Reading Reviews From Member: maryhead
  
22 Reviews Found

Review #1, by maryheadLike a House on Fire: Have You Even Talked to Her?

10th October 2014:
Hey there! I thought I could stop by and drop another review for the review tag :)!

I know I will probably repeat myself, but I really liked this chapter, maybe even a bit more than the previous one! In fact, although even here we do not have almost any kind of description, and it is mainly dialogue, it is also true that here description wasn't as necessary as in the first chapter, since the characters are in the Hogwarts Express, and hey, who doesn't know how the carriages are in that train? Probably a too detailed description would have even sound redundant to the eyes of a long-live Potter fan, so well done, my friend!

As usual, the bickering between your OC and the other characters is lively and entertaining. It is nice to see how your protagonist tries to soothe Lily slightly irritating stubbornness even if she herself isn't exactly in good terms with at least a quarter of the Marauders. I also appreciated the way Sirius' character resulted different in the first and second part of the chapter. Millie's POV is quite focused on the "creepy" impression he makes, and the reader is almost brought to view him as the stereotypical ignorant and obnoxious ladies man so popular among fanfictioner. In the second part, however, we are faced directly with Sirius' mind, and, although we couldn't certainly define him mature, he certainly appears to be almost... misunderstood. As if he had a deeper personality nobody is really able to perceive. As I said, this was really an interesting shift, a good parallelism that I hope will be brought on in the next chapters!
Regarding Remus... He seems to have lots of potential in this story, but somehow he was presented as a slightly anonymous boy from both Millie and Sirius POV, although in the last part he showed a bit of his wit and amusingly sarcastic nature. His situation is similar to the one commented above, but in this case there isn't his POV to state that he is, in fact, more than he shows. I wonder if in this story he will remain simply the shy yet intelligent kid who can show tiny bits of confidence only in front of his friends or if we will see a more... feral and mysterious side of him. I guess it is a question only reading will answer to!

As I said, good chapter! I'm looking forward to reading next, so if you want, do not hesitate do pay a visit to my review thread!

Well done!

Maryhead!

Author's Response: Heya! I'm finally replying to your lovely review. I'm so sorry for the lateness!

Ah! I'm glad that you enjoyed this chapter! I get really nervous when people read this story, especially the earlier chapters. It's my first fanfic and despite all its flaws, I still love it dearly. Haha, I'm glad you found the lack of description to be an advantage here. It's still one of those areas where I struggle.

So much of this story is just dialogue. I'm pleased you find it to be an entertaining read. One of the reasons I like including Sirius' point of view is that every story has three sides: my side, your side, and the right side. I really wanted to highlight with Sirius that so much of who we come across as to other people is for show. And of course everyone views you differently based on their experiences. In Sirius' case, his reputation precedes him.

Remus... sigh. I had so many plans for characterisation in this story. It needs a serious rewrite if I ever get the time. But thank you so much for your comments! I make a list of them so that whenever I do get the time to go over this story, I can do so with guidance.

Thanks so much for your lovely review! You've given me a lot of good points :)


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Review #2, by maryheadThe Monopoly on Honour: Do we not Suffer?

9th October 2014:
Hey there! I am here for a review you requested a while ago. Well, more than a while. I could stay hours writing why it took me so much to read and comment your story, but I don't think you'll be much interested in reading it ;).

So, this first, wonderful chapter. I've always been particularly fond of the Malfoys, especially after the last books/films, so I was so happy when I found out this story was going to be told in their POV, and I was even happier when I discovered you were going to describe them as good, albeit not "Light" characters of the story. It is an interesting perceptive, quite delicate if you ask me, but you managed to deal with it superbly. I felt sorry, truly sorry for the characters JK had made us despise for at least five books out of seven, and I almost started a mental hate parade against the light supporters for the awful way in which they had used Unforgivables on children. The part of Selena's horrible memory shocked me initially, but I shouldn't have been so surprised. It was war and, as you explained in such a wonderful way, both parts had their faults. I really hope some solution will be found for our Slytherin friends, maybe coming from the bespectacled hero we all love?

I truly enjoyed reading this chapter, a thing that, I have to admit, doesn't happen that often anymore. Your style is amazing, perfectly fluent and wonderfully descriptive. I could breathe the tragedy in the air, but you never were excessive in your description of tension and sorrow. It was elegant and collected, absolutely fitting to the characters you are describing.

Very, very good job! Please, re request whenever you like!

Maryhead!

