Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
514 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonCharity: Death And Destruction

24th May 2015:
Howdy Kaitlin! Dropping by for swap mode as I try to emerge from my relative inactivity before I likely get swallowed whole again by the next couple of weeks. I don't know how you manage to be so productive despite all you do. It's wildly impressive. Anyway, on to your story!

This was one of those delightful creepy pieces that features an idyllic opening before giving way to darkness - all enhanced by the fact that we're not clear on who the victim is until later. I thought you did a good job concealing the identity of Ms. Burbage and the attacker's motive until the right moment here. Indeed, until you began describing the manor scene, it could have been any attacker for any reason really.

Though I'm not very experienced with second-person myself (usually I use it in conjunction with other POVs), this struck me as rather different than most such pieces I've read. What do I mean? It was much broader and expansive - more detailed, wide-ranging descriptions, more introspection. I'm not sure how I feel about it at the moment as it made things feel a bit more literal for me than deeply experiential as a lot of second-person pieces tend to be, but in some ways that serves this story better - masking things, adding to the coldness. So I'm just torn!

The end definitely heightened the creep factor though. Witnessing a snake eat your body in post-death out-of-body experience? UGH! YIKES! And then the bitter end was neat, as the thoughts seemed to fade in clarity a bit, taking on a sort of ethereal quality as if searching for meaning in final moments.

The only minor thing I'd consider tweaking is her post-death comment about Snape being a spy. How would she know that? Not an enormous deal, but it just jumped out at me.

Thanks for sharing and thanks for the swap! Not sure I should have read this one right before bed, but hopefully exhaustion will win out!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonRose: Unrequited

24th May 2015:
Howdy and sorry I'm so late. PM me with another chapter you'd like me to R&R and I'll do the extra I owe you ASAP. On to the story!

This was a really interesting take on Rose and Scorpius, taking the unrequited + friendship angle. It's something I quite enjoyed even though for me, I don't see the attraction happening in this ship on either side.

If there are two issues I would take with the piece it's these: (1) Scorpius's fondness for roses and (2) the "untouchable" component of your otherwise stupendous quote from the summary. With the former, it just rings as a touch odd for me for a male character. Admittedly, that's perhaps a gender stereotypical perspective, but I think it's probably valid for the majority of males. It happening right at the top probably made it stand out more than it otherwise would as well. With the latter, the only issue is that right after he describes Rose as untouchable he describes how they became great, deeply-connected friends. I understand your meaning was in the romantic sense and ultimately I think both these owe to the word count limitation.

All in all though, I thought the story was very well written and for a piece of only 500 words was incredibly full-arc-ed and quotable. Despite what I mentioned above, I think the quote comparing Rose to the flower she's named for was SPECTACULAR, as were the closing two lines. An interesting take of a popular ship and on unrequited love, where even for us guys, the feels are VERY real. You made them real as more than just a concept though with your writing because I think your word choice generally stood out as very strong in this piece too. You didn't reached for stronger, more evocative language when appropriate but balanced it well enough that it never felt too prose-y or that you were trying too hard to do so - a very difficult thing for a lot of people to master - and even more so with such a tight word count limit.

Thanks for sharing this super story!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonThe Story of Two Sisters: Return

24th May 2015:
Howdy and welcome to HPFF! I'm sorry I'm so late, but life's been crazy. I'll try to carry on with some additional reviews for you on this one as penance as soon as things calm down a bit. Since you've asked for more general commentary I'll try and hit all the major areas for you though!

I think the strongest aspect of your writing in this chapter was description. You were very detailed, but not overly so and you used description (particularly the eyes) to convey more than just literal appearance. I thought it particularly useful how despite initially just explaining it, you proceeded to use this chapter to demonstrate the differences between Daphne and Astoria - effective description bolstered that.

Before I read your A/N I was going to mention the Greengrass blood-status as a weakness, but instead we'll call it an interesting spin. I'm still not sure I buy it, but I'll roll with it. That was really the only thing I had originally noticed in the way of characterization other than the possible issue of Pansy Parkinson taking pity on anyone (even a Slytherin - and perhaps especially a less than pureblood Slytherin according to your depiction). It just feels quite unlikely for her character per canon, but since the backstory there was left general it's possible that it could be made more believable if it's addressed in full.

As a final point, I thought your dialogue was generally strong. The characters had differentiable voices, which is huge, but they also seemed to use appropriate language for their ages and personalities (even if I'm not a big fan of Daphne's profanity of choice). You also used dialogue tags well to bolster the mood accompanying the speech and to deepen our entry into the environment you've set up - particularly with the Carrows. That's something I struggle with sometimes as my dialogue can get quite rat-a-tat, Sorkin-esque at times with limited or no tags, so well done.

Overall, I think your story is off to a solid start, and I'll be interested to see where it goes next as a continue to R&R.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thank you for the review and the welcome! I love HPFF so far :)

I'm glad you thought I did the descriptive language well because that's something I also really appreciate in stories. It's what makes or break a story for me, but incidentally, something I quite struggle with.

