Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
489 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: Celebratory Drinks

28th February 2015:
Here we are at the end (so far)!

I was getting a bit nervous when the drinks started flowing and then you cut to a scene with a rather gruff first line of dialogue from James. Thought some of those "skeletons" Laney mentioned might come pouring out with the booze. Alas, they waited until the next morning with the arrival of her positively delightful mother.

I won't rehash my distaste for the Louis angle at this point, but I am intrigued by this new development on the political side. Other than the election, that piece has become very scant so it's nice to see that it appears to be picking up again now (at least to an extent). I say that not just for my own interest, but also because I think that aspect is something that is a real strength in the potential of this story and that it would be great to have that arc develop further going forward. Just my two cents on that point.

Anyway, I'm very sorry that it's taken so incredibly long to get to this point and pay out my prize to you, but things got crazy and then every time I got my head back above water, leaving 10 reviews in a row seemed like a mountain that was impossible to climb.

Thanks so much for participating in my challenge, for your wonderful entry and ultimately, for your patience. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read some more of your writing!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: Election Night

28th February 2015:
Well, well, congrats on trusted status (belated though it is)!

I'll confess that after the end of the previous chapter, and this one, I'm left with a lot of distaste in my mouth toward Laney. Not for her previously omnipresent arrogance. Not for her corruption and shady political dealings. But for her playing James. It happens, yes, that is life, yes, but I think my issue with her clinging to Louis at this point is that we haven't really seen a reason for her to do so. She's confessed last chapter that she loves him, but we haven't seen why. I think that's an issue for her development and consistency here.

Outside of that element, I think the chapter was positive though - you definitely captured the grandeur and hob-knobbing that are part and parcel of political events and all the good and bad feelings and memories they can bring.

Now I'm on to your most recent update - Chapter 10! What awaits, I wonder, on the next page? A time-jump? A blow-up? The groundwork for a disaster? I suppose I'll find out in a few short moments...

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Review #3, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: The Breakdown of Walls

28th February 2015:
Hello again!

I'll start by saying that I think some of the best writing you've done in this story came in this chapter. You just did a particularly strong job of choosing the right words and crafting the descriptions to make me FEEL more of what Laney is experiencing thoughout. Until the very end of this chapter you almost had me feeling a bit sorry for her. I liked the glimpse into who she is and how she became so (mostly) hard.

But then we came back around to the end and she's revealing that she still intends on carrying on with things for the pure manipulation of it. That's real and authentic for her in the moment I think (even if it doesn't end up happening in the end), but it still destroys any pity I have for it. Liars and cheats are the worst. THE WORST.

The only scene that I thought could have gone a bit better was the introduction of everyone at the Potter household. Going through everyone almost immediately just felt a tad forced rather than organic. I think the awkwardness and order was certainly authentic though, so if you were prioritizing that over prose, I can't say I blame you entirely.

See you in Chapter 9!

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Review #4, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: A Couple of Firsts

28th February 2015:
As you may have guessed - I'm always up for more politics. I'm certainly intrigued by Louis and his machinations behind the scenes with Peters. Is he merely covering himself in case Laney loses or is it something more? He SEEMS to have had no qualms about casting her aside for "Karmen" though I also wonder if that was out of concern that she was actually showing signs of interest in James. I'd like to believe he's not THAT bad, but you know, there are bad cookies out there.

The biggest highlight of this chapter though was that we got even more of a glimpse into Laney's latent vulnerability. Even the toughest, most calculating folks have these moments and I thought it was entirely appropriate and well-handled for her here. Though it didn't make her look good AT ALL, a close second was the calculating way she decided to sleep with James. Revenge sex? Not a good look at all. Hope he doesn't find out - for either of their sakes.

See you in Chapter 8!

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Review #5, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: A Boyfriend and Something Else

28th February 2015:
Well, James has my vote. That's probably because he's more like me, but I'll say that Louis, even if his words were driven by passion, seems more the controlling-type which would be a deal-breaker for a person who wants to be Minister I should think.

