Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
648 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonStuck on the Puzzle: It Begins

1st February 2016:
Howdy! Saw your status and decided to stop by since I'm also a sucker for James/Lily.

I think this is a really neat premise for how the pair of them get closer and I think it jives very well with the more condensed timeline you've established for them improving the kind of terms they're on with one another. Though it's still pretty quick vs. my headcanon it thankfully doesn't seem to be following my most hated path for this pair: From Hate to Love in Sixty Seconds. So thank you very much for that!

I also really like your characterizations of James and Lily, how you acknowledge James's immaturity and Lily's over-seriousness, but recognize that they're ultimately quite complementary - I think it's absolutely central to why they work, and you're hitting on it nicely early.

If I had any CC it would be that despite their early dislike for one another, I would think they'd know each other well enough for the letters to out them to each other, but that's just me.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck going forward!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks so much for stopping by! I really appreciate the review!

I'm glad you like the premise! It is a bit compressed (this whole fic is just two months), but something I have trouble reconciling is how they apparently move in together right out of school and live off of James's money despite having only dated a few months. Having them get together a bit earlier was my shot at having their post-Hogwarts life have a little more history to it! And I totally agree-- the whole Hate to Love arc drives me crazy! My Lily doesn't hate James, but isn't sure what to make of him. Hopefully her development makes sense with that starting point.

Thanks so much for your comments on the characterization! That's what I really tried to focus on, so I'm glad you're picking up on it. They're my OTP so I definitely want to emphasize why they work! :)

I totally get your CC, and it's something that comes up a lot later in the fic. I hope I've justified it, but maybe it doesn't work!

Thanks again for the review! :)


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Review #2, by TidalDragonThe Worst: The Beginning

31st January 2016:
Howdy! Sorry it's taken so long to get here, but TA-DA - here I am!

Cutting straight to your questions, I thought the ending was very well-rounded. What I enjoyed most about it was the realism that accompanied your eventual message - because everything can get better, much better, but we ought not pretend it will be perfect - it won't.

My other favorite part of the chapter (which lends itself to what I think was strong coherence in Dominique's thoughts) was when she ended things once and for all with Teddy (romantically anyway). She demonstrated not just clarity, but strength and drove a secondary point that there's not always a happy ending (and doesn't have to be) home well too.

If I had anything in the way of CC for this chapter it would be that in her biggest, most high impact bit of dialogue, Dominique seemed a bit formal (lack of contractions really made this stand out), but since it's been awhile since I read the previous chapters, I can't honestly recall whether that fit the norm for her (though I don't think it did) or not.

Thanks for sharing this story with all of us and congratulations on completing it! I've enjoyed the journey and I'm sure other readers have as well - you have much to be proud of!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonNine Years: May 1st, 1998

30th January 2016:
Howdy Emma! I think it's been awhile since I read anything of yours, but this was a very pleasant return to your writing. Balancing description with dialogue is a delicate art and I'm always impressed with how you manage to make it seem effortlessly intertwined rather than more segmented like I feel mine often is.

ANYWAY - the story. I think the characterizations you've done here are pretty spot on. I'm awful at writing Fred and George (hence my eventual abandonment of every attempt at doing so), but I thought you captured him well - the way he didn't constantly chase a laugh, but allowed his excitement over the news to manifest nonetheless. The way you wrote Lee and Fred's...OTHER reunion, was also well-handled. While it's not my own headcanon, I thought you did an exceptional job of portraying the passion they have for one another - and even more importantly the passion that often accompanies a reunion of lovers who've been apart.

The thread that intrigued me throughout was Lee's self-consciousness that you wove into that moment when you took one of the brief dives into inner thought in this chapter. I wondered what it could be over the entire time until you mentioned the challenge in the Author's Note and I thought that not being as overt about it was a unique choice that could play out really well as the story develops.

If I had any CC, it would be that the commentary by Oliver about the safeguarding measures DOES seem a bit too revealing (at least to me), but it wasn't that big a deal.

Thanks for sharing and good luck as you continue the piece!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin! Thank you so much for the review. I'm really glad you liked Fred. I was a bit worried about writing him - he's such a strong canon character that it feels hard to do him justice. Lee and Fred were never my headcanon until I started writing this but now I love them.

