorry!

The only big-picture writing stuff I'd look at would be a bit more showing rather than telling about other characters and also trying to make the descriptions more powerful with strong, evocative language.

Thanks again for participating!

 Report Review

Review #18, by TidalDragonWhat next?: Chapter One

10th September 2014:
Howdy! Apologies for the delay, but I'm dropping by to fill your review request!

I will open by saying that the overall 'feel' was good. I think in terms of the description, internal thought, and dialogue you maintained solid balance and you also gave the two most prominent characters - Rose and Ruth - distinct characterizations in their speech, actions, and postures.

One thing I would look at if you edit and as you go forward is that some of the exposition is rather literal. You tell us a lot that could be developed either by extending the scene to show reactions or make connections between things via dialogue, or be reserved for us to learn later about the characters. I think this latter possibility is especially crucial in a novel. Here, you've peeled back a lot of the mystery about the who the characters are and how they came to share the relationships and dynamics they currently do. Because we know almost nothing about their personalities and connections from canon, you don't HAVE to do this, and in Next-Gen, I would encourage you not to. It can make developing those things throughout the story that much more compelling. One other thing I'd watch is parentheses. This just happens to be a pet peeve of mine, but I view using parentheses when discussing a character's internal thoughts as a sign that there's a better way to phrase what you're getting at.

As far as the language went, I thought you did fine. There was one typo early (leaving the second "l" off "enroll"), but I wouldn't have guessed English wasn't your first language if you hadn't said so (and I can usually tell).

To reiterate - overall, you have a great foundation and I think the core elements are all solid. The key now is figuring out how to make them next-level.

Hope the review helped! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!

Author's Response: Hey, TidalDragon!

First off, this is the best possible review I could get! It was, obviously, satisfying to read that some aspects of this story worked well, especially the ones I mentioned in my areas of concern, but the CC is definitely the highlight of your review. I read the chapter again with your advice in mind and already I could spot parts which could have been left out. It's amazing how we sometimes don't notice such obvious things unless someone else points them out. This is the reason I'm so happy to have joined HPFF. I will work on my parenthesis as well!

The second chapter was in the queue when I read your review but I will certainly keep those things in mind for the remainder of the story (and eventual editing). I actually copied that part of your review and pasted it into my word document, as a constant reminder. :)

I have been writing for a long time in order to achieve some deftness in English so it was quite a relief to hear my foreignness didn't stand out.

Thank you once again for reading and leaving such a detailed review, it was very helpful indeed!

- Andy


 Report Review

Review #19, by TidalDragonThis is Angelina: Blood and Defiance

8th September 2014:
Howdy! I've not disappeared after all!

Well...this story seems to be in a far different style than the others I've reviewed for you. For starters it's much more literal. I can't decide whether that was deliberate or not, but I think it came across as a bit more mechanical than your other pieces as a result.

The biggest thing that shocked me about this piece was how much dialogue there is in it. I get it in the build-up, but we're talking about the Battle of Hogwarts and Angelina, Alicia & company being relatively late arrivals (who encounter and fell a Death Eater before even making it inside), and they spend loads of time talking. Including romantic gossip about guys. It's certainly a different perspective on the battle, I grant you that, but I didn't get as much authenticity out of the scenes or characters as a result.

I was pleased with the way you handled most of Angelina's emotions throughout though. She has a realistic on-again-off-again fear/bravado tandem going which was nice. I also thought your discussion of Fred vs. George (while it felt like a bit of a forced insertion) to be welcome in its novelty. Most people take the approach of them coming together through their grief, so it was nice for you to eschew that here.

I only noticed one typo: "the shudders of many stores". I think you meant "shutters" :P

Your quest to have me review your collected works draws ever nearer to completion! Hope you found this one helpful. As always, feel free to PM or re-request.

Author's Response: Hello!

I was wondering when you were going to be stopping by, I'd just about gave up that you'd been taken back to your home world! Its good to see you again, as always. :)

This is the second fanfic that I ever wrote and also the first one that I'm going back and revising so I'm certain that it doesn't necessarily have that same "feel" that you're talking about. To be honest, I always hope that none of my stories have the same general emotion so this sort of makes me happy but then again, whenever you start off your reviews with "Well..." I know I'm in for a dissatisfied review. Hahahhaha.