To follow on from that point though, I think another part of why people may side with James is that we've simply seen a lot more of the traditional aspects of a relationship between he and Laney. If the drama surrounding the three of them is going to be central (as the summary implies) I'd be careful about skipping over too much of the relationship between Louis and Laney in the beginning as it can skew people's views. I suppose it's also appropriate to add too though that I believe you've done a good job so far handling Laney's persona and motives and tucking in bits of her actual feelings in the dates with James. The characterizations have been well-done for both of them so far.

Including the old retired pol was a good touch too. I'm thinking it's only a matter of time until Laney wins at this point (unless you're going to throw her a big-time setback unexpectedly).

Moving forward - ever forward!

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Review #6, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: All Hope is not Lost

28th February 2015:
Poor Jane! She seems like she's in for a rough life if she's destined to stick with Laney - though maybe that questioning look will turn into a popping-off one day and she'll find some stones. Only time will tell...

I did enjoy the way the lobbying component and cynical commentary on the tit-for-tat voting works too. I can't help but wonder if there's more to Broomwicks than seems to meet the eye though with all their intel and clandestine sort of behavior. Though they'd obviously be influential, it would seem that broom handles can't possibly be all they do to be THIS influential. The banter in the letters was also a plus.

One thing that rang a bit off for me was the article in the Prophet about James and Laney. For me, Laney's criticisms seem much more valid given the publication at issue because for all its failings, you would think that the Prophet would properly cover a celebrity athlete and a politician (and would certainly identify her title and election status).

Oh well, surging forward to Chapter 6!

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Review #7, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: The First Date

28th February 2015:
Aha! An intriguing interlude! Even if we still got Laney's running commentary on everything, this definitely put her out of her normal environs and if I'm not mistaken, she'll admit later that she actually quite enjoyed herself on this date with James.

James, for his part, seems like a nice guy. You're developing him as Laney's antithesis pretty nicely thus far (if that's indeed his purpose) - she's focused, he's laid back, she's two-faced, he's earnest - and so on and so forth. I'm interested to see how the dynamic works going forward.

As far as CC for this chapter, I might consider incorporating some stronger, more evocative language to make some of Laney's descriptions pop more than others as the story goes forward. If nothing else, this might be appropriate to helping distinguish the intensity with which she feels (or hopes someone thinks she feels) something (honestly or dishonestly as the case may be).

Now for Chapter 5!

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Review #8, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: The Quidditch International Foundation

28th February 2015:
Hello hello. Remy the lobbyist? A nod to House of Cards perhaps?

Though there was again a sizable time jump and what seems to be quite an early entrance to the Wizengamot for Laney, it was interesting to see things NOT going her way for once. We saw a little bit more vulnerability from her when her thoughts wandered after the confrontation with Peters and the moments with Louis this time around.

To answer your question from the A/N, I definitely think Laney is doing the wrong thing with James. She's doing the wrong thing personally and politically in my mind because if it ever got out that she had simply used him - if I know Ginny, Laney's going to wind up buried. Unless of course James has schemes of his own (which is quite possible, especially in a story like this).

One thing that I think could be a useful tweak here and there would be to include some additional body language in the story. A lot of what we're getting right now in terms of the dichotomy between Laney's spoken words/actions and her actual feelings is in direct juxtaposition of dialogue and inner thought. Sometimes it can be helpful to make this less explicit as it give the character a little more mystery and makes the reader wonder - does she really believe that or is it for show, with more subtle clues to guide them.

Just a thought. Onward and upward to Chapter 4!

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Review #9, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: Whispers

28th February 2015:
Hello again!

Well, Laney and Louis are just delightfully duplicitous aren't they? But that IS politics. So you've made a fair point.

In this chapter the two things that jumped out at me on the positive side were: (1) your clarity of vision and (2) your honesty. You have a clear hierarchy that you want your characters to fit in and move up through within a gargantuan entity like the Ministry and have obviously sketched out well how they're going to inter-relate. You also, at the start in particular, noted the down-side of the method of moving up that Laney has chosen (essentially using sex as a weapon).

On the flip-side, I thought that things moved incredibly quickly here. I understand you don't want to get mired in the day-to-day boredom of the lower-level positions, but that also doesn't give us as much time to get to know the characters, and unless the hierarchy you've established as some point is made explicit, it's undermined slightly by the pace because two (with a third in the offing?) promotions in this short time-span seems a tad unrealistic without that background information.