I'm trying to make Lee's self-consciousness kind of a side-theme of the story, because it's a big feature of his life but he's not defined by his weight. Hopefully that's working.

Ahhh a few people have said that about Oliver's bit. I might have a think about editing that.

Thanks for taking the time to review! Emma xx

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Review #4, by TidalDragonTengu and a Daughter of Ninja: Dripping Wings

30th January 2016:
Howdy Kenny! Sorry I'm so late, but I've made it.

Since I know you're always working toward getting better and better at this, I figured I'd lead with a couple of language tweaks to give you ideas of how to achieve a more natural construction in English.

This sentence: "On the borders of Gifu and Shiga, there was a small village Kouga ninjas lived." I like it on the whole because the clause that precedes the comma is very appropriate to the beginning of a legend or similar tale and the last hits the key location, but leaves us with some intrigue. The only change you might make is to put "where" in front of Kouga or, in the alternative, "in" as the last word of the sentence.

These: "She had an old playmate, but he had been missing since she was seven years old. His name was Shota." could benefit from consolidation into one sentence by striking the second and placing "Shota," after the comma in the first sentence. Just some food for thought!

Now on to the plot! I thought you developed this in a very interesting way, particularly as the story progressed to Saki's adolescence. While you still maintained that overarching sense of mystery, you peppered in a few clues and dialogue to get us thinking about where things might be heading on our own - crucial in this kind of plot.

I also really enjoyed the description you included as Saki was practicing with the shuriken, capturing the sunset and clouds very nicely.

Good luck with the rest of the story!

Author's Response: Thank you, Kevin for stopping by!

I fixed them after you found for me ( I should've noticed the spot but I wasn't used to the Google docs). I feel very thankful for fellow Gryffies to point out the grammatical mistakes. I wish I could write rich words like you did in your story,"The Lake". It's a nice piece of fantasy. Thank you for compliments about Ninja's Martial arts and the description of nature.

"While you still maintained that overarching sense of mystery, you peppered in a few clues and dialogue to get us thinking about where things might be heading on our own - crucial in this kind of plot." Thank you for kind words. These are the things I had struggled to figure out during NaNo month. I hope you keep reading and drop your thoughts again.

I'll do request on your review thread again soon. :)


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Review #5, by TidalDragonInside Death: 05: A Traced Birthright

27th December 2015:
Ahh the mystery revealed! I really like how you characterized Rabastan here. I think it's quite easy to make Death Eaters cruel, harsh, and outright evil, but it takes someone wiser and more capable to paint their darkness in a way that they can still be viewed as actual people - which they undeniably are, no matter how dark their thoughts and souls. Here we got a sense of the type of person Rabastan is, how he communicates, and what he prioritizes, which makes the scene infinitely more interesting.

I also think you did a good job continuing the growth of Ana's character by having him force her to confront her mother's absence fully. Whether she's truly been abandoned for good or whether he's merely playing on her fears as a means of manipulation also isn't posed and resolved immediately, making it an extra nice depiction. While my sense is that she has indeed been abandoned, I look forward to seeing how that develops.

As far as the broader things you've asked about like flow, pacing, and consistency, thus far I don't think you have anything at all to worry about. You've written Ana compellingly and the other Slytherins (current and former) that have come into play to this point have been consistent with their sorting, yet also crucially differentiable both in voice and motivation which is so important.

Thanks for sharing this excellent story! Good luck as you continue with it!

Author's Response: Yes, and thank you! All of these characters are extremely hard to write and understand, since they are so nuanced yet not mentioned in the books at length (for obvious reasons). Some of them are complete brutes, others not so much, very intelligent creatures, but dark or soulless. I'm enjoying developing these though, so I hope they continue to ring true and come across as compelling ;)

Oh, awesome, I was worried she was crying and sitting somewhere for THREE CHAPTERS, even I'm over it hahaha. I'm glad you felt her mind shift and more questions raised. Who knows the truth.

Yes, as I've mentioned, this has been written over years, so it's nice to know there aren't glaringly obvious horrific errors in flow and pacing and consistency. though I always think there's room for improvement, so that's just me being a perfectionist, oh well.