I started this story with a much more literal feeling on purpose, I didn't want to drag on about what was going to happen. I hadn't thought of actually pacing this a lot slower because when I was reading DH I got this feeling that time was just running out, which is something that I'd wanted to try hear.

Well, you fuss at me a lot for dragging on and on so I'm surprised that you were surprised by how much dialogue there was! How..how dare you! Hahaha. This chapter is mostly just setting things up here and I personally liked it so your words mean nothing human! All joking aside, I wanted to really play on what was important at that moment because there was the possibility that someone or something could be taken away. Hence all the girls talking about love and the ones they fancy so often--I'm not exactly subtle either about the people that might die so there you go. :p Actually, most of the people that are mentioned in that scene end up killed or injured.

I'm just evil that way.

Anyhoo, Angelina is the sort of person that tries not to show her fear but I had to think about how the situation would really bother her. If I'd been in her position, I would have been scared beyond belief but I think I wrote her decently enough.

Eh, I never liked the thought of George and Angie coming together through grief. Why is it so hard to imagine that they may have already been in love with each other? That just boggles my mind...

I have taken note of the "Shutters" Haha.

Well...I have two more stories that you haven't tried yet and I just know that you're not going to like them. *Sigh* That isn't going to stop me from requesting though and I'll probably just stick with "Transparent" for you, you fuss at me a lot with that story but you seem to like it all right. Hahaha.

Thanks again, you're always a treat!

Much love,

Gabbie


 Report Review

Review #20, by TidalDragonDeath on the First: Chapter Three

31st August 2014:
Hmm. I can't wait for the reveal! This chapter has just confirmed that I have it down to the right two people (I think) so the question is do I have the person right? Well, I'm not one to bolt on my first bet, so I'll double down on Dean. I think it'd be more surprising if he did something low-down and dirty too per the letter from Parvati. Plus Parvati's more likely to owl a fellow Gryffindor right?

Anyway, I enjoyed this chapter as well and I think you've done a careful and good job with both not tipping your hand (because there's more than one option for the killer still, despite the POV) and keeping a consistent characterization across the chapters.

The only thing I noticed a bit of is that before Michael splits up Seamus and Theo is that some of the language and ideas got a bit repetitive through that section. Something to think about if you ever edit, but not a big deal.

I wonder now who Parvati told. Could it be Harry, seeing as he's a character you've listed? But you've listed Dean too...what? I hadn't noticed that. Grr... I will get my answers Sian!

Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Oops, I just realised that I responded to your reviews on this out of order... *blushes*

Hmm, Dean is a very interesting suspect. It's great that you're sticking by what you thought from very early on, though!

I'll definitely go back and have a look at that scene - I'm always looking to try and improve where I can! I'm glad you think the characterisation was consistent though and that I managed to still leave some ambiguity about the killer's identity!

Thank you for this review, Kevin, and I'm glad you're enjoying the story!


 Report Review

Review #21, by TidalDragonHear us Roar: Growing Up Lonely

31st August 2014:
Well, normally I can be quite long-winded, but I really don't see a need here. I thought this chapter was exceptional. I'm not sure what it is about the length that you're worried about, but I don't see it as a problem at all. You're covering 5 years in 6000 words and all the while doing an absolutely splendid job of characterization. You let us get to know Ivy at her beginnings, to feel for her and to identify with her. You let us get to know her struggles and her suffering and it was sad seeing what befell her as she "aged" (even as a child). One of the most powerful things a writer can do is get you to identify with and FEEL for a character and you did that. The focus on characterization didn't even cost you in terms of descriptions. The physical appearances, the settings and especially the clothing and chandelier were excellent examples, buttressed by the contrasts from six years old to eleven. I thought it flowed seamlessly, and you'll RARELY find me saying this, but honestly - I wouldn't change ANYTHING.

 Report Review

Review #22, by TidalDragonYear Five: Behind the Mirror

31st August 2014:
I enjoyed this chapter with the increased interaction between the core group and other individuals. It hearkened back to the idea of house unity that you brought up as one of their goals, and I thought having that be addressed the context of Tristan's birthday party with everyone contributing (even Oliver, who buried the hatchet) and dancing to Muggle music was a nice touch.

