Reading Reviews for Carthage
13 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Sofia scipio

25th July 2014:
Ahhh this is so good! I don't know, something about the energy and the mood this story has is breathtaking. It's unrealistic in the sense that I don't think Lily or Sirius would have been those types of people, but this doesn't take away any of the sincerity this story possesses. All of it is so raw, I don't know how to explain it. All the emotions are so precise, and yet very ambiguous... I don't exactly know how to put it, but I just love the mood you've created with this piece. Please update it, I really would love to know what happens in the end. It's a nice study of human psychology and just the overall concept of desire/love/self-deception.

Hope you can update!


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Review #2, by thehyacinthgirl scipio

4th September 2011:
I can't rightly say that I pity Lily because I feel as if she brought this all raining upon her own head, but it makes me hate Sirius just a bit more. He seems to be enjoying his power over Lily just a bit too much.

This chapter seems to have a different voice from the other two chapters, and yet it fits together as a variation in a theme.

I like that things aren't just peaches and cream for anyone in this story, really. They're all trapped like flies on a spider web, dying in their own way. I think that while melancholy and depressing it's also very realistic.

No ever seems to know what they really want, and sometimes when they do it's entirely too late or things have changed to the point where their want no longer matters.

I really like this, which is saying something, because I generally hate Lily/Sirius with a flaming passion.

This story really seems to pull the reader in simply because of the enigmatic narrator that doesn't seem to take sides or even care what happens to the characters. It's refreshing to see such an original take on things, as I've mentioned before.

The plot, the characters, the setting all make this story feel so raw and also so very real.

Not that I expected to find any, but I didn't find any errors that needed mending in this piece regarding flow, syntax, spelling, grammar, and all of that jazz.

Great job on this! I can't wait to see how this ends, and though I want a happy ending of sorts with a title like Carthage I doubt that's about to happen!

Lovely work!


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Review #3, by bluecharlotte scipio

16th August 2011:
*becomes depressed* This is wonderfully written and I like your take on the characters. It's really just awesome, I can't say much more than that. My only critique is that I think Sirius was happy sometimes and not as dark as you portray him. But it's your story, and you can do what you want with the characters :) Anyway, nice job!

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Review #4, by TenthWeasley dido

15th August 2011:
Gubby! I have come by with a brand-new review, just for you. ♥

I love the way this was written -- a very minimalist style, but that totally describes the appearance, not the writing itself. Your writing was anything /but/ minimalist, because it was a sort of entendre. It was simple, but there was definitely a complexity to it. Writing like that can't be taught, but must be innately felt, and it's very clear to me that what you're doing is exactly what you SHOULD be doing.

You've piqued my curiosity into the James/Lily/Sirius dynamics as no story before yours has yet done, because your story required more than reading at face value, if that makes sense. To read this meant I had to be engaged the whole time (Annie's kpop aside) and that just made me so much more interested in the story. I do hope you'll request for future chapters, if only so I have a decent excuse to read them!

This is the problem with reviewing Skypeland. I try and try to find constructive criticism and come up short every time. I wouldn't change a single thing about this chapter the way you've written it, because it's unique and one-of-a-kind and YOURS. And when something's yours, that definitely is a good thing.

Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction of this story! I'm very glad you did. Feel free to re-request any time! ♥

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Review #5, by HarrietHopkirk scipio

10th August 2011:
OH MY GAAAH GU883H[!!]* THIS IS AWZUUUM. I really, really love this fic - it's mostly dialogue, but it totally works. It's so poetic but at the same time realistic and lovely and gaaah. It's gorgeous. This, in particular:

She had what she wanted, she had Sirius. And yes, she had him. She had him around her finger, wrapped around her waist, slung across her hips, hanging like a dead man over her heart.

