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2 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngst 

28th August 2015:
Moving along, moving along...

GryCReMo (Review #38)

Whew! At least Neville still has his wits about him. As long as Wren and Albus have Neville on their side, I think there's a good chance that things will work out alright.

Leaning back in his chair, he noted that Pince still had that wild glint in her eye, staring greedily at the mass of children like they were a tasty meal. -- Would it be entirely too much trouble for you to kill her off at the end of the story? Never liked that one. Pretty please?

Funny that the Ravenclaws are the ones who are cheering for Dillon loudest. Perhaps they're a bit too brainy for their own good.

Neville mentally kicked himself for not doing more than just passing along the information to the headmistress. -- I'm also mentally kicking him. Sheesh!

Even the Sorting Hat doesn't want anything to do with Dillon. The hat knows what time it is.

Scorpius squeezed himself in front of her. "What?" he snapped, affronted at their tight lipped faces. "She's clean. I checked."

"I bet you did," muttered Rose.
-- Brilliant! No scene is ever too tense for a little smutty humor.

Ha! Did you empty all of your unused (and gently used) British slang into a single passage of Scorpius's dialog?

So one thing is bugging me about this chapter. I think Neville seems far too OK with the idea of Wren continuing to be in harm's way. I know he's probably not as over-protective a parent as Molly Weasley -- who is, really? -- but still the idea of sending her off to the enthralled Headmistress's office seemed like a bit much. I'm still sort of surprised that nobody is trying to contact the Ministry or the Aurors. Granted, I know that would never work with the plot, but it seems like somebody should at least think about the possibility of contacting Harry.

Aww.. Rose and Scorpius are having a moment. Now's certainly not a bad time, since they could both be captured and enthralled before they get another chance. And it all started with talking about Wren and Albus's non-relationship. Now that Rose is clued in, I'd say it's only a matter of time. Neither Albus nor Wren is going to have any peace from her until they stop being so stubborn.

A polarity-charmed banana, she said softly, and the door slid open. -- Sometimes the simplest answer is also the correct one. ;)

Oh, boy. You are going to kill of Sloan, right? Seriously, this guy is nothing but bad news whenever he pops up. Now he's telling Dillon everything he needs to know to turn into some sort of over-powered psycho vampire. Maybe the giant, freaking rabbit from the Library could step on him or something? Please?

You're doing an awesome job driving your plot toward the big finale! At least I assume that's what's coming. I have to go find out...

Author's Response:

I see Neville as a pretty responsible adult. And with his own child on the line, he's not likely to abandon them when they need him the most.

Okay, so I want you to remember what you just said here about Pince for later.

So as you can see, this is the part where things go from bad to worse, and I had to figure out how to do that without making my characters look completely stupid. That was hard, I tell you. Fortunately, it wasn't too difficult to spread the second-guessing around.

Glad you appreciate the bit with the Sorting Hat. It's only supposed to work with wizards. That should be a big clue right there to anyone in the room who thinks Dillon is still a cute little kid, but alas. He's got most of them brainwashed already.

Scorpius and Rose... things are never easy with them. I couldn't let this story be any different. But I do have to admit, that line was so much fun.

Yeah, it bugged me too. Small revision to make him look more responsible. I think it put a bump in the prose, but at this point, I was just looking for places to keep the character consistency going.

You're reading Rose like a book, Dan. Actually, she's not that hard for everyone else to figure out. Too bad she couldn't just look at herself in the mirror a few chapters back and say, "Oh, THAT's what I'm supposed to do." But she's getting there. Slowly.

So, um... is it bad of me to actively look for a place to insert the word "banana" in my story as hard as I did?

I'm not sorry you feel so strongly about Sloan. At this point, I just hope you think his story arc came to a satisfactory end. I thought it was fitting.

Yes yes. Please find out what happens. Read like the wind!!


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Review #2, by RavenclawFTW 

26th July 2015:
Hey! I'm here for the requested review. So I read through the whole story (well, everything that you've posted), and it was phenomenal. Seriously, one of the best, most thought-out, well-written stories I've read on the archives. You asked to see if there were confusing elements and if the plot made sense. I thought the plot was incredibly well-done and drawn out, with a great balance of suspense, foreshadowing, and reveal. The details all fell into place over time, and you did a great job not just thinking up an intriguing and interesting plot, but putting that plot into the story with your hints and descriptions. I love how you use POV to switch around and reveal what's going on, but without explicitly stating everything outright. You leave some of it up to the readers to understand it and put everything together.

That being said, there were a few issues that stuck out to me so I'd like to highlight them now. I do this because otherwise the story was so compelling and tight, and I hope it doesn't seem overly critical. I was really caught up in the story myself, but a few tiny things stuck out to me.

I think Wren is a wonderful character, and she's definitely well defined throughout. That said, throughout the story, I felt myself wishing that I knew more about what she was like before this whole bunny business began (that was a lot of fun to type hahaha). You have other characters say things along the lines of "Wren is acting funky, not like how she used to be" and some overarching descriptions of ways she's changed, but I wish I could see more about that. I don't know the best way to do that, because including memories can be awkward to work in, but I felt like there was a lot of people just stating what she was like before this without really fleshing that out or showing the reader what that means. This feels especially true of her relationship with Albus to me, although Wren does talk a bit about topics she brought up with him (eg her fear of zombies). As a reader, I felt like I was being consistently reminded that they want it to be like how they were before everything, but I didn't feel like I had a very clear sense of what that really meant. It would've helped me contextualize the effect of Bunny on her.

