The opening was interesting; how it darted between the houses and their respective inhabitants, and some of your descriptions were quite evocative too. Report Review
I will state first off that the story's written in a style that I don't personally care for, but it shows that style very well and I think you hit the mark on what you were going for.
It's very well written grammatically, which is always a joy to find with fanfic.
The strength of this story lies in its portrayal of a heart-rended Andromeda, trying to reconnect with her estranged family. It rings true and it feels right. I particularly like the scene with Andromeda and Narcissa as girls when Narcissa receives the necklace. It seems very sisterly to me from before the familial rift.
I also like that Bella is mentioned, but not shown. Her outright cruelty would have jarred with the style of the story.
A very good story of a family that's had problems, but is still a family. Report Review
Hello Kristen!! *hugs*
I really liked the storytelling feel of this -- like I was sitting by a fire listening to an old story. At some points, it even had sort of a fairytale feel to it -- I'm not sure if that's what you were going for, but I liked it! And I figured out at the end that it was Ted telling the story instead of a random narrator, and that was a nice twist.
The theme, about the New Year being a time for new beginnings and reconciliation, was lovely, especially as you applied it to Andromeda and Narcissa, although I wondered why Andromeda waited so many years to try to make up with Narcissa. Maybe she was scared or worried, but once she grew old she wanted to do it because she knew she didn't have much time left?
The image of Andromeda sitting all alone in her house and thinking to herself, was sad, but I liked it a lot. Especially when you described it as "much too large for an old soul like hers to live in." You have a nice way with language. :-)
I really enjoyed reading this. Off to read your other stuff!
MelanieAuthor's Response: Thanks Melanie!! And yeah, I was going for that. She knew she didn't have enough time, and she didn't want to go on without making at least some sort of effort! Thank you my darling!! Report Review
Aww! This was such a poignant and heartwarming story. It really spoke to sister relationships, especially with the added dimension of all the time that's passed since their original fight. I also admired the whimsical, fairy tale-eqsue prose; it was very appropriate to a holiday story, as Christmas is the time of year when stories and family tend to interweave. Looking forward to reading more of your work ;)Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing!! It made me happy ^_^ Report Review
Hey there. This was really, really good. It was nice to read a New Year's story, I've mostly read Christmas stiff the past couple weeks.
The plot flowed nicely, and Andromeda was written very, very well. Her emotions were realistic, and all that. Well done!
My only concern is that there were a couple tense shifts, which were a little distracting. Otherwise, amazing job! I really enjoyed this little holiday story. Happy 2009!
~long_live_luna_bellatrixAuthor's Response: Hey! Thank you so much! I hoped to be a little different where holiday stories were concerned because I always saw Christmas stuff. Thank you luna bellatrix for your wonderful review!! =D Report Review
Is this your first fic since your absence? (By the way, okaeri (welcome back! - it actually means 'welcome home') If it is, I hope you don't mind me being honest. I am a first-impression kind of person. When I open a new story for the first time, it better start of special or else it doesn't mean much to me. That is a personal preference and please don't let it alter your writing style; people like different things and that's just the way it is. But I have to tell you that when I read your opening line, I felt like I was reading the opening of a middle-school essay that would be given over the break from school because teachers love to give projects over break. Again, it's a personal preference.
The rest of it was absolutely lovely, and it's just a shame that my mind can't allow me to accept a fic unless it starts off with a mental bang. I would have been able to enjoy it more had I not had that run-in at the beginning. Just so you know, I don't know anything about any of the Black sisters. I hardly understand the family tree that goes on. All I know is that Andromeda marries Ted and they're Tonks's parents. (Is that even correct?)
Now, with all of that fanfare out of the way, let me begin the real review. This sentence puzzled me for a moment: When Andromeda Tonks, that's her name by the way, was a girl, she believed in many things with such stubborn passion. Mainly it's the insert of "that's her name by the way" because I feel like it doesn't belong in narration like that. You set up such a professional voice before then and this sort of seems juvenile, and I know you're not an amateur writer. On second thought, I think my problem is that little insert belongs in parenthesis instead of just surrounded by commas. Yes, that's it.
