Reading Reviews for Inside Death
  
34 Reviews Found

Review #1, 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! :)

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Review #2, 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!

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Review #3, 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!!

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Review #4, by patronus_charm 02: My Little Ana

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

I definitely didnít feel it was too inner monologuey (if thatís a word :P). I really enjoyed this chapter because we got such wonderful description of the house and a really insight into Illyanaís 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 Illyanaís 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 motherís 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 canít 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!

-Kiana

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!...so 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 :)

Best,
Ellie


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Review #5, 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 :)

Best,
NRB


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Review #6, by patronus_charm 01: Whispers in June

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

Iíll 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 whatís 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. 

Illyanaís thoughts about Draco and Dumbledore and were really interesting. I really like how youíre already showing that sheís conflicted and doesnít really know what side sheís 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 itís already being built up really well that Iím sure itís a great one.

I really loved all of the squabbles the Slytherin girls had, and how you showed that they werenít 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 Dumbledoreís 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 canít 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 Illyanaís really close and feels comfortable with.

Great start to the story!

-Kiana

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 :)

--Ellie


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Review #7, 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 :)
--NRB


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Review #8, 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.
-Houlestar

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!

--NRB


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Review #9, 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.
-Houlestar

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!

--NRB


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Review #10, 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.)
-Houlestar

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!
--NRB


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Review #11, 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.
-Houlestar

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!

Best,
--NRB


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Review #12, 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,
--Ellie


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Review #13, 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 :)

-Ellie


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Review #14, 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 #15, 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

Best,
NRB


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Review #16, 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 ;)

Best,
NRB


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Review #17, by onestop_hpfan18 02: My Little Ana

31st May 2011:
Aw, poor Illyana. I feel her sadness as I could not imagine my mother leaving. It's terrible. Over all, though, I thought you did a great job building up to the point when Illyana found the note her mother wrote to her, explaining she had to leave, and then releasing the pain Illyana felt. Great job. (:

Author's Response: Hey Leslie!

Thanks for the reviews :) I'm glad you felt her sadness. What happened to her is terrible and I hope that I can continue to show (and for my readers to continue to feel) Illyana's loss and pain as the story progresses.

Best,
Ellie


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Review #18, by BlondegoingonBrown 02: My Little Ana

13th May 2011:
Ooooh I just found this story and I'm loving it. I love how conflicted Ilyana us, rooting for future Ily/June! Hope you update soon!

Author's Response: Yay for loving it! Yes, Illyana is rather conflicted here and it will probably only get worse...maybe haha. I hope you continue to enjoy the series! I will update by the end of July I hope ;)

And I'm not really sure what you mean by Illy/June :/ Sorry.


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Review #19, by Reuben Prologue: June 1980

7th May 2011:
Wow.

So first off, I was drawn here by your sig on The Golden Snitches - I was fascinated by the quote about how 'The enemy is anyone who's going to get you killed... no matter which side he's on.' I clicked, came to the story page, and was similarly drawn in by your summary. Awesome. I love brilliant manipulative characters.

I don't know about you, but personally the most difficult characters for me to write and to read in fanfiction are OCs. Writing them is difficult because they must be realistic and fit in the universe, and reading them is difficult because beside the canon characters, they often don't feel as fleshed-out or interesting. On the other hand, a well-written OC can be a wonderfully novel character, somebody who lends new depth to a story and brings out new sides of the world or the established characters. Julienne Macnair is one such OC. In under two thousand words, you convinced me that she was interesting and that I wanted to know more about her, her situation, and her life in general. Lines such as

'...marriage to her once-loved Walden...'

are very good, hinting at a past which we may never get to see, yet add depth to both the characters and the story. I felt a connection to Julienne, and the description of her despair was creepy in the best possible way.

I was, as you may have noticed thus far, very impressed by the fact that you really made me care about Julienne's life and situation. The faltering nursery rhyme was a very clever way to weave in her uncertainty about the world she lived in, being as it was apparently rather exclusive to the Pureblooded culture. I was wondering at first why you changed the words, but it was well done.

Your writing style is excellent. It draws the reader in, provides a good balance of description and emotion, and really made me able to envision the scene in my head. I felt it got a tad wordy at times, but it was nothing too serious. Technically the writing is very well done; I didn't spot any mistakes, though I was quite caught up in the emotion of the chapter, and thus wasn't looking as closely as I might normally (I can be a bit of a grammar nazi, you see).

