Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
427 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonThe Gift of Madness: Son. Happy. Safe.

19th December 2014:
This chapter was very interesting stylistically and I loved how you almost always used only a single line of text. It lent itself well to the ability to only manage individual, discrete thoughts amid the pain and the journeying back to living. At the end it also punctuated how difficult simple concepts like happiness and safety were for Sirius.

I thought you also connected his early attempts to break loose and hope well with the content of the last chapter. You drove home the reason why you had Dumbledore voice that Sirius couldn't stay with James or Remus and you did it without stating it directly, but returning to the echoes of sentiments past and Sirius's fears at their most raw and ravaging.

The only bone to pick I had with the chapter was that there seemed to be several instances where your phrasing and word choice was much sloppier than in the previous two installments. Typos stood out in the single-line format and you committed the infamous "had had" writing sin at one point. It didn't detract much, but I think it stood out prominently because the rest has been so well done.

I think you have an excellent story so far!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonThe Gift of Madness: Sorry

19th December 2014:
Hello again!

This chapter was quite interesting to read, primarily because I don't think I've ever read anyone confronting the direct aftermath of Sirius's actions in this way. Personally, I never got the implication that many other people learned about what happened (perhaps Remus included) and I would think that James would have kept it quiet to prevent a rift in the group, while Snape wouldn't have risked outing what happened since doing so would mean acknowledging that James actually saved him. In the event that it did though, I thought you portrayed it pretty realistically.

I thought you achieved excellent balance throughout with dialogue, description, and inner thought and varied your language nicely - making the raw moments hit hard while not overusing the stronger language or clubbing us over head with your imagery. This made the flow quite natural, even when you took opportunities like in the first chapter to be more deliberately sharp with your rhythm.

One thing that jumped out at me on the dark side was the couple "nononononono" segments you included when Sirius nearly died. I don't know that there's actually a better way to get this across in speech, but it just was jarring to look at in the middle of an otherwise very careful and well-written piece.

Keep up the good work! See you for Chapter 3!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonThe Gift of Madness: Christmas

18th December 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request! Sorry for the delay!

In this first chapter we don't get a whole heap to comment on aside from characterization and emotion. I did like how you fixed the setting and contrasted the inside and outside in many different ways - from attitude to temperature to the insider/outsider dynamic you planted in Sirius's mind.

Moving on to Sirius, I thought his characterization seemed sound - rebelling still, even down to his attire, but struggling to fight back a lifetime of criticism and a tidal wave of pain in the moment you've placed him in.

The sharp cadence you set with the repetition of single words was also a strong feature and matched the ragged condition and jarred thoughts of the character well.

In some places there was some odd phrasing - "...causing him to cough often droplets of slightly bloodied saliva" serving as a prime example (the placement of often just reads awkwardly), but it didn't distract terribly.

Good start! See you next chapter!

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Review #4, by TidalDragonTechno Freedom!: Techno Freedom!

18th December 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request!

First of all, I find this story refreshing within the Next Generation era. While it's a tad cynical about the evolution of the wizarding world, ultimately the idea that ALL of the children of the canon characters are going to be super at something, get on great (and into romances), and generally not cause any trouble more harmful than pranking or promiscuity just doesn't ring terrible true. It's interesting that it's Hugo in revolt, but I like what you did with his personality, making him a creative with his father's temper and a naivete borne of a life spent thus far in the very "posh" world he supposedly despises.

Truthfully, my biggest bit of CC would be that the story overall felt rushed rather than too long. From your A/N I get the sense that you really pushed yourself to finish this story and you should be rightly proud of that. If you're still thinking about it and want to improve it though, honestly the first thing I would do is expand it. We're probably talking a novella here at least, though you could make a novel of it depending on how far you go before the starting point you set here and how deep you go after. Lengthening the story would actually also cure the other key issue I noticed, which was that a lot of resolutions to Hugo's ills just seemed too convenient (you specifically mention the fight scene too - making his realization, attempted escape, and rescue its own chapter would give you more time for patient development of that which includes bolstering his many thoughts and drawing out the sequences to include fighting strategy, clearer descriptions of positions and injuries, and spellwork).

As far as mechanics to work on, I'd look at using stronger, more evocative language to immerse people in locations and underscore descriptions and emotions. I'd examine dialogue to try and make it more distinctive between characters - even those in the same age group or thought group will speak in their own way.

Give yourself time and room to let this story you've got flourish and tweak the specifics, fleshing each section out more and you could have a very high quality story with a lot of originality.

Hope this helps!

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review.

I'm glad that you thought the story refreshing and that it might have potential to be a high quality story :')

Your CC is really very helpful. Especially the distinction between characters in dialogues. I did try, but I do have difficulties doing so in English, that goes even more for the differentiation between British and American colloquial terms and quirks...

