Reading Reviews for Smokescreen
  
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by flying_rabbit  Smokescreen

19th August 2010:
I like this portrayal of Narcissa; she doesn't come across as an ice queen, although that probably has to do with the scenes you've chosen. She sounds like an actual human being, what with her walking away when her sister started talking about torturing and killing someone - I don't think Narcissa ever was a real Death Eater, was she?
I also like that she went for a walk with Sirius, even though he's far from her favourite cousin. Your description of Sirius is quite different from most people's, too - he's not a playboy, he a boy who gets a lot of attention from girls, but doesn't seem to act on it. That might be a pretty realistic portrayal of him, judging from what Rowling told us about him. It sounds just like him to act like a good son for once more, as a sort of farewell present to his parents - once a joker, always a joker.
One thing, though. Sirius' words remind Narcissa of Andromeda eloping with a Muggleborn, and the shame brought over the family because of that event. Since Narcissa is twenty and Sirius sixteen, this story would be set in 1975, if I'm correct, and by that time, Tonks would've been born, wouldn't she? I guess that would only enlarge the shame brought over the Black family, no? Sorry for nitpicking... Anyway, I like the idea of Sirius being capable of having a conversation with his cousin like that - in most stories, all they can do is curse each other and yell at each other, while this is actually much more interesting. They didn't fully hate one another (Sirius and Narcissa, at least), and that adds an extra dimension to Sirius running away from home, I think. He didn't hate his family, not all of them, at all times, so it can't have been an easy decision to leave - if he hated them all, he could've run away much, much earlier.
Narcissa's condemnation of Sirius' behaviour could be expected, though I wonder if deep down, she meant that. Sure, she meant some of it, but the fact that his words didn't leave her alone, even more than twenty years later, would show that she doesn't completely condemn him, right? Her reasoning at the end makes perfect sense; I can understand that after living like she did for a year, she's had enough, and all she wants to do, is for it all to be over. That feeling that she just wants to survive, I think that's something everyone has. Not just human beings, other animals as well, everything that's alive. I think this was a great piece!

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Review #2, by _hedwig_  Smokescreen

23rd April 2010:
Once again, you amaze me at the quality of your writing. You know how to captivate me and make me want to read more. This is the first Narcissa story I've ever read, and believe me, I'll be judging people's Narcissa stories by the one that I've just read. 10/10.
PS: You say that your 'Veil of Time' story isnt good? Well, I thought it was brilliant, I wasnt kidding.

Author's Response: Why, thank you. :) I'm glad you find the writing to be captivating. Also glad you weren't having me on about Veil. :)

Thanks again, for reviewing.


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Review #3, by Ravie_girl29  Smokescreen

29th August 2009:
...:o wow...i don't know how you thought it wasn't good, i thought it was amazing

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. Thank you.

As to why I thought it wasn't god... well, I feel it could've been tauter, a bit less wordy, a bit more expansive. But I'm very critical of my work like that, and think most of what is rubbish. lol


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Review #4, by redherring  Smokescreen

26th August 2009:
Hi, here to review as requested :) Sorry about the wait... :/

Genuinely, I thought this was amazing. Really, really brilliant. I was a bit confused at first when, after reading the summary about Narcissa and Harry, the story opened with a Marauder-era Narcissa and Sirius, but then everything feel into place and it all made sense ;)

I've never really thought before about the relationship Narcissa and Sirius must once have had, but I thought you described it very well here, and I also liked your characterisations of both. I haven't seen many stories on the site with these two Black cousins together, making this (in my opinion) quite original as well, which of course is always a good thing :D

Basically, I have nothing to criticise. Your dialogue was realistic and flowed really well, none of the characters seemed OOC, I liked the plot and it was a great subject to write about, and I don't even know what to say about your descriptions! They were just completely beautiful - I especially enjoyed them in the first section with Sirius and Narcissa's conversation.

Absolutely 10/10 :)

Author's Response: Oh my god. I'm so so sorry for this punishably dilatory response. I'm not going to be making any excuses; I just am really sory. :(

I wrote this so long ago - almost a year ago - that I really don't know what prompted me to write it. Or for that mater why I chose Narcissa and Sirius. They weren't the closest, but I guess *some* bond must have existed between them. Not friendship or even affection, but maybe just that of acquaintance. Which doesn't influence her life or his in any dramatic way, but just that Narcissa isn't entirely closed off to contentious opinions and beliefs substantiates why she chose to turn her back on her beliefs and conventions and lie to Voldemort. Other than that, I see no particular significance.