I feel quite embarassed that I messed up the blood status of the Greengrass family. I began writing and plotting out this story before that information was released and didn't think to change the story to fit that later on. I am such a stickler for canon too, so it quite bothers me, but I don't think I'll be going back to change it now as it's sort of too late.

As for Pansy, I think, like all Slytherins, she's very much into self-preservation (and vanity). Having a less attractive friend is something Pansy would do I think, but I do try to write my 'villainous' characters with some understanding still, so I don't quite stick with the Pansy as an evil person idea from canon.

For dialogue, I try to go really natural. What would I say? What would people I know say? And of course, I keep it quite informal because that's how people speak. I admit though, because I curse like a sailor, profanity easily sneaks into my writing. I know it turns a lot of people off, but it feels right to me.

Anyway, thank you so much for the review and I hope to see you back soon!

Much love,

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Review #4, by TidalDragonEven Stars Die: Even Stars Die

18th May 2015:
Howdy! I apologize for this being so late, but life has been rough lately and I've been a little low as a result - a mood I don't like to R&R in.

At any rate, I thought this was a very interesting perspective on Regulus, from a time in his life that is obviously so important, but so few people seem to cover. I think it was definitely a believable portrayal - the idea of Regulus as inwardly objecting, yet dutiful and ultimately swayed by the abuse of Kreacher. It seems more realistic than the idea that he was SO close to Kreacher that the abuse alone would turn him.

As far as attention and interest, it did a good job of holding mine. If you're concerned that it doesn't, one thing I might recommend though is finding a way to be a bit more emotive throughout unless the absence of that is a deliberate choice. What I mean here is basically injecting stronger, more evocative language that brings Regulus's feelings more to life as there are points at present where it feels like they're being presented more than experienced to the fullest (a good example would be the bits surrounding Kreacher's return - we definitely get that he's very upset, but it's not as engrossing as it could be).

I didn't notice any glaring errors though, and overall thought it was a strong narrative - especially the ending, which had more impact and power in your descriptions than the rest of the piece.

Let me know which other story you'd like me to review as penance for my tardiness!

Author's Response: Thanks for stopping by to review. Don't worry about real life getting in the way, it happens to the best of us. You can read whatever you want for the second review. My last 10 stories are all from the last 3 months, so anything in that group would be lovely.

As for this review, I'm glad to hear you think Regulus was written in a believable way. I will re-read the story, especially the first half, and try to use more evocative language when editing it.

Thanks again for the lovely review. =)

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Review #5, by TidalDragonOil and Water: oil and water don't mix

17th May 2015:
Howdy Adi! Sorry I'm dreadfully late since the book club has already moved on to the next story, but I really wanted to read this one so here I am. I'm in a bit of an odd head space right now, so I'm sorry in advance if this reads "off" at all.

Since the challenge is to incorporate a word, I will start there. I thought your take on crepuscular was really interesting because from the dictionary it seems kind of bland and scientific, but you set up the story to give it this brilliant deeper sort of meaning where "twilight" was more a concept/state of being than a time of day (though it obviously was ALSO a time of day). I thought that was really well done - especially in light of the theme and other word that jumped out at me from this piece - desperation.

I think we've all been in Rose's place at one point or another (lucky are those who haven't), in a somewhat ambiguous, duality-laden relationship with another individual who we yearn for, who fuels us in the moment, but saps us over all because for us it's everything and for them it's nothing. I think I'm rambling now, but you captured that feeling - that combination of yearning for more while knowing in some deep place, close to your soul that you'll never have it and that it can't work.

What made that exploration more interesting was how you used alternate perspectives on fire and ice and their inability to mix. With Rose, fire was so much more literal - her hair rather than her personality (seemingly NOT fiery, though perhaps that's because she's been doused so many times by Scorpius at this point), while Scorpius as ice was more personality-driven. Ice cold he was indeed.

As always, your writing was impeccable mechanically and your word choices were exceptional. I think the part after the sigh was my favorite in this regard and made a spectacular ending because it brought the early struggling, meandering thoughts from Rose into sharp relief and drove the whole point home.

Majestic, Adi. Painful, but majestic.

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Review #6, by TidalDragonNo Room at the Inn.: No Room at the Inn.

25th April 2015:
Howdy! I'm terribly sorry for the long delay in getting here, but life's been absolutely nuts. Now that I have arrived though, I'm incredibly glad I did because THIS is why I love the monthly review exchange! There's no doubt that I NEVER would have read this story otherwise, and I would have been missing out in a big way.

I thought the characterization throughout the entirety of the piece was spot on - an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish given the very delicate state the family is in. What made it more impressive it how effectively you used observations and adjectives to get across or underscore emotion. A lesser piece would have been far shorter and/or far more literal in that regard.