When I thought of the story, I actually planned on writing a Novella - I noticed too late that for the challenge I wrote this for it was required to write a One-Shot (which is also why I tried to not get over the limit of 10.000 to spare the Validators).

Now that you mentioned it, it would definitely benefit the flow of the story to go into details in some areas and maybe split the whole thing into several chapters (I would also love some more moments with Rose, because I feel that her relationship with her brother is somewhat a key to understand Hugo better). I might do so after the challenge is over, if it's permitted.

What I'm not quite sure I understand is what you mean by using more "evocative language to immerse people in locations". I might get back to you on that :D

Thanks again for this great review!


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Review #5, by TidalDragonGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 9

18th December 2014:
Howdy! Sorry for the delay!

To jump right to what you've asked about, there certainly wasn't anything that came across to me as choppy or forced. There were a couple of uncharacteristic typos that could be indicative of the rushing you were worried about, but on the whole, solid.

One thing that did leap out about this chapter in comparison to some of the others was that it was particularly dialogue-heavy. Because of that I didn't get quite the same level of immersion that I have from previous chapters and I think it inhibited connecting with Sadie's reaction to her first Diagon Alley experiment. Obviously a lot of dialogue will happen from time-to-time, especially when your MC can't speak audibly and is somewhat at the mercy of a couple very talkative characters like Fred and George, but it felt like here wasn't the ideal opportunity for that.

What I enjoyed most about this chapter though was how you've continued to give us new looks at things that weren't covered in canon, all without violating it. Fred and George at Diagon Alley was fun to read and it was very interesting to see how early the twins had identified the building they ended up occupying with their store. Mrs. Weasley was also appropriately mother-hennish. Poor kids.

Hope this helps! Keep going!

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Review #6, by TidalDragonEvent 3 - Will-O'-The-Wisp: The Forest

15th December 2014:
Hello again, Lo! You sure do enjoy writing stories with Dean, huh? I enjoyed this one too and how it covered a span in the life of a relatively minor character that rarely gets much coverage and for which Dean rarely seems to get much credit.

What's interesting to me is how he evolves throughout the piece, beginning with the same relative naivete Harry Potter displayed in his early experiences in the wizarding world, but progressing to be more - adapting not just the determination to go on that typified Cedric Diggory, but the careful tactics and measured movements of Fleur Delacour.

I also really enjoyed the descriptions you gave of Dean's surroundings and his physical state. They were appropriately detailed, but never so much so that they hit you over the head. And they also managed to be sprinkled in so nicely throughout that it never felt like you were heaping "setting" or "exhaustion" on us.

On my first read through, the only thing I thought might be missing from the quartet of champions was the power and athleticism of Viktor Krum, but then I realized it was there, just more oblique - I thought of your recounting of the weeks on the run and the endurance it must have demanded and the fortitude demanded to live a solitary life so successfully for so long under such circumstances.

Another well-written gem! Thanks for sharing!

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Review #7, by TidalDragonAvalanche: Crying

15th December 2014:
Wow, Lo. This was an incredibly impressive story and one that I'd never read before. I was going to use this review for the CR game, but it feels egregiously inappropriate, so I'm just going to leave you with this.

I thought the way you captured the struggle of those in an incredibly dark place with the avalanche metaphor was brilliant and I thought the power with which you drove home the anguish and struggle the carries on with the leaving was amazing. And in so few words, with characters I would never have considered.

Well done.

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Review #8, by TidalDragonDon't Go: He Arrives

14th December 2014:
Howdy! I dropped by while perusing the recently added stories because this new potential pairing intrigued me - Lucy/Lorcan (let alone the currently existing Molly/Lorcan).

Throughout this piece I definitely felt the angst on Lucy's part so you did well there. I found myself feeling halfway bad for her given the degree of her yearning, but also halfway wanting to give her a piece of my mind for being so down on herself in comparison to her sister. For some reason, she's got about the self-esteem of a garden gnome and I hate to see that in anyone. Certainly it's a potentially realistic portrayal though, especially at what I'm imagining their ages are. Lord knows even I could be rather melodramatic at that time in my life.

What would be interesting for this piece though is to see a little bit more of who Lucy is outside her fixation on Lorcan and outside her own head. That would, I think, give some added dimension to who she really is and how that compares to how she perceives herself, which is always refreshing.

It's a good start though! Thanks for sharing!

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Review #9, by TidalDragonMeeting Norberta: Reunion

14th December 2014:
Howdy Lauren! Dropping by this story in conjunction with the CR game!

You are a bold, bold person to take on Hagrid like you've done here and you've done a spectacular job of it - nailing his speech patterns and attitude toward other marginalized creatures very well.

