Reading Reviews for When They Were Here
  
30 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SilentConfession Words Left Unspoken

9th December 2012:
This was a really lovely one-shot, your descriptions are so beautiful and they convey this heavy sadness that permeates this piece. It really breaks my heart, smashes it actually. I've always found that the tales of how the Marauders fell the saddest. You've done a really great job at telling each of their stories and how they were haunted by their memories and the tree. It helped bring the stories together. I think the only thing that could have made this flow better together was to have a Peter story. I only say that because you began this with the four of them and it seemed like there was a gapping hole in the story where his should have come.

However, I did really loved how this progressed. How the beginning was of the Marauders and their desperate attempts to stick together and protect one another. Then you move the one shot into different individual points of time, part way through the first war with James and Lily to the beginning of the second and finally the end. The structure of it flowed really nicely together even though we have four different narrators they all somehow fit together seamlessly. It came down to your choice of where you placed the narratives, it wouldn't have been the same obviously if Remus's and Harry's were switched in time.

I loved your characterizations in each section and how they all seem so real and alive. I like how there is this gap between Ginny and Harry because he can't let go and can't let her in completely until then. I've always imagined their relationship to be like that, especially at the beginning. I loved the weakness you had in Remus, his need for approval and for others to help him off his knees. It was so heart wrenchingly sad to read that bit because you see how much he needed the three of them. The other two also had similarly beautiful ways of describing their characterizations and life.

This is such a great one-shot, you've done a really great job at capturing this big moments of their life. :D

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Review #2, by Toujours Padfoot Words Left Unspoken

7th December 2012:
Hey, there! I've been looking forward to reading something of yours ever since you left me those lovely reviews on Run. This one-shot was so sad and bittersweet. I liked the evolution of characters and how one branched to the next: All of the marauders back in their younger days, struggling to keep themselves together and preserve life as it was in that moment; and then Lily and James, starting a new life on their own for themselves, literally and figuratively with little Harry on the way. And then, much later, there was Remus. It was fitting that his story was the third one told, because he was the last marauder standing. He outlived James by many years and Sirius by a few, dying on the same day as the woman he loved. Your description of his relationship with her, and all of their relationships with each other, was really beautiful. I particularly liked the first scene, with Sirius (he's one of my favorite characters in Potterverse) being hopeful and maybe even a little naive about the prospects of his and his friends' futures. Little does he know that everything is downhill from there on out. I liked the shift in time between each of the sections, and how it came down to Harry in the end, the last in line. He's kind of like a living legacy because all four of the marauders died for him in one way or another - even Peter, with the silver hand and the moment of hesitation. They all died to protect him. So having the last part be about him and how he was trying to move on but felt so lost because of his past, was very fitting.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

And if I am to lose my life because of my best friend, and not only you, but Remus the werewolf and Peter the rat as well, I think it would be a gorgeous death.
- I like that wording: gorgeous. It contrasts so strikingly with death, to be a 'gorgeous death', that it really gave me pause. It was such a bizarre and beautiful thing of Sirius to say, and I love that he said it. I'd imagine that he could look with some perspective at his death in the Ministry, he would have been satisfied with it. He went down fighting, protecting those he loved. In his own eyes, he had a gorgeous death.

You bend down, I follow you without hesitance, and together we kneel there, you so faraway, I so out of place.
- I could picture this quite vividly, Harry there but still not all the way present. It brought me back to that heart-wrenching feeling in DH with the Godric's Hollow scene. My heart really hurts for poor Harry. :(

Lovely one-shot!

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Review #3, by Jchrissy Words Left Unspoken

16th November 2012:
Hi darling! Sorry for taking so long to get here! Okay, because you said you want to do a rewrite, Iím going to be a little over critical.

This story is beautiful, absolutely gorgeous and it tried to break my heart into a zillion little pieces. I know, thatís not really critical, Iíll get to that part. But I want you to know that if I was reading this story just because, and not for a request review, I wouldnít have a single negative thing to say about it and would just leave mushy feels all over this review.

