Reading Reviews for Inside Death
43 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragon 05: A Traced Birthright

27th December 2015:
Ahh the mystery revealed! I really like how you characterized Rabastan here. I think it's quite easy to make Death Eaters cruel, harsh, and outright evil, but it takes someone wiser and more capable to paint their darkness in a way that they can still be viewed as actual people - which they undeniably are, no matter how dark their thoughts and souls. Here we got a sense of the type of person Rabastan is, how he communicates, and what he prioritizes, which makes the scene infinitely more interesting.

I also think you did a good job continuing the growth of Ana's character by having him force her to confront her mother's absence fully. Whether she's truly been abandoned for good or whether he's merely playing on her fears as a means of manipulation also isn't posed and resolved immediately, making it an extra nice depiction. While my sense is that she has indeed been abandoned, I look forward to seeing how that develops.

As far as the broader things you've asked about like flow, pacing, and consistency, thus far I don't think you have anything at all to worry about. You've written Ana compellingly and the other Slytherins (current and former) that have come into play to this point have been consistent with their sorting, yet also crucially differentiable both in voice and motivation which is so important.

Thanks for sharing this excellent story! Good luck as you continue with it!

Author's Response: Yes, and thank you! All of these characters are extremely hard to write and understand, since they are so nuanced yet not mentioned in the books at length (for obvious reasons). Some of them are complete brutes, others not so much, very intelligent creatures, but dark or soulless. I'm enjoying developing these though, so I hope they continue to ring true and come across as compelling ;)

Oh, awesome, I was worried she was crying and sitting somewhere for THREE CHAPTERS, even I'm over it hahaha. I'm glad you felt her mind shift and more questions raised. Who knows the truth.

Yes, as I've mentioned, this has been written over years, so it's nice to know there aren't glaringly obvious horrific errors in flow and pacing and consistency. though I always think there's room for improvement, so that's just me being a perfectionist, oh well.

Thanks again so much, I better finish this in 2016, so I hope you do come back and let me know what you think *hug*


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Review #2, by TidalDragon 04: Forgotten Scores

27th December 2015:
Another haunting installment that definitely leaves us wondering about so many things. Who is it exactly that has Ana? What are their motives? Are they acting at her father's behest to separate her from her mother or is their agenda darker? The way you've painted the story as a whole and this chapter make the questions all the more compelling.

I thought you also very thoroughly captured the invasion and coping mechanisms that come with...well...a capture. I think the contrast between the supervised bathroom visit and the piano memory which gave way to mental melodies were excellent choices to make it happen.

See you in Chapter 6!

Author's Response: Maybe I should switch genres with all my experimental writing haha. Dun, dun, dun questions - with answers in the next chapter (as you've read)! Who knows what they're doing though...Glad you enjoyed, thanks!


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Review #3, by TidalDragon 03: Where Darkness Dwells

25th December 2015:
Hello again! Sorry for the reviewing interlude, but I'm back now.

This chapter was stupendously haunting! I think it worked so well in that regard for a couple of reasons (though I may give more so don't hold me to that number :p). First, the frequency of the shifts between present and past. Normally I'm pretty iffy on frequent in-and-out flashbacks, but here it really worked for me because it allowed the structure to really echo Ana's fluctuating emotional state. Given how crucial that emotional state was to the success of this chapter, I think the choice really worked for you.

Second, I think the ambiguity you maintained in the DETAILS of what was happening added a second layer of mystery that enhanced the haunting quality. We are left after this chapter with so many questions and so few answers, but somehow, given the tone, this seems appropriate and leaves us eagerly awaiting satisfaction of our curiosity in the near future.

Speaking of, I will see you now in Chapter 4!

Author's Response: A review, and on Christmas, wow. Hope your holiday was lovely!

"Stupendously haunting" is an amazing phrase and leaves me smiling - thank you! This is definitely a deviation (like every chapter seems to be in this story) from my straightforward writing, so I'm glad you enjoyed the switches and ups-and-downs of Ana, as well as the ambiguity. Hopefully some answers will be wrapped up in Chapter 6-7 :P

Thanks so so much, I didn't expect all these reviews, so you rock!

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Review #4, by TidalDragon 02: My Little Ana

28th November 2015:
Hello again! As I'm trying to fight against falling asleep, I'm going to keep this review more succinct than usual.

There were two things I liked most about this chapter: (1) the contrast in tone/mood between the beginning and end and (2) the pacing of the middle. With respect to the first of these, it was nice to see Ilyana ("Ana") come home with such hopes of being both vulnerable and comforted - neither of which she could ever feel at school - and then have her get none of that, receiving in fact the opposite - abandonment (at least as she views it...I'm interested to see how that angle plays out). Re: the second, you did a good job simplifying language and dragging us through an enormous house, all while maintaining an increasingly frantic feeling in your MC.

The thing that stood out that I didn't like, was the way that a lot of the language (particularly in the beginning to beginning of the middle of the chapter) was quite repetitive. I'm looking squarely at you all the lines including the word mum and expressions of surprise at her absence. I'd tweak those a bit so they express similar, but slightly different ideas OR build and expand on each other with whys and deeper emotions to improve that aspect.