Author's Response: Hi!

Thanks so much for the review, and I completely understand about real life taking over - it happens to us all, so don't worry about it :) Also - thanks so much for the shout-out on the forums, it means so much.

Yes, I've always found the Malfoys to be some of the most fascinating characters JKR wrote. Indeed, the distinction between good and evil is something I'm really going to explore in this fic - I'm flattered you think I've managed to present this in a balanced way. The Malfoys are definitely the main characters in this, the protagonists, but as to whether or not they can be called heroes - well, that's another question entirely!

The whole idea of including the 'Unforgivables on children' came from the idea that during the First War, the Ministry condoned Aurors using them. So the logical extension of that was, well, why not in the second war? It is war indeed, and war is a horrible thing, and I didn't think it was realistic for atrocities to only be committed by one side.

On a solution for the Malfoys and Greengrasses - without wanting to give too much away, I think it's safe to say that things will get far worse before they get better. After all, as Draco says in this chapter: for them, it is only the beginning of another nightmare. Harry will make an appearance later on, which will hopefully surprise people, but in a good way.

You enjoyed it? That's brilliant, thank you so much. It's so encouraging to hear that. And my style - gosh, thank you so much! I spent a fair amount of time on it, so it's fantastic to see it being appreciated. I think it's also integral to the story itself - I'm trying to write it in a particular way, and there's a specific reason for it.

Thank you so much for such a lovely, lovely review!

Celi xxx


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Review #3, by maryheadTwo Words: Cold

1st October 2014:
How come that no matter the word count, you always manage to send chills down my spine? I am awfully late with every single review I should write, and technically right now I should follow an incredibly strict schedule to catch up with all the delayed work... But the other stories will have to wait, I'm afraid. I just HAD to review this!

I am also afraid this won't be a very long comment, because even if I try, I can't find the right adjective to describe this one-shot. Original, inventive, artistic, visual, witty, psychedelic, dark, cruel, cold, crude...I am left speechless by how 500 words can combine and create something so incredibly beautiful, something I have never read before, and that my mind would have never thought of even in a thousand years.

I am speechless. But really, I shouldn't be. Everything you write is gold.

I just hope I can give this work justice by being the first reviewer. ;)

Maryhead!

Author's Response: AH this review is perfect!! How does one respond? Thank you thank you thank you. I'm so happy that you liked this and thought it was original, inventive, artistic and all of those other adjectives. I am so happy I was able to pull this off. I thought it might be too high concept and overambitious and that no one would like it you made me so happy with this review I can't even deal with this. THANK YOU!

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Review #4, by maryheadActions Speak Louder than Words: Broken: Rose POV

1st September 2014:
Hi! I'm Maryhead from the forum, ready to review your story!

Sweet Merlin, this was... intense. Quite different from the other NextGen fics I read... No, scratch that... COMPLETELY different from the other Next Gen fics I read!

I loved it. Utterly, absolutely loved it. The way you begun with those six actions, repeated constantly throughout the chapter, somehow reminded me of a Radiohead song, "Fitter, Happier". If you haven't listened to it, it is a sort of poem, "sung" by an electronic voice. It is automatic, numb, just as the the way Rose faces her daily routine. Or even. Have you ever seen the music video for the song "A Song to Say Goodbye"? It reminded me that one too. Rose here is like the man, who has clearly endured some kind of trauma, and is now a sort of motionless shell of despair. Of course, in the first lines you hint that your protagonist will change and manage to heal from the wounds of her past, but in this first chapter she herself is a sort of heartbreaking shell of despair.

I was actually moved by the way you depicted her internal struggle, with a sort of hushed, quiet monologue that touched deep, sensitive topics in an incredibly poetic way. Even though you didn't abound with descriptions, this chapter didn't need them to feel like a scene taken from a film. I could hear Rose murmur those words as the credits of the movie were replaced by a view of her apartment and her morning struggles... Amazing. Simply amazing.

I was so immersed in the reading of Rose's internal musing that I actually jumped a bit when Dom's voice "rang" in the flat. She was almost annoying, disturbing those melancholic meditation, completely unaware of the sufferings of her cousin. Or maybe she wasn't oblivious, but tried to help her by ignoring it... Anyway, it was like hearing a cell phone ringing in a Church, it made me want to jump in the story, grab Dom and scream "LEAVE HER ALOOONE"... Which is probably not good for my mental health, but incredibly good for your skills at involving the reader in the story! ;)

Truth be told, I didn't find a flaw in this chapter. Impeccable style, impeccable plot so far... I have many questions, the most important obviously "what happened to Rose?!", but I also have theories about them that just need to be confirmed by reading the next chapters!