It's clear from the story that Norberta has grown into quite a fearsome being, not unlike Hagrid's other good buddy, Aragog, or his child-like, but ever-dangerous half-brother, Grawp.

At the end, I think it's a great touch how Norberta actually seems to remember Hagrid and become calm under his influence. You get the sense throughout canon that dragons are fearsome and very difficult to keep under control (which is obviously the case with Norberta given how many keepers it takes to bring her out), but I thought it was delightful how you also managed to bring a level of recognition and appreciation to them as well. It makes me wonder about your perspective on dragons. Do you regard them entirely as canon seems to - simple beasts, where perhaps the reaction is akin to that of a dog remembering its own, or do they have some level of true sentience - not on the level of a Bane or a Firenze mind you, but true cognition rather than just instinct.

At any rate, I also really enjoyed the flashes of humor you threw in the piece in the interactions between Hagrid and Douglas, starting with the handshake and carrying through to the amusing remark about Hagrid needing a refresher on their "safety talk". The latter sounds like something people have probably been telling Hagrid for years - someone should have warned Douglas it wasn't ever going to sink in.

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #10, by TidalDragonForever Young: One

14th December 2014:
Howdy! Stopping by as part of the CR game!

This story struck me because it's the type of reflection we don't often get here - one from Harry. Usually when author's address this topic it seems to be either as part of a larger narrative or more oblique and somehow detached as a result. What I liked is how you allowed for indulgence in what was obviously a happy moment, but never strayed from the reality that every artifact of his parents' existence would be forever tinged with the harshness of their death and the anguish of knowing what followed the memories found in the photographs.

That sensation and the emotions that drove it were made more visceral for the reader by your choice of the first-person POV too. It's rather unfamiliar coming from Harry (at least in stories I've read), but I thought you handled it well.

Loved the last line too. A very well-done closing to a well-done story!

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #11, by TidalDragonMy Oh My Hermione: Meeting

14th December 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by both because I haven't read anything of yours and to further our cause in the CR game!

I will start by saying that I think the concept you've described where muggleborn families find out immediately that their child is a witch or wizard is unique as far as I've read before, but I think it's interesting. It makes me wonder what the reasons are behind NOT telling parents right away. My initial instinct was a concern that they would exile or worse the child if they didn't like their magical ability, but I find it difficult to believe that would change at 11 if they're that type of people so who knows.

At any rate, that certainly gives you a bit more license with the build-up of Draco/Hermione. I'm not sure how I feel personally about the Malfoys being so open still, but it's an AU so when I review AU I pretty much give authors unlimited license.

I enjoyed the very beginning of the chapter most probably because I thought you did a good job capturing the innocence of children and their trusting natures. I also liked that you made the two meet by chance and didn't force it to be anything particularly grandiose or contrived.

The only things I noticed to maybe be careful of going forward are: (1) the balance of dialogue vs. inner thought and description (I usually find more is better, but focusing this chapter solely on the meeting I can understand the skew a bit more), (2) missing punctuation (like the missing apostrophe in "I'm" above), and (3) word repetition. The last one didn't happen often, but it did jump out off the bat in this sentence: "The little girl felt her chest feel cozy with the thought of a friend." Felt and feel are different forms of the same word so it might read more naturally and feel more engrossing to a reader if you vary it up a bit.

Anyway, I'm glad you've joined us here at HPFF and look forward to getting to know you better in the CR and reading more of your work!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin!
I thank you for such an impressive review, and I will certainly take on board your comments. I was thinking about asking in the forums for a beta reader, and you have confirmed my obvious need for one ;) Despite the downfalls, I'm glad that you liked it.
I look forward to getting to know all of you too, thank you for being so welcoming!
~ Bronte


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Review #12, by TidalDragonWorship You: Storm

13th December 2014:
Ho, ho, ho! I bet you thought I'd forgotten the treats you left out for me and my reindeer last year, but I assure you dear Sian, though these offerings may seem small to you they live long in the memory. For you, such a dedicated writer and perennial member of the "Nice" list (yes, I really do keep one), I thought Christmas should come a little early.

Given my annual travel around the globe, I have some experience with stars myself. In fact, it was stars that led me to the love of my life Mother Christmas. Believe it or not, I spotted her all the way back in the 17th century wishing on the North Star out back of a pub and when the light from the door followed some revelers out and lit her hair I found myself in a worshipful state of mind as well. Your remark about how your protagonist was sucked in by a well-done plait felt all too familiar.

Alas, I digress. Though I came here to leave you a present, it seems that you've truly left me one. You may not know, but I do a lot of reading in my job, and I must say you certainly have a gift for impactful economy of language. Your stormy comparisons and powerful, yet precise descriptions really got me into not just moments but the feelings of this poor soul.