The first section was so sacred. Their friendship is absolutely the purest form of love, and that shows. The symbol of the tree, strong roots hidden deep beneathÖ that was all so amazingly clever.

So, with this story you use a ton of imagery, poetic language, and deep thoughts. Which is good. But all of this in first person, then switching the perspectives to new characters, puts me a little over the top. This is a feeling piece, itís completely and absolutely one that wants to break my heart, but it didnít as much as it should have because I had to think too much about exactly what was going on and I wasnít really able to lose myself in it. Itís written in a bit of SoC, which is done amazingly, but I just think itís too long for that. So, if you are going to rewrite it, my biggest suggestion would be to either cut down on the metaphors/imagery/SoC and leave it into first, or switch it into third. If itís in third, the metaphors and imagery will be easier to sink into because weíll understand the entire picture of what is going on.

The second section, I really, really, really loved. Their decision on what to do with having a baby is something Iíve often wondered about. And I can absolutely imagine that when she first got pregnant, they considered other options. At first though, I really thought youíd gone into some Sirius James slash. Haha. But I think thatís my fault for assuming this piece would only be about the four of them.

The Remus and Tonks section was also beautiful and just the fact that we know how much he wants to love her, but doesnít think heís worthy is a heartbreaking but amazing thing.

What I love most about this is that in every section you had the characters needing to make a really important choice by that tree. Friendship, a family, love, and then in the end letting go. I was sad that Peter didnít make it, though. As terrible as he was, and as difficult as it probably would have been to give him something to be there pondering, I hoped weíd get a glance into him. But thatís more because it doesnít feel complete without him than anything.

I had to actually find things to CC in this, and I never do that, but because you want to do rewrite some parts I wanted to be helpful instead of just gush. But this was completely and absolutely amazing. It was painful while being beautiful, and perfect while being terrible because none of this should have happened to any of them. They should have stayed young, happy friends forever.

You know what I just thought, actually, that might be better than the other rubbish suggestions Iíve put out there. What about turning this into a short story collection? Then you can separate the four sections. If I would have had to move onto the next chapter, instead of just the next section, Iíd have been expecting some sort of change and wouldnít have been so jolted with trying to figure out who was talking. That would also allow you to lengthen each characters scenes a bit more, which could help give Remus and Tonks more solidity. Yes! Okay, forget all my other suggestions, Iím sticking with that one.

But then back to the, if I hadnít read this with the idea of helping you find room for improvement, I would be a mushy puddle of feels ;). This is gorgeous and you are an extremely talented writer, mídear ♥

(just so you know how much I did actually like this piece, on the rating it's as high as I can make it. And if there were any numbers to rate it higher, I would be)

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Review #4, by MissMdsty Words Left Unspoken

2nd November 2012:
I simply do not have the words to describe how much I enjoyed this story. Truly, you have left me speechless.

I loved how the tree was the center of the story and yet it was merely a prop of sorts for all the rest of the generations to evolve around it. It's where people go with their true loves. Sirius and the boys, James and Lily, Remus and Tonks and finally Harry, taking his wife to the place where his parents unknowingly wrote history.

Very, very good writting! Lovely story!

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Review #5, by The Last Marauder Words Left Unspoken

30th August 2012:
Hi there, I'm here from the Review Tag in the Gryffindor Common Room.

I must say that what caught my eye was your story summary, the idea that this wasn't a story about Love, but about how time doesn't crack it. It was just a really clever and intriguing way of summing the story up. Drew me in right from the off.

I loved how there were four sections to this story, and how the tree is the connection between each. I loved the opening section with the Marauders. It is so like James to demand they make a promise like that. It's always a fear when you leave school that the best of friends go their separate ways and just loose touch, and James is just adament that this does not happen.

I loved how it was in the first person, but it was directed to someone. Sirius telling a story, directed to James, James to Lily, Remus to Tonks and Ginny to Harry.

I loved James and Lily's part, the idea that they came there to decide whether or not it was the right time to have a baby with the war going on.

