Reading Reviews From Member: maryhead
12 Reviews Found

Review #1, by maryheadRose-Coloured Glasses: Real beaches have sand

1st August 2014:

Sorry sorry sorry for the incredible delay. As I said in my thread, computers can be really nasty when they want to.

Anyway, let's review this chapter!

Alright. I didn't find a single flaw here. Is it even possible? I LOVE this first chapter, maybe because it is so radically different from the other (not many, I have to admit) NexGen fan fictions I read in the past. No Hogwarst, no 1st of September with the beautiful train and whatever... Really Really interesting beginning.

(Did I warn you that I tend to ramble and write "really" a bit too much? Oh, well.)

So, characterization. Jeanette. How brilliant is she?! She's sarcastic, witty, free, independent... I love the way she tries to distinguish herself from the rest of her family, and how she seems to be a bit " self-excluded" from the huge Weasley-Delacour-Potter-Granger community. It's interesting how you hinted here and there that under such a carefree personality may hide a darker past and deep issues (In a sense she reminds me of Sirius...). You managed to describe her entirely and in detail from the first chapter, leaving however that allure of mystery that we all love so much. Oh, and the first person narrator? It is such a difficult device to use, I tell you. But you dealt with it marvelously!

The style is impeccable, elegant and easy to read, but not banal whatsoever. All thanks, as I said, to Jeanette's sharp tongue, wonderfully written descriptions and those touches of French that give color and credibility to the chapter.

The plot seems really interesting. You didn't give out too much, and that's wonderful, because who would read a story in which you find out everything from the first couple of lines? At the same time, however, you made something HAPPEN. There is action, this is not a simple, a bit boring introduction of the story. You feel the need to get on reading, to find out what happens next... Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

I could go on and on praising this chapter, but I would end up rambling more than I already did. Just keep up with the GREAT job, and if you want me to review the other chapters, do not hesitate to re-request! I can't wait to read more!

Thank you for requesting, and sorry again for the delay!


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Review #2, by maryheadNutshell: one.

25th June 2014:
Hi! I am here for... well, I am here for the review you requested... ehr... a month ago? Urgh, I am so sorry for the wait... Real Life paid a visit, and I couldn't ignore it.

Anyway, let's review this chapter, shall we?

So, the beginning of the story sounds pretty interesting! Of course, this is only the introduction I guess, and you began it in a very classical way, with the train, the parents saying goodbye and all the rest, but still I was intrigued enough to be willing to read further.

Your style is straightforward and easy to read. Apart from the first couple of lines you didn't dwell too much on the description of the setting, which is fine, considering this part was set on a train and, well... There isn't much to say about trains, is it ;)? However, it would be great if in the next updates you could try to depict the general atmosphere, landscape or rooms with a higher degree of detail. It helps the reader to mentally depict the scene he/she is reading about :).

Jodie looks like an interesting OC! She is the image of a typical teenager, so deeply overwhelmed by the thought of her crush that she's unable to concentrate on something else. I liked the way Remus tried to help her putting her problem into perspective, but at the same time showed his kind and gentle side. It was just so... Remus! The little banter between the two was well written and fun to read too.

I would just like to make a little note about the scene in which Jodie enters the boys' compartment. It was a bit... off. First of all, you included Sirius in the scene, but I personally think it wasn't really necessary, since he didn't say anything or participate in the interaction in any way. Since you mentioned in the notes that his character will be introduced in the next chapter, you could have just wrote that he was... wherever James was at the moment of Jodie's entrance. Moreover, Jodie's comment about her need to talk to Remus is a bit blunt. She didn't even say "hi" to him, after a summer spent away from him... I don't know, surely it's just my impression, but those lines did not entirely convince me.

Apart from this detail, I overall liked the chapter, and I will be more than happy to comment further, if you decided to re-request, of course!

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Review #3, by maryheadWhen Skies Are Grey: You Are My Sunshine

9th May 2014:
Hi! I'm here for your requested review! Sorry for the late, this week I understood that trying to make 1000 things at a time has the only effect to make me screw up everything and gain a good headache in the process, so I had to slow down my activity on the website.

Anyway, let's review this wonderful one-shot!

