Reading Reviews for When the Lights Go Out
  
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by academica In the Dark

23rd August 2012:
Oh, how interesting! This is strange indeed! I know it's been a while since you've updated this story, but won't you please consider going back to it? :) (I'll favorite it, if that's what it takes!) I love Snape/Lily - angsty, unrequited, loving, fluffy, sweet, all of them - and I'd definitely follow it.

Anyway - loved this chapter. I thought your descriptions were great; I liked how I got to wake up from Lily's perspective and slowly feel out her surroundings with her. I thought your characterization of both Snape and Lily was excellent. I liked how they both showed weakness and anger alternately. I'm curious about the ending to this chapter, too, and what it symbolizes.

Excellent! That's seven reviews, so I'm all done now :) It's been very fun exploring so much of your body of work, and I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about Post Scriptum!

-Amanda

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Review #2, by academica A Visitor

23rd August 2012:
Hello, back again!

I really think you captured this tragic scene perfectly. I loved how you characterized Lily as being so motherly. She felt very real, probably because of the comments you made about her clothes and the stress of being a new mother. I also like how you gave life to the little snippets we got about this night from canon, in terms of giving context to Voldemort's entrance and how Lily tried to figure out what to do at the very last minute.

Nice job! Moving on to chapter two :)

-Amanda

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Review #3, by writeyourheartout A Visitor

24th December 2010:
Hey Marzipan!!! :-D Wow, I just need to start by saying that I am so glad I read this story, as it is really very, very good! The writing quality, the flow, the characterizations, the parallels you drew, the comparisons you made, the incredible moment that switched from a calm environment to one of panic, the ending that leaves us hopefully guessing - all of it was written so simply, and yet so powerfully! In fact, power through simplicity is one of my absolute favorite writing techniques, so reading this seemingly simple chapter was really enjoyable for me - equal parts touching, bittersweet, and scary.

Right away I'm drawn in by the opposing ideas of a quiet town versus Lily's mind. What a beautiful contrasting image to create!

"...quickly cooling coffee cup" - Nice alliteration! Did you plan that? haha I love it!

"The clinking turned into a resounding crash, and Lily winced as she pictured in her mind the tea and smashed china all over the living room carpet. "Lily!" Expecting only some muttered oaths from James, Lily was taken by surprise by the panicked shout that came." - I fell in love with this moment. The way you voiced Lily's thoughts here is just stunning. The way that the peaceful China seems to shatter and Lily just thinks to herself that it's not going to be fun walking in on broken glass and spilled tea, when us readers know exactly what's going to happen. The image was the perfect way to show just how honestly safe the Potter's thought they were. James' voice surprising her with it's terror was such a wonderful way to transition Lily from being slightly flustered about broken China, to being confused, to being panicked and instinctual. The whole moment was just divine, really.

"Reaching into her pocket to pull her wand and make her escape for good, Lily came up empty handed." - Oh my goodness! Such wonderful phrasing! You make us think (because this story must involve Lily somehow surviving, right??) that she's going to pull out her wand and somehow get her and Harry away safely, and then 'empty handed' happens! My breath was held here, it was such a wonderful and powerful sentence that had me on the edge of my seat!

And it's not just those bigger turning points that I loved - it was all the simple details, too: describing the difference between last Halloween (with an adorable Harry pumpkin) and this Halloween, where Lily feels helpless, knowing all her loved ones are out strategizing and fighting every day while they remain cut off from it all - Lily wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt to meet James after putting Harry to sleep, no longer feeling that she can quite pull off her lingerie now that she's had a baby - Harry's bedroom parallels of before Voldemort enters and after, how Harry and the room itself are still so peaceful and similar, when in reality everything is different - Harry's golden snitch pajamas! This is what I mean - you've not only impacted us with the turning points from safety to danger, but you've given us these small details that just bring to life the environment of the Potter household!

You have an absolutely incredible way with words - not just your extended vocabulary, but also the way you can phrase sentences to make us feel and understand each moment. The story just paints these pictures in your readers head with such ease - I don't remember the last time I read a fic who's home environment felt so real, so true.

I think you've got an amazing grasp on who your Lily is, balancing her flawlessly between what we know and understand from canon and what is left to be desired. It's clear that you have confidence in where this story is to be headed, and that makes me want to continue taking the journey with you through the novel! I want to see what you have planned, if Lily really escapes, how Snape comes back into the picture, what becomes of Voldemort, ect. You've got me hooked to your story line, characters, writing style - all of it.

Also, I adore the relationship between Lily and Harry, how he seems to melt away whatever is plaguing her troubled mind by simply cuddling against her as she holds him. It's just sweet to see what Harry's life could have been like had things not gone the way they did in canon, to see how close he would have been with his mom. It's bittersweet and touching, and simple as the descriptions about the two were, they were sweet to imagine for Harry.