My other favorite aspect of the story was the way you allowed the mystery of HOW Lydia became a werewolf to hang as an open question that I yearned for an answer to throughout the story, right up until the blowout between mother and son (+ daughter-in-law). Even when you got there you resisted the temptation to get overly detailed about it, which was great because it reinforced the emphasis of the story being on the emotions in play and the fractured relationships versus the supportive one rather than the event that caused it.

If I had any CC for you, it's that: (1) I thought Alexandrina got a bit repetitive at times with turns of phrase/thought and (2) I did think it ended a bit abruptly. With the latter, I absolutely love the final line, but I suppose, for me, I would have let Christmas and the further "not your fault" bit lay and inserted that line as the close after "...turned her face to look at her." Shrug. It's ultimately a stylistic choice though and reaching at straws in an exceptionally well-written story.

Thanks for sharing this and good luck with the challenges!

Author's Response: Thank you so so much for this review. Reading your story, I was wondering if you'd like this, as your story is such a different style and has far more HAPPENING. My stories often tend to take place after the event is over.

The mystery of how she became a werewolf was less intentional and more because well, firstly nobody KNOWS all the details. Lydia doesn't remember much about it and nobody else in the family was there. And also because it's such a touchy subject for her that it can't really be mentioned while she's around.

Yeah, I know the last paragraph or two are DIRE. I've rewritten them over and over again and they don't seem to get any better. I'll take another look at it in light of your suggestions, and also at the repetitiveness. Thanks for pointing that stuff out.

And thanks for wishing me look with my story for the challenges. A lot of the same characters appear in that actually but it's quite a few years later.

Anyway, thanks again for the review. I enjoyed our swap.

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Review #7, by TidalDragonRace Against Time : Chapter 2

25th April 2015:
Hello again!

I'll open by saying that one of the first things I noticed about this chapter was the contrast in effectiveness of the direct style I enjoyed earlier. In Chapter 1, because there was less dialogue being exchanged, that style came across as distinctively Emmeline, but here though I think that remains the true situation, it felt a bit more explanatory and literal. Particularly during the conversation with Dumbledore, I thought points explained in this fashion in Emmeline's thoughts could have been done more effectively via her observations of others' reactions, etc (which would be in keeping with her career path too). It's possible that slowing the pace a little would avoid this issue too.

That said, I still think you did a good job of keeping the unique character you created consistent both internally and in her relations to others. The near breakdown was a nice touch as well because it added a dimension of latent, highly specific vulnerability that gave an extra dimension to Emmeline (I assume they had some relationship in the original story based on this - or that she at least had feelings for him?). I also thought you captured Dumbledore well in terms of dialogue and demeanor. He is so, SO hard to write (at least in my opinion), but you made him come across as still engaging with Remus and Emmeline to an extent rather than speaking TOO enigmatically and dismissively. That's something I really struggled with recently in my own novel so KUDOS.

All in all an auspicious start to an intriguing tale! Good luck hitting your goal for Camp NaNo (Lord knows I won't be)!

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Review #8, by TidalDragonRace Against Time : Chapter 1

25th April 2015:
Howdy Meg! Sorry for the delay - life's been a bit crazy lately.

At any rate, I enjoyed the beginning to this story, even though I haven't read the original. Because of that, I wasn't quite sure at the beginning whose perspective we were coming from, but you did a good job making that clear quickly enough for people in a position like me.

Speaking of that choice, Emmeline Vance is always a character that has somehow intrigued me. We don't know much of her from canon truly, but she's one of the few proud members (that we know of) of the original Order to fight in BOTH wars, which is a testament to her in itself. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her next chapter if that's on offer.

From a mechanics perspective, I think my favorite part of the chapter was probably the description of Remus and his place. It seemed so apt for the type of despondent, directionless living I imagine for him given his status and the loss of all his friends and you captured that mood even without being overly literal.

We don't have a lot in the way of characterization to go on, but Emmeline certainly seems determined, decisive, and direct, which seems quite appropriate for both an Auror and a "survivor personality" so well done.

See you in the next chapter!

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Review #9, by TidalDragonKeeping Vigil: Keeping Vigil

20th April 2015:
Howdy Kayla!

I'm trying desperately to resume all my old habits of reviewing everything that comes up for a vote here and so here I am!

This story was a really intriguing concept and I liked the visceral feel you gave it. Though I hate seeing James and Lily suffer even more in the afterlife it's undeniably realistic and even expected given the time-frame. Though I still insist the answer to your final question is an emphatic "YES!"

In terms of tweaks, the only things I really noticed were minor - mostly the repetition of particular words or ideas (the heaven vs. hell concept from the summary for instance - I thought once was more powerful and definitely sufficient). All in all it was a good take on a time we know nothing about from canon and quite original, but believable in how it addressed the situation, the individual characters, their dynamic, and the larger concept of grief.

Author's Response: Howdy Kevin! :D

Thanks for the lovely review! I honestly can't believe this fic has been nominated for anything. I keep pinching myself!