Oh, yes... This is really an impressive work! It is deep, and sad, and sweet... I read this and I imagined everything you wrote, all those small snapshots you described. I could see them, I could see Hogwarst, I could see your characters running around, wrapped in a soft atmosphere at first, and then in a darker, more melancholic shadow. I could see them, and at the same time I could hear Parvati's voice telling this heartbreaking story with a sweet voice that ends everything by whispering those last couple of lines... Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

I don't think that there's need to add that the pairing is wonderfully depicted, the style is great and the characterization too. I was hooked from the first to the last line, and the open ending was just the icing on the cake!

Oh, well... what can I say? Great job, my friend, and if you have another work you'd like me to read and review, please post the link on my thread :)

Author's Response: Hey, don't worry about it! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond.

Thank you for leaving me such a nice review. I was really worried about this story and they way it progresses, so your comments were really helpful.

Thanks again.


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Review #4, by maryheadThe last Dragonrider: Arrival.

9th May 2014:
Hi! I'm here for the review you requested! Sorry for being so late, my studies are, well... demanding my attention, and I am having difficulty maintaining my activity on this website. Ah, well. Life.

Anyway, let's start with the review! First of all, I have to say that, although I read Eragon and Eldest many years ago, I don't know almost anything about the saga you based your story on. That said, I didn't find the chapter confusing, not too much at least. Some elements are obviously quite mysterious to me, and I had some difficulty in understanding what was happening in the last part of the chapter, but I don't think that depended much on the fact that it is a crossover. In fact, I overall found this chapter a bit... cryptic. It's really complex, both in the vocabulary (this is the first fan fiction for which I had to re-open my English dictionary!), and in its general structure. It's a good quality for a story, as it makes the reader think and reason about what he/she is reading, but at the same time I can't say I would read this to take a break from a particularly long day of studying, because it would set fire to my poor battered brain!

Regarding the style, I really appreciated the good amount of descriptions you wrote, especially the fighting scenes! You did a great job describing the movements of the characters, it made everything incredibly visual and real!

Your fighter version of Harry is good too, with that hint of darkness that I always search in a story!

All in all I found this fanfic really original. I've never read anything like that before! As I said, the only thing that left me a bit... confused was the complexity of your style, but, again, don't take it as a negative comment! Remember that I'm not English, and, although I've been studying this language for a long time, I still have a lot to learn. Probably a mother-tounge wouldn't find this chapter difficult at all and, anyway, complexity is never a bad thing.

I hoped you liked my review, and if you found it useful, don't hesitate to re-request ;)

Author's Response: Hello! Likewise, I apologize for the delayed response to your review! I perfectly understand life keeping you busy as I've had a lot on my plate since this month began as well!

The opening scene is set in the prologue of the first Eragon book, and much of the first and second chapter occur within a couple of months of that timeframe.

Ah, hahah, I'm sorry if the plot gave you any headaches! Its really, *very* complex in its buildup and backstory, the stuff we see here is just a small sample of my Harry and his journey to date, so I can understand where confusion stems. Some of the stuff mentioned is supposed to be a hint toward his past adventures as much as a nod toward readers that would recognize a term here, a term there.

I'm really happy to hear that regarding the descriptions. And we're just seeing the barest tip of the iceberg for my Harry here. He's got a whole lot more in his arsenal and as a warrior.

Thank you again for your feedback and view, its very appreciated, and again I'm sorry for how long it has taken to get back to you!

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Review #5, by maryheadThe Brave at Heart: Business as Usual

28th April 2014:
Hi! I'm here for the review swap!

Wow! What a lovely chapter! Lots of things happen here, in contrast with the first chapter, but you still manage to organise the amount of information so as not to tire or bore the reader. Truth be told, my eyes were glued to the monitor from the first to the last word!

You have this remarkable ability of writing in this calm, balanced style that always manages to relax me. Of course, there were parts in which I felt like strangling the Slytherin Quidditch captain, but all in all I read with a smile on my face.

I also like the way you are gradually creating a connection between Mel and the marauders, but at the same time you don't depict the two groups as utter enemies. It would be strange for them to shift from hate to friendship in a couple of chapters! In this way, everything is more realistic and natural.

I also noticed that here your approach is more descriptive than before. I mean, the settings are still not described in detail (don't think of this as a negative comment, there's nothing wrong in that), but the actions of the characters are really well depicted.

What else can I say? I think you may have noticed that I adored the chapter and I'm looking forward to reading more about this story! Sorry again for being so late with the review ;).