Thanks again so much, I better finish this in 2016, so I hope you do come back and let me know what you think *hug*


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Review #6, by TidalDragonInside Death: 04: Forgotten Scores

27th December 2015:
Another haunting installment that definitely leaves us wondering about so many things. Who is it exactly that has Ana? What are their motives? Are they acting at her father's behest to separate her from her mother or is their agenda darker? The way you've painted the story as a whole and this chapter make the questions all the more compelling.

I thought you also very thoroughly captured the invasion and coping mechanisms that come with...well...a capture. I think the contrast between the supervised bathroom visit and the piano memory which gave way to mental melodies were excellent choices to make it happen.

See you in Chapter 6!

Author's Response: Maybe I should switch genres with all my experimental writing haha. Dun, dun, dun questions - with answers in the next chapter (as you've read)! Who knows what they're doing though...Glad you enjoyed, thanks!


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Review #7, by TidalDragonInside Death: 03: Where Darkness Dwells

25th December 2015:
Hello again! Sorry for the reviewing interlude, but I'm back now.

This chapter was stupendously haunting! I think it worked so well in that regard for a couple of reasons (though I may give more so don't hold me to that number :p). First, the frequency of the shifts between present and past. Normally I'm pretty iffy on frequent in-and-out flashbacks, but here it really worked for me because it allowed the structure to really echo Ana's fluctuating emotional state. Given how crucial that emotional state was to the success of this chapter, I think the choice really worked for you.

Second, I think the ambiguity you maintained in the DETAILS of what was happening added a second layer of mystery that enhanced the haunting quality. We are left after this chapter with so many questions and so few answers, but somehow, given the tone, this seems appropriate and leaves us eagerly awaiting satisfaction of our curiosity in the near future.

Speaking of, I will see you now in Chapter 4!

Author's Response: A review, and on Christmas, wow. Hope your holiday was lovely!

"Stupendously haunting" is an amazing phrase and leaves me smiling - thank you! This is definitely a deviation (like every chapter seems to be in this story) from my straightforward writing, so I'm glad you enjoyed the switches and ups-and-downs of Ana, as well as the ambiguity. Hopefully some answers will be wrapped up in Chapter 6-7 :P

Thanks so so much, I didn't expect all these reviews, so you rock!

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Review #8, by TidalDragonAlways Her...: Snape: October 1970

23rd December 2015:
Howdy Amy! Saw your status and figured I'd drop by to leave a review for you! It's awesome you posted something again!

I usually loathe everything Snape/Lily TBH, but I did find this really interesting, primarily because it's from a point in time that pre-dates canon about their friendship. I think what you've done, even though it's short, gives us not only a great answer to the HOW of Snape knowing that Lily was a witch, but also works to peel back how he sees the world even at such an early age. While keeping it age-appropriate (a big part of which is how you don't dive TOO deep), you still show that Snape's hatred for muggles likely stems from what he perceives as neglect by his father and is only reinforced by Petunia's reactions to Lily. The sense of purpose you give him at the end also reinforces how monumental a moment it is to him even as it's happening/about to happen too.

I look forward to seeing more of your writing soon!

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Review #9, by TidalDragonFracture: Shattered

21st December 2015:
Honestly, Kaitlin, I didn't know if it was possible for the saga to get more cruel, but then I suppose it's true to life that there's always that possibility.

I thought the way you described the ritual of "undoing" marriage in the wizarding world emphasized that even more. I know it requires appearances in some states, but in most, including where I am now, it's possible to achieve that legal finality without such ceremony - indeed without even being present. From paper it's born in a legal sense and in paper it goes to die.

It was, of course, the final scene that was most crushing though. It's not just the image though that makes it so effective, nor the realization, but the sharp contrast between the brilliant, soaring beginning and this sad end - the dream destroyed for one in its rebirth in the other.

This was an excellent piece Kaitlin, even if it took me back to some dark places. I suppose the fact that it evoked them was a testament to it.

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Review #10, by TidalDragonFracture: Crumbling

21st December 2015:
UGH! Kaitlin! The infidelity! Poor Victoire. There was more feeling in this for me because it was, I think, so true to the death of a marriage, especially one where the people have utterly lost touch, whatever the reason may be, and one is clinging to the hope that it can be saved, despite their own worries and fears to the contrary.

The way that the emptiness truly grew into yawning distance in this chapter was painful to read even in such short supply. It definitely reminded me of some times in my own life, knowing what the later and later nights mean, but trying not to believe it until it all comes crashing down.