All in all though an intriguing next installment. I'll keep R&R-ing later tonight!

Author's Response: I appreciate succinct, and hope you finally caught up on some sleep! I'm glad you enjoyed the tone and the journey as the first major element of the plot occurs. I will look closer at these sections and work on the repetition, as it's likely unnecessary-I don't want to bog the reader down ;)


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Review #5, by TidalDragon 01: Whispers in June

27th November 2015:
Speaking of easing the transitions in scattered thinking, you did a much better job of it here. Though there's obviously a lot happening once you get us to the Slytherin CR and Ilyana's reactions definitely differ from the way she's forced to keep up appearances, you make the flow of her thoughts seem much more natural and normal.

I also liked the characterization of Ilyana in this chapter. I think it would have been too easy to have someone in her situation be squared away with what side they fall on and have a ready reaction to Dumbledore's death and what should or could come next and I was glad to see you didn't take that route. It makes your MC much more real and human instead of solid and perfect.

I will note that I didn't quite follow the exchange between Pansy and Daphne Greengrass or why Daphne was crying. If that's a mystery to be revealed later in the story, just ignore this (I assume that's what it is), but it just rang a bit strange because we do know that the Greengrass family is pureblood (though perhaps you're weaving an adoption storyline - I don't know).

Anyhow, the story is keeping me intrigued thus far - and I particularly liked your language at the end of this chapter here post-funeral. I'll see you in Chapter 3 after I get some sleep.

Author's Response: Oh ok, awesome, thanks! I wrote this chapter a year later the first, so maybe I flexed more mature writing muscles here. Like I wrote, I will look over the Prologue. I'm glad you got a sense of Illyana's character and that her thought pattern was easier to follow (natural)!

Haha, she's not perfect, poor thing, but glad you felt that her pondering made her more whole, it seems.

Yeahhh I wrote this before Pottermore and the 28 - so I will likely tweak the Pansy/Daphne exchange, though what i was going for was showing how tenuous status is and how rumors spread to shape things -obviously that's a more "later" thought haha.


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Review #6, by TidalDragon Prologue: June 1980

27th November 2015:
Well, I had a review all typed up and then I accidentally hit the left arrow. GRR.

Anyway, though "new" characters in Hogwarts Era aren't really my cup of tea, I can see the appeal in this one because it's more of a "hidden" character situation that will not distort canon events, but instead provide a different lens through which they can be viewed, which I think is interesting and valuable.

I also like the way you've set up Julienne and the competing struggles that would have been very real for many in society - the choice between their own safety and that of their families and standing up for what is right. In her case, it's obviously coupled with the reluctance to lead the life she's living, but the inescapable fear that is very realistic of wartime (especially what's essentially a civil war).

The one thing I'd tweak about this chapter is that Julienne's thoughts, while appropriate, come across quite disjointed, I think owing to the sharp transitions between action and thought and then different lines of thought. Perhaps easing us in a little more on those can allow you to retain to tactical choice of scattered thinking, but without the choppiness I perceived on my first read-through.

Hope this helps! See you in the next chapter!

Author's Response: Author's Response: Heya Kevin!

First, thanks a million for these amazing reviews, I appreciate your time and energy into writing these for like a month. You are so dedicated!!

Second, I hate when reviews poof, so sorry!

Third, onto the actual review content lol. Honestly, when reading "new" characters aren't my cup of tea either, but I wrote this baby back in 08-09 when it was "cool" and younger me that it was the coolest, and I'm still trying to finish it, so here we are haha. This is all canon compliant, yes ;)

I'm glad you get the sense of Julienne's struggles with her life (identity, bloos status, etc). I will take a longer look at the action to thought ratio and try to make things less disjointed (though you're right that I was going for scattered thinking).

Thanks again,
xx ellie

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Review #7, by moonbaby11 01: Whispers in June

9th October 2015:
Ugh. I just wrote out a full review and then lost it so I'm really sorry if this is a little all over the place, I'm just trying to remember what it is that I wrote. I hope you understand ://

So, Illyana is a really interesting character! I like that she fits really well into a grey area - she doesn't fully agree with nor does she fully oppose what her father stands for. I think that makes for a really interesting character and I'm excited to see her development! I also like that you didn't try and make her a carbon copy of her mother or anything like that, instead giving her her own personality and her own feelings in terms of her lineage.

We don't really know a whole lot about Daphne, Millicent, and Pansy in canon, but I think you captured them wonderfully! Especially in terms of Pansy and her dialogue. I could visually picture Pansy standing on a chair, screeching out into the common room, using the fact that she was a Prefect to try and get ahead. I think you've written them all wonderfully and now I can't wait to see what you do with more canon characters that I'm sure will inevitably be introduced in the future as you seem to have a great grasp on canon!