Author's Response: Ooh, yay, I'm glad it's organised enough that it's not boring :p I'm glad you like the writing style!

Haha, yes, the connection is verrry gradual - that rivalry can't be overcome instantly! But yeah, I think it was more rivalry than hatred anyway. Ah yay, that's great to hear that it felt natural and realistic!!

I think as the story goes on it gets more descriptive. Or at least I hope so. The beginning chapters were written in 2007 *cringe* and I think by the time I got to the middle of the story a few years later I had learnt how to use words. :p

Wow thank you so much for this review, it was so lovely! I am so happy you're enjoying the story so far! ♥

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Review #6, by maryheadDefiant Blood, Defiant Love: Strangers With Cigarettes

28th April 2014:
Ooh, another lovely chapter, with an explosion of new characters!
Andromeda's friends are really funny. I liked their little banter a lot, because in it you expressed very well the sense of familiarity that runs between the four Slytherin. It's a bit sad Andromeda can't open up with them, though. They seem to be worth trusting, but of course, after a life in the House of Black, she must have some trust issues. Not to mention the fact that their position towards "the Cause" is not completely clear. I suppose they are not in favour of the Death Eater thing, but maybe they are still into the blood-purity nonsense...

I loved the way you described the way she casually sets her eyes on Ted back in the Great Hall... It is really natural, and there is a tiny Sirius scene in the middle, which is always good! And I also like the way you described Ted's character in the last paragraphs. I always imagined him to be a bit shy and reserved, but this rebel version of him is really cool!

This chapter was great, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one soon!

Feel free to re-request whenever you want!

Author's Response: Hi!

Yes, definitely an explosion of new characters! I love Marcy the best honestly, I have a spin-off about her :)) Andromeda can open up to them and she eventually will, but she's just nervous because everything is happening so fast this year, you know?

Ted is perfect, I love him and he will definitely grow as a character and I can't wait for that! He's a total rebel it's awesome!!

Thanks so much :))

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Review #7, by maryheadDefiant Blood, Defiant Love: A Pettigrew Party

27th April 2014:
Hi! I'm here for your requested review!

Well... What can I say? Wow! I really love this!

I've never read an Andromeda-centric story before, but I've always been fond of the character, and you depict her so well! Her doubts, her kind nature... You built a solid, round character that makes the reader fall in love at the first line!

My favourite scene is by far the opening one with the counsellor, because with that dialogue you immediately make it clear that this won't be a stereotyped story about an incredibly brave and powerful heroine. Your protagonist is just a girl, with her flaws and her fears, who still can't completely accept the idea of going against her family . I liked the fact that you mentioned Sirius because it creates a nice contrast between the two rebel members of the Black family, and I hope he will appear again in the story soon.

Regarding the style, I love the way you managed to balance the introspective and the descriptive parts. Although not spending too much time on the details of the rooms the scene was set into, you focused nicely on the physical features of the main characters, an element that many authors tend to ignore. I really appreciated it, because it helped me picturing the events of the chapter while I read it.

So. I'd love to praise this first chapter even further, but then the review will be definitely too long! I'll end it here, my friend, simply telling you that I'm hooked and that I'm loping forward to reading the next chapter! Feel free to re-request, if you liked my review, of course ;)

Author's Response: Hey, thanks so much!!

Ted and Andromeda are definitely one of my OTP's, what can I say? :))

It was a very personal opening scene for me honestly. I wanted to express the resentfulness of a person to open up to a professional because of the stereotype that they are crazy or whatnot, even though it's obviously not true. You see how that idea changes overtime in Andromeda.

Sirius and Andromeda should have been brother and sister haha. I feel so bad for them but I'm glad they at least have each other to fall back on. There will be a lot more of him as well.

Thanks so much again you're amazing and your review really helped :D

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Review #8, by maryheadThe Brave at Heart: Beginnings

27th April 2014:
Hi! I am here for your requested review :)

Alright, first of all I'd like to tell you that I found this chapter incredibly relaxing. You begin it in a very "classic" way, focusing on Melanie's thoughts and impressions rather than the description of the background, and that's good. I mean, I love descriptions, and I usually prefer more... visual stories, but in this case I think your style fits well with the beginning of the story: not too flashy or excessively dramatic. As I said, relaxing is the word I would use.