Still, you managed to sprinkle in some nice clues about Laurel's ongoing issues and demonstrate some of what you mentioned in the summary about the group teaching Fred and George things about Hogwarts. I missed the booze clue personally, but perhaps it will pop into my head later if it's going to become a thing.

My only bone to pick was how quickly Fred sobered up. I suppose strictly speaking he wasn't as drunk as George, but he was still drunk enough to throw up, which makes his return to relative sobriety a little hurried to me, but oh well.

See you next chapter (though I don't think I'll make it all the way through by the end of the day, I've added this to my reading list to finish up and follow as much as I'm able. It's very unique and enjoyable so far)!

Author's Response: Yay, thank you! I'm really happy that themes that got introduced earlier, and later get further examined or resolved, is coming through! I'd never written long-form fiction like this before, and the distance between "have idea in head, put down words, words make idea in other people's heads"--while BASIC, is fascinating to me! That it's working is amazing!

The booze clue isn't a huge deal--the answer is: compare the amount of booze left when Emily leaves the room for the kitchens, with the amount left when she returns the next day. But the story will get there anyway :)

Good point about Fred--I guess he puked out of solidarity, and sometimes people sober up rapidly after vomiting, but overall I think you're right. I'll try to clarify that when I revise.

Thank you so much for reviewing! Because of you, this story is creeping up to 100 reviews, which is a MAJOR milestone for me :)



 Report Review

Review #23, by TidalDragonYear Five: Three Times Charmed

31st August 2014:
Back again! I don't know from your A/N if anyone has actually commented on the amount of exposition, but personally I think it's been fine. You've done a careful job of crafting these characters and you're doing it while things are actually happening (even if it's just primarily their social interactions or daily lives). It's been much more refreshing to read it done that way rather than the "BLAM - this is me" paragraphs that sometimes get thrown down early in novels.

Laurel - yikes - she's headed down a bad road it seems and I wonder if anybody aside from Isobel is actually noticing. It certainly doesn't seem that way, particularly where Tristan's concerned, since he seems to be the most indulgent. Isobel perhaps has her own problems though as it seems like the beginning of this chapter about her vanity and the tidbits about portion control could go in a dark direction if you so chose (though that might be a lot if you're going to explore Laurel's addiction too).

These kids are trouble too! Drugs, spell abuse, AND petty larceny! The Wizarding World needs to get a handle on this Hex Head reprobates!

I did notice one sure typo (second paragraph "rinsg" instead of "rings") and another couple words I questioned. In Isobel's description of her body you described her as generously proportioned in all "arenas". I didn't know if this was intentional or if you meant "areas". Likewise, when you mentioned Haitian "vodou", is that how they spell it historically? Since obviously here we know it as "voodoo" (I assume it's the later with your painstakingly accurate approach, but figured I'd ask, if for not other reason than my own education).

Keep up the great work!

Author's Response: Doing this super back-to-front, because it's a subject I'm really interested in:
YES, vodou is a creole spiritual tradition of the Afro-Caribbean based on West African religions (Vodun, Ifa) combined/disguised with western religion (similar to how Catholic Saints are repurposed in Santeria). "Voodoo" was invented by Hollywood, and is kind of racist. Vodou is still a major religion, and is practiced all over the African Diaspora!

Arenas was just a weird word choice I'll definitely reconsider! I wrote that, I think, because "arenas" are places where you either win or lose.

I suppose, thinking about it, the only comments I got on exposition were "it's a lot of exposition, but I like it"--and I just wanted to let readers know the story IS going places I swear!!! This plot is very slow-burning, and really meant to be character driven, so I'm SO GLAD that you think the characters are well done! If they weren't properly dimensional, the whole thing wouldn't work.