I was a little surprised to see that this story started in HBP instead of DH, but I really like the route you're taking. I've never thought much about how Dumbledore's death would effect the Slytherins so it's really interesting to see in their minds. They stand in such contrast with the Golden Trio that it almost feels as though I'm reading about a completely different event, if that makes sense. I also liked the way that you wrote Dumbledore's funeral. I was initially surprised that I didn't feel as much sadness for him as I do while reading HBP, but I think it's a true testament to how you write these characters. Illyana is fully of apathy, really, in comparison to Harry. Dumbledore's death doesn't hit her as hard as it does him, therefore this wasn't as emotionally charged. And I like that. Once again, the contrast is lovely!

I really hope I covered everything in this review that I did in the last but, really, I can't make any promises :/ I think I will just leave you with these two reviews as it seems fair! You really did reel me in in merely two chapters, though, so I may just return in the future! You have the start to a really good novel on your hands. Good luck!

Author's Response: Awww oh no :( I'm sorry, that's the worst. I've done that for reviews, exams, and RL work assignments so I understand!

I'm glad you think Illyana is interesting, I worry about her. And all her greyness. Poor child is so lost and confused...Yup all the Slytherins will make a showing and be hard to ignore. I consider this my Slytherin Deathly Hallows and technically DH started with the aftermath of Dumbledore's death, so does this one just a few days earlier :) Which will make more sense as time goes on. Yes re: the funeral! That was my point entirely. I know other readers felt that it was an odd scene to write/show, but what you felt is what I was going for. Showing the contrast and lack of feelings for a stranger :)

Thanks again, hope to see your return and that you continue to enjoy if you read along!


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Review #8, by moonbaby11 Prologue: June 1980

9th October 2015:
Hey there! RL has been slowly sucking up all of my time, which is why I took so long to get to this review. I hope you understand!

I just want to start off by saying that I adore Julienne. I know she's not the main character in this story, but she's so intriguing to me that I can't help but be drawn in by her. I love the idea of purebloods opposing their families (I suppose there's a reason Sirius Black is my favourite character) and I think you've written her struggle so wonderfully. You've done a great job writing from the point of view of a mother, getting inside the head of someone who must care for a child so young they can't care for themselves. I'm not a mother, but this chapter really helped me to realize what mother's go through.

I really love this idea of sacrifice that you're playing with -- Julienne wants to get out, but she won't. She will sacrifice her own happiness so that Illyana (which is a beautiful name, might I add) may one day escape the world of purebloods that Julienne despises so much. It was a really touching moment, actually, which is one of the reasons I'm really loving this character already.

There were a few minor errors, some of which I think were pointed out by previous reviewers, but there was one that I think they missed: Julienne wished that her sining and the bouncing would make her child feel calmer. You're missing the 'g' in singing. On top of that, I do think that some of your sentences could use a bit of work. There's a lot of moments where you start a new sentence and I think it would be better for you to just use a comma or possibly even a semi-colon. Some of the sentences are a little jarring, if that makes sense, so I'd just suggest giving this chapter a quick look over?

Overall, I love what you seem to be setting up with this prologue. I'm intrigued by the characters, the family, and what I'm thinking will be the plot. I suppose I won't really know until I read the official first chapter, but I think this was a good set up regardless! You've sucked me in and now I just want to read more. Which I will go and do now!

Author's Response: Hey no worries, I'm happy you got some free time in general, and you hope you have more time to decompress soon :)

Everyone loves Julienne, possibly ore than Illyana hahaha. I love the idea of free thought and not sticking to the pureblood hate doctrine too. LURVE SIRIUS. Too bad he's not remotely in this story ahah. I'm not a mother either, so I'm glad you felt that I captured the emotions of new maternity well. If you have any interest prequels for this that center on Julienne include: Living for the Night and Heartstrings.

Thanks for pointing out that error, and for the writing CC! I will look it over and see what sticks out. I try to read things out loud, so that will probably help catch a few of the sentences you are referring to!

xx Ellie

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Review #9, by TreacleTart Prologue: June 1980

8th September 2015:
Hi there!

I'm here for our review swap! You told me to pick any of your novels and this one really stood out to me. I love stories that are from the perspective of the Pureblood families during the wars.

I have to tell you straight away that I absolutely adore the way you portrayed Julienne as a mother. That might sound strange since she's depressed and miserable, but the truth is that new mothers really get rung through the ringer and far too often stories portray motherhood as this shiny, squeaky clean, easy thing to go through. It can be incredibly rough and postpartum depression is so common, so I'm so glad to see you show a realistic version.

I imagine that being forced to marry someone you don't love and having little to no support would make matters all the worse. Frankly, I feel terribly sad for Julienne. The birth of a child, while exhausting, is ultimately supposed to be a happy thing and she just seems utterly destroyed by it all.

I do hope that as her daughter grows, Julienne will encourage her to shift away from the old Pureblood beliefs. It sounds like she's pretty determined to keep her from making the same mistakes that she did.

I have to say that as for upset and unhappy as she is, you really see her strength in that she doesn't run away. She decides to stay and protect her child and family. Even though she feels weak, I think that really speaks to her strength.