The characterisation is good! Of course, this is only the first chapter, so I suppose there'll be much more to discovery about the protagonists, but even at this point the reader is able to notice that all the characters, both OCs and canon, will be round characters and will not fall into stereotypes. Melanie is obviously the character who stands out more: in my opinion, you depicted her internal struggle really well, making her doubt about her parent's beliefs, but not forgetting that she's only an eleven-year-old girl who cares for her family's opinion. Her sorting in Slytherin was a surprise, but a pleasant one. Gryffindor would have been a bit of a clichè.

Regarding the overall appearance of the chapter, as I said everything seems to be very relaxing and smooth. Nothing much happens, but the reader is hooked nonetheless by the thoughts of the main character. The style is really fluent, and the paragraphs are well connected, although I'd probably move the last paragraphs of the first part to the beginning of the second part. Let me explain: if you conclude the scene of the first year with a general description of the behaviour of Gryffindors towards Slytherins, the reader will expect you to zoom on a specific event of the first year in the second part of the chapter. At least, that's what I expected, and I have to admit, I was a bit disoriented. Instead, if you take the part from "one of the first things I noticed" onwards, and you move everything to the opposite side of the page break, those couple of lines become a general description of the first five years at Hogwarst, thus making the passage from the first part of the chapter to the second one less... Drastic.

However, that's only my humble opinion regarding an aspect you asked me to comment on. What I pointed out is a tiny detail in an otherwise really good chapter! I'm looking forward to reading more of it, and if you liked my story, don't hesitate to re-request ;)

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you! Wow, I find your first comments about the descriptions really interesting - I mean, you're right, there's not a huge amount of visual descriptions but it's odd for me to look back at it now thinking of that, because this is such an old chapter and my current writing is so much more descriptive, this really pointed out that change to me. Anyway, thanks! I'm glad it works :P

That is wonderful to hear that the characters don't seem like stereotypes, and are not cliche.

Haha oh good, I know there's not a whole lot of action in this chapter so I'm glad that Melanie's thoughts are enough to sustain interest in reading! And that's a really good point about that chunk of paragraphs. I had kind of deliberated about it for a while, whether it should go with the sixth year or the first year stuff and ultimately added it to the rest of the first year section, but it does feel awkward there, as you said. I'll have a look at rearranging it and see if it works better with the sixth year. :)

Thanks so much for your insightful review!

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Review #9, by maryheadA Not So Normal Life (After All): An Introduction

26th April 2014:
Hi! I'm here for your requested review :)

Ok. I definitely have to stop saying that I don't read Next Gen stories. Seriously. This. Is. Awesome!

I know, I know... I should have reviewed chapter 4. But to review chapter 4 I have to read chapter 1, 2 and 3 first, and chapter 1 is just too good to be left without a comment!

I have to say, I didn't read the summary. It's just a habit of mine, I want to feel the suspense at its highest level, and in this case, not reading the summary had the wanted effect. For the first couple of paragraphs I imagined the chapter to be set in Hogwarst and then... BAM. Surprise! You are in the muggle world, maryhead! I loved this, since I love surprises in a story, and the discovery attracted my attention even more. Of course, I am probably the only person on this website who doesn't read summaries, so I am probably the only person here who was surprised by this. Anyway.

I liked this chapter so much because I was able to identify myself completely with the protagonist. And when I say completely, I mean it. When I read "something that was so dear with me was slipping through my hands like sand" I almost shouted: "Oh my God! That's me! that'smethat'smethat'sme!". You were able to catch the feelings of a teenager who still believes in the magic of a book that has guided her in her childhood, and refuses to reject it only because she's "too old for that". Basically you talked about all of us, restless writers who work every day to let the Magical world live a second more.

The characterization is very good, and I found the "photography" of the chapter interesting. The way you focus on single details of a scene instead of describing the background in general- as in the part of the jiggling foot at the beginning of the chapter- gives me the wonderful sensation of watching a film created by a very original director. This is what I look for in a fan fiction, although you probably already know that.

So... What else can I say? This introduction really intrigued me, and I am looking forward to reading the next chapters!

