Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
564 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonDiamonds into Coal: A Birthday Feast

29th July 2015:
Hello again!

This chapter contained not only more of your impeccable descriptions, but brilliantly handled period dialogue. Like the subtleties of the preceding chapter, the dialogue didn't attempt to beat the reader over the head by using or now-obsolete words or sentence structure, but instead merely observed an increased, yet natural formalism that was more than sufficient - especially against the backdrop of royalty and court and political marriages.

Handling the latter from Venn's perspective was also interesting because rather than distancing the reader from it like most third-person renderings tend to, you still kept us immersed in his distinct way of thinking, his qualms, and his values, which draws us in not just to the story, but to him as a character.

This is incredibly impressive so far and I can't wait to keep reading tomorrow!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonDiamonds into Coal: Erised

29th July 2015:
Howdy Amanda! Though I know you haven't been around much recently, I'm sure you were beginning to think this day would never come. But I have NOT forgotten the reviews I owe you, so here I am.

This beginning chapter reminded me of the many things I so enjoy about your writing - the impeccable description, the realistic emotion, the air of mystery carefully cultivated paragraph by paragraph.

Though I don't read Founders' fics as a general rule, I nevertheless found myself here, both to give them a chance and because the number of chapters is almost perfect. I'm anticipating from the summary and the fact that this reads like a prologue that this "story-within-the-story" will become the focus of the rest of the fic and I'm intrigued to see it develop. Unlike what turns me off about a lot of stories from this era, you layer the time into the tale in a subtle manner - from the description of the uniform to the simple fact that the viewer of the mirror and Helena are now ghosts.

See you in the next chapter!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonBreathe: ii. Bhaii

29th July 2015:
Howdy Kayla!

First of all, I really liked how you have crafted these unique and multifaceted characterizations. Though I know Wolfstar and Indian!James are fairly popular conceptions of the characters, you have gone above and beyond in your handling of them by addressing deeper complexities of those identities. It is only too easy to tweak physical descriptions and just label Sirius and/or Remus homosexual - it is quite another to take the time to address the challenges inherent in that as you have done here (in terms of language with James and socialization and self-loathing with Sirius). And the way you folded Sirius's recognition of the language-difficulty James may have in with Sirius's "selfish" personality was a nice touch too.

As far as pacing, I thought everything was fine. I might've liked a deeper dive into some of Sirius's activities and thoughts while waiting just to make us FEEL the worry and anguish in terms of time AND words, but ultimately I think that's a matter of personal taste.

Another great installment! Thanks for sharing!

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Review #4, by TidalDragonA Weasley Vacation: The Fury of the Flaming Fiendfyre

25th July 2015:
Howdy! Sorry it's taken so long to get here, but here I am. I'll note at the outside that it's tougher to comment on certain things jumping into the middle, but as this is the chapter you've requested, this is where I'll be.

Focusing first on your questions, I can't comment too much on plot since I haven't read Chapter 1-8 yet, but I haven't read (or seen) loads of Weasley Vacation stories, let alone ones with attempted murder so you're probably good on originality on that score. With characterization, I think the biggest issue if giving people differentiable voices. That's a difficult skill to master, but in a story that seems (from this chapter sample) quite dialogue-driven, it's absolutely crucial. As far as humor goes, teenage humor isn't so much my cup of tea (it wasn't even when I was a teenager myself truth be told), but I think you've got some solid material with the banter at the beginning for readers who are interested in that.

Moving into the mechanics side of things, I think the two things that stood at to me to work on are formatting and transitions. On one level, those things go hand-in-hand as relates to the POV switches. I do A LOT of POV-switching in my novel as well, as do many others on the archives, but doing it effectively usually means letting the reader rediscover the POV on their own (this traces back to distinctive voices, especially in first-person). To flag the change, I would recommend a simple page break instead of using text for it though because the text breaks what's so crucial to enjoyment of fiction - the suspension of disbelief. This goes hand in hand with transitions because for the shifts to read most naturally, it's going to be best if they have an "ending" to each POV rather than just cutting away. The other transitions you want to watch out for are from speaker-to-speaker (ALWAYS) and moment-to-moment in an action scene. With the latter I felt things got a little disjointed because of a lack of strong transitioning (i.e. going from a fair type setting to suddenly being in a forest). With the former, it simply made your writing not flow as naturally as I think it otherwise would have when you had continuous paragraphs that contained multiple different speakers (especially when you didn't consistently do that).

All in all I think the story is intriguing and has much potential. I'd encourage you to flesh out the transitions and formatting in particular and I think that will bring the underlying quality of the substance into sharper relief.

Best of luck going forward! Hope this helped!