I did notice two small typos in this, but they were nothing major.

felt guilty for how she's ignored her mother – I think the she’s should be switched to she’d since most of the story has been in past tense.

and the wailing would be begin the second she breathed – take the word be out

All in all, I thought this was a really intriguing start. I've you done a great job of making me connect emotionally with and OC, which I think can be hard to do, especially in just one chapter.

Good job!


Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin! Thanks for the long review for our swap. Wow I can see why you were nominated for Best Reviewer, so thorough, I appreciate it greatly!

I'm glad you got a sense of realistic motherhood with Julienne's characterization. I mean, it all was pretty awful. But I'm glad you felt that it was handled well. It's all too easy for me to lay it on too thick, to the point where it seems forced and just not believable. So I'm glad you felt it was on point!

(I go into the full postpartum depression and the sense of alienation she feels in my one-shot "Unraveling Heartstrings"...if you are curious at all about that aspect of this Prologue!)

Yes, she is determined, but human, and only can do so much. I hope you read on to see how her daughter, the real OC Illyana, fairs.

Ack I am the queen of un-beta'd typo nonsense. Thanks for pointing this out. I will fix them when the queue reopens!

Thanks again for your time and such a constructive review, hope to swap again sometime!


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Review #10, by SilentConfession 02: My Little Ana

28th February 2014:
I've enjoyed this story so far and I think you've created another excellent chapter. There was so much tension and emotion, but it did not feel overwhelming at all. It had a natural build up to the end where she realizes that her mum has left. This is such an emotional moment and I think you captured it fairly well.

I like how you really showed Illyana's thought process. It helped me connect to her even more as she searched the house desperately for some sign of life. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to come home expecting something and getting what she did. I also liked how you really contrasted the beginning with the rest of it. There is so much hope and happiness from Illyana when she's walking up to this house that I actually expected something bad to happen. It made a really nice contrast when she gets in and realizes that her home really isn't her home so much anymore.

I also liked how she focussed on how empty it felt, the space around her seem to swallow her up and it gave the house more feeling. That was great that you introduced the house that way rather then just telling us about the objects. Rather we see the empty and clean pots and feel the coldness of it. It really helped the atmosphere of the chapter.

I like how this sort of brings in the prologue as well. It helps tighten up the story a bit more as well. We see that her mum has remained this brave for her child this long but now that she sees the world changing again she flees, leaving the only thing she's ever protected, behind. It sort of makes me wish she took her daughter with her, but perhaps she was just far too tired to do it anymore. It makes me dislike the mother a little, but I wonder what effect this is going to have on Illyana. Will she push for more answers? Will she reject everything her mum has ever taught her now?

I do hope she pushes for more answers, even if it lead her to reject her mum's teachings or whatever. I feel like it would tighten up this chapter a bit with the end. I think initially Illyana would have this numb feeling and simply cry about everything that has been lost, but it would probably make sense that as the chapters continue she would try and sort out why this has happened.

Another great chapter though! :)

Author's Response: Thank you once again! I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter like the others :) Yes, you nailed my plot-thoughts exactly with Julienne knowing what Dumbledore's death means and trying to be brave, etc, etc. Bravery, and what makes one brave, is a large tenant of this story. Oh, your reaction of kind-of hating Julienne is great. I guess we'll see what Illyana does in the chapters to come...wee!

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Review #11, by SilentConfession 01: Whispers in June

27th February 2014:
Ooo! I love how you've decided to continue this in Illyana's voice. It is a really interesting voice to take because there are so many ways you could take this. I love how this begs the question of where her loyalty lies and that there are definitely conflicting thoughts that are really going to move this story forward. This makes the story really interesting and dynamic as you aren't relying simply on action, but also this inner conflict. Illyana does not seem to know exactly where she stands, but at the moment, she's not on any side .Just sort of going through life and i'm interested to see where she is pushed before she'll actually take a stand in some way.

I think you have some really delightful parts in this chapter. I really liked your portrayal of Pansy. I think it will be interesting to to see her later on as well if she continues to play a part in this story. You captured her really well though and I liked that you seemed to give her a stronger personality which is great to see rather than her snivelly ways we usually see in stories.

That brings me to another point. I really like how you are diving into aspects of a story that aren't always touched upon. I rarely read Slythern stories and I like how they seem to be portrayed. How they aren't closer then they need to be, there is this propriety that they seem to adhere to that makes the dynamics really interesting. I also really think that it's great to see how you've even incorporated a muggle born into Slytherin which I think i've never read before and it'll be interesting to see how that plays out and how she was even sorted there. I do like how you're trying new things though and it makes me very intrigued in this story!

Great story so far! Glad I could begin reviewing it!

Author's Response: Hello again!

Yup, a drastic shift from the Prologue! Yeah, I'm hoping to flesh out the entire Slytherin cast that you don't see from Harry's perspective as a Gryffindor. Hopefully I succeed as the story progresses :) Thanks for your compliments and time reviewing this!

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Review #12, by SilentConfession Prologue: June 1980

27th February 2014:
Hi! I'm here for our review exchange!

I actually read this chapter ages ago, but I've been bit busy that I couldn't sit down and get my thoughts into this box. So anyway, sorry for the ages wait!