When you deliver presents to people for so long, you really do come to think you know them, but I would never have suspected another perennial member of the "Nice" list would have harbored such a yearning for Bellatrix Lestrange. It probably doesn't surprise you, but I was forced to deliver her lumps of coal as far back as age 7 and to be frank, by 17 I'd stopped bothering. Sometimes the naughty ones just don't learn.

I was equally impressed however, with your ability to avoid using a single "e" throughout this entire piece. I see this story was submitted as part of some kind of challenge and if my long-winded review of your work is any indication I would have a serious problem doing the same. Lord knows I can't do it when answering all the letters I receive each year. I wouldn't even be able to sign my name.

Nevertheless, I wanted you to know that neither your kindness nor your talent have gone unnoticed. This year I will try to find our dear Professor Sinistra a gift that will take her mind away from this pain. Though I imagine from the emotion (beautifully rendered by your imagery and evocative language) it will be difficult if not impossible for her to move on from this deep a love, I wonder if perhaps a kneazle would appeal this Christmas. They can be similarly prickly to the late Madam Lestrange, but also good for a cuddle if the connection is right.

Sian, after reading yet another of your exceptional stories, I will most certainly keep my own eyes turned to the stars once more - after all, with quality like this, you seem destined to lie amongst them one day.

Just don't forget a cookie for Father Christmas on December 24th (and a carrot or two for Comet and Cupid if it's not too much trouble for your staff).

Happy Christmas!

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Review #13, by TidalDragonYear Five: The Big Thing

7th December 2014:
#200! What a milestone for your brilliant story! Enjoy it!

When you first started talking about psychic potions I thought we were headed down the type of trippy road I'm not typically fond of - a bit TOO deep down the rabbit hole I've never explored for my taste. But what you did with it (and the music) was in fact incredibly clever, making it a device to reveal such a huge part of Tristan (of course to the member of the group he's perhaps closest to). I'm intrigued to see what all the other revelations are that came out in the Corridor. It seems obviously that Tristan isn't reacting well and must remember what happened too. Perhaps he's staying away for fear his confessions were really all too much? I don't know, but you leveraged the high and its effects very well.

Obviously Isobel is indeed in the throes of a disorder (perhaps two) now as well, which is difficult. Hearkening back to my last review, I'm glad it hasn't been as overt thus far like Laurel's constant charms, as I think that would've been too much right on the heels of another catastrophe, but still I'm interested to see how it goes.

There was one typo I noticed at the beginning, but I think that's about it.

I'll be back for more eventually!

Author's Response: THANK YOU!1!1!!1 :D You rule!

Aha yes! Since magic is a thing and all, I couldn't resist the idea that South American folk magic might be LITERALLY real! I was interested in the idea of nonwestern magic, since all the canon magic comes from Western European mythologies. So yeah, looking at other forms and traditions and saying ALSO REAL to them was a lot of fun. And later in the Potter books, we saw these more sort of subtle, nuanced, and less formulaic types of magic (stuff beyond "magic word+wand=effect.") That was so fascinating to me, and something I really wanted to explore.

And then, music is magic. Even muggle music. It isn't that important to the story, but it is implied, that music is inherently magical.

For Isobel, I took a lot of cues from a New Yorker article that basically argued that no one should ever write about eating disorders. The author pointed out that in reality, EDs are Boring and Tedious--pretty much the opposite of what art wants to be. So yeah, most depictions are really inaccurate, take place over a short period of time, and engineer Dramas that don't actually ever happen. Or, they focus too much on the physical side of things. It's a mental illness and addiction more than anything, so that's where the real problem lives--not in a wasting body. And wasting takes a LONG time; starvation is a slow death.

Thank you for catching the typo, will fix it straight away! And thank you SO MUCH for this review flurry, and for helping me hit this milestone :DD

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #14, by TidalDragonYear Five: Self-Spelling

7th December 2014:
Hello again!

Well, things have finally come to head with Laurel. I think the choice about timing of that was natural as I was wondering how long she could go without serious trouble and indeed it's struck. I'm interested to see how you handle her return and rehabilitation, as well as the effects of those things on the group and individual people. Challenging stuff that.

We've of course now segued more deeply into Isobel's own problems too. I thought you did a great job handling her own distorted thinking about her self-worth. I think many would consider her discipline a positive thing - she's overachieving really - but you've done well showing how someone with a problem would look at the other side of that coin. I'm interested to see if the purging increases on Isobel's part and if it becomes folded into her "discipline" thought regime.