I think that they will be okay in time, and that it will get easier as Harry makes friends and finds people who love and care about him.

Thanks for your notes! I do see your points - repetition is something I've been experimenting with in my fics, but I don't think it was necessarily successful here. Right now, though, I need to focus my energies on Breathe and on other challenge fics I'm writing, as I have deadlines to meet. I am thinking of coming back to this and reworking it, and possibly continuing it. I'll definitely take another look at the things you've pointed out when I get around to fixing this up.

Thanks again for the review!!


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Review #10, by TidalDragonAtonement Is Coming: A Surprise Announcement

9th April 2015:
Howdy Kaitlin! I'm dropping by for the review battle and seeing the imbalance in reviews between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, I figured I'd follow on from where I left off in my review thread. Now, on to the meat!

The mood of this chapter was obviously a sharp contrast to the preceding one and given the summary you've provided I think that's a great choice. Since I happen to be something of a sucker for a great contrast, I'll give you a couple of objective reasons too. First, it's reflective of the time frame - people are starting to get comfortable, even if not fully - including our heroes, but behind the scenes (Chapter 1) things are more sinister still than they know. Second, and perhaps "deeper" is the fact that after the somewhat surprising conclusion to the first chapter, you bring people back a bit before having them surge further forward on the anti-pureblood conspiracy movement. I think this helps maintain believability and keep readers who may have been skeptical at first engaged.

As far as the mechanics themselves go, I thought you did a great job balancing dialogue, description, and inner thought. For me, that's so crucial especially in "ensemble" scenes because otherwise the reader can get lost in too much dialogue or it comes off unrealistic because so many people are noticing so many things instead of interacting.

I will say, as a kind of matter of course, I'm not a big fan of quoting other material, but that was a really minor point in a well-written follow-up to your first intriguing chapter.

Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin,

I'm so excited that you decided to read chapter 2. The reason for the imbalance in reviews is that I literally only posted this chapter a day before you reviewed it, so I think not too many people had a chance to get to it yet!

I'm glad the breakaway to the party helped the flow of the story. This entire story will shift focus between several different characters. Each chapter will be focused on one of them. Kind of similar to how the ASOIAF series is set up.

What a relief to hear the scene was well balanced. I struggled hard with this one. Possibly harder than with anything else I've written. I was so worried that it would just be too many people to make a coherent scene. This is really my first crack at writing a scene with more than characters. I'm so happy that you think I did alright at it.

I can understand the dislike of quotes. I try not to do it often. In fact, I think this is the only story where I actually have one. I just really thought that particular line was so fitting for that moment, so I couldn't resist.

Again, I'm so glad that you liked this. I hope that if you read further into the story you will like those chapters as well!

Thanks for the review!


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Review #11, by TidalDragonBreathe: i. Consequence

9th April 2015:
Howdy Kayla! Since I can't participate in CTF, I figured the least I could do on our off days was get some reviews in for the battle and since you'd posted a status about it, I thought this would be as good a place as any to start.

I'll lead by saying that I actually read this chapter twice. The first time, I'll confess I thought it read a bit literal, but on the second read through, I could see the purpose behind it better. I thought it matched the rawness of Sirius' emotions and the hardness of his character. I think there are some moments where this could be amplified by tightening up the sentence structure even more frequently than you did in the "center" (right after the letter) because I think it could have matched the more grasping, nervous mood he was in over the letter's contents. But it's a minor point anyway.

As far as the common things go, I caught a rare grammar PLUS - the "him and" - you weren't fooled by the urge to use "he" so kudos!

Though it's hard to comment in-depth on plot and characterization beyond what I've said about Sirius so far, I think it certainly has the potential to be quite an intriguing story, exploring the Marauders and their relationships at their nadir rather than the exciting highs we're used to seeing.

Thanks for sharing this with us and good luck as your plow forward (and in the challenge)!

Author's Response: Hiya Kevin! Thanks for the review - it's the first one on this story! :D
Since you confessed that you read this twice, I'll confess that I struggle with writing too literally, which often leads to people telling me my writing feels rushed. Here I felt it did serve a purpose, but generally it's something that I'm really trying to work on. I'll take a look to see where I can tighten things up a bit here. :)
Yeah, there aren't really all that many emotional stories about the Marauders, but angst is my niche and they're my favourite characters right now - it was inevitable for the two to collide :P This fic will mooostly be exploring James and Sirius' friendship, but there will be some stuff with the others in here too.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review!

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Review #12, by TidalDragonChaos Theory: ii. the journey

2nd April 2015:
Hello again!

What I liked about this chapter was how it continued the very natural flow of the piece. Unlike others you didn't force any cliffhangers or over-dramatic transitions and you stuck to the ordinary path of the beginning of a school year. You also maintained a nice balance between description, inner thought, and dialogue, which is always a major plus for me.