I really like how you have begun this. I think you've already managed to capture the attention of your readers as you have a very intriguing character. I think it is going to be really interesting to hear the story begin told from her eyes and we'll get to see it in a completely new light. Which is awesome because sometimes war stories can get a little dry when all you hear about is from Lily's perspective or something. I think you've really chosen a fabulous standpoint and i'm already really interested to see where this is going.

I also think you do a really great job at hinting at the backstory and already are starting to open up some of the demons that are fighting at this woman's conscious. It's great that you haven't just dumped a lot of information on us, but rather gave us small snippets which really made me far more interested than if you'd simply told every bit of story from this characters life.

This is a really great introductory chapter! Your writing tone is really smooth and lovely to read. I like how you're quite simplistic about some of your descriptions, but in a way, that is exactly what this chapter needs and it helps get your point across. It also really helps me feel alongside your character. Great job!!

Author's Response: Hey SilentConfession!

Thanks for reviewing this story for me over a year ago. I apologize for the long silence on my end, as I've been away from the HPFF scene for a while.

Whelp, there's definitely a large backstory here and I'm glad you got the framework for the rest of the story through Julienne here. Guess you'll see in the next chapter when I jump far away from this hahaha. Never realized how jarring my prologues are until this review. Thanks for the compliments to my writing :)

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Review #13, by patronus_charm 02: My Little Ana

22nd January 2014:
Hi, here with your review!

I definitely didn’t feel it was too inner monologuey (if that’s a word :P). I really enjoyed this chapter because we got such wonderful description of the house and a really insight into Illyana’s thoughts which were really interesting because it drew me into her a lot more than before. One thing which worked really well here with all of her thoughts were how that and the description were growing darker and more tense throughout the chapter which acted as a great lead-up to the suspense at the end of it.

One small recommendation is that there were sometimes clusters of two line paragraphs which made the reading lose its flow a little there, so perhaps if you grouped them together to make it more continuous it would help with the flow. :)

The small things you slipped in such as having a house elf, the threat of Azkaban and the dark lord and then having portraits were all great small touches to show what family background she comes from and as they were all done really subtly I really enjoyed it because it sort of seeped into my brain without realising and by the end of it was surprised by how much I learnt about her. One small thing, you mentioned Illyana’s mother cooking but as a pureblood with house elves I would have thought they would have done it?

The horror when Illyana went into her mother’s room was really great with the way she was just trying to think of anything which could act as a reason for her not being there. It really showed her desperation and how she just wanted anything to be the answer for her lack of presence. I really liked the idea of the secret room too as it was a really great twist. The letter was even bigger twist and I can’t help but wonder where she is. I liked the idea that now she was closing off all of her thought processes and just gave up because I thought it was a realistic reaction.

Great chapter!


Author's Response: Hey Kiana!

Really appreciate you taking the time to review (again) :)

Inner monologuey can totally be a word! Haha. Thanks for saying that you didn't think it was too heavy. I, clearly, worried about the impact of a lack of bing!bam!boom! I'm glad that the end still held suspense for you.

Hmm ok, I'll take a look at that, thank you for mentioning the break in flow!

These are one of those questions that don't get addressed til later: how much of a pureblood is Julienne? Or, how much does she care about what society says? I believe cooking is one of the few things she enjoyed in her free time when Illyana was away at Hogwarts.

I'm really glad you get a sense of Illyana that wasn't overwhelming/coming on too strong! There's a lot to turn about her, as with most OCs haha. So it's always tricky to choose when to say something or not, so I'm glad you caught all the small details and felt that they came about organically.

Thanks again Kiana! Hope you stick around to see the answers to the plot twist :)


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Review #14, by Lady of Tears 01: Whispers in June

20th January 2014:
Sorry this took so long! But I'm finally here with your requested review. :) I'll try to cover the things you mentioned in your request.

First off, characterization. Since we don't know very much about these characters, even though a lot of them are in canon, it leaves a lot of room for freedom. However, I think you did a splendid job at capturing the essence of members of the Slytherin house. I actually had never thought about this moment before, when the Slytherins have to react to Snape and Draco's actions. It was a refreshing take on a canon scene.

Illyana is a good character so far. I couldn't find anything glaring in the way that she was written that threw me off. I enjoyed being in her head.

I think the pacing took a bit to get going, but I think that's more natural with the start of stories. I think the point it turned around was when Illyana started thinking about her safety. Up until then it was a bit slow; while your writing about Dumbledore's death was brilliant, it was the only point for a little while.

My only other major critique would be to work on more natural dialogue. Some of it seemed a bit stiff. The line that stood out was when...Milicent I think, said, "We're leaving and not going to Dumbeldore's funeral." Or something along those lines. It seemed a bit forced and more for us readers to get information than her just talking.

Other than that, this was really good! I'm glad I got to read it. :)

-Lady of Tears

Author's Response: Don't apologize! I think you reviewed quickly, no worries and thank you for your time!