I really liked Remus's section. You really managed to convey him as a haunted, damaged person, who is screaming out for some meaningful human connection, but who also fears it as well. I liked the idea of his heartbreak being printed on the tree.

The section with Harry and Ginny in the end was brilliant. The idea of the guilt that weighs Harry down, how he blames himself for the deaths of those close to him. How he "died" himself and now feels that he can never live a normal life again. It sort of reminded me of Frodo in Lord of the Rings, where he was damaged and changed by his ordeal, some wounds just run too deep, so he goes to the Gray Havens.

Anyway, really brilliant fic, your writing style is fantastic and your command of language is brilliant too, the imagery in this fic really made it.

Great job! Well done! I'm so glad I read it.

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Review #6, by xximaginairexx (Elle) Words Left Unspoken

29th August 2012:
Woah. That's really all I can say right now. Woah.

I'm xximaginairexx from the review tag, by the way. I'm too lazy to log in.

This one-shot was amazing. Simply amazing. This is probably one of the best things I've ever read. I love it.

All the characters had a very Shakesperian way of talking that I don't think they would have had normally, you wrote it in such a way that it added to the effect instead of took away. I loved how you made that tree the focal point of the story. It's truly amazing.

The one thing I was disappointed about was no Peter. I think he's an interesting character to explore. However, I also liked the Harry and Ginny section, so now I'm torn :)

Overall, this is a great fic. It's a great peice of writing and one of my favorites on fanfiction ever, which is saying a lot because I'm a picky reader.

Keep writing, you clearly have a gift.


~Elle

Author's Response: Thank you. I've never aimed at making the characters sound Shakesperian, but it's such a compliment! I realized they all sounded a bit different than usual, but the story usuall consisted of their thoughts and our thoughts are always so much more than what we say etc. :) Many people were disappointed that there was no Peter. I considered writing him in, but in the end I refrained from it. I felt that he didn't deserve it in some way, and I wanted Harry to be the main point in the final part.

Wow, it's amazing to hear this is one of your favorite fics, that really means so much to me. Thank you so much, Elle, for this entire lovely review. :)


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Review #7, by Eridanus Words Left Unspoken

3rd May 2010:
Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

I realise that I sound like a demented fire engine or something, but this was so unbelievably good, Liz! I can't quite express how much I loved it by myself, so I'm going to launch into your critique focuses, even if I feel that critique will be very much lacking.

Plot: I don't think it was so much a plot as a wonderful premise. Technically, not a lot of action happened, but it was full of raw emotion and it was such an interesting and original idea. I loved how all the characters seemed to gravitate around this solid, unmovable tree - almost like it was an anchor for all of them. Something to keep them grounded, and something tangible to hold on to when things were going badly. It was just such a beautiful idea.

Emotions: To me, they were just so raw and so pure that I couldn't help but be moved by them. This line 'I don't know how things will end, but I recklessly dare to believe we will last and never part. Because we're stronger than that, stronger than the cracked branches of this withered tree, stronger than the snow that so easily melts under the sun rays.' nearly brought me to tears. It was just so emotionally driven and it was extremely powerful to read. I also think, particularly in that line the bittersweet element got to me. Sirius is so strong, but he's still so young and we as the reader know that things aren't going to work out for him the way he hopes. It's heart wrenching. You did such a fabulous job with all of the individual character voices as well. They were all different, but they were all poetic and in-keeping with the story, and nothing disrupted the flow of things.

Narrative voice: TO. DIE. FOR. I think this was really the element which made the story. It was a stunning use of narrative, but I'm not even quite sure what it was. It's almost as though the story is a series of letter, or that was my interpretation of it. Sirius, James, Remus and Ginny all writing letters to their other halves (and I know Sirius/James wasn't happening, but I believe that James was as close to an other half as Sirius was going to get). They don't seem like letters that ever got sent though. They're either internal, or like the other letters James previously tried to send to Lily and crumpled up. I like to think that this was another one of these letters. That might not have been what you were going for, but that was how the style of it came across to me. I think that would explain all the emotion in it. All the things they tried to say, but couldn't.