The sisters speak awfully old-school (excuse me, my mind can't think of a better term at the moment) in this, and since I don't know anything about the family, I don't know if it's acceptable or not. I imagine they were moderately young when this exchange occurred, and I have a hard time imagining young girls - sisters to boot - speaking to each other like they're having tea with the queen.
I'm generally not a fan of present tense stories. It takes me a while to settle into comfort when I read one, and for this story, I was comfortable in it when I was about to the end. And then it was over. XD Even so, I have to tell you that I cringed when I read this, and I know you must have just missed it because I know you're an intelligent person: Over three decades has passed... Have, my dear. Have.
This story was really well done. I applaud you for writing something like this after being off for so long. This is really wonderful and you definitely have your own writing style. It's so easy and enjoyable to read. You have a presence. It's good to have you back.
Ganbare! Tanoshinde ^_^ (Work hard! Have fun ^_^)
♥Author's Response: Yay! Long review! And thanks, Midna! This WAS my first fic in a long long long time (nearly a year, which for me, is quite sad) and I thought I'd try being gutsy in taking on a holiday story. It feels good being back at HPFF though...which I guess you could say is my online home! I see what you mean about the writing style. I tried being different in that area too by trying to give it that Austen feel, as I wanted to do something with her in mind.
Yes, you are correct, they are Tonks' parents. The Black sisters was one of my favorite parts in the Hogwartian timeline. Ted narrates the story so to give him a little pizzazz in his personality, I added that quirk. When I edit it, I'll fix it. Thanks for saying I'm not an amateur - that made me happy :). And the sisters were talking old school for a number of reasons: one, due to their upbringing, but mainly because I wanted to add to the Austen feel I wanted to project onto the readers. I'll keep that in mind when I try to write my Ted/Andromeda (it won't be written the same way as this.)
Thank you so much for your helpful criticism Midna (and your very kind comments), this review will help me alot!! Report Review
Hello, here to review. The main thing that I caught was the end when you swtiched into first person...I wasn't sure where that had come from.
It is a sweet idea for a story, the reconciliation of the Black sisters sans loony toons (i.e. Bella).
I also liked the memory that you included of their childhood...it is almost sad that they were so close and Andromeda didn't even say good bye. I know I would have been hurt.
All in all a nice short hoilday story, kudos on even attempting one, as I am not sure that I could be so brave. This was was different from the others I have read because it focused so much more on the new beginning and less on the new year (I hope that makes sense).
Anyway, great job.Author's Response: Hey SpringTime! I'm sorry it took me so long to reply! School has been busy. Well, I thought it was always first person - I just didn't use the open clues of "I" and slang throughout. I'll keep that in mind though for the next first person narrative I write! Thank you for all your sweet comments!! I tried to make their relationship as real as possible and like you, if I were in Cissy's position, I WOULD be hurt...and a hard nut to crack if the said person who wronged me wanted my forgiveness.
I think it made sense to me: it focused more on a new beginning rather than the holiday, right? I'm sorry if I did take it the wrong way!
Thank you so much! Report Review
I really like the way you start out. I like the references to the townspeople and the way they start their new year. Props to you for telling a story in the present tense, it's a nice variation.
For this story being as short as it is, you accomplish a lot of character development, congratulations. I like how Cissy goes from cold to tender and Andromeda feels younger because she makes peace with her past.
While this could be a typo/error: "until ‘Dromeda’s heart gave away at a tender age." I like it. I think it shows that Andromeda gained youth as she got to know her sister and found herself with family once again.
You have a couple of sentences/phrases that seem awkward, but overall I like your story for its simplicity and feelings.