Oh okay good! I've gotten some feedback before about the OOC-ness of Pansy, etc. So I've worked on those details, hoping to fix the problem. And I think what you touched on below in your review might still be a trouble spot. I'm big into show don't tell, so having characters say things makes my plot move, but I see what you mean about watching out for characters sounding like robots haha. I definitely don't want that.

Yay! Glad you like Illyana. I'm always worried about my OC character's consistency.

Pacing: I think the story speeds up a lot from here. There is that sort of slow start as you mention, but hopefully the rest won't be as droll :P

Thanks again! I'm glad you enjoyed. I appreciate your review :)


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Review #15, by patronus_charm 01: Whispers in June

16th January 2014:
Hi there, here with your review!

I’ll just give some brief thoughts on the prologue as I know you wanted the main focus of this review on chapter one. I really enjoyed it and the narration was really excellent. I thought you got her predicament as a mother perfectly with the way she wants her daughter but then fears for the Dark Lord and all of his consequences. It really was a fantastic start with all the suspense and wondering what’s going to happen next.

The beginning of the chapter was certainly dramatic with Dumbledore found dead on the ground, Sprout trying to control the riot and Pansy screaming blue murder over where Snape was. I thought you caught the mood of what would have happened to the normal students after his death really well. While that part was really great, it also felt a little narratorless at times if that makes, because from descriptions and lack of thought it almost felt as if it was a spectre observing it all. To change that and keep the silent horror which was conveyed so while, I would just add in one or two short bits such as thoughts she may be having or something she might be seeing to make it more Illyana rather than no one and it will help us identify with her a little more. 

Illyana’s thoughts about Draco and Dumbledore and were really interesting. I really like how you’re already showing that she’s conflicted and doesn’t really know what side she’s meant to be because it shows the influences of her mother and then of her traditional pureblood family. It will be interesting to see what event causes her to choose her and side and allegiances and it’s already being built up really well that I’m sure it’s a great one.

I really loved all of the squabbles the Slytherin girls had, and how you showed that they weren’t all cheering at the fall of Dumbledore but confused and not sure what to do. Again, there were a few small moments when there was a lot of dialogue and the narration got a little lost, so perhaps just insert a thought or two into there to clarify it. Daphne really stood out to me, and it will be interesting to see whether she and Illyana bond together during seventh year and Voldemort takes power. Then also whether Illyana plays a part in drawing Astoria and Draco together or not.

The scene at Dumbledore’s funeral was really poignant and really beautifully written with the way Illyana was contemplating about so many things and I really got to know that little more about her. I can’t wait to meet her mother because she seems to be such an influential person in her life with the references to her and how she seems to be the only person Illyana’s really close and feels comfortable with.

Great start to the story!


Author's Response: Hey Kiana! Thanks for stopping by and offering your time to everyone at the forums!

Thanks for telling me your thoughts on the Prologue, you didn't have to and that's very sweet of you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's probably my strongest piece, hopefully everything can live up to that high bar haha.

Yeah the opener was a boom-okay, now you're in the moment kind of moment! I wanted a sharp contract and to really dive in. No preamble. So I'm glad you got that impact and I see what you're saying here (and overall) about adding in more of Illyana. I like the rather omniscient vibe, having everyone getting lost in the shuffle in the beginning, but I definitely get what you are saying. Sprinkling Illyana into the opener would certainly orient/center the reader more. Hmm I'll think this over. Thank you!

Yes, she's very conflicted and the unsure-ness will only worsens before it gets better ;)

La la la, not telling where her allegiances go. Interesting predictions though.

Oh, yeah. Her mum is her rock and shield. But war is hard for everyone. Big decisions have to be made...and that's all I'll say for now.

Thanks so much for your review/input/time! I appreciate it :)


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Review #16, by BeaJerry 03: Where Darkness Dwells

18th February 2012:
Your writing is incredible!
I love how you're telling the story from probably one of the most hated Death Eater's daughter- I mean, it's the guy who was going to kill Buckbeak!!
All I want is for Illyana to be happy! Does she? She does, right?!?!
Bea xoxo

Author's Response: Haha. Hello again, Bea!

I love your response to this series so far! I want her to be happy too, but unfortunately she lives in a time of war. But there's always a silver lining ;) And yes, her dad originally killed Buckbeak. Meanie.

Thanks, hun! I appreciate your reviews a bunch :)

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Review #17, by Houlestar 03: Where Darkness Dwells

5th January 2012:
You're doing a good job balancing emotion, description, action and memory. They flow nicely into each other, which can be hard to do.
And here's a little cliffhanger. Oh, you do know how to set a reader up.
overall this has been a fun read. I see a lot of potential here and a lot of places you can go.

Author's Response: Yippee! Thanks for that pick me up! this was a hard chapter to write so I'm glad that it read so well to you. Hopefully I go the write places haha, bad pun I know.

Thanks again! I love your challenges and your reviews have been to the point and insightful -thanks!


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Review #18, by Houlestar 02: My Little Ana

5th January 2012:
You're doing good job with the emotions here. In the last chapter you did really well with the homesickness, here you've done wonderfully with the happiness to be home coupled with confusion. Nicely done!
The end I found a little bit dramatic, but it's not a big deal (I'm not big on the melodrama, personally). This is just a matter of personal taste, however.