What's also interesting about casting Isobel's demons more fully into the open is that it honestly feels like a lot. Naturally, everyone is going to have problems, and often people with issues seem to fall together, but on some level it feels like grappling with all these things openly in one fic may be a bit much. Obviously you have the writing skill to be up to the challenge and I'm interested to see how it develops, but it's just a thought I had.

See you on the next chapter for what (I think) will be your 200th review (CONGRATS!).

Author's Response: Oh yes, it will indeed be challenging. And your guess is spot on--it definitely ends up affecting both the individual AND the group.

Isobel isn't really bulimic, because it isn't something a know too much about. But I've known a lot of people to suffer from Anorexia Nervosa--it seems like for most of them, they end up purging out some point (sort of out of desperation). But AN is very much an addiction to starvation, so it usually doesn't become a habit.

I think you're right, because discipline definitely isn't a bad thing. I think peoples' greatest strengths can also be their biggest weaknesses. And especially when someone is young, they haven't totally sorted themself out yet, so many otherwise great qualities can also manifest as problems. (Like how curiosity and open-mindedness might also make someone more likely to experiment with drugs).

And your right, it is a LOT. It's very much a teen dramedy, and so in that vein, it's very ALL OF THE ANGST/ISSUES. I didn't do teen pregnancy, though! (a small mercy). I do try and pace things out, and pull certain things to the foreground, while others recede back. I hope you think that works out!


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Review #15, by TidalDragonYear Five: Troll in the Dungeons!

7th December 2014:
Ahh what a happy return to your delightful story, with everything done so carefully! I knew from the beginning that Laurel seeming normal had to be a false dawn. Mixing charms is, I suppose, probably dangerous if done haphazardly (like mixing certain drugs) and certainly a gateway to more serious issues.

Perhaps my favorite part of this chapter though was the deeper exploration of Tristan's history at Hogwarts. We already knew he was a melancholy character, but now we know more of why. It certainly must be a burden constantly burying yourself in your own perceived inadequacies and I suppose this is another reason Tristan does and acts how he does. While I don't get the sense your tale is headed for any kind of perfect, happy ending (and rightly so), I hope he gets that issue addressed in some way.

On a minor note I did see this sneaky little failed deletion: "His resulting hangover was been so great that it had persisted..." No biggie, but I know you're updating with CIs and such so I thought I'd mention it.

All in all another enjoyable chapter of an incredibly enjoyable story!

Author's Response: Ah! Thank you so much for the reviews :D

Yeah, I definitely play charms as being somewhat analogous to chemical substances. With the 'cheerful/tranquil' hybrid, I was basically trying to engineer something akin to opiates.

Heh--not sure if it was obvious or not, but Tristan's experience was in a lot of ways an inversion of Harry's. I tried to go with dramatic irony with his whole Sorting story, because basically, he experienced the same thing as Harry. But then Harry stood up and fought it, and asked for Gryffindor, while Tristan just resigned. And for that reason, he /wouldn't/ be a Gryffindor.

ooh, thank you for catching that sneaky sneak there! Will scurry and edit straight away!


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Review #16, by TidalDragonRabbit Heart: Cross My Heart

7th December 2014:
Howdy! Reviving the review thread was a great idea, so I'm here to pay it forward!

I think it's interesting how Wren's connection to the rabbit is growing more and more invasive despite the tea. I don't know if this has to do with the longevity of the connection between them or if it has to do with their little overlord's increasing proximity to Hogwarts, but it's unfortunate for her. I'm glad she was able to get some good shots though despite the trouble.

I think you're doing a good job with the Albus/Wren dynamic. You definitely leave the reader with that necessary "when will it HAPPEN" feeling, but at the same time you show delightfully how neither of them will get out of their own way so that what they both want can come to fruition. SO true of potential romance between friends.

If I ever get around to clearing out my thread AND the reviews I owe to my challenge participants you can be sure I'll be back to find out how things progress from here!

Author's Response:

Hello again!

It is very unfortunate for Wren that her relationship with Bunny keeps getting stronger. It's probably due to a combination of factors. I do know that I'll be much more careful with story mechanics in my next tale. This bit with the rabbits gave me fits. My muse is so demanding!

SO glad that the Wren/Albus dynamic is coming across clearly. They have some things to work through before they get to where they are going. I just hope it doesn't become too tiresome.

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me this lovely review!


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Review #17, by TidalDragonHer Choice : Awkward Hellos

6th December 2014:
Hello again!

Some quick minor things that jumped out (before we get to the meat) - there were some typos - "hallow" should be "hollow", "greatful" should be "grateful", etc... Just pay extra attention to those things I'd say, as I don't know where you write originally (or if you're one of those members that writes directly into the 'Add Chapter' box), but the second of those is one spell-check should catch.