Again, great job! I hope you'll re-request, just check my thread before doing so, because I am slightly changing my "not reading" section. :)

Have a nice September!

Maryhead

Author's Response: Hi Maryhead!

So sorry that I haven't responded to this until now. I'm usually much more prompt at my review responses - especially for requested reviews.

I checked out that Radiohead song that you mentioned and this is so crazy, but I used to babysit for a little boy who had cerebral palsy and he couldn't talk so he had a computer that he could spell everything and it would talk for him. It was the same voice as that song!!! Maybe I subconsciously picked a phrase that sounded robotic - like that voice.

Wow. I'm just reeling from this review. I can't really begin to thank you. I feel like you really *get* what I tried to convey with this chapter. I intentionally didn't put too much description into the scene because Rose can't really focus on that right now - she's too wrapped up in dealing with her own issues.

Dom isn't a lovey-dovey character. Although she has her suspicions about Rose's history, she chooses not to treat her any differently.

I'll definitely re-request. Thanks so much for this! ♥

Beth


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Review #5, by maryheadMorbid: Cousin Larry

31st August 2014:
This. Is. Amazingly. INTRIGUING!

I have always been a fan of Teddy's character, and I have always been tempted to read stories centred around him. However, probably because of the fear of melancholic thoughts about the Lupins tragic end, I've never read anything about him which wasn't a one-shot and didn't include Victoire in it. As a consequence, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this story, Teddy-centric, written by one of my favourite people of the forums, adorned by a catching title and with a first chapter that makes me bow in humble respect to your originality and talent.

I love it. Loveitloveitloveit! It is dark, mysterious, catching. Each one of the three scenes you depicted could have been isolated from the story and would have made a wonderful one-shot, but at the same time there is this subtle connection, this...something that ties each part to the others elegantly. They are like three different pictures of a same subject, like. Monet's Rouen Cathedral, do you know it? It is a remarkable example of Impressionism in which the artist depicted the same building from the same point of view at different times of the day. You did the same thing with our dear Teddy here, showing his personality and certainly complex psychology in different moments of his life. You offered the reader a view on very different aspects of the protagonist's existence, but the subject is always the same. At this point of the story we don't know yet exactly what is this subject, but we can already feel the allure of death and darkness that surrounds it.

My favourite part was by far the first scene. The walls covered by pictures of Teddy's own death are such a powerful, blood-chilling image. One could think Teddy as a sort of self-destructing, depressed, constantly sulking teenager, but then the story goes on, and suddenly those adjectives seem not so fitting with the young Lupin's character anymore. He looks almost... Content with the life he is leading, drawing and breathing death every time he can, isolating himself from the living world and talking with an imaginary (or maybe not) and consciously dead Merlin. He looks like the classic boy who managed to detach himself from life and living people, but in some points we understand that this black, cold shell he has built around himself is not entirely what he wants. And of course we don't understand exactly what he really wants or why he endures this self-imposed exile from the land of the livings, but that is what intrigues the most.

Really impressive work. I can't wait to read what happens next!

Author's Response: Wow, you just stopped by randomly to leave a review!! This was so unexpected, thank you so much. I can't say I receive many random reviews like this, so it's so very appreciated.

Thank you SO much for saying that I'm one of your favourite people on the forums!! That makes me feel really great actually. And 'bow in humble respect to your originality and talent'! What is there to even say. Being such a fan of your work I can't even start on what kind of feeling that gave me.

Since I knew this story was going to be so short, I had to decide what scenes I'd want to give the reader that would really express everything that he is. It's so good that they tied together well. They're almost just snapshots of the things he's getting up to. This whole story could be considered a collection of snapshots even. And, DID YOU JUST COMPARE MY WORK TO MONET? And furthermore, DID YOU MAKE THE COMPARISON WORK? I actually do know of the series of paintings, but I never would have made the connection. This chapter is a lot like it though, now that you mention it. The different circumstances truly did affect how Teddy can be perceived in much the same way.

When I came up with that first scene, that was when I knew that this story was going to be more than just going through the motions with the film it was supposed to be based upon. That's when I first starting making this my own. A big thing that I wanted to do was show that Teddy, despite all of his obsession with death, is not depressed or a terrible person. Of course, he gets upset sometimes and makes mistakes, but don't we all? Basically, his problems and strange fixations don't completely define him.