Descriptions come easily to me. I'm probably better at it han I'm at dialogue or plot or symbolism. Which isn't a great writing technique, because scratching beneath the surface if there isn't much substance underneath the descriptions, the stor just wouldn't be convincing.

Thanks so very much for this absolutely delightful review, and I'm so terribly sory for this very dilatory response.



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Review #5, by Indigo Seas  Smokescreen

25th August 2009:
Here as requested! ^_^ Sorry I'm a bit late...

This was great. I mean, really, really great. I don't read stories about Sirius and Narcissa, just the two of them, very often, so this was a really refreshing change. I found it very unique, which is always something an author wants to achieve! Kudos to you for that. :)

The dialog here seemed really natural. A lot of authors have really forced dialog, or dialog that doesn't seem natural. It was great to read flowing, easy to read, natural dialog, so really great job on that! I really enjoyed reading through it.

And your descriptions! My dear, your descriptions are to die for. SO many authors on this site are so lacking in their descriptions. The reader cannot imagine what is going on in the story in the slightest. What do the characters see, smell, taste, feel, hear? It was really, really great to read through some of your wonderful descriptions, especially in the beginning when the two first start walking. Great stuff.

Overall, I really enjoyed it! Thanks so much for requesting!

10/10

- Rin

Author's Response: Oh my god. I'm so so sorry for this very dilatory response. I'm not going to be making any excuses; I just am really sorry. I was so up to my ears in work that I just couldn't find the time. :(

Ah dialogue. I used to be rubbish at dialogue when I started writing. I know a lot of people suggest that one must always pin back their ears and listen carefully to the way people talk and stuff, but only after I started writing that I really put this into practice. Though I wouldn't say the way people talk in real life is the way my characters converse, but it does give me a good grip on the mechanics of dialogue.

Descriptions come easily to me. I'm probably better at it han I'm at dialogue or plot or symbolism. Which isn't a great writing technique, because scratching beneath the surface if there isn't much substance underneath the descriptions, the stor just wouldn't be convincing.

Thanks so very much for this absolutely delightful review, and I'm so terribly sory for this very dilatory response.


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Review #6, by TwilightPrincess  Smokescreen

24th August 2009:
Annyeong haseyo! Ilia here from the forums for your review ^_^

Just to be clear, I'm not going soft =P I tend to leave less critical reviews on stories that are submitted for my challenges because I don't want to be mean to someone who isn't asking me to be, you know? So, no. I'm not soft ;-)

This piece was awesome, to be frank. I am impressed mainly at the amount of thought and caring that must have gone into this piece during the planning stages. I can feel your hard work and dedication to thinking about this piece, and I appreciate your effort. If there's one thing I hate, it's when I can tell that an author doesn't care about what they've written.

I was intrigued by your characterization of Sirius, firstly because I thought he was a bit off in some places. I like the overall angle you were taking with him - that he wanted to get away from what was expected of him and go do his own thing. It's a very philosophical idea, and I like that you pinned that with Sirius's personality, but I just felt that he was a bit too preachy in some lines. For example: "The truth you close your eyes to, the truth you overlook." Somehow I had a hard time hearing Sirius, the cool but thoughtful guy, say something like this. I did, however, love this line because I think it fit him perfectly: If that were the case, you wouldn't be so flustered. This kind of mind game he's playing on Narcissa is shown in this piece of dialogue, and in that aspect I think you had Sirius down pat. He's quite difficult to write, if you ask me. He's got so much going on.

I was confused about the summary at first. I wasn't sure how you could have a story set in the Marauders era but involving Harry. First thing that came to my mind was OH, NO! A TIME-TRAVELING STORY! But even if that's what you had written, it would have been great. Anyway, I'm impressed with how you tied in the beginning scenes with the last one. I was angry when Narcissa told Bellatrix that she didn't consider Sirius a family member anymore, but overwhelmingly happy when she saved Harry. That was an interesting point in DH and it was so great to see your take on it.

The overall idea of this piece is truly awesome. I'm impressed that you can think of something like this. Great story!

Ganbare! Tanoshinde ^_^

.:.Ilia.:.