On the more minor side, I've noticed that at the start of chapters, you tend to have some repetitive language, and there was an element of internal inconsistency here - not paying attention to the case proceedings, but taking the trouble to read legislation that individuals have proposed. Both seem (politically) to be useful to be privy to and something that Laney would pay attention to for intel if nothing else.

All in all I'm still quite intrigued though - see you for Chapter 3.

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Review #10, by TidalDragonHow to Become Minister of Magic: A Guide: Let's Make a Deal

28th February 2015:
Howdy Mary! I bet you thought, after all this time, that I had forgotten about the reviews I owed you - but NOT SO. I suppose it's a stroke of good luck that this story has 10 chapters now so I can read right through to the end and deliver all the reviews I owe you!

To start off with, I think this is going to be an interesting story for me. Though I'm far too blunt and disdainful of the public niceties demanded, I used to have political ambitions and I'm still very interested in politics. Usually you don't get to see how people started on the literal bottom of the totem pole though in such sagas, so this should be a nice departure.

When it comes to characterizations, I think I'll need a little more time to get a feel for Louis - though I'm wondering about his sorting already - was he a Slytherin? As far as Laney, you've already set about establishing the kind of person she is - not-so-likable so far - but I can easily understand her and why she behaves the way she does. I'm looking forward to the increased complexity that will ensue when she starts interacting with other people and how she manages to maintain a consistent voice despite the necessary differences in her public persona.

See you in the next chapter!

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Review #11, by TidalDragonOvershadowed: Overshadowed

24th February 2015:
Howdy! Sorry it's taken so long to arrive, but
here I am!

Regretfully I don't think I'll be able to match
your length (though you greatly deserve it)
precisely because I thought this story was
absolutely brilliant.

From beginning to end you did an exceptional
job of balancing the descriptions, inner
thoughts, and dialogue well so that none
dramatically overwhelmed the other. But it was
also nice that the balance wasn't forced - it
ebbed and flowed very naturally with the story.
When Daphne was without Pansy, dialogue as a
whole was less prevalent reinforcing the
loneliness - when they were together it was
there more, cementing the connection.

What was also nice about the story is how you
maintained the characterizations and allowed
the relationship and later feelings to develop
between Daphne and Pansy in a natural way.
Those characterizations meant that at times I
still found myself wondering what direction we
were really going in (though my instincts -
because I don't usually read summaries for the
exchange - were right, at least re:
Daphne/Pansy) until the "reveal" conversations
about and between Daphne and Theo. The
simplicity allowed the flame that rose to feel
completely organic rather than forced, as
romances so often seem to in FF (especially
stories shorter than novel-length).

Truth - I need to remember this story when CR
and site-wide award seasons roll back around
because it deserves loads of recognition!

Author's Response: Sooo glad you enjoyed the story. I wasn't sure it would be everyone's cup of tea, and I don't tend to write pure romance very often, so it's good to know this one's come off well. I'm also very nervous about putting the passage of time into seamless prose like this; I prefer to just do scene cuts, and this has NO scene cuts, which was kind of experimental for me, so I'm glad it all flows and such.

There being less dialogue when D/P weren't together to exemplify loneliness was totally not intentional - I MEAN IT WAS INTENTIONAL I AM VERY CLEVER. *coughs*

I'm quite pleased you read this without knowing the summary; an audience loaded to expect a pairing can read things into it, but that your instincts still lead you to a slash pairing does mean I did my job right. Which is always nice to know! That it didn't feel forced in a comparatively short work (well, short for ME!) is very heartening.

Thank you so much for the review, and the kind words. It's all massively appreciated.

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Review #12, by TidalDragonAtonement Is Coming: A Shadowy Threat

21st February 2015:
Howdy Kaitlin! Sorry for the delay in getting this review to you. I've been swamped at work since...well, November really, but more so lately with multiple partners being out and then I was out of town last weekend as well with limited time available to use a computer.