Author's Response: *waves sheepishly* Sorry it took me so long to reply to these by the way!

Glad you felt that I was doing a good job handling all the emotions, Houlestar. They overwhelm me a bit too, but I feel that they all need to be expressed. You are not the only person to comment on the ending here. I will have to go back and make that more to my liking seeing as it sticks out to my readers as being not the best. Thanks for the CC, much appreciated!


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Review #19, by Houlestar 01: Whispers in June

5th January 2012:
Interesting place to start the main story. The first sentence was a little shaky, but other than that the story was pretty readable, with no confusion at all. Simple style is generally the best in my opinion for fan fiction.
I've never liked Pansy. I can't tell if she's exactly OOC, but something strikes me as off. Maybe it's because I've never really paid attention to her... hmm...
Draco's cousin, this shall be interesting. (It always is.)

Author's Response: Hi again!!

Haha Pansy is an interesting being. She's probably on the OOC side, but I figure I would take some risks considering the news she was just dealt, the death of Dumbledore and Draco's disappearance. Hope the story stays interesting for you ;)

Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #20, by Houlestar Prologue: June 1980

5th January 2012:
This is a good start. Setting up your character through her mother. Very interesting way to begin. I don't think I've ever seen a McNair OC, so this'll be interesting.
You have a lot of description in this chapter, and a lot of emotion. At times, it feels a little melodramatic, but it's not extremely so (otherwise I wouldn't be reading it).
I think the story has a lot of potential.

Author's Response: Hello Houlestar!

Yes, I've never seen another Macnair OD either, so hopefully this will help keep the story fresh ;) Hopefully the potential you see continues as the story progresses. Yes, it's high emotion, but I hope it's not too overbearing :/ glad you like it so far though!


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Review #21, by _Leo_ 03: Where Darkness Dwells

13th September 2011:
I've actually read the Prologue during the 10-year-anniversary. It piqued my interest back then, but I certainly didn't expect to jump to that particular moment, when the students found Dumbledore's body. I have to say though, it's interesting to see your take on what could have happened inside the Slytherin common room immediately after. Uproar, confusion, glee - it's all plausible. And how a pure-blood, who doesn't agree with the majority of them, sees it all.

I really liked your analogies (they are taken from ch. 1 +2), e.g. '..had the uncanny resemblance to goblins running around to find a missing galleon.'
'...about as unwelcome as a muggle in her home.' - and how you related them to the Potterverse. I can imagine a pure-blood using that kind of comparison, so kudos for that.

I didn't really notice any typos (nothing big anyway, there's maybe this line: 'in its steed.' - stead, in chapter 3) but all in all, it was flawless, as always.

I liked the way you introduced the flashbacks, the good and the bad. I like Ana as well so far, and her thoughts seem plausible and relateable, like when she started to realise something was wrong and you could sense her panic rising.

Now, I'm curious what happened to her mum. And who that man is. Maybe her father, fresh out of Azkaban?

You have a good plot there, and I'm curious to see what happens next.

Cheers, Leo

Author's Response: HI LEO *waves frantically*

This is the last review I have to reply too :( Bittersweet.

I'm glad you enjoyed this. Those analogies help me keep my mind in the HP universe. I don't like seeing anything too muggle-esque from a pureblood. Thanks for the typo help ;) I believe I've corrected it.

I do hope to continue this story, so hopefully you will get those answers to your questions!! As always, thanks for the reviews, I love and appreciate them very much! I wish you the best in your writing and hope to see more Jonquil in the future btw :P

Lots of hugs,

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Review #22, by Arithmancy_Wiz 02: My Little Ana

4th August 2011:
Hello, Blonde. I've read the prologue and the first two chapters but I'm just posting one big review. Hope that's okay :)

Prologue - I really like the way you started this off. I think you made a great choice in selecting this moment as an opening. It's a very specific scene, where you don't try to do too much, just ease the reader into the story. Julienne is likable and pitiable and because of that I'm inclined to feel for the child, who at this point I assume will become the main character. My main criticism thus far is that the chapter is a little wordy. Many of the sentences are rather long (I think there is even a point where you use two semicolons back to back). Also, there are repeated words and/or words that aren't really necessary. Here's an example:

Julienne Macnair glanced down at the newborn child and started to bounce her up and down in her arms, thinking that the constant motion would ease the newborn's cries to silence. But the action did not help the exhausted mother any. For the tiny face of her daughter was still scrunched up in anguish, and her tiny hands and feet did not stop squirming from underneath the pink blanket.

This could be tightened up for better flow, I think. Newborn and tiny are both repeated. Also, "easing the cries" implies silence, and the word beneath could replace "from underneath." These are just a few examples of how you might be a bit more picky with the amount of words.