I felt for Victoire even more in that moment - but from a writing perspective, I think you deserve to be told that the simplicity of the line that broke her at the end was brilliant.

See you at the finish line!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin,

I'm so glad you said that. I really wanted this to be close to reality. Just a sort of sad, desperate failing.

It is definitely painful to see that distance grow, especially when you've been through it before. I know that I found it particularly painful.

Thank you so much for your kind words.


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Review #11, by TidalDragonFracture: Comme ci, Comme Áa

21st December 2015:
This chapter didn't speak to me quite as much for some reason, but I think it's probably because we're well and truly in the trough here and in a way there's almost a tragic complacency in Rose in this installment. She seems a husk of her former self, just as their relationship does.

I do think it was a nice touch to incorporate the response of the family though as it gives us a different lens to look at things through and indeed, Albus's suggestion turns out to be yet another flashpoint that demonstrates just how far Teddy has fallen and how dark his future has likely become.

See you in Chapter 4!

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Review #12, by TidalDragonFracture: Rumblings of War

21st December 2015:
Well, you had to go and break things didn't you (and I'm not talking about the dishes)?

This chapter made me sad on a lot of levels. First, for the wizarding world, that they would relapse into war for a third time in such quick succession - no real chance of healing, limited opportunity for growth, and so much devastation - minds, bodies, souls.

Of course I also felt awful for Victoire. Again in such a short stretch of words you manage to capture her pain, uncertainty, and yearning. And then warned us about this at beginning...with brilliant phrasing mind you. My suspicion is that Teddy's break is PTSD or some sort of irrational jealously/suspicion - maybe both. I definitely fear for the two of them, especially if the war deepens and they are forced to be apart much longer.

Charging on to Chapter 3!

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Review #13, by TidalDragonFracture: First Love

21st December 2015:
Howdy Kaitlin! I'm dropping by here for the gift exchange! Fair warning, I'll probably leave my longest review on the last chapter once it's all come together, I am.

I thought the structure you used here was perfect for what you wanted to achieve. I know part of the segmenting was imposed by the challenge itself, but you did something productive with it - using the limitation to your advantage to advance time to the point you wanted in the relationship by the end of the chapter as well as emphasize these key moments in that development.

Perhaps my favorite snapshot was the one of Teddy and Victoire's "first time." You left it understated, but also captured so much about them and the experience for Victoire in the 100 words you had. It takes real talent to accomplish so much in so little space.

On to the next chapter for me!

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Review #14, by TidalDragonSolitude: Solitude

20th December 2015:
Howdy! Stopping by for Day 21 of the Advent Calendar!

This was a VERY different take on George and consequently very interesting. Obviously he would change after the war and the loss of Fred, but the question was always going to be how. It's nice that you didn't make him entirely withdrawn and morose as some do, but kept him capable of being creative and positive, just in a different way.

I will say that I definitely didn't anticipate where the story was heading with a friendly (or more) meeting between he and Pansy (for ice cream of all things ;) ).

I'm also intrigued by the characterizations of Draco and Astoria. In a way they sort of flip the standard characterizations that a lot of authors here write with Draco coming across more reformed and Astoria less sweetness and more rubbing her "capture" of Draco in Pansy's face.

If I had any CC, I think it would be nice to increase the quantity of time we spend in George's head as I think it would amplify the impact of the change you're trying to demonstrate in George.

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #15, by TidalDragonPocket Watch #1 -- Bittersweet Homecoming: 1.1 -- Unspeakable Dreams

20th December 2015:
Howdy Karen! Stopping by for our swap!

Exploring the Crouches are we? VERY intriguing indeed. I always love the exploration of a minor character and I think here with Barty Jr. I'd love to see what exactly pushes him to become a Death Eater (since it doesn't seem that he is at this point). Is it his irritation (or worse) at his father? His Slytherin nature to "rise to the top?" His service and forged connection to Rookwood? All three? Something else? It should be cool to find out.

As far as the mechanics of this installment itself go, I liked the way that you used the flashback with Slughorn to not only develop the required background and reconnect with Barty Jr.'s thoughts, but also to balance the chapter better in terms of dialogue and inner thought plus description (which I think it almost always crucial). I also liked the descriptions of Barty Jr. riding the Express home as well as the part where he described the sun and time of day in particular not only was well handled in itself, but revealed Barty Jr.'s incredibly observant nature (something in keeping with canon I think because of how observant he would have had to be to mimic Mad Eye so well even with the Polyjuice).