Anyway, on to your story! I'll start by saying that I actually really like the idea of an organized group of former targets seeking vengeance (at least in the sense that I would suspect it quite logically would've occurred on some scale and it's interesting). It's also intriguing that some of the individuals behind it were less 100 percent behind Harry and the D.A. being frequent questioners, etc. even though they were involved.

In terms of flow, I don't think jumping locations is a problem really. The transitions are a bit more jarring in the beginning, but that comes off as deliberate, like sharp cuts in a movie. If you're concerned about them, one tool to make them seem less so would be to just give them normal spacing so there's no visual differentiation as that could make it read more in keeping with just fast-paced back-and-forth. For those that occur later on, I think the issue may be less with the transitions and more with the balance of dialogue versus description and inner thought and also length of the individual scenes. Taking more time with the setting and the reactions and frivolity surrounding Harry and Ginny's announcement for example would allow you to bring the contrast into sharp relief again before you turn back to the eventual darker cliffhanger.

The only things I'd say that came off as full-fledged issues to me were these: (1) the odds of four individuals, armed and unexpected making it to the Minister's Office at night just five years after the war without SIGNIFICANT subversion of the entire security detail are minimal and (2) the odds that Michael Corner, even five years out, and no matter his late-developed aptitude would be tasked with being the last line of defense for the Minister for Magic is even more negligible. I think there are ways to tweak this to make it work more believably by altering setting and time in particular, though I'll admit that it MAY prove to be believable depending on who's behind the movement (i.e. if they're in a position to plant Michael in that role and clear obstacles to the four's advance within the Ministry AKA VERY high up).

Anyway, if you have any questions feel free to PM always, but I hope this was all helpful! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

Author's Response: Hello there!

Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to write such a wonderfully detailed review! No worries about the delay. I figured you would get here eventually. :)

I'm glad that the revenge scenario seems logical. I was kind of loosely inspired by what has happened several times in different countries where radical dictators take over following a civil war. Usually, it starts with "We're going to persecute this group because they started all of the problems" and then snowballs from there.

It's quite a relief to hear that the jumping around doesn't create an issue. I'm okay with it being similar to sharp cuts in an action movie. In fact, I like that comparison.

I am re-editing this chapter and am working on filling out the part with Harry, Ginny, and everyone. I really did struggle when writing that particular part and it shows in how it reads. I'm working on figuring out how to give it a bit more meat.

On to your issues...So without giving away too much of what I had planned, there is definitely some strong infiltration of the Ministry. Michael Corner and the mysterious four are just the very tip of the iceberg. As the story progress, all will become clearer hopefully.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write this. I will keep your comments in mind as I move forward with this story!


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Review #13, by TidalDragonUnlikely: Abandoned

21st February 2015:

Sorry it's taken such an absurd amount of time to get here. Work's been madness and I had to go out of town last weekend with less computer time than expected. But here I am now, and my offer always stands - PM me with another story if you want to take me up on my thread's late policy.

On to the story! It was quite interesting. From the outset, I'll say that I agree with you (and Pansy per her dialogue) that Miss Parkinson probably wasn't ALL bad (almost no one is) and was basically a caricature in the book (by JKR's own admission). Still, I don't think she'd go quite this far at this stage in her life even under these circumstances.

As for Parvati's characterization - we don't see loads of her, but I think she was fine. Perhaps a bit too encouraging of conversation with Pansy given what little interaction we DO see between them, but you gave a decent enough justification for it.

Mechanically, the biggest thing I'd say is that there was perhaps too much dialogue. While it was always destined for that direction as you laid it out, I think you could have peppered in some additional description and inner thought for one or both characters so we could see more of an evolution in their thinking and the opening of their attitudes through slow changes in body language rather than just words.

I hope this helps though! Thanks for sharing!

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Review #14, by TidalDragonEsto Perpetua: A Clash Of Perspectives

21st February 2015:
This next installment was an interesting one. I was a bit surprised by how stupid Rodolphus Lestrange came off - not that it isn't possible, the foolish are often the most easily subverted, but it did seem a touch excessive.