As a matter of taste, I wasn't a huge fan of the frequency of profanity here, but I won't deny it's realistic for the age group. Lord knows I remember myself at that age, swearing A LOT. On a "deeper" note, I did think that the introduction of so many characters did diminish the characterization a bit, but I imagine that's just going to be a bump in the road as you move forward.

Great start to what should be a great story!

Author's Response: hey!

I think there are a couple more things I would've done differently in this chapter to make it more 'normal' back to school but still :) thank you

ahh I read this review back when you posted it and as a result I've tried to tone down the swearing a little. I myself am quite a frequent of profanity irl (naughty me) so I think that reflected in this and the 'freer' sort of attitude I wanted the characters to show. like I said though, it's still used in later chapters but much more selectively, I think.

and yes I see what you mean with throwing a good many characters in at once. I hope it doesn't throw readers off too much :\ I (hopefully) begin to explore characterisation more in the next few chapters

thanks again for the reviews! ♥

- jess, xo

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Review #13, by TidalDragonChaos Theory: i. the introduction

2nd April 2015:
Howdy Jess!

Since I can't participate in CTF, I'm excited to get the chance to do some reviewing in the battle and I figured there was no better place to start than the novel I'd heard you mention in a status update awhile ago.

I have to say, I was very impressed by this intro. Often I find they're too direct or too fast (or both), but here you captured that balance between characterization and setting the stage that is so crucial! I liked the snapshots of both important sides of Lucy's life - family and friends and the dynamics you established for each. The "black market" idea is a really inventive kick-on from what the Weasley twins got up to during (and after) their Hogwarts years and I'm interested to see how it plays out.

I also thought your description and word choice were impeccable. I'm woeful with description most of the time as my writing in that area tends to be overly direct and, as a result, less considered, but you again displayed great balance to take us inside the cramped car, give us the feel of the antics of the store, and other moments without getting overly elaborate with your language or excessively detailed.

An auspicious start! I'm excited to continue!


Author's Response: hi! sorry this response took so long :\

ahh I really think pacing is something I still tend to struggle with from time to time so this makes me happy :) if I plan, pacing is good, but this first chapter was written without MUCH of an official plan. I kind of just let it wander where it wanted to go... at any rate, it seemed to have turned out okay!

thank you so much for the review! ♥

- jess, xo

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Review #14, by TidalDragonThis Treasure: You Make Me Smile

1st April 2015:
Howdy Sian! Just your friendly gullible Gryffie, dropping by a day late to review your story for the exchange...

Anyway, this story was brilliant! How? Primarily in its simplicity. Despite the subject you didn't over-dramatize things or become verbose. You didn't focus on enormous memories - you focused on what you mentioned at the end - the small things. Snapshots of a life we never had the privilege to see, but that Ron cherished more than anything in the world.

I think the way you had their dynamic develop was excellent throughout. They definitely rang true as themselves, just more mature versions and you got the undertones of that across in their moments of banter in Ron's flashbacks.

I have to say you really pulled the emotion out of me. The end was really heartbreaking. I haven't lost anyone so close to me in that way before, but all I could think of was when I lost my dog the day after Christmas and how horrible it was to be unable to save him or really do anything but comfort him while he went. It still gets to me and this story evoked a lot of that emotion.

Supremely written, as always - I'm glad I got a chance to read this through the CR!

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Review #15, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and a Daughter of Druid: Apothecary

1st April 2015:
Sorry this is even later, Kenny! I went to submit right when they rolled the archives to April Fool's and lost everything! But I'm trying to restore it now!

Since you said you wanted honesty, I'll start with CC. I think at the beginning there were some issues with word repetition and missing articles (a/an, the), though those are minor fixes. What stuck out most to me is that the story read quite literal. There was a lot of telling and explaining going on at various points rather than just slipping those bits into the story seamlessly and showing us what was going on. This stands out in the description of Dara at the top, but was present in other places too. It also made the pace feel rather rushed.

That said, one of the strong points was the plot proposal. So many people try to create a new "Dark Lord" shortly after Voldemort or in Next Gen, and that just doesn't follow for me. It's too soon. But a marginalized culture with an entirely different lore (and I suspect different kind of magic) could be quite interesting and unique. I also think you did a good job acknowledging the flipped prejudice that was bound to take place after good won a hard-fought victory.

Thanks for sharing this and good luck as you're going back through and editing! PM me if you need any clarifications or additional help!

Author's Response: Thank you, Kevin. I guess you have busy days after getting a promotion.

To tell the truth, I have currentaly a beta reader for this chapter, and she gave me advice which was exactly the same as yours but she's also busy, so I can 't go next(sigh).

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Review #16, by TidalDragonNot in the 'Mood': Conspiracy

31st March 2015:
Howdy! Very sorry for the delay, but here I am! You are NOT forgotten.

As far as the mood of the story goes, if you were going for "amusing, but still aware of the darkness of the times" then you got the mood right.