There's a few spelling mistakes and grammar things, but they are all very tiny and we all miss those little typo's in our own fics, and to be honest, they didn't distract me at all because your writing is so great, even during sentences that I noticed a slight error, that it didn't even alter my enjoyment the tiniest bit - THAT is hard to do, but your writing carries itself through the small misses, and that's such an impressive feat to accomplish.

Anyway, this is just a wonderful foundation for what I can only imagine will be a brilliant story! It's been favorited and I look forward to reading chapter two and every other chapter that follows! You're a fantastic writer and I look forward to leaving another blown-away review!

Merry Christmas to you, Marzipan! Thank you for this wonderful work of fiction! I'll see you in chapter 2 :-)

xTanya

Author's Response: Tanya, you are seriously a goddess. I can't even begin to describe the grin on my face every time I read this review -heart- I really have no excuse at all for taking so long to respond except for blargh, I'm horrible.

I'm a huge fan of the power of simplicity too, so it's a HUGE compliment to hear that you think I did such good job of capturing that here. I really wanted the Potter's house to come across as a sort of oasis of calm to contrast what was coming. And I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I can get too caught up in fleshing out all those little details that you mentioned that I can sometimes lose track of the whole picture, so I'm pleased to hear that I nailed the bigger turning points in the chapter :D

I do have the whole story planned out, for the most part, so I have a good idea of the journey Lily is headed on - it's getting her there that will be the struggle! I hope you haven't been scared off from following along after all this time but I am working on the third chapter now.

Thank you again for such a jaw-dropping-ly amazing review, Tanya! You are seriously the best ever! -heart-


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Review #4, by spangles In the Dark

15th December 2010:
First- aw no baby Harry! *sniffles* Secondly, whoa! I wondered if a stuning spell would have the same protective effects as the Killing curse would. Guess not. Snape is being very up front, but still very in character. I think Lily might have been a little more distraught over the loss of her husband and child, but at the same time she did just wake up from being knocked out and is probably in a bit of denial so it's still plausable. Update soon, good job!

Author's Response: I know. :( Poor Harry! I really didn't want him to die, but if Lily lives then he doesn't really stand much of a chance. This is exactly why I wanted to write this story, though: to explore all the far-reaching consequences a single decision can make. I couldn't really see a Stunner having the same effect as the Killing Curse for the same reason that James' death didn't produce the same effect as Lily's; although she would have given her life to protect Harry, point of fact is that she didn't, so the blood protection isn't there.

Speaking of Lily ... Ugh. I know; she seems so .. flat here, doesn't she? I know I'm not quite hitting the mark with her here, and I'm glad you said something. I have to work harder on getting into her head - once I have a better grasp on the character hopefully I'll be able to come back and make her a bit more life-like. Thanks for another awesome review hun!


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Review #5, by spangles A Visitor

15th December 2010:
Aw Marz, that was so absolutely heart breaking! I almost didn't want to keep reading it because I knew at the end of it that Lily was going to die. The writing in this chapter was beautiful and very descreptive, I love how you wrote your own version of this and still used to quotes and such. Great job Marz, can't wait to read the next chapter!

Author's Response: Spangles!! I've already said it, but thank you soo soo much for all your wonderful reviews! I tried to make sure this fit with everything we know about that night, but at the same time there is so much that is blank, and I kind of wanted to fill that in. And yes, poor Lily. Aren't you glad you kept reading, though? :P Thanks again, dear! Wub you!

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Review #6, by Katie:) In the Dark

28th November 2010:
This is awesome! I was looking for a fic like this. It's perfect keep it up.

Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to review! I'm glad you've enjoyed the story so far :)

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Review #7, by Lucia In the Dark

21st September 2010:
Please keep writing! Your style is terriffic, especially compared to most of the stuff on this site. I want to know what happens!

Author's Response: Thanks very much! I certainly plan to continue writing, so even if it takes me a while to update don't give up! I'm really excited about where this story is going, and I hope you will be too!

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Review #8, by pennyardelle A Visitor

21st August 2010:
What I loved most about this story was all the little details and description you sprinkled in along the way. There was something very nice about the simplicity of Lily's life as a wife and mother that really lulled you into a false sense of security (well, not completely, because of course we know what's coming). I really felt like I was there in their home, because you described it perfectly--what it looked like, the temperature, the lighting, the way it smelled, the sounds of it.

The part where Lily almost escaped and realized she didn't have her wand was heart-breaking. Because this was for a "Disspelled Rumours" challenge, there was a bit of a hope in me that maybe Harry and Lily would make it out okay--but then she didn't have her wand! Gah. I can only assume that she won't die, given the challenge, but still, it's sad.

Great first chapter!

Author's Response: Fenneh! Thank you so much for the lovely review! You are so sweet!