I did like the bit where Sirius shoved his blood in Bellatrix's face though. It was quite gruesome in reality, but the dialogue that accompanied it as well was excellent and it made a sensational point about how devoted she was even then that she could ignore such a literal demonstration of the disgusting ignorance of her indoctrinated beliefs.

Perhaps the highlight though was the farewell between brothers. I think it did an excellent job of highlighting the bond between them that was explored in the last chapter, but at the same time showing how different they truly are. That carried through nicely post-departure to the Knights of Walpurgis offer where Regulus accepts, even if he does have some conflict about it per the italics.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this story so far and I hope you've found my reviews helpful (even if they're tardy). Please feel free to re-request any time - I'll try to be more prompt then :p

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Review #15, by TidalDragonEsto Perpetua: My Side Of The Fence

21st February 2015:
Hello again! I'm sorry for the egregious delay, but I've been swamped at work at then there was the matter of being out of town last weekend and unable to access a computer for an extended period of time. In any event, I'm here now.

I thought this was an excellent continuation from the previous chapter you asked me to look at. All the positives things I had to say in that chapter hold true here as well - particularly the balance between dialogue and other forms of developing the plot and characters.

One thing that stood out in this section in particular though was your ability to inject humor into the dark time without it seeming to be too much. That and the development of the relationship between Regulus and Sirius and Sirius and Uncle Alphard were excellent.

As far as the characters in detail, I definitely didn't find Sirius to be spineless. I think I understand why you were concerned, because he is still quite compliant with observing the niceties publicly and even accedes to his father's requests, but he's not so old and he would know that (at least right now) he has few options. He takes his shots at being surly and non-compliant, but he understand his situation well enough to not go too far just yet. That's awareness rather than cowardice I think. There was a point toward the beginning that his dialogue felt a bit stilted, but other than that he was all good.

Regulus and Uncle Alphard were also developed very nicely. Neither were necessarily as I imagined them, but I actually ended up finding it refreshing that Regulus and Sirius didn't hate each other here and that Uncle Alphard was actually serious and helpful rather than some crazy exile who happened to like Sirius for no particular reason and gave him his house like happens so often in fics.

Well done - I'm on to the next chapter for the extra review I owe you!

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Review #16, by TidalDragonThe Puzzle: Fun for the Whole Family

18th February 2015:
Howdy Dan!

This was such a unique story and the handling of both the canon and Next Gen characters was amusing. Drunk Ginny was almost as funny as puzzle-mad Harry. It really made me feel for Lily (II). She's obviously a kind soul, refusing to let on her dislike of the present and how her birthday had been driven seriously off the rails. What was a nice touch too was how even within this humorous piece, you gave each character a believable personality and quirk of their own to contribute to both the project and the plot itself.

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Hi, Kevin! What an awesome surprise!

I had a lot of fun writing this. I got the idea while I was watching my kids work a floor puzzle. Once I started writing, it turned into an opportunity to use a bunch of funny little ideas I'd been collecting in the back of my head: drunk Ginny, Dudley's family coming to visit the Potters, Kreacher defending his house with a pot on his head and Arthur playing with muggle power tools, to name a few. This story is definitely the meatloaf of one-shots.

I'm glad you felt like the characters had believable personalities. Even though the circumstances were silly in places, I wanted the characters to feel like themselves.

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #17, by TidalDragonThe Best Day of My Life : The Best Day of My Life

18th February 2015:
Howdy Meg!

The nomination was absolutely right - I was not expecting the reveal to Harry and Ginny to be what it was at all. You did a good job setting it up with the scenes and intensity of Albus's stress to misdirect us, and thing you sprung another twist at the end with the proposal. Clever, clever...

I will say I thought Ginny mirrored Molly a little more closely than I imagine in my head canon in this story. That's not to say it's a problem or anything, it was just a little unexpected in terms of characterization even though they undoubtedly have some strong similarities in a few areas.

That said, I thought most of the characterizations were strong (even Ginny's, outside of her domesticity) and I enjoyed the way you made Albus and Scorpius less laden with heaviness than they often are when they're in a relationship - it made them both more relatable and differentiable. So kudos!