Good job!Author's Response: Thanks! I really wanted to do something different, even if it was a risk, as I hadn't written anything in such a huge time. Plus I thought it would be more powerful due to who was narrating (Ted.) I'll have to check for those awkward sentences, but really, thank you for the brilliant review! Report Review
This is very impressive in just a short span of words. I really enjoyed the way you started the story, bringing the reader in from the perspective of the larger world into the specific perspective of one person. I love the way you give a sense of place and time, and you even show various things happening in real time despite the fact that the piece is narrative. You show the progression of change in the relationship between teh sisters, and it is very realistic. I also LOVE your choice of words and allusions and such... You have a very keenly developed writing style. Oh, and is Ted the narrator? I love it!!!Author's Response: Thank you JL!! Well one of my favorite shows is the ABC show "Desperate Housewives" and from the beginning I loved the prologue and epilogue of the episodes, so I wanted it to start off with that sort of feeling with a Jane Austen aura to it. As for the sisters, I want to thank you for saying that! I worked really hard to try and make it as realistic as possible but still maintain that storybook quality. Lol, thanks about the allusion comment. I did some research for my Ted/Andromeda story and I discovered there was this whole myth on Andromeda and her knight in shining armor, Perseus, who freed her from the chained rock (apparently she was going to be a sea monster's breakfast xD.) And YES!! Ted is the narrator. You are the first reviewer who discovered the real narrator! I'm so happy!!! Thank you so much for your wonderful review, it made my day! Report Review
Hey, this is LilyLuna from the forums with the review you requested :)
I love the way you narrated the one-shot. It was skillfully done, and it reminded me of the you'd tell a fairytale or something like that. I'm not sure who the narrator is meant to be, but I liked the fact they you're not sure, because it leaves an air of mystery that I like.
The overall grammar and spelling in the one-shot was good. I didn't see any mistake. And pace and flow was also good. Your writing style though, is great. You can write particularly well.
There wasn't much characterization in the story, and I think you could have added a bit more about Andromeda, but the characterization of her that was there was good.
Apart from bring a bit more of Andromeda into the story, there is nothing else I could complain about in this. You did a great job writing this! Well done.
9/10Author's Response: Hey LilyLuna! Thank you! Well as I've mentioned...this was inspired by Frank Capra's movie "It's A Wonderful Life" which also has that fairy tale quality. I actually thought this would be filled with cheesy cheese because of its moralistic feel to it but I could definitely see what you man about the fairy tale thing...especially with Andy's past (which in the story I'm planning for that ship has also that feel.) The narrator was Ted, actually but it's really nice to know you liked the mystery quality. I wanted it to be mysterious at first but at the end, reveal who it was. Thank you for reviewing! Report Review
Hi VampireKisses, it's notreallyblonde from the forums here to give your review, hope you holiday is going well!
'The holiday of New Year's often symbolizes something different for everyone, and thus their celebrating is rather unique compared with their neighbors.' - Here I was confused over if second 'their' was meant to be specific or not. In the second sentence that was cleared up. So then I was left wonder who the 'their' is referring to? I know I will found out eventually, but I felt that this sentence was meant to build the foundation and since it seems more specific than not. I suggest either stating it's the Blacks or making it vaguer.
Wow, that second paragraph was an absolute keeper. Actually if you plan to revise or edit in the future I would suggest highly making that the first paragraph. It had the perfect amount of imagery, ambiance, and sense of direction for the rest of the fiction.
'When Andromeda Tonks, that's her name by the way, was a girl,' - Now I wonder who is telling this story because of the 'that's her name by the way' bit lol
'The recent years, poisoned by a Black curse, have not been kind to dear Andromeda, which grieves an admission of her dying of heart failure, and hence the reason she sits pensively in that large, plaid, overstuffed armchair (once coveted by her loving husband) beside herself looking deep into fiery flames licking the walls of the hearth.' -run-on. And that is just one that I picked out. I suggest reading aloud; it helps me so much in finding run-ons and awkward phrasings :)
I definitely like the tone of this story, a lot. At the end I felt like everything did come full circle, and a sense of completion was gained a because of this. It was a very pleasant read. A concern I do have is the narration. At the end it seemed like Narcissa might have been the one who told the story, I could be wrong, but if that is the case then she would not have a clue about the neighbors in the beginning or when Andy opens her eyes and decides to see her sister again. Unless this was all in their conversation, which would have been a bonus if the reader got to see that. Also, the narrator seems God-like at the same time...so I'm just a wee bit confused here.