I've always felt that description was my strong point, and it is certainly the part that I enjoy the most. I like using words to create a picture in the readers mind of the scene. I really wanted to show the loving, domestic life Lily had been living, because that will set the bar for the rest of the story in a way. It does have the added effect of offering a false sense of security, as you said - this is such a safe, comforting place, how could anything bad happen? But of course, we all know going in to this story what is coming.

Yeah, I suppose I did build hopes up there a bit didn't I? But I couldn't have Harry and Lily both escape. Although Lily does live, I had to cut all ties to the life she had been living, and that unfortunately that means Harry couldn't make it out. The almost escape is just an extension of that false sense of safety - Lily and James trusted Peter, and so were completely blind sided by the attack.

Thanks again for the review, wifey, loffed it and loff you!


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Review #9, by CornishPixie A Visitor

19th August 2010:
This is honestly the first story I've read of the night the Potter's died, and it was sweet and so, so sad. I thought that you paid careful attention to detail and stayed true to James and Lily's characters. Knowing Lily's thoughts and feeling her feelings just made this moment all the more real. Sure, we know what happens from the books and such, but we never LIVED them with the characters that died. This has made it all that more emotional.

The ending is interesting, because this isn't just a one-shot, right? Unless I'm remembering wrong. I did notice that at the end it wasn't specified what spell You-Know-Who sent her way, and there wasn't a specific colour of the jet of light either. So I'll have to wait until the next chapter to find out whether it actually was the killing curse or not, won't I? Sneaky of you! lol.

This piece was grammatically smooth, I think I noticed one thing that was probably just a typo, and the flow was perfect. Not much more I can say about it! except that I also like the mention of what they had done last Halloween, it made this all the more bittersweet, and then sad when He showed up! Great work!

Author's Response: You're on to me!! I did leave things rather vague there at the end, didn't I? With this story I'm really looking to explore the choices people make, and how one different decision can have far reaching effects that really can't be predicted. And that is all I'll say on that, atleast until the next chapter is out :P

This is my first real foray into Marauder's era, so I'm glad you think I did a good job of creating Lily and James' characters. For two people who never even appeared in the books themselves they are still so well defined, and keeping Lily especially believable is something I am really trying to be concious of.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review, I really enjoyed hearing from you! I hope you return for the next chapter, it should hopefully be out this month!


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Review #10, by Dojh167 A Visitor

17th August 2010:
I enjoyed reading this. We got a very full take of this night in DH, but your take on it is even more powerful, as the simplicity of the evening and Lily's feelings make their murder even more heart-wrenching.

I like the way you set this up. We all know what was coming, and the stillness you started the story with was perfect. Lily's memories of Halloween make the whole thing even more touching, since we all know she is about to die.

Though the first sentence was a little oddly structured. I understand what you were going for with the "not within the mind..." bit, but the way it was placed looks like you are saying that is not where the house is located.

The exchange between Lily and James is also a little heartbreaking, as was the reference to the safety of Harry's playpen. But again combined with the reader's foreknowledge, it gives the sense of last chances. You did very well with all of these little tidbits, making them as subtly poignant as possible.

"Harry always seemed to have that effect; when she was with him, nothing seemed more important than just being with him." Was a good sentence, but would be less redundant if you found a way around repeating "with him." Same thing with "was" in "However Voldemort had managed to find them, the fact was he was here." Little things, I know, but they do make the difference of slowing down the reader.

On the subject of little grammatical things, in the penultimate paragraph "futileness" should be "futility."

Once again, you use the reader's knowledge to make this even more powerful by showing Lily's thoughts of a smash teapot when we all know full well who has arrived.

I love the simplicity of this all. I would have loved it even juts to show a slice of life at the Potter's in this time, but you took that further by effectively and powerfully combining that with their murder.

Yet another heartbreaking element (yes, this story's just full of them!) was Lily dressing her son for the escape - a very motherly thing to do, and yet we all know that she is wasting precious time.

What does not seem right here is that as she is upstairs she does not have a single thought of what is happening downstairs, with her husband cornered by Voldemort.

As I have endlessly repeated in this review, this was very powerful and heart-wrenching. You did a fabulous job of portraying Lily's inner thoughts as well as the dynamic between the family.

I only just realized this is not a one-shot, which surprises me. The ending does, after all, seem very final. Though based on the challenge it was made for, I can suspect what will come next and I am interested to see how you go about it. Happy writing!

Author's Response: Ah, thank you so much for the wonderful review! I'm so sorry that it has taken me so long to reply, but please don't think I don't appreciate you taking the time out of your day to write this, because it really means a lot to me!

Yes, this is a WIP. The ending of chapter one does seem pretty final, especially given what we know of that night from the books. But now that the second chapter is up, I think you'll be better able to see where I am going with this - and I'll be interested to see whether it is the direction you were expecting if you choose to continue reading and reviewing!