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Hiya Kevin! :)

Aww thank you so much for reading this and taking the time to review it! It was a really nice surprise. :D

I was definitely a tricksie Meg and played on people's assumptions with this story. I knew mostly everyone would/will assume that Albus is coming out to his parents. But I still think that admitting to them that he is quitting a full time career - not just a job - would be enough to cause him some major anxiety, too.

I always imagined that after a few kids that she would have become a little bit more like her mother. There were always some similarities there that we saw in canon, so I imagine that she would end up a bit like her. The only reason she was wearing the apron and looked overly domesticated was because she was in the middle of cooking dinner. Otherwise, I think she would just be dressed normally. But that's just my personal head-canon of her later on in life. I know that we all have slightly different interpretations of the characters in our heads. :)

I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed Al and Scorpius! This was my first ever slash fic, so I'm really thrilled to hear that they came across as a believable and real couple. That really means a lot to me, so thank you!! :D

Thank you again for stopping by!! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it!! ♥

xoxo Meg

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Review #18, by TidalDragonInertia: We Might as Well Be Strangers

2nd February 2015:

I thought independent of anything else, the story was very well-written mechanically. Your word choice was impeccable and in a story (fittingly) without dialogue, you wrote James's musings in such a way as to really draw the reader in.

As far as the characterization goes, I don't think you touched the realm of implausibility with this "reimagining". You took the darkest parts of James and Lily and brought them to the fore in a time of darkness where (in your vision) they were no longer allowed to play their part. It was the vision of a nearly-dead star, its light fading closer daily to nonexistence. However, I'd also consider the idea that both James and Lily are completely removed from the War that arguably brought them together (I think it's a decent argument as fighting for a greater good probably made she or them [depending on your perspective] see beyond their personal animosity to who they truly were and find something greater she/they never imagined in James/each other). For Lily, this makes sense - in their era, she would have been expected to stay home and raise Harry, not fight in a war. For James, less so. The Order could probably not afford to sacrifice both of them at the point of its greatest peril and I imagine James still being capable of fighting (though this is admittedly not an absolute).
I'd also consider the Snape bit (there are other, more believable ways for James to be cruel).

All in all, I thought it was very well-written and thought provoking. Out along the borders of believability while still being possible for me (though I'm a BIG James/Lily fan), but still very good.

Hope this helps!

Author's Response: Hiya!

Thank you! That's always important, that regardless of the content, it should at least be well written so I'm thrilled that you thought that.

I can totally see it from your point of view :). The way I see it, being in such a high-stress situation like the one Lily and James were in can either bring them closer together or drive them further apart. It's like being trapped in a pressure cooker. The argument could be made that James felt like a caged animal and Lily had postpartum depression. I agree with you that James would be the most affected of the two to suffer from the isolation. This could manifest itself into resentment that since he can't direct towards Dumbledore or the Order, Lily becomes the unwitting target.

The Snape bit was a cheap shot from James. I guess I did it because I read somewhere that James hated Snape as a potential rival among other reasons. In his state of mind, that insecurity raised its ugly head.

It really means a lot that you could give a fair, constructive review even if this might not be your cup of tea.

Thank you!

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Review #19, by TidalDragonHer Choice : The Sorting

1st February 2015:
Howdy Lindsey!

The one thing that jumped out at me about this chapter was that there was more inclusion of lines/scenes from canon than I expected. Obviously there's only so much you can do with the sorting itself, but since the atmosphere and everything of this particular sorting gets dropped by JKR in canon, I thought it posed a great opportunity for you to explore the atmosphere as well as give us an impression of Hogwarts from a new, but more mature eye.

Despite that, I thought there was still a lot of positive. You wisely dodged sorting her in Slytherin, but at the same time, you also gave a genuine reason through the Sorting Hat's brief conversation with her for her to be sorted in Gryffindor. That inclusion (even though it's not much on its own necessarily) was crucial IMO, because otherwise you're left with some readers saying: " convenient." Justifying it was the key and I'm glad you did that.

I also liked how you had Laynie notice Dumbledore and his hand. She's given a unique opportunity among students in her year to do this and to see it and she does, and I think that tells us something about her - she's quite observant.