I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS.


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Review #8, by RonsGirlFriday Words Left Unspoken

26th October 2009:
Oh, dear. Oh, dear, dear, dear. This is one of those situations where I can't possibly leave a good enough review. This is just fantastic.

I don't even know where to start, so I'll just go through it the way you asked in your request. ^_^


Characters: Exquisite. Excellent characterization, particularly of the Marauders. You were true to them, but you added your own spark of something. And their voices were dramatic, but not overdone. I was particularly in love with Sirius' voice, and Remus' was heartwrenching. There is a lovely purity in the way you wrote them here.

At first, I found it interesting that you chose to write the fourth section with Harry/Ginny, since the rest of it revolved around the Marauders. But the more I think about it, the more I like it. First of all, I pretty much hate Peter, so I'm not sure he deserves to have a voice in this breathtaking fic. XD Second, I rather like the idea of using Harry, because in a way he's like an honorary Marauder, through blood and spirit and everything, and I like the idea of him being connected to them like this. I think I wish you had used his voice at the end, but I don't want to get into comparing apples and oranges, because Ginny's voice was lovely. Incidentally, while I support Harry/Ginny, I find it difficult to write, but I think you did it wonderfully.

I also love that you didn't go the romance route with all of them, and with Sirius you concentrated on the brotherhood that sustained him. That was my favorite part of this fic. I adored how you contrasted the grandiosity of the situation with the frivolous nature of the Marauders. The reason I love the Marauders is because I think of them as you've written them here, if that makes any sense. They have such a spirit and vitality about them that is often trivialized by the way they get written in fanfiction.


Feel of the story: Um. Freaking amazing. Mesmerizing. Uplifting. Gorgeous. Enchanting.

I love the way you've written it. It feels like stream of consciousness at times, which really brings out its spirit. I found a lot of amazing quotes, and I'll share a few of my favorites:

And if I am to lose my life because of my best friend, and not only you, but Remus the werewolf and Peter the rat as well, I think it would be a gorgeous death.

Snorting with simultaneous laughter, we repeat, the silly ridiculous words rolling of our tongues with true solemnity and meaning more than they sound. Because we know that even if you like histrionic settings and melodramatic events, you're not one to waste fancy words none of us would understand anyway.

I want to ask where your eyes went when you chose me. But I really want to ask, will you do it for me? Will you stay when all of them are gone and when all my friends forget my name, for all the crimes I have committed?

And as we give farewell to all angels, as you kiss me through laughter of joy, the ravens take off symbolically, and the branches sigh with relief.



Flow: Seriously...great. No problems here. ^_^ Sort of fits in with what I said about the feel of the story.


POV: I'm a big fan of the first and second person POV mixed - though I guess technically it's just first person, even if the narrator is speaking to another character? Or maybe not. The technicalities are eluding me right now. But I really like it; I think it's engaging and meaningful. And I didn't find the shifting POV's hard to follow, especially since the different sections were pretty well delineated.


So let's see here... tallying up your points... yes, that would be 5,451 out of 10. And I'm favoriting it. XD

Thanks for requesting! Request again anytime!

xoxo
Melanie

Author's Response: What do I say? I really don't know. Wow, thanks so much. It's such an honor to recieve a review like that from a writer like you. I just don't believe it.

I never really planned to do Pettigrew's part. I'm not the one to shun him, but I didn't want his overly angsty and traitorous voice to disrupt the pace and feel. And like you said, Harry deserved to have his part, too, being the descendant of the Marauders. I'm so happy you understood that.

Wow, just wow. I always wanted to write a Marauder fic, but never had enough plot for a novel, so I summed up everything in this little story. It means so much you liked my interpretation of them. i have to say that the first part was the most enjoyable for me to write, having them all in the picture, maintaining that grand friendship and amazing, interesting personalities blending with each other. The other two parts are a bit more romantic, so that's why the first part felt special to me.