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Review #5, by TidalDragonCost of Redemption: Prologue

25th July 2015:
Howdy Kat! First of all, sorry it's taken so long for me to get here - abominable - but per my rules, shoot me a PM with another story you'd like me to review for you.

Anyway, what I liked most about this story itself was the stark clarity you gave to the first war. I think in stories, as in life, it is easy to take shortcuts surrounding such difficult topics and ignore the rawness and the detail that make the reality so horrific. You definitely didn't fall victim to that here.

That was even more helpful to the story as a whole because it gave a REASON for a change in Regulus's thinking. So often in Regulus stories there isn't a real reasons given at all, or if there is it's allotted a line or two, almost as a throw-away piece, when really it needs centrality.

The only thing I had pause about (and it makes a bit more sense given your A/N) was how abruptly it seemed to end. You had this great description of the battle and Regulus's thoughts and emotions, and even his disconnection from the aftermath at home. But then he just falls asleep easily after a brief interaction with Kreacher. I think you could go in lots of different directions to just make it a bit more natural (even one line directions), but aside from that I thought you handled the subject-matter and character impeccably.

Thanks for sharing! And sorry again for the lengthy wait!

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Review #6, by TidalDragonTransparent: Night in Knockturn Alley

25th July 2015:
Well, as promised I have made it here to the (current) end of the line. I loved the attention to detail on the adventure in Knockturn Alley. It's never in short supply with you, but I tend to be pretty lacking in detail unless it's "important" in my own writing, so I'm always impressed by the care you take with it to help set the scene. As a result, Knockturn Alley was every bit as creepy as you'd expect. And the backstory of the Green Dragon getting shared along the way amplified that as well. The pattern bit was a quite well-done leap on from what we're introduced to in SS/PS too!

Here I am now wondering quite where we're headed with Teddy and Dominique. Though the previous chapters intimated this, I'm wondering if in the end this will prove to be perhaps the creepiest setting for an actual first date for the duo. Hmm. The line from Harry about the danger in standing out was quite interesting. At first I was puzzling over it quite a bit, but then it hit my tired mind over the head. And it's so true, especially of seedier locales. If you don't have something distinguishing that makes you appear strong or confident, you'll quickly become a victim. I'm interested to see if they develop a "couple-swagger" as the story goes on through this scene, and of course to meet the monster that has Lupin's pocketwatch. You're really setting him up as a nightmare of epic proportions.

Author's Response: Hey, again!

I am so happy that you managed to catch up and get to the last chapter (For now)! I missed you! D':

I really had some trouble with the Knockturn Alley scene because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted it to look like while I was writing. I had to actually do a bit of research on seedy neighborhoods just to get a feel for the place and I think it turned out pretty well. I was sure that you wouldn't have enjoyed all the detail though, so I'm glad that that worked out! I was so nervous...but anyway, Knockturn Alley is supposed to make you feel extremely uncomfortable and with what I revealed for the Green Dragon, that feeling should be amplified as you wonder what might happen to these two.

Ah, you're one of the few people who have picked up on the subtle change in Teddy/Dominique. I'm hinting at more to come between them, obviously but you know how I do, you're not going to get any answers to that until way down the line. I have a feeling that things won't go well for either of them tonight, of course but there's that little thing to keep you guys going. I don't think Teddy knows what a good setting for a first date is, to be honest. Hahaha. He seems more like the, "Yeah, there's a place over there that looks decent." Kind of guy.

I don't think he's a romantic...

Anyhoo! The thing about the Dragon being in a not so obvious place was actually something that I didn't think of doing until I wrote it. I was originally going to have it being underneath a meat factory (Stealing from the opening scene of Blade) but it somehow switched into a hotel-type thing. I don't know why. Hahaha. I like the idea of it being so hidden from the rest of the world though, you might end up becoming a meal or passing it by. :3

The monster that has Teddy's pocket watch is far worse than he is. I think that's what makes me grin the most as i think of what I want from the next chapter, the devil is mentioned in my other stories (Well, Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince) so having him here just ties my universe together more. But you'll see what I mean!

I don't think Dominique knows how to pretend but couple-swagger is seriously what they both need to survive the night. I hope it works out for them! Muahahahah.

Thanks for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #7, by TidalDragonTransparent: Glamour

25th July 2015:
Ahh...an aptly titled chapter. I continue to like Dominique standing up for herself more, though it's a bit of a shame that she only fully loses the stutters when she gets salty with someone. Perhaps that will change someday...

As I'm a guy, I'll confess that the beginning and end were more my cup of tea, particularly the beginning where Victoire actually DOES try to help Dominique and gets attacked instead. Obviously it's the result of the past more than the present in that moment and not deserved, but it was interesting to again get a glimpse of Victoire making an effort to be sisterly. Even more awesome was the bit your wrote about Teddy unlocking something that had been caged up inside her. It definitely appears that way, and though I know your stories tend to have a...rougher...bent, I'm hoping that turns out to evolve into confidence rather than just bluntness, without regard for the consequences.