Chapter One - I thought the opening of this chapter was very strong. I think you selected the perfect moment to launch the story. The chaos and commotion in the hall and the common room was very realistic. I think you also did a great job with Pansy. You wrote both her dialogue and attitude very well. I like Illyana thus far. It's great that you didn't try to push too much of her on your readers at once. We'll get to know her better as we go. Two areas I felt were a little weak were the relationship between Daphne and Illyana and the funeral at the end. I got the impression from the rest of the chapter that Illyana is a loner so I'm surprised to see Daphne so emotional with her. I like Daphne's reaction to the stress - it makes a good contrast - but that she turns to Illyana for comfort seems odd. As for the funeral, the scene felt too short, just kind of tucked in there. I would have either drawn it out or skipped it all together. I didn't really feel it added much in the way of leading us on to the next chapter.

Chapter Two - Overall, I thought this was another good chapter. Again, I really like the way you stay in the moment and don't jump around scene-to-scene. I thought it was very clever how you commented on the empty house, comparing it to what Illyana expected to find. It set the scene visually without simply being a list of the items in the house. I particularly liked the bit about the kitchen. The secret room was also very clever. Again though, the ending felt a bit rushed. You built and built the tension but it didn't really peak for me at the end. It felt a little bit of a cookie-cutter response to the stress - a shaking hand, a single tear. I would have liked to see more confusion, disbelief, an insistence to find more clues. She just seems to instantly accept that her mother is gone. If it were me, I would have run through the house, ran outside to see if I could catch up to her...any desperate measure to better figure out what was going on.

Phew, okay, this is getting long so I'm going to stop here. I hope I was able to provide some helpful comments. Please feel free to poke me again sometime for more reviews if you like. Best of luck with the story!

a_wiz (RC)

Author's Response: After almost a whole year, I'm responding to this review. It's taken me awhile to have the guts to reply to such a response to my story. I think I even stopped writing it, so that I could deal with the kinks that you mentioned above. The constructive criticism was amoung the best I've received and I am wholeheartedly grateful for the time and effort you put into this review. I only wish I responded to it earlier so that you could've known sooner how much I appreciated everything you wrote. I took all the concrit and, finally, made the necessary edits. Some changes were directly due to your response. And other changes, like the ending of chapter 2, were changed because of other reviewers' echoing your thoughts about the unfruitful nature of Chapter 2's ending.

Hopefully now I've achieved some of the things you mentioned. A tighter word range and a better grasp on the characters' interactions. You were right about Daphne, I just didn't want my character to come across as heartless because she isn't. But I suppose I will have to get at that characteristic another, better suited, way. And hopefully no more "cookie-cutter" endings; I don't want that at all.

Again, thank you so much for all the helpful words and I hope that I will be a better writer in the future from them :)


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Review #23, by BlondegoingonBrown Prologue: June 1980

9th July 2011:
p.s. i miss the story banners!

Author's Response: Uhmm, what do you miss? Lol. Can you not see the chapter images or story banner?

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Review #24, by BlondegoingonBrown 03: Where Darkness Dwells

9th July 2011:
yayaay I loveddd it!! I hope you update soon, and silly me I meant Ana/George!

Author's Response: Yay for loving it haha! Thanks a bunch, BlondegoingonBrown. I should be updating by August, I hope. *slowest writer ever*

There is no George btw :P


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Review #25, by Ang3l1c Flow3r5 03: Where Darkness Dwells

9th July 2011:
Why hello fellow Quizilla-er! ^^/

Awesome read! :0 The descriptions were great and the story feels really professional! I'm going to guess that the evil guy is Walden Macnair? Why did her mom leave? Was she taken away?

It seems like Illyana is a contradicting Slytherin. She has all the qualities of a Slytherin but not all the same prejudices. In some parts, you alluded to the fact that she still isn't a 'Muggle-lover' like how she doesn't read Muggle books anymore.

A little problem at the end:

"Illyana knew asked who this evil was."

Probably just a slip of your mind, LOL ^^

I loved it! Really great read and lots of emotions, I can also get a clear picture of surroundings and character personality and physical aspects.

Update soon!
Angelic Flowers

Author's Response: Hello :) Sorry for my delayed response, I'm such a terrible responder. Anywho, Quizilla you say? The good ole days, until I found HPFF haha.

"Professional" -such a compliment!! Thank you so much! I hope the description and such doesn't falter as I continue with this story, and the professional-ness continues too haha.

Those questions will be answered soon enough...dun, dun, dun ;)

Illyana is quite complex. Even I have trouble figuring out her personality and interests at times. As you've seen, she can be quite confused/unaware, stubborn, loving, and people-hating all at once. Her mother has had a huge influence on her, but her Slytherin heritage means something to her nonetheless. We'll see how the prejudices manifests and doesn't throughout this story for sure. So, I'm glad you picked up on Illyana's contradictory nature haha.

Ooof. I fixed that little sentence and a few other things I caught once I read it over heh. Thanks a bunch for pointing that out! No matter how hard I try, I always make a mistake *sigh*

Thanks for reviewing, it means a lot to me that my readers take the time to review! The fact that you love the story thus far is even better haha. I will try my best to update before the summer is out, but I have way too many WIPs to promise anything ;)


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