I'd like to mention that I think the image for this chapter was perfect. The woman in the picture looks much like I was imagining Julienne; beautiful, but distant and with a smile that doesn't touch her eyes. Good call.

In summary, this is a great introductory chapter, introducing a believable and sympathetic character who (if my assumption is correct) isn't even the protagonist, and using some extremely well-written third-person prose - I've read published books whose writing wasn't near as polished as this. I'm definitely giving this chapter 10/10, and I'm off to read the other two.

Author's Response: Ok...so I totally thought that I responded to this a million years ago. I fail at life, please forgive me XD Anywho, this is one of the most FANTASTICLICIOUS reviews I have ever gotten on HPFF. I'm printing it and plan to hug it lol.

So...where to begin officially! Uhm, your review leaves me aghast! It is the sweetest review ever and you praised everything! My summary, image selection, prose, characterization, OC, writing, on and on everything! I'm so floored by your response to my work that I can only hope (and potentially beg) that my next chapters can live up to the standard I seemed to create for myself with this prologue. Please, let me know -I love CC btw.

But in all seriousness, thank you so much for this review! It makes me feel so fantastic and mughy (I don't feel this often about my writing) and I just don't know what else to write in response to you.

Thank you so much, Reuben! I'm glad you enjoyed the prologue :)

xoxo,
Ellie


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Review #20, by onestop_hpfan18 01: Whispers in June

4th May 2011:
It's nice having another character's perspective of what they experienced during HBP/DH, gives more insight to the surroundings rather than just what Harry is aware of. Also, you've really built up strong characters in not only Julienne, but also Illyana now. It's clear that she doesn't know what to think of Dumbledore's death having not really known him, only what her mother has told her. And her inner struggle with figuring out how she feels about all of this that has happened in the span of one night seems very evident and you've done a great job emphasizing her turmoil for readers to see.

As far as the plot and flow go, I think it's shaping up nicely so far as you're doing a good job sticking with the timeline as well as adding in how other characters view these events that are happening around them. Great chapter. I'll review ch. 3 sometime tomorrow.

Author's Response: Hey Leslie! Thanks for the review; sorry this response is SO extraordinarily delayed. Thank you for your kind words too. I'm glad you get all that I wanted my readers to sense :) And that you felt like Illyana and Julienne are strong characters! I hope to keep this pretty canon compliant, so I'm glad there wasn't anything too wonky with the timeline now haha.

Thanks again! Hope you enjoyed the rest of what you read ;)

Best,
Ellie


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Review #21, by onestop_hpfan18 Prologue: June 1980

4th May 2011:
I really like this so far, it's different and you've really captured Julienne's character well, as well with how she's coping with motherhood in the starting gates. There is much to comment on since not much happened yet, but so far the writing is flowing nicely together and I think I only crossed over one or two typos that I can't even remember where they were because they were small typos. Over all, great prologue to what looks like an intriguing story.

Author's Response: Hey Leslie!

I'm glad you enjoyed this and find it to be "different" haha. You are correct that much isn't going on yet, but this was a prologue for that very reason, so I'm happy you think it was great in that sense! I went back and tried to catch the typos I could find ;)

*hugs*
Ellie


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Review #22, by puiwaihin 02: My Little Ana

20th April 2011:
I really liked how you built up suspense in this chapter. Simply having everything remain silent as she went through her home was a very good tactic. It reminded me of times when I would come home to an empty house.

I particularly liked the scene with the painting of Abraxas Malfoy. It was what put me most in mind of the Black residence at Grimauld Place. Nice detail.

If there's any criticism of the overall story thus far, it's that there is not much interaction. Almost all the action has been an internal monologue. There's nothing wrong with that, perhaps if Illyana had been in a discussion with a classmate before apparating home it might have added another dimension to the chapter.

Good writing and I look forward to reading more.

Author's Response: 'Ello again!

I'm glad you felt the suspense from this chapter. I always undermine myself as a writer (worst critic right here!) and feel that I can't make my readers' feel certain things -so this makes me happy! Coming home to an empty house, when you don't expect it, always freaks me out. I find myself looking through the whole thing...just in case haha.

See, there is some magic here ;)

Your criticism at the end really sums up what has been going on! Aka, the distinction you make between internal and external events is really eye-opening. Unfortunately, the next chapter was already semi-written and planned, but after that there will be more interaction than I can probably handle. I really appreciate this bit a feedback and hope to change the pace of the story because of it. Thank you so much :)

Best,
NRB


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Review #23, by puiwaihin 01: Whispers in June

20th April 2011:
Interesting place to begin the body of the story. I can look forward to Illyana having to deal with Snape and the Carrows reign at Hogwarts. This is definitely a time when she'll need to make some tough decisions.