Still, as this shift in dynamic happens between Teddy and Dominique I did think the extensive middle was necessary here to show the lengths she was going to and also to explore her thoughts about the situation, her romantic past (or rather the lack thereof) and the comparison to Logan.

See you in the next chapter!

Author's Response: HELLO!

I thought you would appreciate the title of this. Hahaha. You know, I don't think that Dom has many opportunities to really be salty or aggressive with anyone. I assume that she has alot of pent up anger towards Victoire and while she's more comfortable around Teddy, her smart mouth comes into play more often too. I think that she's going to lose that stutter the more she accepts herself, that was how I had planned it anyway. Hahaha.

I honestly think that the middle was too long and thought about cutting it out of the chapter entirely. I had wanted to introduce Lucy at some point but I think that there was too much backstory and filler. As a girl who hates girly type things, I feel like it wasn't necessary to go through each step but when I look at the chapter as a whole, I understand why I kept it. Dom has never thought of herself as pretty and so dolling up and pretending to be someone she isn't, would naturally appeal to her. Even if she doesn't want to admit it.

Anyway...

Victoire has one again shown that she does at least TRY to be a sister. What's sad about this is that she may have stepped in too late. Dom is so guarded against her that they may never be close but I think that Victoire may actually have to break down and tell the truth about what happened between herself and Teddy. I'm sure that you might have picked up on what it is but Dominique is still going through a weird change herself so she's not interested in hearing what her sister has to say.

I think Teddy is a good influence on Dominique to a certain point. He's forcing her to become well, "human" and while my stories tend to get a bit darker, that theme will remain true. I cause my characters alot of pain and grief but Dominique won't be the same by the time this story is over. Not sure if it's going to be a good change or not though. Hahahaha.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Gabbie >:)


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Review #8, by TidalDragonTransparent: Glass

25th July 2015:
Howdy! I bet you thought I'd never make it, but I'm finally, finally here.

I like that this chapter led us to a further progression in the dynamic between Dom and Teddy, airing out some of the issues between them and about him and about his background - the shady establishments he frequents and the people he's "attached" himself to in the past in a manner of speaking by spending time around them (the Knockturn Alley folk). The characterizations were consistent and impeccable as always and the added dimensions helped that even further, between Teddy actually baring himself (like in the one-shot I read of the same name) and Dominique backing up her onslaught with finding the strength to stand firm when Teddy started in on her again.

All that being said, I do think the middle of the chapter was quite repetitive. Though the words were (mostly) different, the dialogue seemed to circle around the same material (even specific material rather than just the general topic) and though your detailed descriptions can distract from that, it only works to a certain point.

Since I've delayed I'll R&R at least the next chapter without request (and who knows - maybe even both the ones I haven't read yet...).

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by with this awesome review. I'm glad that you were able to make it in one piece! I totally don't mind that you're late either, I know how real life can get in the way and while we would rather pretend it isn't, it's way more important than fangirling over fan fiction.

The truth hurts, I know...

Anyhoo!

I think that I wanted to push Dom and Teddy as far as I could in this chapter. I needed their barriers to be down enough for the next few chapters too, so they wouldn't have felt so forced around one another. They needed to care about the other, or at least understand them enough to push forward.

I have the entire story mapped out from this point on, so I'm curious to see how you'll react to them later. Teddy has a strange fascination and attachment to bad things and people so I found it natural for him to frequent Knockturn Alley. He might need to try and find himself but he's doing it in the worst possible way.

What's strange about Teddy is that he doesn't necessarily know what he is most of the time. He's not a pleasant person to be around and he certainly doesn't like expressing himself but he continually shows that he has so much depth. What's great about this is that he bares himself to Dominique more than he would anyone else, even Fred. That was something I had wanted you all to pick up: The two boys were like brothers but who is the person that Teddy reveals all of his ugly thoughts and emotions to? It certainly wasn't Fred. Dom HAS to stand up for herself because I think she knows, from this moment on that she's going to need to be there for him.

Teddy is going to use her as his outlet for a while. It's not going to be a good experience all the time but I think I hinted at the fact that they're not done with one another yet.

Eh, I wasn't too big on this chapter. After the initial point where Teddy and Dom broke down, the rest just kind of became pointless for me. Hahahah. I tried not to make it out to be really repetitive, but it turned out that way anyway. Sorry! D':

Thanks so much for the review!

Gabbie


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Review #9, by TidalDragonLying Josephine: Introduction: Boxes

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

AHA! I have finally made it here. Shameful really that it took the Cup, but nevertheless, here I am.