Since you asked me to review chapter 4 and I... well, didn't, I'll review it without you having to re-request. ;)

I hope you liked this review, although it was probably a bit random, and thank you for suggesting this to me even though I didn't express a particular interest for this Era in my description. You broadened my horizons ;)

Author's Response: This is probably one of the nicest reviews I have ever gotten! Thank you so much! I am glad I opened your reading options to another era ;). Haha! Well, I'm glad you liked the surprise! I mean, I usually read the summaries but you know... whatever floats your boat I guess haha! Yes, I really tried in the first chapter to really make it seem like it could be anyone on this site that I was writing about. I begin to give G more specific characteristics later on, but I liked her being able to go in any direction in the beginning :). I feel like the first chapter was probably my best writing, so hopefully I don't let you done in the other chapters. I can't wait to read your review for chapter 4 ;). Thank you again, lovely!!
xoxo Mary

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Review #10, by maryheadIn Sickness And In Health: The Battle

25th April 2014:
Hi! I am here for the review you requested!

Ok, first of all I have to tell that I really like your characterization! Of course this is only the beginning, but I can already see that Hermione is a round character, brave as a true Gryffindor, but also scared as any other teenager would be in her situation. Draco seems to be even more complex: although he clearly states that he doesn't want anything to do with Voldemort, he doesn't profess an undying loyalty to the Light either, and that's really good in my opinion.

Regarding the general structure of the chapter, I liked the way you tried to focus on each protagonist, although there is a bit of unbalance between Hermione's and Draco's parts. Now, this is only the first chapter, and I don't still know if the story will be centered around Hermione or Draco, but I had the impression you wanted the chapter to be a good equilibrium between both. It was, in the first part, but I would have added Draco's perception of the battle before talking about Hermione's one. In this way you'd have made the battle part longer and a bit more intense, and there would have been a symmetry between the two protagonists.

That said, I don't think you introduced the battle too early: you managed to create the sense of dread and anticipation in the reader in Hermione's and Draco's parts, so adding something else would have slowed down the rhythm of the chapter.

Now that I think I answered all the questions you asked me, I'd like to add a personal note about the style. I loved it! It's really fluent and easy to read. You don't spend too much time describing unnecessary elements of the atmosphere and background, and you don't make excessively long sentences. Reading this chapter was relaxing for my yes and intense for my heart.

Thank you for requesting a review for this story! I'm really intrigued by the way it will develop, and I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter!

If you liked my review, feel free to re request on the forums! Just wait for a couple of weeks, so that other authors will have their chance ;)

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Review #11, by maryheadUnexpected: Death.

22nd April 2014:
Oh. My. God. I don't know if this was the story you wanted me to review, but anyway. Oh. My. GOD.

This is amazing! They are laughing and playing and... And then. Seriously, I don't know what to say. Definitely one of the best works I read so far!

I don't usually read NextGen works, but I'm always been fond of Teddy. However, here the Era or the characters do not play the leading role, in my opinion, at least. What matters here is the suspance you created, the sense of peace and calm you conveyed to the reader before crushing everything with a wave of dread.

The flashing scenes were perfect. Extremely visual. Reading this was like watching a film with a wonderful photography.

I don't think there's need to say more. Just. Wow!

Author's Response: Hey! Yes this is the one I hoped you would review, so thank you!
I've never really thought about the suspense taking over the characters before, so it's interesting that you've pointed that out. I hoped for a bit of shock factor with the happiness to cursing, mwahahahahah *cough*. I'm getting used to it flipping through time, and I'm glad you liked it. Aw thank you! :D

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Review #12, by maryheadFour : I.

19th April 2014:

What a wonderful, wonderful beginning! I never read a fan fiction set in the Founders' era, but this seems to be really good!

I think that the best elements of this chapter are the descriptions. I am a very "visual" sort of person and tend to create a mental film out of the things I read... Sometimes I have some difficulty, because the author isn't detailed enough... But you, my dear, did a wonderful job! I could almost touch the dress and smell the air of Middle Age England (if the story is set during the Middle Age, that is ;)).

And then the scene in the carriage... That was really good! I love the way you describe Helga's feelings towards magic and the fact you mentioned the persecution of witches and wizards in the story. Helga is a good character, a bit naive as it should be expected by a girl of her age, but also strong enough to learn how to use magic on her own.

I can't wait to see the next chapter, and I hope to read something more about Godric soon :)

Author's Response: Thank you my dear! I am so glad you liked it! I was so worried that Helga would come off as too naive and not a strong character at all, so I am so happy you saw her as she is and how she has the potential to grow. And yes, much more of Godric will be coming in the next chapters :).

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