Now on to the story! I thought you did as solid a job as you could have sticking with canon despite the story being an AU, which I think most readers would appreciate as well. One original piece that I particularly enjoyed though was the owl scene. Throughout all of canon we get all these bits of students buying pets but when it comes to owls we never actually get to see how one chooses their owl, even though it becomes such a personal relationship and almost a "calling card" if you will. As such, I appreciated the inclusion of that in Laynie's trip. I also thought you did a decent job with Hagrid's speech. Though the content could maybe use some tweaks, the accent and patterns were handled well which is a big challenge for a character like him. I certainly haven't had the stones to take him on so good on you for going after it.

The major thing about the remainder of the chapter I think was that it came across quite literal this time. You want to make sure that when things are being explained you are showing not telling, or at the very least being oblique. For example, when Laynie draws the conclusion that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ron and Ginny are related, there's no need to state that directly. You could get by with the observation of their roughly identical hair colors and a passing conclusion or, in her case, even leave it as open-ended wondering for now rather than addressing them individually.

I'll leave for last my hope that the reference to love potions and Ginny remains firmly to have a canon tie-in with the scene and not as an allusion that Ginny might attempt to use a love potion on Harry in this story. I leave it for last as it's a purely personal hope since I have always hated that accusation from anti-Harry/Ginny folks, but as I always say, it's your story so you drive.

Hope you found the review helpful!

Author's Response: Hi there again!
First of all, Ginny is NOT going to be using a love potion on Harry. I am trying to stay canon and that is not how she is.
I am jumping with joy at the fact you think I did great with the Diagon Alley scene. :) I had to put Hagrid in there, I mean come on, :) lol! I tried my best to use his speech well but I wondered on a few parts. I am glad you liked my owl scene. I just tried thinking on how I would think Harry felt the bond with Hedwig and picked her. When you go shopping for a pet, there has to be SOMETHING that helps you choose. And I feel that Laynie would want something like a friend because she honestly misses Margaret and isn't really "friends" with her family. Anyway, I am so glad you liked it all. Thank you for your CC, I always appreciate it!

-Lindsey


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Review #18, by TidalDragonTransparent: Him

6th December 2014:
Hello again! It's been awhile, which I'll take to mean your life has been absurdly busy as well (though I don't think you've taken three months to update this bad boy like I did with my novel. Shameful...).

Anyway, the deeper parts of Teddy you keep on revealing continue to be interesting. I wasn't much on Dominique's daddy issues, but Teddy's breakdown was different. Very well written with a number of quotable lines, including my personal favorite for him "Isn't the truth always a little evil?" I also thought the bit about his aunts being like different mothers to him was a very clever and unique concept that seemed to fit well with what we've seen of his interactions with them so far. Now I wonder if that will be followed up.

Dominique's progression is also intriguing. While she revealed herself to be the slowest person ever at applying sunscreen to another human being (even a squirmy little brother), she also seemed quite resilient in this chapter - fighting forward to do what she felt was right despite Teddy's despicable behavior and despite her own pain about being inadequate or marginalized within her own house. And what do you know, is she starting to shed that stutter? She certainly seems to lose it a bit when she's speaking frankly to Teddy.

As dialogue-laden as this chapter was, there wasn't much opportunity for description, though where it appeared I thought you did a good job describing the skin, the heat, etc.

I also enjoyed the mermaid bits. I now hope Louis and Bill find a mermaid. And perhaps that one pokes him in the eye with one of those tridents for being such a selfish, unsupportive father. We both know you won't do that, but I can hope right?

Haunt my thread again soon!

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Review #19, by TidalDragonEsto Perpetua: The Last Vestiges Of Peace

6th December 2014:
Howdy! Sorry for the delay - life's been mayhem recently!

At any rate, the first thing that struck me about your story was the excellent balance that you had between dialogue, description, and inner thought. While there's certainly no sure-fire recipe for success in that department, I thought the way you managed the three created a more immersive reading experience than is common in FF.

This ended up meshing very well with the believable portrayals of the characters throughout. While some of the characterization fell into the "tried-and-true" Marauders components (I think they're tried-and-true for a reason and from writing in the era, hard to entirely avoid), other parts presented your own unique twist - for example the more active Remus. He takes a back seat often when the showdowns happen in a lot of fics, but you allowed the passion for what's right he has in canon to shine through along with his more bookish nature.

As far as specifics on dialogue - the content certainly seemed just fine. The best thing though is that you seemed to make it differentiable between the Marauders. Too often fics make James and Sirius rather interchangeable and don't give a distinctive voice to either Remus or Peter. Your dialogue tags and accompanying descriptions in particular stood out to give unique life to each character in the exchanges and lent more authenticity to their banter than I usually see.