If there's a bit of CC, I think it would be that there were points where Barty Jr.'s thoughts felt a little repetitive both at the very beginning as compared to the very end and at a couple points in the middle where he seems to almost think similar things in successive lines. Just something to think about!

Anyway, I think you've got a cool concept here! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the swap!

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Review #16, by TidalDragonTengu and a Daughter of Ninja: Fatherís Old Textbook (Prologue)

20th December 2015:
Howdy Kenny! Dropping by for our swap!

First off, this story doesn't seem connected to the others of yours I've read and so it's cool that you're branching out in a new direction and exploring a new era too!

While I'm not the biggest fan of everybody sliding into their parents' roles (Albus = Harry, Rose = Hermione, and Scorpius = Draco here) I will confess to being quite intrigued by the different dynamic that two of your choices may create: (1) Draco as a professor and (2) Scorpius NOT being best friends with Albus.

The choice I perhaps liked most though in this short prologue was the choice to make Ginny instrumental in keeping her family from living extravagantly. Something that's always annoyed me in fics is when people portray Harry and Ginny (who never led a life of extravagance - EVER - in canon) as living in a mansion and just spoiling their kids and giving them everything they want (including fancy and IMO ridiculous newfangled items). It just doesn't ring as authentic to me, whereas I can ABSOLUTELY see Ginny insisting that Harry's books, themselves really only being TRULY secondhand (or at worst third if James used them too) since Harry had gotten them new (unlike hers which were probably at least fifthhand if not worse), are definitely good enough to be reused. It's cool too how you're making them useful, with Harry's notes (like Snape's old textbook in HBP).

This feels like an interesting concept to start with - good luck developing it as you continue your impressively prolific writing!

Author's Response: Hallo, Kevin! Thank you for review swap!

Thanks to friends on the forums, I could start a new direction and found later that I could keep writing my fanfiction.

Your insight is right and I also wanted to write the different Next gen. story, so if it worked out, I'm happy. :)

Talking of Scorp, their relationship will be changed as the story goes. I hope you keep reading this story.

I'm glad you understand the Potters rule I tried writing in short, I imagine Harry and Ginny don't use much money and wouldn't spoil their kids. When I started this story for the story challenge on the forums, the idea of using Harry's notes on the textbook popped in my mind naturally. So if you feel it cool, I'm happy, too. I'll do review offer again on your thread! I hope you'll enjoy the next chapters.


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Review #17, by TidalDragonThe Fortunate Ones: Chapter 1

20th December 2015:
Howdy Meg! Stopping by for our swap!

Truthfully, I thought I'd read this before somehow, but apparently not - that should tell you you did an awesome job with the title and summary because I wouldn't have remembered otherwise.

Anyhow, the meat of this story is obviously the intro of this fascinating premise which not only includes what will obviously happen between Lily and Mary (the substance of which I can only speculate about, but I'm sure there's going to be SOME moment...or two or three) but the fact that by using Mary's POV, we'll actually get to see Lily and the James/Lily, Snape/Lily dynamics in particular in a very different light than we usually do - which I think promises to be very cool.

I also have to congratulate you on keeping these 11 year-old characterizations simple. Frankly, one of the reasons I don't often write younger characters is because it's tough to make their thought processes and dialogue believable to their age, at least both at the same time. I thought you did a good job with that here.

If I had a little bit of CC I would say maybe we've come out a little hard (perhaps due to the repetition) with the Lily/Mary piece. But that could also be me being a stick in the mud who doesn't want to think that 11 year-olds would be thinking about flirting and crushes and such (I only know from the guy's side, I definitely never was) so take that tiny piece for what it is (maybe nothing :p).

Thanks for sharing and thanks for the swap!

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Review #18, by TidalDragonWelcome to the LC: The things we do for brownies and/or the electric bill

20th December 2015:
Howdy! Stopping by for my half of our swap!

Though it's obvious that in this chapter you're largely just establishing Delilah's voice and introducing background and characters, I found it to be very well done. Too many times when authors take that tack with their first chapter, it's done lazily and indistinctly, hoping that once it's over with people will stick around for "the real thing." However, you treated it with the focus and polish that it's really due. Kudos!