With Moody...I think the patterns of his language are correct overall and the word choice was mostly strong. As I read his dialogue, I could definitely picture him saying those things in his authoritative, surly way and I thought his obvious workaholism and fixation of jailing wrongdoers over his own happiness and personal freedoms was spot on. Constant vigilance was perhaps a tad overused though...

General concerns with the rest of the story? I was a bit surprised everyone was going around calling him "Alastor." Though I understand we're not to believe he was Head Auror or anything, clearly based on experience, he'd be senior to Frank and Alice if not outright supervisory over them. Perhaps your head canon is that it's all esprit de corps and Moody believes in first-name basis even with folks who are pretty close to rookies in his book - if so, drop the sirs from Frank. If not, I'd recommend making it a little more formal - last names at least - that's how cops refer to one another most of the time and I think Aurors would fit into the same personnel category as a standard LEO.

Overall, I enjoyed the story though. I thought it flowed fine (impressively well really, given the limited number of separate scenes and one-shot format) and kept interest throughout.

Thanks for sharing! I hope you've found the review helpful and if you want any follow-up feel free to PM me anytime!

Author's Response: Howdy Kevin! Welcome to my story and my page! And no worries--RL always comes first so it's all good. :-) And sorry for taking so long to reply to you. :-(

I have to admit something: when I read your thought on 'Constant vigilance', I giggled out loud (sorry!). I appreciate your thoughts on his character as it was my main concern and it helps me tremendously to know that folks are giving me a good deal of positive feedback on that.

*clears throat* Um I have to admit something else here--I was desperately (and I mean DESPERATELY) trying to avoid all the familiar first name basis, mostly because of my own headcanon for the the main story with Neville--it was incredibly hard and I kept telling myself 'no no no no please no. Going to keep it seperate, going to keep it seperate'. However, I'm very glad you pointed it out as I am rather unfamiliar with how the system of law enforcement overall is and works. I honestly would have never thought about a lot of that until you said something! :-D

Yay! I'm so happy that it kept your interest and that it flowed good (with my attention trouble, I tend to worry a bit about that too).

Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by, as well as your time and help: you pointed out and mentioned--and I learned a few new things as well. Please take care!

Karen xoxo

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Review #17, by TidalDragonPitch Black Night: Chapter 1

31st March 2015:
Howdy Kaitlin! Sorry for yet another delay :(

Before I get into the nitty-gritty I'll say outright that I don't really evaluate "holds interest" for stories with fewer than 3,000 words just because they're short enough that once I've clicked in, I'm always going to finish.

Now for the meat! I'll lead by saying that I thought the description in the story was a strong point. You didn't overpower us with it, but you gave us details beyond bland identifiers that made it easier to truly visualize things that lesser writers leave out of mundane things like doors and fur like design and texture.

In terms of plot, I certainly found the piece believable. Though I never really paid attention to them before they were pointed out in threads here the signs are definitely present in canon to make this pairing viable and I think it's a really interesting take that Sirius was the mastermind behind becoming Animagi and that love was an impetus. I don't know how I feel about how bluntly he expressed that, but at the same time can't (without really wrestling with it) think of a better way necessarily.

The use of second-person was interesting. The intersection of your excellent descriptions and the POV were, for me, a bit different because most second-person I've read or written has all been so mental/emotional that straight description of it felt a bit unusual. That's not to say that great descriptions don't have their place in second-person - they absolutely do - but it felt like we needed more of a "reason" for them being noticed given the POV. To achieve that, I'd try to find ways to project the thought and emotion elements more into the story, connection them with descriptions (like the Black Lake as a metaphor for his conflict about what's about to happen - him being placid on the outside, but underneath, roiling with [blah-de-blah] like the Giant Squid) or some such thing.

Anyway, I hope despite its lateness, you've found this constructive and helpful. Feel free to PM as always if you want follow-up on any of this!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin,

No worries on the delay. I realize when I make requests that it is at the convenience of whoever is reviewing and no one else. You never need to feel rushed to get to my stuff.

I'm glad that you liked the descriptiveness. I always try really hard to describe things, but in this particular story it was even harder because of the 2nd person POV.

I had never given much thought to Wolfstar myself. In fact, I didn't know it even existed until about a month into my time here on the forums, but as you pointed out, there is a good bit of cannon hints to point to it at least being plausible.

The transformation into an animagus being Sirius' idea was just me playing with ways to demonstrate love instead of just verbally expressing it. I think it's significant that his best friends would do this for him in the first place and regardless of romantic intention or not, that clearly shows how much they all love their friend.

Your point about needing more emotional connection is duly noted. Since this was my first time writing 2nd person, I really struggled trying to figure out how to balance the thoughts in Sirius' head, the things happening around him, and the action.

I am planning to go through and re-edit everything I've posted so far, so when I get to this one, I will absolutely keep your advice in mind!

Thank you so much as always for leaving me such a helpful review!