Based on your A/N it would be interesting to see what befalls her this year at school and VERY interesting to see how you deal with the eventual Harry/OC dynamic. I don't comment on that too much because it's not so prevalent at the moment (and because it secretly makes me a little sad since Harry/Ginny is my OTP), but you've set yourself up nicely I think to kick on from here in all respects.

Enjoyed the update! Thanks!

Author's Response: Well hello there,

Yay! I am so glad you liked it! I understand what you mean about the lines from the book, I just couldn't really imagine Professor McGonagall saying anything different than she always does to the first years so I thought it was appropriate. But I could have added a little detail at what Laynie noticed since she is quite a bit older than Harry was when he arrived. I'm glad you enjoyed my detail.. I hope you keep reading on. I always love your reviews!
Thanks again,

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Review #20, by TidalDragonThe Worst: Settling

1st February 2015:
We meet again! As your note said, this was a shorter chapter, but in context it's good to know that you're fighting through writer's block with the story. I think you'd be surprised how little people care about chapter length so just keep on keeping on!

As far as characterization, I thought it was realistic and in keeping with what we've seen of each character so far. One element that was interesting is that we didn't get to see as much "inside" the transformation as I expected. I certainly grant you that it would be a challenge, but I think that's something to consider trying as you move forward. After all, Wolfsbane lets werewolves keep their heads, so you could have Dominique see herself at some point maybe to help her come to terms with her new identity. I suppose that also lends itself to pace to an extent, but I thought aside from that there was no issue there.

I thought the most positive inclusion in the chapter was the opportunity for Dominique to explain herself and her reaction when Teddy proposed. I think it's something that readers definitely needed to understand from her perspective and I have a greater appreciation for her side of things now (even if I do think she still went over the top).

Hope this helps - good luck carrying on the story!

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! I appreciate your comments and will think about them. Thank you for all your thoughtful review!

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Review #21, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 7: The Encounter

1st February 2015:
Hello again!

I think the transitions as you've done them have been fine. It's interesting because you're peeling back the issues of the present as you peel back the issues of the past rather than directly connecting them, but I find it to be a refreshing positive, as it keeps the mysterious air you've cultivated for the story going nicely.

Giving the characters more life? I think they're quite full of life. Granted at the moment the conversations in the present are mostly full of hatred and shouting, but that contrasts nicely with the snippets of the past we see when things were very much different.

Mechanically everything continues to be sound as well, though I did notice one typo at the top - "Pinch" instead of "Pince" that you might look at.

Plotwise, I don't have that much to comment on in this particular chapter as it largely feels like just some normal build-up, which comes in novels, but I hope it's been helpful nevertheless!

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Review #22, by TidalDragonCharlotte: Charlotte

1st February 2015:
Hello again! Sorry it's taken so long, but here I am.

I'll be honest and admit that it's more than thread rules that kept me. As a general rule I don't read anything involving infidelity these days. Cuts too close personally really, so I further apologize if this is really brief and/or meandering.

As far as your questions, I thought you handled complex topics with aplomb. The relationships, Charlotte's decay and rebirth - it was all dealt with in your typically mature, nuanced, and painful way.

Charlotte was obviously central to the story and I think you did an exceptional job with her. You gave her depth and background in the middle of a excruciatingly difficult, yet hopeful moment. I won't say I feel for her because despite it being far beyond "the grass in greener" like it often is when persons cheat for the more regular reasons, she's still engaged in the height of selfishness for a long time and quite possibly ruined someone who only ever tried to love her. I grant you that Ryan is not without his share of the blame, clinging to something dead, but that's life I suppose. The cheater always rationalizes and the spurned [insert appropriate title here] (almost) always tries to hold on despite signs to the contrary.

Really, it was brilliant. If it hadn't been I would've stopped reading and told you why. Honestly, if I had a bone to pick it would be this oddity of her talking to him and him not waking up (perhaps it would make more sense if she was writing what she's saying in the letter while he's still in the same room - lose no observations of him and still get it all? Shrug). Really well done, just. Ow. I need to go find some positive headspace.