You so good, Gubstah. ♥

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Review #6, by Toujours Padfoot hannibal

31st July 2011:
Sirius is like a robot or something, dude. Like an emotional void. He has his priorities in a neat little line and everything else just doesn't really matter. Lily seems more like a plaything, something designed to hold his interest, without really succeeding. Where I can see warmth and passion and life in James, I don't see it in the cool, closed-off Sirius. This is a stroke of brilliant characterization, and I think you've painted them well. Lily at this point reminds me of someone fading away, disappearing as she draws closer to Sirius. I'm curious about her. I want to learn about where she stands, what she thinks of them both, and most of all - what this relationship with Sirius is doing for her. Is she doing it just to rebel against herself? To be reckless? It seems impossible that she could truly care for Sirius, and yet - how could anyone look James in the eye, someone who really loves her - and just dismiss him coyly and coldly? BAH. I feel like I'm spinning in circles.

Fantastic writing, Gubby. This is a story that is centered around character study and I find it fascinating. I want to learn more about them.

Author's Response: I feel like Sirius is a very complicated character, more so than a lot of the typical characterizations like to admit. In this particular story, he's just straight-up emotional zombie to Lily. When he speaks to James at the end, we get a sense that he's desperate to get out of this situation, desperate to return to some sort of innocence, but James rejects him. And we'll see it later, but if you thought Sirius was a robot before, that's nothing to what comes next. The warmth and passion and life you see in James is in Sirius, too, but he is too involved in his game to let it show. And all of the life you see in James isn't necessarily a good thing, either :P

Lily, I think, does care about Sirius. We get into this in the next chapter a bit, but she is fascinated by him. Perhaps dangerously, morbidly so. I like that phrasing, btw, "disappearing as she draws closer to Sirius." It sounds accurate for what I'm planning in this fic, heh. She prefers Sirius to James at this point because James loves her; I guess you could say that she expects him to always feel that way. Sirius has never liked her, and she is practically desperate to change that.

Aww, from you, Sarah, that is an incredible compliment. I love character study more than most things, because, you know, plot is secondary, and I don't really know what plot is. Lots of questions will hopefully be answered the next time around -- and more will be asked.

-insert heart here, which is impossible because this response box hates them so much-

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Review #7, by Toujours Padfoot dido

31st July 2011:


But gahh it's Sirius so I can't blame her. I like how detached they both seem to be, how reckless. Like they're trying to prove to each other just how much they don't care. I am seeing foggy bathroom stalls with red hair and grey eyes and I must say that I am giving them my stamp of approval.

Poor James. :(

I appreciate your dialogue here. It's very realistic, abrupt. Question. Answer. Answering a question with another question. Answering that question with cryptic words that may or may not have double meaning. It's like espionage. They're both trying to figure each other out and I'm sitting here like O . O


Author's Response: :O SHE ISN'T CHEATING BECAUSE SHE AND JAMES AREN'T TOGETHER, but I would not hesitate to slam her with a non-12+ word. Or, okay, I would, because I do pity her a bit, but I see why you would.

They are both trying to be as detached as possible. Oh, we're going to have sexual-tension-charged conversation? NBD. Now we're going to hook up? Fine with me. I don't know if it's stamp-of-approval worthy, purely on a moral scale, but I approve of the stamp of approval. Poor James indeed. For now, at least.

I was experimenting a lot with this one, with how Spartan the dialogue is and how concise everything is. It isn't quite on espionage-levels yet (I am playing with espionage in something else and that is driving me just as crazy as this does), but it throws me off and I am never sure what any of them, James included, want.


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Review #8, by veracity dido

27th May 2011:
I love this so far! Which is surprising, considering that I usually detest Lily/Sirius fics...
Anyway, I adore what you've done here. It's almost poetic. It's simple, but powerful.
There's no fancy schmany imagery and not a lot of dialogue, but it just works somehow. It's told is such a matter-of-fact way and I think that that's what draws me into this.
Wonderful job (as always)! 10/10 :)

Author's Response: Sirius/Lily hate seems to be a pervasive stance nowadays, but I'm glad you took a chance on this anyway. Simple-but-powerful is definitely what I was going for, although I adore extended metaphor as much as the next girl. I've been thinking more and more about dialogue-driven fics lately, so I thought this was a good culmination of all that. It's short, simple, but definitely not sweet, and I'm glad it's compelling. Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely review!

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Review #9, by thehyacinthgirl hannibal

19th May 2011:
Oh goodness, this is killing me.