And YEAH, these kids are trouble. It's definitely not the *majority* of teenagers who engage in ALL of these behaviors, but this story is very much about the minority who do. A friend of mine read this fic, and he said this chapter was his favorite, because he remembered the situations it was based on. Shoplifting was, I remember, a very common kind of experimental behavior (especially among girls, for some reason). Age 15-16 saw a huge amount of petty theft from my peers, and I feel like it had a lot more to do with the adrenaline/process of it, than actually wanting or needing the stolen goods. This behavior ended up tapering off as people's identities and worldviews started to stabilize, and as they began to think critically about their place in the world. But being a teenager is, I think, to live in a world that you didn't make and can't control, and resent being affected by it. It feels like living underneath the adult world, and so kids go underground in various ways. They develop slang and new ways to use language, to distinguish insiders from outsiders, and bang against the conventions they inherited but did not create. Writing this story, and trying to be honest about what I remember, meant seeing objectively how messy and ugly growing up can be. And sure, not for all kids, or at least not in these specific ways--but for enough of them.


 Report Review

Review #24, by TidalDragonYear Five: Loose Lips

30th August 2014:
I think perhaps my favorite aspect of this chapter was the different take we get on Oliver Wood and Gryffindor in particular. Obviously in canon Gryffindor is heavily glamorized - it's Harry's house, most of the major players are all past or present Gryffindors, and not much focus is given at all to the flaws inherent in members of the house (unlike characters from some others, particularly Slytherin). This actually reminded me that NONE of your truly central characters are in Gryffindor, and I think that's a very cool touch as well!

Though it's not part of the story itself, I've also enjoyed reading in your A/Ns about all the thought and effort you've put into characters and their wands. I'm interested to see how those things might come into play as the story progresses (if you plan for them to). Tristan definitely seems to live up to his wand wood, especially in this chapter.

I'm interested to see if we'll get an explanation for Tristan's typical mood as the story progresses too. Initially I thought he was less social than his friends and in darker moods because of the incident over summer, but now it's becoming clear he's typically rather...I don't know the word exactly, but not positive-minded.

I'm interested to see what happens with his group as the year develops and how/if relationships will change or how these little tidbits you've been dropping in about certain individuals and dynamics get resolved or addressed.

You're doing a super job so far! See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Haha, yes! Well you know that I'M a Gryffindor--so I definitely wanted to look at it from a different perspective. None of the qualities associated with the four houses are *inherently* good or bad (see: "very brave and very stupid"--HP:PS). Slythetins don't HAVE to be evil, and ambition/cunning are definitely valuable characteristics. Even the exclusivity of it could be seen another way, in that any circle of inclusion is likewise one of exclusion. With that in mind, Gryffindors (especially young ones), could easily be loudmouthed or needlessly aggressive.

The types of wands definitely relate to the story! I was SO HAPPY to find these combinations of woods and cores, that suited each character so beautifully!

Ah, the ever enigmatic Tristan--why the characters feel, think, and behave the way they do is definitely critical to the story. It's kind of the whole story, even.

I'm so glad you're picking up on all those little tidbits! Can't wait to see what you make of the rest of the story!


 Report Review

Review #25, by TidalDragonYear Five: R

30th August 2014:
Well, per your note there were a lot of musical references dropped. I take it you're an audiophile? Or an extremely diligent researcher?

At any rate, I thought the quality characterization continued in this chapter. I think it's been a good choice to switch POVs with the diverse group of friends you've created in the story. I always admire authors who can create these very well-developed supporting characters in first-person or third-person limited, but sometimes it makes more sense to go omniscient and I think that's true of this story. It's given the group more depth and underscored their differentiation despite their friendships.

I also thought it was good to include the bit about Laurel seeming in "need" of Cheering Charms. I'm assuming this may be something that gets developed more as the story goes on, which I think would be realistic if she ends up having more pronounced problems with addiction.

Carrying on to Chapter 4!

Author's Response: Both! I'm a musician, and this story was a really fun opportunity to go through music that was popular at this times to these sorts of people :D (also, music was almost completely ignored in canon so I really wanted to do it up in this story, since it's so very important to a lot of teenagers).

The changing POVs were inspired, in part, but how Rowling shifted her focalizations in Casual Vacancy. Additionally, the show Skins (UK) was a major influence on this story, and every episode of that show switches which person it focuses on (while continuing to examine the overall story of the friend group).

Aha--yes, I insisted that my story about wizards be realistic! If cheering charms exist, some people are going to abuse them--and everything MUST have a downside. Otherwise, people would be doing that all the time!


 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login

<Previous Page  Jump:     Next Page>