You pointed out quotes! I love when readers do that, and it doesn't happen often, so I nearly jumped on my chair. I'm so glad you liked these.

My first shot at first and second person mixed was a short drabble about Fred and Geogre Weasley, and I liked writing it, so I tried it out here and it seemed to work out well. Even when I write third person, many times I address the reader without wanting to, so the speaking to someone element seems to have stuck on me a bit.

Melanie, like I said. This review means the world to me, because this story is my baby. I spent months working on it and I love it so much, so...THANK YOU! You rock my world and I'm so happy and thankful for all your words. :)

xoxo Liz


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Review #9, by Elesphyl Words Left Unspoken

23rd August 2009:
Wow, Liz. This was absolutely beautiful. I truly don't think I've ever read such an original, such a stunning one-shot before. A new favorite. I really don't have the words to express how much I liked it.

I loved that every section was one person talking to another, and while I'm not a fan of Harry/Ginny, it worked (and not just because I pretended she was Hermione and the last section was off-canon =P). One thing I would have wished for would have been a Peter section. You'd had it beautifully set up for each of the Marauders speaking, and then, boom, it's Ginny, out of the blue.

But that didn't detract from the piece at all. Rather, it enhanced it. A magical, magical work of writing, my dear. I really love it.

10/10 and I've only given out one other of these
XOXO, Kalina

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Review #10, by TwilightPrincess Words Left Unspoken

20th August 2009:
Annyeong haseyo! Ilia here from TGS for your review. =) Sorry it's so late.

In general, I don't much care for second person stories because I feel like it goes beyond the writer-reader relationship. I feel like I'm being bossed around by a writer who writes in second person. It's nothing personal, I just don't like it. That aside, I did get a bit confused while reading this story. You had both first and second person - which you pointed out in my thread - and I felt like I had to do a lot of work to keep up with who was who, especially when you cut to different characters. However, I do think it was interesting, even if it was a bit confusing. It kept me on my toes, that's for sure.

The idea of this piece is beautiful. I love that you thought about the situations this way, and you presented it wonderfully. Your descriptions were purely poetic, and something I could only dream to accomplish. The more I think about the ideas presented in this piece, the more my heart warms. It's really a deep insight on the way people are, the way their relationships are, the way things change when big things like war happen. Truly remarkable.

Flow, as you asked me to comment on, was wonderful. I did enjoy your little bold scene-changers - I thought they were very clever and unique. I didn't feel like you ripped me out of one scene too early or that anything dragged on for longer than it should have. Everything was fluid and easy to read (except, in my case, the first-second person thing.)

Overall, I think this is really a slam-dunk piece. You should be proud of this - I can tell that you put a lot of work and effort into it , and it certainly has paid off.

Ganbare! Tanoshinde ^_^

.:.Ilia.:.

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Review #11, by pop_girl06 Words Left Unspoken

18th August 2009:
Wow, that was beautiful. Really, truely.
Huh, it's strange, I have friend nicknamed Emz who's birthday is in august... Just turned fifteen, in fact.

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Review #12, by Blissbug Words Left Unspoken

4th August 2009:
shadowycorner, so sorry it's taken me this long to get to your review :( I'm here now though!

So I love this concept, four scenes, one location, different experiences. I find this a really original idea and a great way to catalogue time and use it's measurement as the vehical for the story.

The voice of your narrator is so strong and vivid, I love it. Right from the start I was pulled in and entertained, and found the shared experiences but heart warming and heart breaking.

You create a lot of subtle interplay between the characters and this does much to anchor the reader and cement the whole idea fo what's happening. Once more the dialogue is delicious and totally believable, it's really well done.

I'm very impressed by this story, thank you for requesting in my thread.

9/10

BB

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Review #13, by burnt august Words Left Unspoken

21st July 2009:
this is beautiful

the first scene.. from sirius' point of view really moved me. you did an excellent job relaying the bond between the four.

by the end you even made me tear up a bit.
overall your story was lovely

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Review #14, by mes2draco Words Left Unspoken

21st July 2009:
i loved it. it was absolutely beautiful. my favourite line was
"you so far away, I so out of place"

you're an amazing writer!