As far as things to work on going forward, none really jump out. This chapter, being the first, was largely build-up of several different things. Despite its overall length though, this meant it was broken up into a decent number of snippets, some of which were quite small. Going forward, I might look at ensuring the snippets are a bit larger so that you can make them as individually immersive as they are collectively by amplifying them with stronger, more evocative language where appropriate (like increasing the palpability of tension in the confrontation with the Slytherins and the reactions of the first-years to what happened).

On a more minor note, the use of "mudblood" re: Remus seems out of place, because while his mother was a Muggle, his father was most definitely not one - having worked extensively for the Ministry (more on Pottermore).

All in all though, I definitely enjoyed it. I hope you found the review helpful! Feel free to PM me with any questions!

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Review #20, by TidalDragonthe earth and the sky: the earth and the sky

23rd November 2014:
Adi.

I don't even know where to begin. This story is amazing? You dedicated a story to me? How about here - only bit of CC - you MUST delete this apology about the story being Draco-centric! That doesn't matter! It's totally irrelevant!

Honestly, I could go on for an absurdly long amount of time about everything I love about this story - the brilliance of the structure, the majesty of how you fused their once separate existences together into one that felt real and authentic AND allowed you to speak for and from both of their perspectives nearly simultaneously, the beautiful devices and refrains you crafted for pivotal points - I haven't read something this exceptional in a LONG time. Including from published authors.

That was about MORE than just the story and writing though. Before you even said it at the end, I already knew this story touched you deeply. And you know what? It really touched me. Brutal honesty, I didn't ever think a story about love and loss and recovery would ever REALLY hit me again. Because life, and how can a story compare to your own visceral (though very different) experiences with it? It's sad and cynical, but I just didn't think it would happen.

But today it did. Because of you. I rarely even ALMOST cry. But this story got me right there to the brink. And what makes it even more impressive is how you did it without personally experiencing so many of the gut-wrenching topics you wrote about in this piece.

I'm rambling now, and it's not even 100 percent about the story, so I'm going to stop because I just don't even have any more words to be coherent.

You are a sensational writer! You are a WONDERFUL friend! Your story is...crazily-amalgamated-string-of-superlatives! Seriously. I will never forget this.

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Review #21, by TidalDragonHer Choice : Meeting Your Worst Nightmare

22nd November 2014:
Okey dokey!

So this chapter was quite a bit shorter - not as patient as your previous two. It's an instance where I think more description would have served you better. Even if you confine the chapter to the timeframe you have here I imagine the atmosphere when Voldemort comes would be very particular and setting that up would lend more gravity to the interaction he has with Laynie. I'd also be careful with his speech patterns.

On the whole, I thought Laynie's reaction to him was appropriately nervous and deferential (with the exception of the refusal of the Mark). Personally, I think the Mark wouldn't have come up this quickly since Voldemort is an obsessive planner who surely wouldn't have missed this (and perhaps wouldn't have marked someone he probably views as no more than a tool), but nevertheless I thought it was nice how you incorporated the curtsy, the "my Lord", and especially taking cues from her observations of Draco.

You also did a good job (as you referenced in your A/N) of portraying the Malfoys in Voldemort's presence - they'd absolutely be fearful in this time (and Voldemort already disdainful and dismissive since we're post-OotP). Well played there.

All in all, I don't think you should be worried about people being interested. Going forward it's just a matter of staying patient, consistent, and trying to polish up the description and balance and you'll be set!

Hope the feedback's been helpful! And as always, feel free to PM or re-request! I'll try not to take so long next time...

Author's Response: Hey there,
Wow I was excited to see three new reviews from you. Don't worry about the wait, your reviews are always worth waiting for. To be honest with you, I guess you can say this chapter was a bit rushed and not well thought out. It should be more thought out since it involves her first meeting with Voldemort. But I am glad you liked it besides the rush! :) I have not sat and edited this chapter again yet but I will keep your suggestions in mind when I do!
THANKS so much! :)


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Review #22, by TidalDragonHer Choice : Used

22nd November 2014:
Hello again! I'm going to START repaying you for being so late by reviewing through what you've got up so far (Chapter 3 as of this moment).

The best part of this chapter was the characterization of Laynie. You took the effort to not make her integration seamless despite the fact that she DOES know about magic and also to use her internal thoughts to draw continuing distinctions between her own views and those of her family. Her evolution will certainly be interesting to observe. I also thought you did a solid job with Narcissa. We know she has the capacity to love and the idea that she always wanted a daughter lends more credence to how much more warm it seemed than any of what we saw between she and Draco in canon.

I also really liked the fact that this chapter EXISTED. Again, it demonstrated good patience that a lot of authors lack, feeling that they need to omit chapters that are heavily expository and tossing the plot advancing points into one larger chapter. I think you would have lost a lot of the good work you did here had you gone that route, so it was good to see.