Going off of that, it seemed odd that Rose wasn't more concerned about Wren this whole time. She repeatedly insists that she's Wren's best friend, but she seems more boy obsessed than worried about her friend, and then acts offended that Wren didn't talk to her. Albus took her odd behavior more seriously and it made me wonder a lot about Rose's character. She just comes off a tiny bit self-absorbed, but maybe that's what you were going for. It made me a bit confused about her relationship with Wren, though.

Something else I felt a little unclear on was how much time has passed in this story at all. The summer obviously flies by Wren very quickly, but I was often confused by how much of the school year has happened. There was a reference to canceling the November Hogsmeade trip, so it's before November, but throughout the story I was pretty confused by the passage of time, especially because it seems like there are few references to their school commitments beside the history classes (and some Charms mentions). I think if you included a few references more explicitly that could be helpful (I know there are oblique references, like how the practice sneaks up on Wren and how she goes home several times, but those are woven into the story so that they didn't stick out much as I tried to understand the setting at the beginning of sections).

Moving right along...I am very confused by James and Albus's relationship. Maybe this is something that you'll go into in further depth in the coming chapters, but as a reader, I was very, very frustrated by James's behavior because it felt cruel rather than amusing. Everybody seems to think highly of James and are surprised by his actions towards Albus, and I didn't really feel like there were clear motives for his actions/changed behavior. It seems like somebody would have intervened given his actions (and I know Albus says his charms wear off before he can show them to somebody, but it seems like the persistence of his actions should eventually catch up to him?). I dunno, it's hard for me to believe that he's nice/kind/good given how outright cruel his actions towards Al are, and how many precautions Al takes to fight back.

I was also quite thrown by everybody's reactions towards Al and Wren being out after curfew. Given how safe the Wizarding World seems to be after the Wars, it seems like many students would take the rules lightly and curfew wouldn't be that big of a deal to break. It felt a little confusing that everybody was so intense about it and that it earned three detentions. Maybe that's more to do with my own interpretations/head canons, but that just felt a severe overreaction, especially because it's Wren's first infraction and they weren't caught out of bounds or anything (like out on the grounds or something). That all just felt a little weird and off when I was reading through it.

Other small things.in the last chapter, James used a stunning spell. In canon, that knocks a person out, rather than pinning them to floor as Al was. In this chapter, during Rose and Scorpius's exchange, there were several missing quotation marks.

Okay, I think those were most of my concerns! Sorry this became a novel, and sorry that they were a little nit-picky. This is seriously an awesome story and I'm so excited to see where it goes. You've done a marvelous job so far! :)

--J

Author's Response:

Hi hi!

Thank you so much for reading through the whole thing and giving me the low down on the major arcs. This was exactly what I was looking for in feedback. I don't know how much I'm willing to adjust at this point, or whether I will simply take your feedback and apply it to future writing, but please know that I am so grateful for this, since most people review chapter by chapter and never seem to comment on the overall effect of things.

Wren: I KNOW! I have been struggling with this exact thing of showing Wren before the change so people can get an idea of her before Bunny. I thought seriously about the first chapter, and I rewrote it from what I had before to include more of Wren. I don't know if it holds up enough though. For the sake of character development, I almost wanted to take the story and start it earlier, but for the sake of plot development, that didn't make sense. Sooo... I suppose my options would be either more references to the past, or flashbacks, neither of which presented as good options during the scenes while I was writing. I suppose I can read through the story with this issue in mind and see if anything pops out at me now. It might be as simple as adding a small scene somewhere for Wren and/or Albus (actually, a reflective Albus scene might be better than a reflective Wren scene somewhere... hmm...) if I can find a good spot. Having read the story, if you think of anything, please let me know. I can certainly add a short scene without too much trouble if that's what may ground readers better.

Rose: I thought about this too, and I did make a few adjustments to her character from the last draft. She's absolutely self-centered, and it takes a lot for her to notice things around her that don't pertain to her personally. Unfortunately, there are people that are just like that, and they have friends who put up with it. I suppose that Rose's personality is a testament to Wren's patience. :P There is more interaction between Rose and Wren coming up. I can't justify her. She just is who she is at this point. I didn't want her to be this wonderful friend, or Wren wouldn't have had so much trouble dealing with all of the stuff. Sometimes the decisions I make give me more problems than I want to admit. Sigh.

Time: You know what? I think I took a lot of time references out of this final draft, and I'm not sure why I did that. Maybe if I put more of those "the next morning" and "two days later" phrases back in, it would make the transitions easier to follow.

James/Albus: James does not act nicely towards Albus, and he never actually apologizes for it, but they do come to an understanding that he needs to stop fooling around and help because things become serious. That's as far as I took that arc. If you didn't find that satisfying as a reader, perhaps I can tweak it to have a stronger resolution. I will have to think on that as well. Again, if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Curfew/Detention: because Plot, unfortunately. Haha. I may have cheated on this issue, simply because I made Albus and Wren out to be the kind of people who didn't go out of their way to break the rules. I could tweak that as well and make their infraction more severe to fit the punishment.

I'll tidy up this last chapter, and I should have made a bigger deal over Albus' ability to break through James' magic, which was supposed to be a big thing. I guess it needs a larger punch there. I'll see what I can do about that.

Please don't apologize. This was exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. If there's anything else you can think of, or tweaks you think I can do to make the story stronger, I would LOVE to hear them.

Very grateful,

Pix







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