It's like that piece of chocolate you shouldn't have because you know you've had too much already, but you eat it anyway because it tastes far too good not to.

The characterizations again were wonderful. I don't doubt that Lily and Sirius could be wonderful liars if they put their minds up to it. I also like how James doesn't have it in him to lie smoothly. I've always expected that everything about James would be bold.

I can also understand his undercurrent of sorrow and vexation at Sirius, and I can understand why he would want whatever it was that Lily and Sirius had to stop or at the very least mean something.

It pains me to see that James is the one being hurt in all of this.

I honestly don't care about Lily or Sirius in this (bravo, I usually don't feel such icy hatred toward either of these characters - Lily especially), just as they don't seem to care about anyone else, either.

Not that I expected to find any, but I didn't find any errors that needed mending in this piece regarding flow, syntax, spelling, grammar, and all of that jazz.

I almost don't want to see where this progresses because it pains me that James would be hurt, but I do want to see what happens. That desire will probably push me to read more of this once it becomes available.

I loved the narrator in this, as well, you keep the neutral approach and the enigmatic one as well - yet this one doesn't seem to carry as much indifference as the first.

I like how these chapters could either build on one another or stand alone. It's really rather clever of you.

This is wonderful work, not that I expected otherwise.


Author's Response: Baww, a fic/chocolate comparison - I am not worthy, but thank you!

As I said in the other response, I think my Sirius is more influenced by his background than he would like to admit, so his relationship with Lily is something of a facet of that. Lily I think was much more clever than a lot of fic writers seem to acknowledge or portray her as. I'm less sure of James' role beyond that of being the archetypical James Potter, but I'm glad it made sense to you.

The James and Sirius relationship is, naturally, the greatest obstacle in anything that involves Sirius/Lily, so I think James seeing it for exactly what it is was important to establish. Sirius is with Lily because there's no reason not to be, especially as she's made it clear that she doesn't want James. If they (Sirius and Lily) made each other happy, it would be okay, but since they don't, it isn't. And if any of this made sense, I will be super proud.

I hope the not caring about Lily and Sirius means that you don't care about their eventual happiness/redemption/what-have-you and not about them as characters! I don't know if I intended to inspire "icy hatred" towards any of them, because I think there's something sympathetic in all of them. Lily is fascinated by Sirius and she /does/ want to make him happy, but he won't let himself be happy. Sirius is with Lily because he wants to understand her, perhaps even understand why James is so attracted to her, but she is so fixated on understanding him that she can't let herself enjoy simple moments with him. James knows what both of them are up to, and he has made his attempts at saving them from themselves (and each other), but his efforts are rebuffed. That's where we end this chapter, and while these characters aren't meant to be likable, necessarily, I hope they're at least intriguing characters. I think it's interesting that you don't want to see James hurt, but I suppose that's because he's usually the injured martyr in these fics. I hope to subvert that later on, and I'm curious to see how that will play out in your eyes.

I didn't really realize that this narration was that different from the first. I guess it's because it's hard to sustain total indifference for a long time, and I was trying to tinge each chapter based on whichever character was the nominal focus. I didn't realize they could stand alone, either, but yay! I suppose that's a good thing, and I can't say I don't like being unintentionally clever :P

Anyway, thank you so much again for stopping by, even though this ship isn't usually your cup of tea. Hope you enjoy the rest of it when it's ready. (:

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Review #10, by thehyacinthgirl dido

19th May 2011:
I've never ever ever liked Sirius/Lily/James love triangles particularly because of the Sirius/Lily. But since I like your writing and I know you do so well, I decided that I would give this a chance despite my initial misgivings. Sometimes, it's good to get out of your comfort zone.

Don't take it personal, I just have never liked the idea of immorality, cheating, or betrayal.

I'm glad that I did, I rather liked this. It is different from every other Sirius/Lily that I came across, and despite my annoyance at their characters - this was an enjoyable read.

Your characterization is wonderful particularly of Sirius and Lily. I do like that Sirius gives the guise of indifference so well, but I suppose that would come from being one of noble Black ilk.

I also like that you didn't portray Lily as some innocent little angel or some screaming she-devil that's always on James' case, both of which are used entirely too much and grate on my nerves when they are tried to be used simultaneously, especially.