The one standout issue was the moment when Laynie eavesdropped and Bellatrix raised the question of whether Voldemort chose unwisely. This was odd to me because you capture her unquestioning devotion to him (and the other aspects of her personality) well throughout the rest of the chapter. It just seems unlikely Bellatrix would raise such a concern.

I'd also look out for typos in this chapter - your's (yours), accept (except) rediculous (ridiculous) and equipt (equipped).

You're making good progress so far and to answer your question from my thread directly now, it certainly seems interesting to me. I don't know that I would read it to its conclusion personally (only because it violates my OTP), but I think others without that obstacle would certainly do so!

Author's Response: Thanks so much once again, I am so glad you love this chapter and think I did well. You are right about Bellatrix, she is unquestionably devoted to Voldemort. You always give the best CC, I will revise with you suggestions. THANKS SO MUCH! :D

-Lindsey


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Review #23, by TidalDragonHer Choice : A New Beginning

22nd November 2014:
Howdy! So, I tell people ten days, and then it turns into a month right? I wish I could blame NaNo (which I'm horribly behind on), but it's really just been life in general. At any rate, I'm very sorry - I'm sure I'll find some way to make it up to you ;)

On to the story! From the outset, I like the concept. It's interesting, something different from the "Harry's long-lost relative" trope and with the twist that Laynie is going to be torn between the Malfoys (who saved her) and feelings for Harry.

One of the first things I noticed, in contrast to the other story of your's that I've reviewed, is that you were more patient in this chapter with the exposition. I thought it served you well and particularly at the VERY beginning, you took even more time with description and setting things up for us - something I'd strive to carry throughout each chapter as much as possible.

If there's one thing I'd point at in particular to work on going forward, it's the expression of internal thoughts and past events. Using this line as just an example - "Quickly she looked away, remembering that her mother had always told her that a mirror told lies if you looked into it too long" - it reads rather bluntly. That doesn't make it not a good line, because I really like the connection between a mundane task, a memory of her mother, and as it develops, the weight of being an orphan that you get from this. I think by being less over about the connection though, you can make it stronger. You set yourself up perfectly for this with a reflection on her appearance. You could easily tie in some comparison between her appearance and her mother's (whether they look similar or quite different doesn't really matter) and then let the statement be the punchline. "A mirror tells lies if you look into it too long." There you also get some added personification of the mirror, which can be a nice writing device.

Hope this helps! See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hey there,

I was so excited to see that you have reviewed. I am always beyond excited that you think I am doing well with things I haven't in my stories in the past. I am trying to be a stronger writer, so compliments like that really help me. Thank you for your CC, I will keep them in mind when I edit again! :) I am so happy you stopped by. -Lindsey


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Review #24, by TidalDragonRun, Run: 1

14th November 2014:
Hello again!

First off, major props on getting not just one, but TWO entries in for this challenge! That's really something else!

This was a totally different setting, a totally different "creature" and quite a different style as well, but it was still so strong. Again, you showcased some great description and use of pacing and emotion, but the way you laid it out in this story - from the same POV - made it all coalesce even better to me.

When I reached the end, I was initially wondering how/if you were going to flip the typical "dream" trope and you did a good job of it I thought. What's particularly intriguing about it is it seems open to interpretation - either a "The Grudge"-esque possession of Adalynn or the idea that Adalynn was the girl all along both seem credible (though I prefer the first as I think it jives better with her previous dreams).

Overall, I really enjoyed this story too. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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Review #25, by TidalDragonInto Darkness: Into Darkness

14th November 2014:
Howdy!

Pretty darn good for your first crack at horror I'd say! What I really liked was that we saw your awesome skills at setting a scene and laying a foundation in the beginning still on display! Despite the word limit, you used them very effectively to create an air of mystery from the start with the rent discrepancy, but also to create a stronger atmosphere of hope and happiness.

I thought this was really great because of how you turned what at first seemed to simply be an oddity of the house into a pathway to your MC's doom. You built the contrast nicely from the point where the wand it extinguished and the walls close in to the wet, red palm and the ominous ending. The description of the MC's plight and progress fraught with worry was really well done, particularly right before the plop downward.

Now, I just want to know who these creepy people-snatchers are, how they're hiding and what they're doing!

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for the review :)

Since I'd never done horror before, I decided to go with what scared me the most! An MC that just wants cheaper rent (me), a creepy passage-way discovered in a pantry (one of the scariest true stories I ever heard from a real estate agent friend!), and then CLAUSTROPHOBIA! (I figured most people are freaked out by enclosed spaces)

As for the creepy people at the end, that's up for you to decide!

Thank you for reading and reviewing!


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