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Review #23, by TidalDragonHogmanay: Hogmanay

1st February 2015:
Howdy! Just dropping by to tag you from the review thread in the CR. Normally, I'd tackle something longer, but alas, my request thread is incredibly backed up so I stuck with this one this time around.

I'll confess that I don't know a whole lot about the event Hogmanay. You conveyed through this story that it's obviously cause for some kind of celebration and I thought the way you got across one of the parts of that tradition about who should arrive first through dialogue was well-done. I also thought the characterization of Ron was a positive for your story, as it captured the increased maturity he probably would have had at this point in time.

As far as other aspects, I have to say I don't see Harry ever using (since he's not that good at that type of magic per OOTP) or attempting to use legilimency, especially on Ginny. It's a violation of trust of the worst kind and given Ginny's history with mental violations via the diary, would be unforgivable.

Mechanically, I'd just focus on trying to lengthen things out so you can show rather than tell us as much, especially in the second half, which read a lot more literally.

I think exploring this tradition is a neat idea though and it would be interesting to learn more about it!

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Awrite! Thank you for your quick and encouraging comments.

Yes, I did some research for this one shot and blended with J.K.Rowling's magical world.
So I'm glad to know you enjoyed the story.

In my story to master Legilimens had been the task Harry had to accomplish.

In this story there is a kind of barrier between Harry and Ginny, so when readers read this, they may feel frustration. It's hard to set up twists and turns. I sometimes try to write fluff but in the end I suddenly want to make curves and turns in my story. It's my nature, way of writing. Maybe next one-shot,I will try fluffier one.

Thank you for stopping by, TidalDragon. I will also explore druidic folklore soon.

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Review #24, by TidalDragonHerbology and Hearts (Speed dating entry): Herbology and Hearts

30th January 2015:
Hello again, Dee!

I know you said I didn't owe you a review, but really I do, so here I am.

What delighted me about this story was actually the simplicity of Lysander's perspective. We don't get so much of that vibe from the series because of who Harry is and how much he's got on his plate, but it's always enjoyable to read a story that leverages the comparative peace of Next Gen to write students much more naturally. I know I'm guilty of it in the few fics where I write characters as minors, but I think sometimes we all get a bit carried away with how smart and eloquent and high-minded Hogwarts students are and this story was a refreshing departure.

Though you threw in the creatures later, I actually also liked the fact that Lysander is more into plants than creatures that jumped out from the beginning to be neat. I thought it was a natural extension of his heritage, but also a nod to the teenage rebellion and different interests that is inherent in that age.

On the mechanical side, it was also encouraging that you matched the more simple perspective with simple language. Initially it took some getting used to, but by the end it showcased that you don't need fancy words or weighty descriptions to make a story pop.

As a fluff piece, I thought the ending worked very nicely too. I will say I thought the Lysander-on-Lorcan monologue was a bit much, and a departure from the positives of the simplicity I was just praising, but I get it with the Speed Dating challenge and all that it may have been a device to connect the pieces better.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this piece (which I don't say often because I usually don't like fluff). It provided a nice mental turnaround after a thoroughly exhausting Friday and I thank you for that!

Until next time!

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Review #25, by TidalDragonLove is for Fools: Not a Fool

25th January 2015:
Howdy! Sorry I'm late, life's been a little rough lately, but I've finally made it - and oh boy am I glad I did!

First of all, I thought you did an exceptional job with the whole 'Alphabetized Challenge' thing. Having read absolutely none of the other entrants, I think you should win. Until you mentioned it in the Author's Note, I honestly didn't even notice that aspect of the writing and I think it's a testament to how unobtrusive you made it (no easy feat).

As far as the things you specifically asked about in your request, I thought the flow was great. It varied in its rhythm from paragraph to paragraph, but despite that it never lost the overall desperate, yearning feeling that clearly lived in the depths of Remus's heart. The characterization, for me, was fine. I'm more of a canon guy when it comes to ships (the only ones I actively ship are canon anyway), but as far as the voice I think it sounded right, especially within the plot you created. Your word choice was also excellent, especially with the restrictions in terms of overall length and starting letter that you imposed on yourself here.

It was a thing of beauty and brilliance.

Also, per my promise, PM me another story you'd like me to review since I was late!

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