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Review #18, by TidalDragonThe Most Powerfully Magical Number: And One

15th March 2015:
Here I am at the end! I'll confess this chapter presented quite a jarring contrast for me with the previous three. It was far more literal in terms of literally providing an explanation throughout nearly its entirety, but left so much unresolved. If there's a sequel, that makes sense I suppose, but if not - it feel like perhaps this could have been developed more fully through multiple additional chapters. As done it seemed a little rushed to me.

Nevertheless, the premise is an interesting one and when we finally got around to understanding the prophecy (at least as Hermione understood it) it brought an added dimension to the family you set us up to like quite a bit through the previous chapters.

An interesting finish to an interesting tale. Thanks for sharing!

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Review #19, by TidalDragonThe Most Powerfully Magical Number: And Three

15th March 2015:
And now you've showcased your skill with the long action! This was a really well-rendered battle I think. Though a few typos slipped in - "which" instead of "witch" for example - you crafted a very immersive experience and included some great nuances for "team" fighting that I think make a lot of sense. It's interesting to see the dichotomy between your description of that style in action and most of what we see in canon, which is obviously one-on-one duels. There are references to fights that are mismatched in numbers, but we don't get any real detail so it made your perspective even more unique.

I will say that some of the action came at the slight expense of the "show-don't-tell" you'd established so well with characterizations in the first two chapters, but it was nothing I got broken up about on this occasion. Slightly more odd was the fact that the students could how the attackers at bay for a time, even taking some down temporarily, but the two highly-accomplished professors were unable to make headway and the students were unable to capitalize despite the attackers seemingly shifted focus. This rang a bit off to me as divided attention should have accrued to their advantage, but perhaps fog of war is simply obscuring the reason for me.

I'm carrying on now to the fourth and final chapter! Great work so far!

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Review #20, by TidalDragonThe Most Powerfully Magical Number: And Two

15th March 2015:
Well, seems you write action and mystery-based tension as well as you do family drama!

This chapter was a highly enjoyable read too. You maintained the characterizations for Adam and Emily you'd already established here and gave us more of Matt and Derrick within the confines of their first real mission. Again, this made some of the introductory stuff about the more seamless within the story which is always great. And you properly used a semi-colon! Hooray!

I only noticed minor things in terms of CC. The first and more important I think was that there were a few cases where you used the same word or words in back-to-back sentences. One example is the end of Emily's confrontation mid-duel with Toya where you use the word force a second time within five words of its first usage. The second is that, though well-described and paced from piece to piece, the duel felt a bit short to me. I admit that I tend to go inside duellist's minds though so perhaps that one's just me.

Great job again though! I'm on to the next chapter!

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Review #21, by TidalDragonThe Most Powerfully Magical Number: One

15th March 2015:
Though it's taken me FOREVER to get here - something for which I profusely apologize - I am very glad that I did.

So far this story is quite interesting. I like how you set up the family relationships and dynamics in more relaxed way right at the start, but without force-feeding them to us. The reason they came up at all was plausible and the fact that you used dialogue and body language to really underscore your descriptions made them that much better.

Speaking of dialogue: I think you did a sensational job with that! You dealt with a lot of different characters and put them in a familiar, yet complex situation and still managed to keep them all differentiable in terms of voice and delivery. That's quite an accomplishment.

The other thing I really appreciated was the way you used the Harmons to create the magical-muggle tension we know so well, but also to showcase some cultural differences between the United States and the U.K.

That family stuff also lulled us in quite nicely for the surprise that was to come at the end - I'm looking forward to reading on through the rest of your story!

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Review #22, by TidalDragonIn Fields of Poppies: Bite the Bullet

13th March 2015:
And of course just as I comment on the seeming hypocrisy, Lily acknowledges it in a sense. It's interesting to see the evolution in her character and the relationship with Snape deteriorating over the year. It's setting up the beginning of the end nicely, though I will say she still seems a little more pro-Potter than I'd have expected at that point given Snape's Worst Memory. However, the more I think about it that's actually interesting to consider because we of course see that from Snape's perspective, tinged with his view which is quite unlikely to be objective - so fair play to you there I guess.

It's also quite interesting how you have the Phil and Jack set up differently in their attitudes about the wars they're in and then Lily somewhere in the middle, with a visceral awareness and knowledge that she has to stand up, but much more bitterness and conflict about what's going on than Jack.

While we're not too far in yet, I definitely think the story shows loads of promise with the unique approach and style and the strong use of language you've displayed throughout!

I hope you've found these (very late) reviews helpful! Feel free to drop me a PM or re-request if you'd got any questions or want me to carry on (though I may just do so on my own if life calms down eventually)!

Author's Response: I really appreciate your thoughts on Lily. She's my absolute favorite character, and I always enjoy getting to talk to people about her. It's actually taken a lot of restraint to not respond to your reviews with essays about her character, but I figure this isn't the forum for that.