I will say that I loved Delilah's voice as well. I expected it of her character given the summary and chapter titles, but she seems to have that delightful blend of work ethic, snark, and earnestness that gives her both the capacity to be truly funny and enough substance that you can (and want to) get behind her as the MC.

I'm definitely interested to see which of the customers and which of the staff stick around too (and how this Hannah characterization develops - I don't think I've seen her characterized in this way before and so it will be neat to compare it with they more "typical" portrayals as she evolves).

The only bit of CC I really had was two typos when referring to the Daily Prophet as the "Profit." Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but figured I'd bring it to your attention! On the other hand, it may be purposeful, but if so, I'd tag an explanation of why she calls it that in or something.

Thanks for sharing and thanks for the swap!

Author's Response: haha! thank you so much for pointing that out! accidental witty media commentary! i think maybe i'll leave it as Profit because delilah is so angsty and do as you suggested- explain it in an author's note maybe?

i'm so glad you felt the first chapter was substantive even with so little plot. i wanted it to be as plotless as possible because that's kind of what it feels like when you're stuck being indecisive in a job you hate. but then of course i was worried about how that came across. so thank you!

i want hannah to be the embodiment of tough love because i feel like it takes some guts and toughness to run any business, but especially a pub. but also she's a puff :)

thanks so much for this review! it was really informative- you phrased some things in ways i hadn't before and that gave me something to think about. like calling delilah earnest- wonderful! thank you for this feedback!

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Review #19, by TidalDragonGood Night, Albus: Good Night, Albus (Contest)

18th December 2015:
Howdy and welcome! I'm stopping by here for Day 17 of the Advent Calendar!

I always enjoy reading stories about Dumbledore and yours was no exception. He's a challenging character to write and one that many people (including myself) tend to shy away from even obliquely (at least as much as possible) and so it was even more fun to read a piece that doesn't just include him prominently, but centers on him, and centers on him in adulthood (because there are loads of childhood Dumbledore stories, but fewer about who he really became).

I thought you did a great job with the characterization in a couple of key respects: (1) his interests and (2) his obstacles. With the first, we know Dumbledore is not only brilliant, but quirky and so it seems to fit both of these nicely that he would keep himself awake by playing chess and trying to keep his mind whirring with puzzles like the conjugation of obscure runes.

If I had to offer one tid-bit for refinement, I'd try to cut out contractions with Dumbledore's dialogue. Though you did a good job with the flow and cadence of the dialogue and were pretty solid on word choice, the contraction getting included detracted a bit because it's a prominent linguistic device that we know he tends to NEVER use them if possible.

All in all though this was a nice story that explored one of the wizarding world's great enigmas (and even shed light on a unique friendship with McGonagall - cool touch).

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Oh I'm glad you liked my rendition of Albus. I find he comes a bit easier than Harry, who is himself a written mystery I have yet to solve. Even Voldemort is easier than Harry... well, anyway...

Duly noted about the contractions. I didn't even notice them until now, but it now seems to be more... Dumbledoreish.

Again, I'm glad you liked it! Happy Holidays!


P.S: In the GOF movie, McGonagall and Dumbledore are dancing in the Yule Ball. By the positioning of their hands, McGonagall is technically leading Albus. Fun fact of the day :D

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Review #20, by TidalDragonAnthony Goldstein's Chanukah: Anthony Goldstein's Chanukah

14th December 2015:
Howdy! I am dropping by to show some love to a story this holiday season that ISN'T about Christmas for Day 15 of the Advent Calendar!

It was interesting to see someone tackle Chanukah with a level of seriousness involved as opposed to the typical holiday portrayals that pay little tribute to their religious origins. Though I think it made the progression of the plot a bit stiff as executed, I certainly appreciated the level of realism it introduced and it definitely made me think about what it would've been like for a student at Hogwarts who celebrated a holiday other than Christmas and not JUST that, but a student who actually actively practiced a religion (something we see almost none of in canon). I think the full range was likely a tad harder to convey with a third-year's diminished maturity, but it was though-provoking anyway.