I love the powerful penetrating emotion of this introduction. You use a lot of effective devices here to help tie it to your MC, particularly the tears and the echoed language (with slight tweaks), but what absorbed me into it most of all was the rawness of the description and the simultaneously simplicity of the language you used throughout. So often when authors are seeking to address matters of real gravity we get caught up in our own perceived linguistic superiority and pull us off down a more disconnected pathway than we otherwise would have achieved, but you avoided the trap with aplomb.

Of course, like any excellent intro, you didn't just draw me into that emotion, you drew me into the character by FORCING me to connect with her, but ultimately leaving more questions than answers: (1) who is she, (2) where was she "Today", (3) how did she come to know Fred, (4) what did she mean to him, and (5) why does she keep her distance - why MUST she remain alone?

Of course, some of this is addressed in your summary, but I find it to be the mark of a great story (and particularly a great start) to still make me ask myself those questions despite that fact.

I'LL BE BACK!

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Review #10, by TidalDragonFriendships and More: Finding Out More

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Hello again! To address your A/N questions first, I DO actually enjoy the characters. Thus far you've done a solid job of giving them different personalities and in some cases unexpected traits and dynamics. I do think Scorpius having a literal fan club runs a bit far, but hey - to each their own!

One of the things I would focus on going forward though is again finding a way to not be as literal. Certainly some characters are more literal than others (and Rose is a potential strong candidate given that Ron is her father), but if you allow that to run unchecked it has two principle effects: (1) it leaves a lot less to the reader's imagination and (2) it nullifies your ability to utilize a lot of powerful writing tools (description, imagery, and metaphor being the most obvious examples). Going forward I would encourage you to let your reader discover these relationships and dynamics on their own as the story itself simply progresses. Resist the urge to define it for us because I think you have given Rose the voice and you have the talent to let it play out instead!

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #11, by TidalDragonFriendships and More: Hogwarts So Far

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Howdy! Since everybody is mostly reviewing short one-shots, I figured I'd do something a little different and give a novel some love.

As far as an introductory chapter goes, one of your goals is obviously to make it so your reader can hit the ground running and I think you accomplished that here. Though it was basically a retrospective, one of the things I did appreciate about it was that it gave your MC a definitive voice right off the bat - something that's crucial in all pieces, but even more so in a first-person story.

That said, I do feel that despite being a retrospective introduction, there was just too much telling going on for this chapter to achieve optimum effectiveness. I think this is underscored by the fact that you return to the present (7th year) at the end because it demonstrates that you could've set the start of 7th year here up in such a way as to cover almost all of the background in a more natural way. Just using a few examples, you could have Rose walking through to corridors in conversation with Albus or Beau and have them walk by a trophy case - thus hitting Dominique's Triwizard win, the Albus/Beau relationship and various other things via description and dialogue rather than recitation.

Just a thought, but I'm interested to see how the style adjusts going forward.

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #12, by TidalDragonFarewell, Spinner's End: BEWITCH YOUR FRIENDS AND BEFUDDLE YOUR ENEMIES

13th July 2015:
Well, well...here we took an even deeper dive into Snape's dark side. He seems to be walking this fine line between boyish curiosity, which can obviously tend toward the violent and destructive, and twisted thinking - where he actively and maliciously wants to harm people...as a 10 year-old. Especially muggles, I suppose owing to his father.

That said, I did still like the fact that in this chapter we got to see more of the other side of the family as well. It's a shame that Snape's father just lies about getting help (since that's what I took them to mean by "church meetings") rather than actually getting it, but Snape wouldn't be Snape if he was a better man I suppose.

Thanks for sharing this story! Hope the (very late) reviews have helped!

Author's Response: Well, it wasn't that deep, I could have improved it, but I am glad the message came accross well enough. Ten year old boys can be quite obsessed with murder, the more violent the better - that's what I heard from someone who had recently let them create a play with her for a school project and kind of regretted it, anyway. But I should maybe have shown more of Tobias's personality to explain it. However, I haven't shown him as someone who is violent all the time against Severus because it isn't explicitly mentioned in the HP books.. and I am still undecided about it, because I don't think it's even neccessary for making Severus end up the way he did, judging from cases like this mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tragic-boy-9-hanged-himself-5831826 which break my heart. 'When do the vultures arrive' sounds just like I could imagine Tobias saying. Though ritalin also has vile, vile withdrawals.
I am glad you liked the part about the other family members as well. Well, Tobias is not a 'good' man indeed, so you can't really expect any honest behaviour from him...
Thanks a lot for all your reviews! They really made my day!


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Review #13, by TidalDragonFarewell, Spinner's End: GOBSTONES

13th July 2015:
Hello hello!