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving me this amazing review!


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Review #6, by maryheadLike a House on Fire: A First Time for Everything

20th August 2014:
Hi! I am here for an incredibly late review! Yay!

As you know I love the Marauders and especially Sirius, so I was incredibly happy to read a Sirius/OC I didn't know about. Now, this is only the first chapter, but I can say I have found a new story to read for the rest of the summer!

I really like the beginning of this chapter. Actually I am a fan of the 'let's start this novel with a dream' thing, so there was no doubt I would be utterly hooked by this kind of introduction! I also liked the way Millie lives the nightmare, with irony and humour, even though it is clear the dream affects her and has something to do with a tragic event of her past. Generally I enjoyed the humour and bickering of the characters, they made the chapter lively and entertaining, and helped to give out the mysterious/tragic hints in a more subtle way.

I have a little observation to make regarding the descriptive element of this chapter. You focused on the dialogue a lot, and this is fine, because, as I said, the interactions as witty and easy to read, but it would have been even better if there had been some descriptions here and there. Not necessarily a description of the characters' physical appearance, mind you, because that can be introduced later on in the story, but of the location of the chapter itself. I had to admit it took me a bit to understand where the scenes were set, and it would have been lovely to know more about Millie's home (or hotel room?) and maybe even something about Diagon Alley itself. I think the part in which I felt more the need of a description was Sirius', though, because that was pure dialogue, with only vague hints about "James' room" and "something" to retrieve. That said, I am usually a description-obsessed kind of reader, who likes to "see" what she's reading, and I know that some readers/writers prefer to concentrate more on the interaction part, leaving the setting to the imagination of the reader ;).

Regarding the characterisation, I can't actually say much, since this is only the first chapter. Millie seems to be a strong, humorous girl with some shadow in her past. I like her a lot! The allure of mystery you created is great and certainly glues the reader to the monitor :). Lily seems a bit temperamental and... She forgot Millie's birthday! Poor Millie! (I actually have to say I sympathised with Lily for a couple of seconds, since I tend to forget birthdays too. Oops :P).

I really enjoyed this chapter! I know you wanted me to review later updates, but I prefer to start a novel from the beginning, especially a long one, and I usually review a chapter at a time, as I specified in one of the last updates on the thread. I hope to have been helpful, and if you want to, don't hesitate do re-request! I am really curious to know what will happen next!

Maryhead

Author's Response: Hey, hey, hey! Don't worry about the lateness - as you can see, I'm terribly tardy with my replies :P

Aww! That's so sweet of you! I'm glad you liked the first chapter that much.

Millie takes her dreams in stride, which can be both good and bad. I'm glad you liked the opening - I like reading stories that start with dreams as well. Everything becomes just so much more... nebulous and you spend a lot of your time reading the first bit like "Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy?"

My description actually sucks in this story - even more so than in my other stories. It's my first fic, and description was one of things that I was terrible at during that time (I still am, but less so, I hope). Thank you so much for where you would've liked to see more description! That actually really helps a n00b like me.

First chapters can be a bit weird that way, when you want to know a character and feel this connection but you can't because it's just the first chapter and there just isn't enough there. Hopefully you form a more informed opinion of her and the rest of the characters in later chapters!

Thanks so much for the lovely review, and I really am very sorry about how late this reply is :(


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Review #7, by maryheadYear Five: Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

20th August 2014:
Hi! I'm here for the incredibly late review you requested! Sorry for the delay, dear, I don't think I need to tell you all the reasons why I couldn't write this comment sooner. It would be boring for you and completely off topic :).

Anyway, back to this first, very interesting chapter.

First of all, this is an incredibly original idea for a story! I use to read, and write, about missing moments in the books or alternative universes/what ifs/ whatever, so a completely canon fanfiction set during Hogwarst Era caught me by surprise, and even left me a bit dubious at first. Let me explain: writing about Hogwarst Era without changing plot or characters is intriguing, but potentially dangerous. As you suggested in your introduction, you can unintentionally modify a particular event, or forget about a detail, or, and that's what made me dubious at first, result in doing nothing more than copy and paste JK's magnificent work.
Fortunately, though, all my doubts went straight to the bin when I actually read the first chapter of this story. This, in fact, doesn't look like the typical canon story in which an OC friend of Harry will substantially replace him as the hero of the seven books. This is a true OC story, in which there will be the Harry Potter element, but there will also be the independent development of your characters. Moreover, you really put an effort into maintaining the highest level of detail and precision as regards to JK's world in general. The fact that the Obliviator you mentioned really existed in the books impressed me. You look like a real Harry Potter expert, my friend!