Thank you for pointing out those little grammar and structure errors - I'm afraid this didn't get more than a quick read-through before being posted, so there are bound to be such errors that pop up. I'll be sure to go back and re-read this review when I get around to editing! That first case of repetition ("with him") was actually on purpose - I was going for emphasis through repetition, but if it is coming across as bulky to read I will have to look that over as well.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this, and I'm blushing a little bit at all the nice things you've said about my writing. I really wanted to give a clear picture of the Potter's life as a family, to highlight what all is being lost. I'm glad to hear that I've struck an emotional chord with readers!

Thank you again for taking the time to read this and leave such a wonderful review!


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Review #11, by cazvalleygirl A Visitor

4th July 2010:
Hello

Well done on a short but intriguing one shot, I enjoyed, take care, Charly :D x

Author's Response: Hi Charly! Thanks so much for the kind words, they are much appreciated. This is actually the first chapter in a WIP, I'm currently working on the second chapter. Hopefully you will come back and check it out when its up! Thanks again!

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Review #12, by Jazzeh Turnip A Visitor

19th June 2010:
REVIEW CHALLENGE #13.

Well, that has me in tears. You write very well, and I love how you integrated parts from the book into this.

The characterisation of James and Lily is perfect. And I've never read anything that feels like I'm watching it as I'm reading it. This may be due to my current extreme tiredness though, so don't quote me on that xD.

I really like that you made it seem like any other day when they died and that though they had made precautions they obviously weren't expecting it to happen if they were so relaxed and normal (not on edge is what I'm trying to say).

I have no idea what this means; "she finished her toilet". But aside from that I have nothing to critisise. I love it all, and I now have goosebumps.

10/10

Author's Response: According to the online dictionary, toilet is the act or process of dressing and grooming oneself. Alternative spelling is toilette. It is more of a old fashioned term, which I thought would fit well with the more traditional feel of the wizarding world in general. Sorry for the confusion, though - I might add a foot note explaining that when I go back to edit.

I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it otherwise! I wanted to be sure that this would fit in with what little we know about that night from the books. This is the pivotal moment where the two split, so up until this moment this story and canon have followed the same path. With this story I want to try and explore the huge consequences on small decision can make.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and review, hope to see you come back and check out later chapters!


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Review #13, by Foxlilly5 A Visitor

18th June 2010:
Loved this sentence: "As soon as his eyes landed on Lily he reached one of those tiny hands in her direction and commanded stridently, 'Up!' "

- Why, you may ask. Is it a reference to how good he is later in life telling a broomstick 'Up!' by any chance? Very clever, if that was indeed your intention.

Okay now on to the serious stuff. Wow. Just wow. This was very very well written. I was anxious the whole time, the writing was very natural and flowed beautifully. Everything was impeccibly in character and I liked how you added original dialogue into it. It brought the seen to life in a way the canon version couldn't. I'm really interested to see where this goes based on the story description this seems to be a vital scene. Write more soon! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking to time to read and review one of my stories!

I totally didn't plan for that line to contain that double meaning, but now that you point it out it is pretty clever, isn't it? Erm, I absolutely meant it that way, then. :P

You are a sweetheart for saying all those lovely things. This is a very vital scene, the way I see it. This is a pretty pivotal moment in the Harry Potter universe, and I'm hoping to look at how different things would be if a different choice had been made. The second chapter is about a third of the way done, so hopefully it will be up soon once some of this House Cup stuff is out of the way! Hope to see you continue with this story, and thanks again for the review!


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Review #14, by Myriad A Visitor

6th June 2010:
I love the contrast at the beginning betweem Lily's thoughts and how peaceful the rest of the world seemed just then. Nicely done.

There were a few spelling mistakes here and there. I noticed you spelled halloween with an apostrophe, I know you can spell it that way, but I would suggest the alternate spelling without the apostrophe as it wouldn't stand out in the text so much.

I love the detail in this story as well. I think you've caught all the characters nicely.

There were a few places throughout that seemed off in the wording. When the wording is weird it interrupts the flow of the chapter and distracts the reader as they go back and reread certain passages. You should go back over and read the chapter as if your an outsider reading it for the first time, or if that doesn't work, have someone read it aloud to you and note the parts where they get hung up on certain words or sentences.

Overall good job!

Author's Response: Hey there, thanks for the response!

This chapter hasn't been edited yet, so there are bound to be some spelling and wording errors that need to ironed out. I'll go back and edit this properly when I have some free time; since you never mentioned any specific sections where the wording is off I'll have to use my own discretion there.

I'm glad you think the characterizations all seemed right - this is the first Marauders story I've written, so I wasn't really sure how to approach Lily and James. It will be a learning process as the story goes on and the situations become more complex, so hopefully I'll be able to continue to do as well as you think I've done here!

Again, thank you so much for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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