The writing was mostly high quality, but there were a few errors that caused some discomfort. In a few places the meaning was a little unclear, but that was the exception. Generally the story was nicely detailed.

I would have liked the funeral scene to have been expanded a bit more. It seemed a bit rushed. You also didn't let the readers know that the song that was heard was Fawke's song. Fine for those who are familiar with the story, but confusing for people who are not. I understand Illyana would not have known what the song was at that time, but the narrator may have or she could have heard later.

Again, I'd like a little more magic. It is one of the charms of the world of Harry Potter.

Despite these criticisms, the chapter was rather well written and you get a good sense of the upcoming problems and choices that will be facing our protagonist. You did a good job showing rather than telling about her. Keep up the good work.

Author's Response: Months later and I am finally responding to your reviews *is ashamed* Sorry about that.

First of all, thanks for you reviews in general :) Your perspective has been great! Yes, she will definitely be facing a LOT of challenging times and Snape/the Carrows won't be seen for a while...dun, dun, dun lol.

I'm glad you felt that this chapter was pretty well done. I probably won't ever add in that it was Fawkes' song, but I understand your reasoning for stating that I should. As I said in my last response, more magic will occur! I have not stripped magic away in this series I assure you ;)

Yay for showing and not telling haha! Always important. Thanks again for your reviews!

Best,
NRB


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Review #24, by puiwaihin Prologue: June 1980

20th April 2011:
This was a very well written chapter. There were a few noticeable punctuation mistakes, but they were only noticeable because of the crispness of the rest of the writing.

I particularly liked the little parenting details that makes Julienne's motherhood more believable-- holding the hair away from the baby's grasp and the changing of the eye color.

Considering that this is a Harry Potter fanfic, it might have been appropriate to include a little wand waving, just to help the reader get into the setting. HPFF readers take it for granted, but if there were a reader not as familiar with HP they might not even realize they were dealing with a witch and a witch's child.

All in all, though, an excellent chapter and a good start to a larger story.

Author's Response: puiwaihin, thank you so much for your quick review! I have finally edited the chapter a bit, taking into consideration this review and your PM comments about punctuation. I'm glad you believed in Julienne's motherhood -she really didn't do such a bad job in the end I think haha. I understand what you mean in terms of magical elements, but the rest of the story will have plenty of magic from the HP world to go around ;)

Thanks again!

Best,
NRB


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Review #25, by NeverGotHerLetter 02: My Little Ana

4th April 2011:
Wow that was absolutely amazing! It was chilling and scary and also gave a really realistic account of what happened. It wasn't too over the top and it didn't give us the pretence of Illyana being cool and collected about it, because honestly that wouldn't happen :)
I really liked the secret room being added in but the 'four white pillars' just reminded me to much of Malfoy Manor. I think you should change the description because the Malfoys were the RICH death eaters... was McNair really that rich? Or is this AU McNair. Anyhow it still reminded me of the Malfoys' place.
One more little bit of CC, the ending was too abrubt for my liking. It would have worked if you had put something more descriptive and gives us a clear view of what Illyana is feeling, like the sentences before and indeed the whole story so far. I think that just "Illyana cried." isn't a sufficient ending for a story which has shown a much higher calibre of writing before.
But still a fantastic story in which I hope there'll be another chapter soon :D Another 9/10 :)
~NeverGotHerLetter x x x x

Author's Response: Hi again! Sorry my responses have been delayed!

Haha, oh no, I don't think many people could remain cool and calm in a situation like this at all. Yay for chilling, realistic, and scary! I'm so happy you felt those things while reading this.

As far as the Manor concerns, it isn't as big as Lucius' Manor that's for sure. However, remember, Illyana is a Malfoy too ;) As the next chapters come out, more will be revealed in terms of Walden MacNair's connections.

Hmm, while I already know I'm not going to drastically change the ending, I appreciate your feedback on this section. I'm glad that you got the sense of a degradation in description and language, because that was my intention. As Illyana breaks down, so does the language, in my opinion. But maybe that parallel wasn't executed as well as I thought it was...and I will read that part over too. Either way, I'm glad that you find that I have a high calibre (awesome word!) of writing haha.

Thanks again, I'm glad you enjoyed most aspects of the story this far! =)

Best,
Ellie


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