I like the enigmatic and indifferent approach of the narrator of the situation at hand. It's something most people would be in abhorrence of or in approval of, but it's not something that's usually just skimmed over like this.

I rather liked that approach.

Not that I expected to find any, but I didn't find any errors that needed mending in this piece regarding flow, syntax, spelling, grammar, and all of that jazz.

I anticipate that this will become rather interesting as it progresses.

I must admit that I both love and loathe the end, but I'm intrigued so I must see what happens next.

Wonderful job!


Author's Response: I get that Sirius/Lily is unpalatable to a lot of people, and the triangle with James even worse, but I always looked at it from the potential the ship(s) has to create something interesting. And yes, sometimes "interesting" turns out to be about immorality and betrayal. But I'm glad that you decided to read on anyway, and I certainly hope this venture into immoral love triangles doesn't disappoint!

I know that reading Marauder-era fics can be trying because characterizations tend to fall under the same lines, so I tried to at least change those, or at least change the way those general characterizations are portrayed. I like to think that Sirius had a lot of the Black family in him, and he knew it and resisted it as much as he consciously could, but I feel like it had a major impact on his life choices. That was something I wanted to show with this Sirius: he is aristocratic and he can be cold. Lily the angel also grates on my nerves, because I don't think she's passive enough to inhabit that archetype; this Lily is much more decisive, devilish-playful, et cetera. She uses the angel persona to her advantage, I think.

I like the narrative style of this, but I was nervous that it would come off as too Spartan, you know? But the indifference of the narrative voice is something that I think crops up throughout, as we'll see later on. Glad you liked it, though, and I do hope it becomes more interesting as we go on. Thanks so much, Linders, it was lovely to see you here :D

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Review #11, by HarrietHopkirk hannibal

19th May 2011:
EEE THIS IS SO AMBIGUOUS AND LOVELY AND SO GOOD. Wonderful writing, Gubby, I'm really coming around to Sirius/Lily! I love the dialogue - it sounds so simple, but with the description and the flow and everything it makes it so much more poetic. I loved the little interaction between Sirius and James, and James and Lily.

Twas awesome. Congrats.

Author's Response: I love hearing that ambiguous is good so eee! Sirius/Lily apparently has a bad rep nowadays, which as I said in a different response, is a shame because there's a lot more that can be done with their dynamic. I did want the dialogue to be able to stand on its own (I've been experimenting, actually, with writing a fic solely with dialogue), but yay poetic! And thank you as always, love, for such a review (:

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Review #12, by redherring dido

8th May 2011:
I must admit to being a closet Sirius/Lily fan. It's one of those ships that I really feel I shouldn't like, but I just can't help myself. And I absolutely loved this! All three charcters are very intriguing and the style you've done this in is just gorgeous - the short sentences, short lines, the fact that it was quite dialogue-focused... just wonderful. It made it feel quite sparse (in a good way!) because there was less to detract from the characters, the emotions. Love it! Can't wait for the next chapter :)

Author's Response: I felt that way, too, like pairing James or Lily with someone other than each other was a violation of some rule of natural order. But I'm glad you gave this a try and even happier that you enjoyed it! The style I was rather nervous about, but I did it because I like back-and-forth dialogue more than description at the moment. It was meant to feel sparse (but yay for a good way). I'll put up the next chapter when I'm done with my exams and stuff, which should be soon. Thanks so much for stopping by, dear!

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Review #13, by HarrietHopkirk dido

2nd May 2011:
Oooh! This is cool! I've never read a Sirius/Lily before - usually I'm an avid James/Lily shipper - but I do like this! It's written very well... You've got great style and I like the ambiguity and simplicity of it all. Great opening! Well done!

Author's Response: Hi, Hattie! So glad to see you stopped by :D I'm an avid James/Lily shipper just because it's difficult to not be, but I think Sirius/Lily just has more freedom to it. The charges that "you can't write that because it's gross and not canon" irk me in that sense -- of course it isn't canon, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be written! I like ambiguity very much in fic, because it means that I don't know entirely what's going on, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for stopping by, love!

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