Author's Response: Oh. My. God. I'm so terribly sorry for taking so long to respond. I think I'd totally forgotten that I had one last review to respond to for this story. It completely slipped my mind. So I'm truly very very sorry. :(

It's actually very strange to respond to this review, because it was written exactly a year ago. I don't remember what I was thinking when I wrote this, but I do, however, recall that this story sort of wrote itself. I started off with dialogue, and then the whole story took shape by itself. It was completely impromptu, so it's funny you should say this seemed planned.

I admit I don't quite understand the character of Sirius. I think - and I say this at the risk of incurring the wrath of many fans of the series - that Sirius is a highly overrated character. He's terribly romanticised in fanfiction when in reality he's a very human, very flawed and perhaps even slightly underwhelming as a character. Maybe he's rendered underwhelming because so much undue importance and cachet is attached to his character in fanfiction. It's like, fanfic has propounded a certain mirage of him, which has been all the more vivified by reiteration of cliches associated with Sirius that it becomes quite difficult to know who the real Sirius was. There is significant depth to him, but it's kind of countervailed by his immaturity, rendering him thoroughly unreliable. Which I think explains the discrepancies in what he says, because what he says now might not conform with what he says a while later, as though he's at cross-purposes with his own self. I don't think I've captured the mutability as well as I'd hav liked, but then again this was written so long ago that I think I can cut myself some slack.

Narcissa was much easier to write. There's not much contradiction as far as her character was concerned. She straightforward for the most part, with an imperspicuous thread of doubt and renegade thought that needed to be woven in. The stimulus to make her turn her back on Voldemort in the end.


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Review #7, by Phoenix_Flames  Smokescreen

23rd August 2009:
Ahhh, my dear! I always love your stories. Always.

They always amaze me so much and find excellent meaning with me. The ending was just so moving! You have that excellent power over me - being able to asuage me with your fantastic writing!

The end was just so chilling and...there. You know? Saying "he's dead." *shivers*

Awesome job, love! Come request again!

9/10

Author's Response: Thanks so very much for this very lovely review, hun. I'm very very flattered indeed to hear that these fics find 'meaning' with you, because that's as good a complement as it gets. :D PErsonally, I always strive to ascribe some depth to my stories, so it's great to know they strike a chord with the reader

Thanks again for this amazing review. :)


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Review #8, by Lizzy Leigh  Smokescreen

19th August 2009:
This is an amazing story! The writing is absolutely beautiful and it flows extremely well. The imagery is the best I have ever read on HPFF. I especially loved the line about the choreography of the wind. It just... jumped out at me. Fantastic writing aside, the plot itself was brilliant. It was very organized and brief- but not rushed. You characterized Narcissa extremely well. The conversation with Sirius was fantastic. Just- everything was fantastic! I loved how you ended it, too. Perfect. And very ironic- that accepting the truth is when she lies. This is an amazing one-shot, and I know that one-shots never get enough attention as they deserve. This really is a work of art, though. One of my favourite lines- "She had won the battle earlier that evening, but he had won the war." I also love how the first two parts were in the past tense and the last part was in the present tense. I usually don't like reading the present tense, but it gave the sense that everything was happening right then, and it made it more suspenseful and real. Thank you very much for writing this. It's beautiful.

Author's Response: Firstly, I'm so very sorry for taking so long to respond to this amazing review. I was terribly hardpressed for time what with my uni course and internships and other RL issues. But I'd read this review a while ago, and I remember it making my day! So thank you, thank you so much. :)

I'm incredibly glad to hear that you found the writing to be 'beautiful', even though I personally feel it's the slightest bit overblown. Minimalism isn't my forte; my writing invariably tends to get verbose. Descriptions, I admit, I find easier to do than say dialogue or symbolism.

Again, very pleased to hear you found the characterisation of Narcissa to be accurate. She wasn't an easy character to have pegged, in the sense there are so many layers to her. On the face of it she is very snobbish and uppity and condescending, but there are redeeming shades in her character spectrum. Her greatest redeeming trait is, I think, her love for her son which underpins her redemptory streak.

Personally, even I wasn't not a fan of the present tense narrative - that was until I read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. But when I wrote this story I hadn't yet read Wolf Hall and hadn't yet got comfortable writing in present tense, but went with the present tense narrative since it seemed structurally conducive to the fic. As you've said, it brings a certain urgency to the third section, which I thought was in keeping with the story.

Thanks again for this lovely review. THank you so much. :)


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