This was a GREAT interlude. I had wondered from the outset how much family dynamic we were really going to get and here you've dedicated a whole chapter to it. Excellent! I particularly liked how you did it in the confines of a magical game like Gobstones.

What made it all the more intriguing was how at the same time you were developing the mother-son dynamic between Snape and his mom, you were also showing us a lot about the individual characters themselves. When it comes to Snape, you certainly haven't shied away at all from the idea that Snape was a bit of a bad apple (whether by nature, nurture, or a combination of the two) well before Hogwarts and you even provided some nice explanation of how he'd have become as adept at dark magic as is suggested throughout canon.

When it comes to his mother, she definitely wasn't as I expected, even after the previous explanation of her character. Many authors portray her as having given up already when Snape was born (or at least younger than this), but I like how instead you set up this idea that she's perhaps looking to move past the darkness she's fallen into through her son's achievements. In a way it gives Snape even more of a reason to want to stand out and prove himself.

Interested to see how that thread is carried throughout the rest of the piece.

See you for Chapter 4 - after which feel free to request some more.

Author's Response: Thank you! I am really glad that you appreciated the family dynamics stuff. And, that the character's personalities came accross. I do not want to tell readers what they should think of the characters, but you are right that my intention definitely wasn't to shy away from portraying my version of Severus's less pleasant side. Nature vs nurture vs a combination of the two is the main question with characters such as Severus, and the reason I started this story. It intrigued me, especially what makes us alike and what makes us different, what is justice etc.
I am also glad his mother was not the way you had expected. I am happy when I succeed in surprising readers. Like you say, most authors portray Eileen Prince as a woman so depressed she can barely function. Due to Half blood Prince, I had a different image in mind, unlike how I saw Merope. Really, what sane person likes Gobstones? I like that you saw in it that she lived through Snape's achievements.
And thank you but I have a lot of rewriting to do :)


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Review #14, by TidalDragonFarewell, Spinner's End: A WITCH AND A MUGGLE

13th July 2015:
Hello again!

Here we got a much more fleshed out version of Snape and Lily meeting. I was intrigued to see that Lily definitely didn't warm to him immediately (as often happens in fic) and how much influence Petunia retained at this point.

I thought you did a solid job setting up some of Snape's habits as well as doing the description and narration of his thoughts in implementing the whole thing.

I'll hold off until later chapters on how necessary I think covering what was already covered in canon was (my instinct is that it was unnecessary), but we shall see...

See you in the next chapter!

Author's Response: I am glad that you liked that I made a somewhat other choice, though I believe that in the book it was also pretty clear that Petunia influenced Lily a lot, so most credit goes to Rowling there. I am glad the narration seemed ok to you. Good thing about the necessity of the book parts; I started this story wanting it to be written like Harry's, only about Snape. But I am not sure if I would be able to keep up with this rigid structure. I would have to write as much as Rowling, and that is pretty daunting, I don't think I could be that creative. So maybe I should let that idea go. As for the typos, thanks for pointing that out as well. I'm going to try to find them.

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Review #15, by TidalDragonFarewell, Spinner's End: COKEWORTH

13th July 2015:
Howdy! I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting so long, so even since you haven't asked I'm going to press on until I hit my 10,000 words max. Life's been insanity between work and my health and...everything.

Anyway, one thing I really liked about this intro chapter was how much attention you paid to: (1) the setting and (2) the background. With the former you took a lot of care to give us details on Cokeworth itself and the place Snape lived (inside and out). With the former, you gave us enough on the upbringing of Eileen and the life and vices of Tobias to help us understand Snape's plight fully even with only echoes of the arguing inside the home.

The only thing I'd examine the balance between showing and telling, particularly at the beginning. I think it works for you stylistically here in this introductory chapter, but I'd be careful with it going forward because it undermines some of the world and character building work you do by preventing it from reaching its full potential. Also take a look at a few typos throughout, but nothing major.

I'm interested to see where it goes.

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for still reviewing! It inspires me to get reviewing again. I totally understand it when life is busy. I am happy that you liked the setting and background information.
Thanks a lot for the telling vs. showing suggestion! That was what I was wondering too, and I am going to rewrite it, but now I know where I have to pay attention to.
That was very helpful. I wanted to contrast Eileen's part with Severus's by more telling in the Eileen part because we do not see the story through her eyes, but in other parts, it is sometimes also a bit too telling I guess, especially in the beginning.


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Review #16, by TidalDragonSweetheart Tom: Little Red Riding Hood

13th July 2015:
Howdy Laura!

Sorry for the delay, but alas I was only able to take advantage of your swap because I was home recovering (again) today and I fell asleep. But here I am!