Regarding this chapter in particular, I honestly didn't catch a single flaw! The style is fluent, easy to read and at the same time elegant. The initial muggle POV is an intriguing device which you used in an admirable way. The scene of the moving picture was, in my opinion, the most beautiful scene of the whole chapter: highly descriptive, fun to read but not excessive in its humour. In other words, well-balanced and... Can I say "delicate"?

Your OC seems to be a wonderfully round character too. You didn't give out too much about him, and that's wonderful, because honestly, who would want to know everything about a character from the very first lines of a story? You created an allure of mystery around Tristan that makes the reader want to keep on reading... Not to say that Tristan is a magnificent name. Very Potter-like, I would say ;).

To conclude this incredibly long ramble, I found this chapter totally captivating and completely worth the read. Are you a professional writer? I think you are. I am honoured to have had the possibility to read your story, and do not hesitate to re-request!

Maryhead!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful and encouraging review!

Yes, the purpose of this story was very much to examine what happened in the background of PhilStone, so I definitely did a CRAZY amount of research to get the canon and era straight. Thank goodness for sites like the HP Lexicon and wiki, otherwise I never would have had a chance working on this! People took the time to create a calendar of events, explaining on what day of the week every point in PhilStone happened. THIS WAS SUCH AN IMPORTANT REFERENCE FOR ME!

Your analysis and kind words about the "dozens of televisions" sequence was just.. Everything! Thank you so much!

Tristan's name (and character) was very much inspired by the song "Tristan" by Patrick Wolf. The name means "child of sorrow." :(

And AH! I can't even process the flattery of this review! I do write professionally, but only boring stuff like copy and policy statements. This was my very first attempt at long-form prose fiction, so it means a lot to me that you thought it was effective!

I will definitely be rerequesting! Thank you sosososo much!


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Review #8, by maryheadSomething to Live For: Full Moon Rising

10th August 2014:
So, I really wanted to read what happened next, and I saw you had FAR TOO FEW reviews in my opinion, so here I am with another comment!

Aand again, this was a really good chapter! You really kept up with the great deal of balance between description, dialogue and POV's thoughts.

I kinda love your Draco! He's really serious and mysterious in this chapter, quite a cryptic personality. He really stands out for the depth with which you are depicting him!

I liked also the description of Harry's office, the fact that it looks "rather modest", and the presence of those pictures on the desk... As a lover of the Marauders and Hogwarst Eras, I have to say it moved me more than a bit!

Rosalind is a great OC. I already said that in the last review, but I do like her not being the classic strong woman or perfectly perfect girl everybody would like to be but nobody actually can. A nice change, I have to say, today I almost read only about those kind of characters!

The plot is incredibly catching too. It feels like watching episodes of CSI or Criminal Minds. Moreover, I LOVE werewolves, so yeah... This chapter was perfect for me! Only a tiny little question: why did the girl's father say that the werewolves were extinct? How could that be possible? I'm so curious to find out what happens next!

To the next review
Maryhead!

Author's Response: Hi again! :)

Haha thank you! I'm so glad someone is enjoying the story so far, it really means a lot to me. I have a lot written and just need to do some editing here and there for excessive violence.

There is a chapter later on that focuses on Draco quite a bit, and how he's struggling with his name being tainted because he really wants to leave that behind. I think he has a lot of potential to be a good person, but he hasn't convinced himself that yet.

Haha I've always thought of Harry as the ultimate noble person, who no matter how many accomplishments he's had he'll still be very humble about it. At the same time he's sentimental though, and I wanted to show him as realistically as I could in a few sentences. I love the Marauders Era as well! But I feel like it's such a hard time to dabble with so I haven't attempted anything yet.

Thank you! :) She's actually a very dark and troubled character, there will be a lot more insight in her POV soon. She has gone through a lot and isn't able to escape certain parts of her past.

Ooh well I meant that part to be a reference to the last wizarding war after the Battle of Hogwarts; Fenfir Greyback is presumed dead since there were no traces of him or werewolves afterwards. They've kept quiet for a number of years that's why the girl's father was in denial that she was attacked by one. I'll make sure to clean that up :)

I'm so very flattered that you like it! This seriously made my day, thank you so much for your wonderful review :) Everything will start tying in together eventually, and as of now I'm heading in an interesting direction with this so stay tuned!