Otherwise, save for some awkward phrases and an odd narrative style that I can't pin down (lol), excellent work! Loved the holiday theme, so fitting haha.
-LisaAuthor's Response: Hey notrealyblonde44! Thanks for the long, detailed review! I hope you don't mind...but as I read this, I'll be commenting. My holiday has been going very well...I'm rather enjoying my new snuggly bath robe and heated bed pad. The 'their' meant that everyone has a whole...all the people in Britain and the world celebrates New Year's differently. Wow thanks on the paragraph compliment! I see what you mean about it. The reason why I have that huge first paragraph was to give it a little Jane Austen-esque feel to it...cute, a little humorous (I never tried to be funny in my writings before, so I don't know how that turned out), and a little relatable I guess. Thank you for the advice on run ons...I'll definitely take a look later! Actually, I chose the narrator to be Ted Tonks...and I take it I didn't execute it successfully judging by your reaction. I thought I was obvious to be honest with you by like mentioning Ted in the story have him talk a little cocky (like a guy...I hoped) or calling her 'Dromeda at the end there (in DH he called her that...maybe I should have Cissy call her 'Andy' or something) and saying when she got to the pearly gates they lived happiyl ever after. Although I did do alot of editing when writing this...so saying that Ted and 'Dromeda's happily ever after was cut short may have been put on the cutting room floor. And a huge inspiration to this was "It's a Wonderful Life" lol.
Thanks for the awesome review Lisa! Report Review
great story! i loved the detail, it was your strong point. i think i voted heart failure for this on the forums--you fit it in perfectly. i also like your characterization. it was a different story, i've never read anything like it before. very good flow, and the situations in the beginning were lovely. great job, well done! 10/10
-ron.weasleyxo from the forums :]]Author's Response: Thank you for the wonderful comments! Yes, detail has always come relatively easy to me so that makes me happy you liked it! I wasn't sure how well I could pass off heart failure as a killing wizard problem. I chose it because of it's symbolism, really - the person who loved so much only to have nearly everyone stolen from her. Thank you! Report Review
very lovely. i love Andromeda. i was so excited when i realized that she was a character in this story. this was a pleasing, full, read.
the writing style was very unique, but i think that you pulled it off with ease. most of the time, going in and out between a story and the reader kind of bugs me, but this really just drew me in.
the point of view is kind of the whole cause of the writing style, but i thought that that worked out just as easily. you made the flow so natural and that always is enough to prove to readers that some authors are successful.
i saw no mistakes whatsoever and was quite surprised to find out that this is the first story that you have written in a year. you show no signs of faulty style.
overall, i thought that you did a wonderful job on this story. it was a great read and i really felt connected and interested. be sure to request for me to read any other stories of yours. keep writing. wonderful job.Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much for the detailed review! Andromeda is one of my favorite characters too; she is so fascinating because you're not one hundred percent who she is, according to canon. Thank you so much for your kind words! It's nice to know my writing isn't rusty, you know? Thank you so much! Report Review
This is really good! Very well written, and I love the flow and description as Andromeda goes to Narcissa's place. This is a very enjoyable read, and if you need any more reviews then don't hesitate to ask me!Author's Response: Thank you! My literary club teacher always said that some of the best stuff you can ever write is when you're pressed for time. I don't know if this particular work goes perfectly for that quote but it's nice to know it's well written (and enjoyably read too!) As for description, I wanted to capture Malfoy Manor the way I imagined it: a superciliously dark house in the country that would make Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester jealous. Thank you so much for your nice review, it made my morning! And thank you for your wonderful offer! Report Review
This was a cool story. I like the discription and it was written differently from stories I have read about the holidays.
Loved it!Author's Response: Thank you! I actually had never read a holiday story before, but I wanted to do something in the holiday spirit (compared with my other work.) And I also tried a different style of writing than what I'm used to in the way of Ted Tonks narrating the story from up there. Thank you so much! Report Review
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