As for her being pro-Potter, I think she had to have been at least slightly more so than people think. I think the fact that she marries him two years after Snape's Worst Memory says a lot more than her losing her temper on him. A matter of personal opinion, I think. :)

I'm really glad you're enjoying this so far, and I really appreciate the reviews! Thank you so much! :)

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Review #23, by TidalDragonIn Fields of Poppies: War Stories

13th March 2015:
Hello again! I'll start by saying I don't think you have anything to worry about with flow or pacing. You've set up a nice block style that transitions very well from scene to scene, even across the boundaries of time, which is impressive. Stylistically, I think it's a great device, especially in light of the title and the overall thrust of the story - that Lily was the next in a family of fighters. I already like how the similarities and differences in their individual circumstances are developing and I can't wait to see how that continues throughout the story.

As far as Lily's characterization, I'd say she's a bit more generally aggressive than in canon, at least as I imagine her. It's not the hexing itself so much as the near hypocrisy. I suppose she can justify it based on the fact that she (sort of) has a reason for it, but given that she reads James the riot act for what he does in Spring 1976, it's hard to imagine her engaging in arguably similar (if less openly mean-spirited) conduct. Perhaps since you indicated that the long game for this story is some James/Lily, that's at play there, but it's just food for thought.

Moving on to Chapter 3!

Author's Response: Hello!

As you said, the thrust of this story is that Lily is next in a family of soldiers, and that is what I'm basing her characterization on. Part of my intention when I started writing this story was to show a harsher interpretation of Lily, one that really puts emphasis on the fact that she fought in a war right out of school and spent her whole life fighting oppression. It was born out of a frustration with seeing these parts of her (which are like, the MOST INTERESTING PARTS), pretty much completely ignored. I imagine she's a bit more aggressive than most people are used to imagining her.

And it's possible that the pendulum swung a bit too far in the other direction.

Thank you very much for your feedback, I'll keep it in mind for future chapters!

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Review #24, by TidalDragonIn Fields of Poppies: Prologue: Her War

13th March 2015:
Howdy! I won't bore you too much with a dreadfully inadequate apology, but just know that I really am sorry. Thus far 2015 has been absolute madness and everything seems to be exploding in mid-March.

Anyway - on to your story! I think this prologue is a very interesting start. I don't think I've read one where it mostly presents the unknown history of a character that we feel like we know and compares and contrasts that character with the history. It's unique. I like it as a device and I like it more that you used strong, evocative language to create the imagery required to really drive it.

I did notice a typo at the beginning - a "you" where you meant a "your" - but no big deal. We're off to an auspicious start and hopefully I'll have real answers for your substantive questions starting next chapter with the substantive story!

I'll repay you the review I owe you by hitting Chapter 3, which I don't think was up when you made your request.

Author's Response: Hello! Don't apologize for being late, life happens. :)

I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! I know it's very different than usually fanfic fare, so I'm always a little afraid people will just think it's weird.

Thank you for the review! :)

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Review #25, by TidalDragonTo Fear A Full Moon: Chapter 1

13th March 2015:
Howdy Kaitlin! My lateness is inexcusable I know, but I finally made it. With work really piling on my motivation for anything other than a diversion on the forums has really be waning recently, but I'm trying to get back up to speed. Anyway, on to the part you actually care about!

I think the story absolutely makes sense in its current format. I think the end is a little jarring in contrast to the narrative that preceded it, and that it might be wise to devise a softer transition, but it's definitely fine in terms of coherence if that's what you're concerned about.

Pansy's characterization is an interesting question. I would say she is believable. You demonstrate her ignorance through her actions and speech and her intensity through the lengths she goes to in order to track down John. The only difficulties I really have with her are: (1) her being in such a role in a "new-look" Ministry given her stances and statement at the Battle of Hogwarts and (2) how she gained the platform to get this piece published with The Prophet given what she writes at the end.

Still, I think the plot you've laid out here is a great one and the message you deliver about Pansy's growth (and through that how easy privilege makes it to ignore the injustice created by blind prejudice or empty acceptance of one's socialization) is also excellent. Exchanging some current language for stronger, more evocative words would amplify that message by immersing us more in Pansy's story, but that's only a matter of tweaks.

Thanks for putting this in my thread! I'm glad I got the chance to read it!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin,

Thanks for making it to my story! I totally get how work can grind you down. I have that same problem too.

I'm glad that the story makes sense in it's format and that it's coherent. I am a bit worried about the ending and am already in the process of adjusting it a bit.

It's good that Pansy is believable because I worked really hard at finding a natural way for her to grow. I'm not really sure what you mean by her "role" in the Ministry as she isn't in the ministry. Also, this is probably my fault from the review request because I mentioned that it was originally intended to be an article for The Daily Prophet, but when it was rejected due to it being an article...I re-wrote to be more like she was telling someone her specific story.

I will work on pushing the language for sure. As I get more comfortable writing, I'm working on finding different ways to say things. This was literally only the second thing I've ever written. :)

Thanks for the advice! I'm glad you liked it!


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