Anyway, for starters I would kill for your descriptive abilities. From the very top of this story you achieve such an elegance AND economy of language that is VERY unique and VERY hard to find. It always blows me away. Seriously...teach me your ways.

And then the way you fold in the characters and these other elements like background and foreign languages so seamlessly with the descriptions. Even though it's obviously (and hopefully I'm not being REALLY dense here) Fleur's native tongue, you're writing the bulk of the story in English and it really stands out the way you're able to inject those different words or phrases in a way that never feels forced (with the singulars) or as if you deliberately created a place for [insert French phrase here]. It's all the more impressive to me given how woeful I am at other languages.

Now, on to the details!

I really loved the little pieces of advice that Fleur's grandmother imparted. Not only did they occasionally liven up or deepen the existing mood of the piece, they also gave us much more of a flavor for not just who the grandmother is, but where Fleur comes from and how a witch who looks. to all appearances, like a beauty queen (even if it owes to her half-veela nature) could become so tough.

In that same vein, I always really liked how using such a seemingly simple journey and tight plot, you could bring some life to the steely side of her. Too often we (or maybe it's just me) see Fleur in Next Gen, where she's either being snobby/fashion-obsessed, overly French, or just snapping at people (or all of the foregoing), which I don't really think is her - as personally I've always rather liked Fleur and wanted to explore her more, but been intimidated by some of the things you kill - the language and the accent.

TL;DR: Comprehensive characterization, dazzling descriptions, and a precise plot made this latest of your works a real treat!

Thanks for the swap!

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Review #17, by TidalDragonBurning Bridges: Boom

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Howdy Kaitlin! Here trying to contribute SOMETHING to the effort after being gone all day and my phone dying on me!

I am always intrigued to see something written from a more minor Gryffindor's perspective about the battle and I thought this was a cool description of Seamus's experience at this precise moment.

Speaking of description, I thought that was a real strong point of this piece. They helped give us the right understanding of the scene and the positioning that was so crucial for the plan to work as well as supplying the correct amount of focus and tension to Seamus. What made them even more effective was that rather than substituting five-dollar words for weaker ones to make maximum impact with the economical word count, you still substituted, but stuck with simplicity throughout. I thought this matched up really well with not only Seamus's age at the time, but more importantly the way a mind might really run in the middle of an enormous battle. There's no time to get weighty while the clash is happening, no time to really THINK - just do. And that's what Seamus does here.

I also liked that the simplicity extended to the spells Seamus used to put his plan into effect. Simple protective charms and the Blasting Curse rather than any spectacularly unique spellwork or elaborate scheme felt so - right.

I did notice a typo, "breath" instead of "breathe" at the top and then a reference to Voldemort as "the Dark Lord" (I thought only his loyalists called him that, though I could be misremembering).

Obviously those things didn't detract at all from the strengths I mentioned or the overarching elegant simplicity of the piece as a whole and I really enjoyed this (which usually doesn't happen for me with sub-1000 word stories).

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #18, by TidalDragonThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: Exclamations of Merlinís Extensive Collection of Lingerie

28th June 2015:
I've made my first successful prediction in your story! Annett didn't die! -Pats self on back-

In all seriousness though, I'm impressed by your ability as the story progresses to swing from the types of scenes that have typically been carried out before to the full-on action we got in this chapter. We also still got to see that clever mind of Annett's as well with her tweaking of the nonverbal spell to make her escape. You continue to do a great job of pushing the boundaries of what magic is capable of by showcasing believable nuances in application based on intent and it's refreshing to see another author's take that it's not all incantation = precise result.

Perhaps there's the beginnings of some rightness is my assertion that Annett doesn't want to admit she might have some beyond-friendly feelings/attraction for Albus as well given the conclusion of this chapter. I won't jump to any conclusions yet, but I think for someone as finely focused as she is, it's noteworthy that she's noted his physical attractiveness. Shame for him that it had to be coupled with a display of horrible naming abilities...

Anyway, I look forward to seeing what happens in Chapter 10!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

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Review #19, by TidalDragonThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: A Night of Discoveries

28th June 2015:
UGH! The acromantulas! I have never been such a fan of them ever since Aragog's attempted devouring of Harry and Ron. But it does make for a nice cliffhanger. Somehow, I suspect she'll survive.

Before getting to the good stuff, a couple things that did jump out this chapter: (1) re: the centaur, I am pretty sure per Fantastic Beasts, the centaurs CHOSE to keep "beast" status, so his commentary about people in the Ministry who refuse to acknowledge centaurs as intelligent beings was slightly puzzling (not a huge deal, as I suppose it could be interpreted to say that others, despite their express wishes, do regard them as being intelligent beings and the centaur is making a distinction between those and the others, but...wow, I've gone on way longer than intended about this, sorry) and (2) at one point toward the top is seemed like you wrote "hypotheses" (plural) when you meant to use the singular. NBD.