If I had to recommend one thing, I think it would be simply to flesh the story out more. You have a structure in place and you incorporate nice elements to balance the fun and ritual and to involve other characters in Anthony's experience, but giving more detail could only enhance that.

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #21, by TidalDragonChristmas Magic: Home

13th December 2015:
Howdy! I'm dropping by for Day 12 of the Advent Calendar and after a simple search for "Christmas" yours was the story that most appealed to me!

I think what I liked best about this story was the way that it captured a broader picture of the idea of love within relationships. With Scorpius and Rose we get undeniable emotion, but also ambiguity - perfectly reflective of the oft inexplicable nature of not just attraction, but why we choose those we do and what it is that ties us together - and also the possible reality that acknowledging the lack of answers in that regard after a period of time can reveal a lack of depth that kills the emotion in one party or both and thus the relationship. That one was shorter, but kind of masterful in that way as you could read it through a number of different lenses and I think different readers would interpret it differently based on their own experiences and beliefs. Then there was Teddy and Victoire and the majesty of pain. Love can make us fly, but can also be devastating and sometimes, as with that duo, we have to experience the pain of misunderstandings, insecurities, and even separations to understand how much it truly means to us - sometimes more than we ever really knew or were willing to admit before. But a love so strong CAN survive.

I also liked that beyond those conceptual layers, you didn't shy away from things like arguments in the confines of a holiday story (which truly is a time that love is tested, for better or worse, for many people). That gave the whole piece the honesty that I think separates stronger pieces in the romance genre from mere fluff.

The only things I'd pick out for CC are: (1) at the end of the first paragraph you used "its" instead of "it's", (2) you mentioned three relationships, and unless I'm missing something, we only saw two, and (3) I thought there were some additional opportunities to layer in the holiday season more strongly with descriptions of the locales and maybe some background setting.

All in all it was very minor though in a story that I thought was quite well done!

Thanks for sharing this with us and good luck with the challenge!

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Review #22, by TidalDragonLove Lessons With Lavender: Love Lessons With Lavender

8th December 2015:
Howdy Sarah! When I saw Day Nine of the Advent Calendar was a chance to honor and in a way thank people who've been here so long and given so much, I didn't have to look beyond the first post to find the perfect person to leave a review for!

Though I normally don't do humor and I normally don't do Hogwarts Era, for some reason this story jumped out at me and it was just as fun I thought it would be!

For starters, I thought you nailed the characterization of Lavender. Though she's definitely rife with the naivete and highly-charged emotional complex you painted in her, you also captured the idealism and positivity in that which remained until the very last outburst.

I also thought you did a great job with the language in the piece, keeping things appropriately simple for characters of Lavender and Parvati's ages.

The last thing I liked was that you also resisted the urge to make the story last too long. True, we could have seen the aftermath of angry Lavender (probably weepy Lavender), but I think that would've undermined the balance you achieved in her character throughout the bulk of the story. What's more, it would've brought other characters into sharper prominence in a story that wasn't about them.

Thanks for sharing this story with us - and for everything else you have done and continue to do!

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for thinking of me.

I don't usually write humor or Hogwarts Era, either! But the plot was fitting for this challenge, so I gave it a go. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Lavender was super fun to write. She's kind of over the top ridiculous, which was very different for me in terms of writing. I'm glad you thought I wrote her well. I wanted to give her a bit of depth since we only ever saw her from Harry's perspective.

I didn't want to deal with weepy Lavender, so that's definitely why I kept it short. This was meant to be a short, fun fic without much angst. Delving deeper into relationships usually brings out angst. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

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Review #23, by TidalDragonChasing Life, Seeking Love, Keeping Hope: A letter for Harry

2nd December 2015:
Howdy! I'm stopping by for Day Three of the Advent Calendar and figured there's no better way to fill the task of reviewing someone I never have before than gifting a much-belated "Welcome to Gryffindor" review to you!

This is definitely an interesting take on the post-war aftermath that the characters would experience. I think the typical path is to focus on the challenges and traumas, but this is immediately more celebratory and actually presents a side of things (at least in terms of prospective employment) that is quite likely to happen - after all, though Harry is choosing to see the light side of it now, and taking it in stride that it's all on talent, I can imagine if people knew where to find him he'd be deluged with all kinds of offers like this - for the publicity even if nothing else. I wonder, is Puddlemere's offer sincere or is Harry ignoring the possibility that in accepting the chance to become a professional player, he himself is getting played?