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Review #15, by Valiant  Words Left Unspoken

26th April 2009:
This is so, splendidly, fantastic. It is indescribable.

Absolutely, utterly genius.

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Review #16, by potterwriter340237 Words Left Unspoken

4th January 2009:
Beautiful!
You are a very talented writer, and this was very heart warming and well goergeously written! (sorry about the spelling)
It was sad but I enjoyed it temendously, i think my favourite part was the first part in Sirius's point of view!
Again absolutley beautiful!
Congratualtions on a job well done!

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Review #17, by Lyn Midnight Words Left Unspoken

21st December 2008:
I finally read it, Liz! And... wow, where should I start? First of all, I loved the style, the titles - the last one almost made me cry. The whole story goes from innocent to mature, and it shows how people are changed by war, and you convey the darkness, through hope and love. Your sentences and words flow freely, lovingly across the chapters, and it sounds like music, poetry, magic. Everything is beautiful, and that's the best word to describe it. I don't blame you for omitting Peter, he would've probably been too dark for this story, but my favorite part was Remus's, and not just because he is my favorite. It just conveyed him perfectly, and it fit so well with the rest of the story. Finally, it was great that Harry and Ginny found their way into the tree's history. The only thing I thought tiresome was the little action in the piece, but you made up for it at the end, and I think you have this way of writing beautiful stories that appeal to the heart. Keep it up, Liz, you're awesome!! :))

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Review #18, by cedrixfan Words Left Unspoken

17th December 2008:
Wow...I think I will have many words left unspoken after this review because I'm so lost for words. Good Lawd, this was beautiful! So brilliantly crafted, as well, with the different points of view and timeline. The tree was a wonderful thing to center the story around, or, rather, what it symbolized. It seemed to represent different things for each character/set of characters. Thank you for a fantastic read--really gorgeous! This one's definitely going under my favorites. Infinity/10!

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Review #19, by Varda Words Left Unspoken

15th December 2008:
This is so fantastic!! I really don't know what to say other than 'marvelous job', because I'm rushing out the door at the moment-- but I just couldn't read this without reviewing!

This story has only solidified my decision that you are my favourite author on this site!

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Review #20, by emma Words Left Unspoken

30th November 2008:
*tears* what a lovely story! great job tying it all together! :-)

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Review #21, by Potter Nerd Words Left Unspoken

14th November 2008:
you're writing is like a painting. i love this. so beautiful.

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Review #22, by Madness Within Words Left Unspoken

12th November 2008:
I am speechless. This was the single more beautiful thing I have ever read.

This story is...alive. It's real, and it's amazing. You describe things in a way that makes me feel the snow around my legs, and the sun on my back. It feels like your in the story, right beside these character, watching their private moments.

The idea of this is beautiful, and the execution is even better. Don't worry about characteriziation or flow or anything else, because you have absolutely nothing to be concerned over.

10/10 (I wish I could give you more!) ;)

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Review #23, by Spar Words Left Unspoken

3rd November 2008:
I just glanced at the number of comments given and I don't understand why it isn't more. It's very well written and thought out.

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Review #24, by Lbeen393 Words Left Unspoken

3rd November 2008:
oh.my.goodness. you write beautifully! the words you string together into sentences dance more elegantly and fluidy than anything I have ever seen! I wish you would try to actually publish something, this is just about the most amazing thing i think ive ever read...truly brilliant. I wish i could give this over a 10/10! its more like 100/10

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Review #25, by GubraithianFire Words Left Unspoken

2nd November 2008:
You know I'm constantly saying "I wish I could just leave a one word review!" as opposed to my jumbled ramblings that confuse the hell out of everyone, especially me. But my words are nothing compared to this masterpiece. You've stolen all the words that have ever meant anything. Who am I to compete with that?

Masterpiece.

(That's all I have to say. The shortest review I've given in years - but for the story that has moved me in a way unlike any other.)

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