As for the good stuff, as usual, it is plentiful. We got a little more spice with the Albus/Annett angle - though I truly am interested to see what happens there. Personally, I'm feeling like it's legit and they're both trying to pretend it isn't, but it could go so many ways at this point. Most importantly though, we got some more background on what Annett does as an animagus and some very intriguing animagus abilities I wouldn't have thought of. Creative - and I like them! Getting to talk to Mrs. Norris would have to be something else, especially when trying to cure her of tapeworms.

See you in Chapter 9!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

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Review #20, by TidalDragonThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: Exploring Hormonal Minds

28th June 2015:
We meet again!

I enjoyed the way that this chapter more fully explored various members of the delightful cast of characters you've established than the last was able to. I suppose one of the benefits of having your super-observant MC!

At any rate, I also liked the further development of some context for this connection with the Potter-Weasley group and Albus in particular. Though I was probably the daft one not making the connection back then, this chapter made it more literal that the connection was more limited than initially seemed.

As I say that though, Albus and Annett (I realized I misspelled it in the last review when it was right in front of my face - apologies), are doing an interesting little dance. Annett seems to be opening up more with someone she feels will respect her boundaries (see the beginning of this chapter), but Albus (to answer her question) I think IS flirting with her and I'm interested to see how she responds to it in the end. That blush at the end of this chapter seems to indicate perhaps she's not so averse despite her social issues.

Outside of her relationships though, you also managed to continue to develop Annett's thought processes and justifications for her behaviors which was neat to observe as well - particularly her continued principled stand in Alchemy. Cunningham apparently is continuing to be over-the-top intense in her displeasure with Annett's...differences...vs. the text and planned curriculum and I'm also intrigued to see if there's going to be a breaking point for one of them going forward.

See you in Chapter 8!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

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Review #21, by TidalDragonThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: Satisfying Humiliation

28th June 2015:
Howdy! I have journeyed my way back here, where I left your story too long ago and in a rather off frame of mind I might add. Anyway, without further ado...

This chapter really showcased your descriptive talents. Obviously, given the story is an "internal monologue" we get more description and internal thought than dialogue, but I find myself still quite enjoying the balance you've established.

As for the plot - OUCH. When they set their minds to humiliating young Mr. Yang they left no stone unturned. Granted, he continued to demonstrate he why he absolutely deserved it, but nevertheless it was enjoyable to see such a highly involved, thoroughly planned prank so well-staffed and executed to perfection. I think my favorite part had to be the end with the fake bride and Annette turning possessed looking with the red eyes and fangs. SOMETHING ELSE!

Despite the success, you also managed to pepper in that continued social awkwardness you've put on show with Annette in the past with her reaction to the "Let's roll" expression. A good touch that keeps her rooted to her identity despite the changes she's experience socially this year and despite her success at this prank on Yang.

See you next chapter!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

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Review #22, by TidalDragonThinking About You: You, You, You

27th June 2015:
Hello hello!

If I'm not mistaken (and I did not go peek at the thread), but this story deals with Lockhart and Umbridge? Hopefully, I've not worked that out wrong, but it is late.

At any rate, I'd rather focus on the writing itself in this review because it was splendid. First, your use of the second person. For me, second person fics tend to be hit or miss depending on how well someone uses the perspective to really engross you in the thoughts and emotions they are using it to project. I think it's a powerful tool to do that and I think you definitely hit with it here on the strength of the excellent descriptions and wise word choice on show throughout the piece.

It's unsurprising that you'd be able to do the former with a couple of distinctive dressers like these two, but it went so much deeper than that, to demonstrate how they not only appreciated each other's appearance, but deeper aspects of their personalities - and you simultaneously showed glimpses of what they would become in the gilded visions they held for each other. You also used strong, evocative language - particularly when it came to some of the adjectives to amplify the perceptions being described which imbued even descriptions that lacked straight "emotional" language with the proper mood.

Another super story!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Author's Response: Hello Kevin,

No you are EXACTLY RIGHT. I left many clues. :D

Writing second person was very daunting because yes, I feel the same way about them as you: hit or miss. I am beyond relieved to know that you think it was a hit! :D THANK YOU SO MUCH! 'strength of the excellent descriptions,' 'wise word choice' 'strong, evocative language' YOU SPOIL ME with your words. You are much, much to kind, Kevin. Thank you so much. This means a whole lot to me.

I probably should have integrated this in much better: Lockhart was polishing a trophy as detention, so he was looking at his own reflection and talking at it in this story. In essence, there are two 'I's and one 'you.' I am thrilled that you liked that I went much deeper then distinctive dressing and into personalities. Appearance on it's own is never enough to fully exhibit admiration. It doesn't make for solid ground on which to build a romance, even a one-sided one in this case.