-Melissa


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Review #9, by maryheadSomething to Live For: Interviewing a Foreigner

10th August 2014:
I seriously need to read fanfictions on this website more often. Really.

This first chapter is amazing! I could see any single scene, your description are so very detailed and well-balanced I just... Impressive work. The style is fluent, the chapter is easy to read and incredibly interesting.

The OC is well depicted. You didn't gave out too much, and that's marvellous, because certainly many of the questions will find an answer in the next updates and that veil of mystery is really entertaining. What impressed me the most was the ability with which you managed to insert Rosalind in the world we all love: it was so... Natural!

Draco and George... Aaaw. Well, maybe I shouldn't "aaaw" with Draco, because you depicted him as a quite sexy guy ;) , but Georgd is surely and Aaaaw character. When you mentioned the missing ear... Perfect, I tell you!

Loved this chapter, my friend! Can't wait to read the other chapters!

Maryhead

Author's Response: Oh thank you so much! I struggle with descriptions and detail, so it makes me really happy to hear that someone liked it :)

I tried to make Rosalind as likable and normal as possible without making her stand out too much. She's a bit of a weird balance between shy and outspoken, because she's quiet but doesn't like to be walked all over. And yes there will be a lot of answers later on :)

Haha yes I quite like writing Draco and George! My Draco is a bit of a brooder but is trying to come out of his shell as well, because he isn't well liked in the Ministry, being a former Death Eater and all. George has always been really adorable to me, he shows up more in chapter three :) He's my favorite twin and he's involved with Rosalind a lot more pretty soon.

Thank you so much for your kind review! I will definitely return the favor and read your story as well :) Read as much as you want, I have about 14 chapters written so far haha and a lot of questions will be answered.

-Melissa


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Review #10, by maryheadStarfall: Prologue

5th August 2014:
Wow.

This story is SO INCREDIBLY INTERESTING.

I went to Gabriella Hunter's review thread this morning and you know, she always asks us to check each other stories, so I looked around, found your story and...

Wow.

The style is impeccable. Wonderful. The perfect proportion of description, POV's thoughts and feels. And oh, the feels!
I read in the thread that other readers thought Lily was OOC here. I don't agree with them. She is and always be a fighter for the light and a follower of the greater good after all, and this prologue takes place a year after the tragedy in Godric's Hollow should have happened. I may only guess all the pain and sufferings she has been through, and the desperation in her heart. Moreover, I know you'll explain everything in the following chapters, which I'm looking forward to reading soon!

Great job, my friend!

The never-ending fan of darkish stories and drama,

Maryhead!

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Review #11, by maryheadRose-Coloured Glasses: Real beaches have sand

1st August 2014:
AND I'M HERE FOR YOUR REQUESTED REVIEW!!

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!

Maryhead

Author's Response: Hi!!!

No worries about the delay - I know all about it haha. While I'm on the subject - I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to reply to this review, as it's so so so wonderful!!!

I'm so thrilled that you love Jean! Not very many people are taken with her so far, I can tell you. It's been quite the love-her-or-hate-her experience :P As to reminding you of Sirius ... I never thought of that before ... But you're right haha.

Thanks for saying that I pull the first-person narrator off - I don't usually do first-person, so I'm always worried about it :S And I'm so flattered you like my writing stlye, thank you so so much :'D

I'll let you know when the next chapter's ready to be reviewed!!! Thanks again for an awesome review :D

Cheers,
Jo


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Review #12, 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!

Author's Response: Setting and imagery aren't really my strong points so I guess that's why I tend to avoid it. :P But you are absolutely right and I'll try and work on description in coming chapters. Maybe it'll grow on me? Okay, it probably won't... but we'll see.

Jodie is interesting? I thought she turned out kind of bland but yay, you think she is interesting! Remus is a sweetie, I love writing him. He's the character that kind of holds her down.

I think I jumped to quickly into the start of the plot. I'm going to go back and edit that part. Thanks so much for pointing that out!

Thanks for taking the time to come give some feedback. *hugs* I'll probably re-request if your topic is still open.

~Sama :)


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Review #13, 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.

-Georgia


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Review #14, 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 #15, 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 #16, 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 #17, 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 #18, 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 #19, 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 #20, 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 #21, 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
Chazzie


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Review #22, by maryheadFour : I.

19th April 2014:
Hi!

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 :).
xoxo


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