In the way of CC, I think the only things I'd be careful of are: (1) internal consistency and (2) voice. For example, re: (1) you mention the struggles the four are having with the trauma from the prior year and the war (which I think is critical to achieving realism in a immediately post-war story), but we don't see much of it in this snapshot, so the statement seems a little incongruous with their behavior. Re: (2) though it may just be the upbeat tone you've set for this particular string of scenes, the characters all seem to speak quite similarly, even in vocabulary and cadence.

Anyhow, I think it's neat that you've tried to take a more balanced approach (rather than all gloomy and obstacle-filled ALL THE TIME) and kudos too for branching off on a path of your own as far as events. Though it may ultimately wind back 'round to canon (I don't know what you're planning obviously :p), the inventiveness is refreshing.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review, TidalDragon! Hopefully in the proceeding chapters I have rectified some of your astute observations in terms of voice and consistency. I definitely don't want to play the "This is my first time" card...that would be the easy way out and I'm not about "the easy way". I truly appreciate your in depth comments and hope you continue to read and review further chapters as it will help my writing in the future. Thanks again!!

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Review #24, by TidalDragonInside Death: 02: My Little Ana

28th November 2015:
Hello again! As I'm trying to fight against falling asleep, I'm going to keep this review more succinct than usual.

There were two things I liked most about this chapter: (1) the contrast in tone/mood between the beginning and end and (2) the pacing of the middle. With respect to the first of these, it was nice to see Ilyana ("Ana") come home with such hopes of being both vulnerable and comforted - neither of which she could ever feel at school - and then have her get none of that, receiving in fact the opposite - abandonment (at least as she views it...I'm interested to see how that angle plays out). Re: the second, you did a good job simplifying language and dragging us through an enormous house, all while maintaining an increasingly frantic feeling in your MC.

The thing that stood out that I didn't like, was the way that a lot of the language (particularly in the beginning to beginning of the middle of the chapter) was quite repetitive. I'm looking squarely at you all the lines including the word mum and expressions of surprise at her absence. I'd tweak those a bit so they express similar, but slightly different ideas OR build and expand on each other with whys and deeper emotions to improve that aspect.

All in all though an intriguing next installment. I'll keep R&R-ing later tonight!

Author's Response: I appreciate succinct, and hope you finally caught up on some sleep! I'm glad you enjoyed the tone and the journey as the first major element of the plot occurs. I will look closer at these sections and work on the repetition, as it's likely unnecessary-I don't want to bog the reader down ;)


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Review #25, by TidalDragonInside Death: 01: Whispers in June

27th November 2015:
Speaking of easing the transitions in scattered thinking, you did a much better job of it here. Though there's obviously a lot happening once you get us to the Slytherin CR and Ilyana's reactions definitely differ from the way she's forced to keep up appearances, you make the flow of her thoughts seem much more natural and normal.

I also liked the characterization of Ilyana in this chapter. I think it would have been too easy to have someone in her situation be squared away with what side they fall on and have a ready reaction to Dumbledore's death and what should or could come next and I was glad to see you didn't take that route. It makes your MC much more real and human instead of solid and perfect.

I will note that I didn't quite follow the exchange between Pansy and Daphne Greengrass or why Daphne was crying. If that's a mystery to be revealed later in the story, just ignore this (I assume that's what it is), but it just rang a bit strange because we do know that the Greengrass family is pureblood (though perhaps you're weaving an adoption storyline - I don't know).

Anyhow, the story is keeping me intrigued thus far - and I particularly liked your language at the end of this chapter here post-funeral. I'll see you in Chapter 3 after I get some sleep.

Author's Response: Oh ok, awesome, thanks! I wrote this chapter a year later the first, so maybe I flexed more mature writing muscles here. Like I wrote, I will look over the Prologue. I'm glad you got a sense of Illyana's character and that her thought pattern was easier to follow (natural)!

Haha, she's not perfect, poor thing, but glad you felt that her pondering made her more whole, it seems.

Yeahhh I wrote this before Pottermore and the 28 - so I will likely tweak the Pansy/Daphne exchange, though what i was going for was showing how tenuous status is and how rumors spread to shape things -obviously that's a more "later" thought haha.


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