Thank you again for this spectacular review, Kevin. I cannot stop smiling.

Cheers,
Em


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Review #23, by TidalDragonStowaway: 'It'

27th June 2015:
Hello again!

Once again, another marvelously executed story. Though it was very different stylistically, at least in the descriptions of Draco's behavior and thoughts leading into the meeting, I found I quite enjoyed it. The clinical, deliberate, practiced manner with which he proceeded through each phase (particularly the niceties) seemed very "adult Draco" as did his inability, in the end, to restrain his irritation at what was going on and his disdain for Parvati and the perceived singling out of his son.

Of course the contrast between his control and then the loss of it immediately preceding your excellent reveal of just how NON-serious the situation was made it all the more effective. I rarely genuinely laugh when reading, but you brought me right to the brink when it came out that there was not some terrifying attack on Lily, but in fact just a situation with a smuggled-in dog. And then coupling the name ("Pookie" of all things for Scorpius Malfoy to call his dog!) with the picture at the bottom...pure gold.

Thanks for sharing this!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Author's Response: Hello again, Kevin! :D

Goodness, thank you so much! BAH! You are too kind. Everything you wrote was exactly what I was going for when writing this one. You have practically written out my thought process almost in its entitreity. This story is what I call pseudo-horror. I am thrilled that you enjoyed it and thank it brought you to the brink of laughter! :D This is such a spectacular review! ♥ Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Kevin!! You are amazing!

Cheers,
Em


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Review #24, by TidalDragonThis is Chemistry: SN1

27th June 2015:
Howdy! It's been awhile!

This has to be the most unique story I think I've ever read on the archives owing to the entirely chemistry-based explanation of a relationship - and involving house elves at that! What I enjoyed about it, despite the chemistry jargon (which brought back nightmares of AP Chemistry) was how you used the jargon so artfully to describe not just the eventual reaction and bond, but to describe the characters as individuals, the obstacles to their bonding, etc. Obviously that rendered the entire thing more complete than jumping in and out would have and I really appreciate the dedication it must have taken to sustain it (at least from my novice scientific mind...).

What made this all even more effective though was the transitions from description to description of each "phase" and the way you personified each by giving them emotion even though you were describing them ultimately as components of a reaction (which could have felt clinical instead).

Brilliantly done!

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Author's Response: Hello Kevin!

Thank you so much for this remarkable review. I am so, so glad you thought that the jargon was used artfully. That's more than anything I had hoped for, honestly. It certainly did take a handful of re-writes coupled with much editing and a rather heavy load of 'should I post this or not?'

I was studying these sort of reactions at the time I wrote this, so writing it definitely helped remember all the details of it: 'eventual reaction and bond, but to describe the characters as individuals, the obstacles to their bonding, etc' as you said.

I did try to aim to stay as true to the entire mechanism as possible rather than the overall reaction, and I suppose that is where the details came in. You could say that observing electron flow helped with the actual flow of the story.

Giving them emotion was a bit of a struggle at first because I had never written anything remotely romantic before. I must credit Meg, my beta, for encouraging me to make it more emotional that what it was initially.

Thank you so much for your kind words!! I truly appreciate them. :D

Cheers,
Em


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Review #25, by TidalDragonProud or Ashamed?: 1

27th June 2015:
I am back once more to finish my aim of reviewing all your chapters!

The very beginning of this piece is obviously its essence and I definitely enjoyed that. I think the final sentiment in particular (which you expressed from the outset in the title) was a perfect place to end the entry too because it encompasses not just the role Neville played in the war, but also the enduring battle he fights with himself throughout canon about his own life.

I also think it worked nicely when you described it as a journal entry primarily because Neville strikes me as EXACTLY the type of person who would keep a journal and EXACTLY the type of person who would try and relieve trauma or personal doubts by writing THOSE things in there rather than bland recollections of the day, goal-setting, or false self-praise.

The only thing that jumped out at me on the odd side of the journal entry is that he doesn't NAME any of the people in the entry (Bellatrix, Ginny, Molly). Particularly with Ginny he obviously knows her and with Bellatrix you'd expect him to be a bit more infuriated in his writing given her history with his family and the fact that she was behind him being deprived of his parents. It didn't detract hugely, but it's something I'd at least consider editing because I don't think including the names really diminishes the piece in any way since it's pretty clear from the off who we're talking about when those characters are referenced differently.

House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Author's Response: Yay, Thanks for reviewing all my chapters! I really appreciate your helpful advice.

For the journal entry, I chose to leave out names so it would seem as though Neville was just describing everything that was happening to him at the time, without tainting his memories with feelings to those around him.

Thanks once more,

Lea


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