Reading Reviews for The Clear Cut
  
74 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Pixileanin Fortunate

27th December 2011:
What does it matter why they died? I liked seeing this struggle between Amy and herself, bringing Snape back to the story that I wanted to hear about. The survivor's guilt she has because others died in her place and the way she now has to deal with being glad that she was the one who lived... how the experience has tied them together somehow, that Snape is the only person she can talk to about it.

Also loved the hint that he didn't really mind having her show up, that he might not dislike her company as much as he pretends to, even if it is an unpleasant reminder of his past. And I want to know more, so I will definitely be reading the prequel. You have hooked me well and good.

Really enjoyed this story, and I will look forward to more from you!

Author's Response: So sorry about the terribly late response! Especially to such a wonderful review.

Both Snape and Amy have guilt over being the agents of others' deaths (in slightly different ways) in the war. Amy is a little ahead of Snape in facing that, but he is also very slowly coming to the realization that there is no clean way to cut himself off from his past. He might even be coming around to not wanting to cut himself off from other people... oh well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

Thank you so much, I think you really got to the heart of this chapter and the underlying theme of the story, which makes me squeal with delight. I am planning a sequel to the Clear Cut (though it will probably be about a year before it's ready for posting), and the prequel, The New Skin, is going up now. I hope you'll check them out!

Mottsnave


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Review #2, by Pixileanin Notes

27th December 2011:
The reoccurring dreams have peaked my interest about the back story here. It definitely shows that Snape has been through a lot, and I am guessing that most of it was truly unpleasant. I certainly agree with this characterization, of having him almost stoically living through it, but somehow, even though he doesn't want it to, it touches him deeply and haunts him at the most inopportune times.

"Fine for him, why couldn't I forget?"

That line was perfectly placed. Curious about the Dark wizard standard time and the Light wizard standard time. Things like that lighten the mood just a bit. Loved that! Also enjoyed Bulstrode's character. And on top of everything else, he gets tasked with replacing the House mascot? I'm sure he's hating all the favors put upon him.

Very entertaining, as usual. Off to the last chapter!

Author's Response: As you guess, it was unpleasant, so Snape doesn't like to think about it much, so we only get a few hints here. There will be a little more on this in the prequel and sequel.

One of my reviewers where this story is posted on another site summed up the times perfectly: Light wizard standard time: after your friend. Dark Wizard standard time: before your enemy.

I liked Millie too. Of course, canon leaves a lot of the Slytherin students as blank slates, so it's easy to fill her in with different interpretations.

If Snape gets off with just having to replace a mascot, he's getting off pretty easy, with what he owes them. Of course, they owe him too...

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #3, by Pixileanin Revisit

27th December 2011:
The forest of red flags... again your imagery is startling. And the long grass at the end, where he contemplates something about the neighbors. Such nice touches there! I can feel the weariness and the resignation here. I also like that Shackelbolt can feel it too and decides that he should wait for another time to discuss further things with Mark. It shows a level of courtesy and respect that he has for Snape here very well, just the touch we need to feel it.

Well done!

Author's Response: You've put you're finger on it exactly! Snape really is still in a bit of shock in this chapter, which Shacklebolt can see. He has been leaning on Snape pretty hard in the last few chapters, but he does respect him and want to help him (even if Snape refuses to believe it).

Thank you for the lovely review!

Mottsnave


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Review #4, by Pixileanin Immunity

20th December 2011:
Level of trust! The dialogue between Snape and Shackelbolt again amuses me so. Then you throw in the whole sold child concept, and I am yet again intrigued. You include so many little details that are incredibly fascinating: the spellwork you've borrowed/created, the house elves, (even the sasquatch from earlier)... all these little things that you've added to your story really make it so, so enjoyable.

My favorite here:

'You know, I have never changed in my opinion of you. I've always thought you a paranoid unpleasant prick. Only now that I've seen your file, perhaps you have a reason to be."

Indeed, Shackelbolt. Indeed. And I think that making enemies might be more than a little hobby for Snape. :)

Author's Response: Well, the little details were a big part of what I loved about the original series, too, so I had to try to come up with some of my own. I've always been fascinated by the many stories in the British Isles about changelings. What would a kidnapped child be like grown up? Would they consider themselves human?

Well, it started out as just a hobby for Snape, but then he was taken on as an apprentice by one of the world's leading enemy-makers, and then he turned pro. It it any wonder that he likes to keep his hand in? A Slytherin will play to his strengths, after all.
Thank you for your review!

Mottsnave


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Review #5, by Pixileanin Interrogation

20th December 2011:
"Had some sadistic colorblind idiot gone around the world in the seventies and redesigned all the auror departments to look alike?"

That was so very Snape! Also, how he wiled away the time by running ingredient substitutions in his mind. I didn't expect Shackelbolt to be so agreeable. You have a fascinating backstory here with Shackelbolt and Snape. I have some ideas, but I guess I'll have to wait and see if I'm right or not. Loved their interactions with each other.

Author's Response: Ah, yes... there'll be more background on Snape and Shacklebolt in the prequel. I did have a lot of fun writing their dialogue. For two people on the same side, they can be very opposed!

Thank you for your review!

Mottsnave


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Review #6, by Pixileanin Allies

20th December 2011:
All the possibilities running around in Snape's head had me on edge. I was wondering which one he was going to try, and then I kept wondering if he had the strength to pull any of it off in the first place. And then the whole rest of the scene had me even more on edge. I loved how we get to see this from Snape's point of view, how he doesn't know which way is up, who to trust or what to do. Must see what is going to happen next!

Author's Response: I love that Snape's desperation and confusion is coming through here.

Again, I wanted to put him out of his depth, not knowing everything that's going on, and combat-disadvantaged. He's not exactly at the top of his game!

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #7, by Pixileanin Heavy, Sharp

20th December 2011:
Your warning was apt. It was pretty gruesome going for a while, but you wrote it so well. It's like I was peeking through my fingers because I didn't want to watch, but I needed to know what Snape was going to do next. Loved the mallomar crack and your Author's Notes here too. Really great title to this chapter too. Darn Ministry, always mucking things up for people. And Snape's panic was justified here. Auror, wand, locked up. Right you are!

Author's Response: I always thought Snape would have a few tricks, uh, up his sleeve.

If I were a wizard, and my main method of communication, transportation and light were all stored in a 10-inch piece of wood, I would have a few spares. I'd keep one spare on a chain around my neck and some more in a safe place at home. Hey, I've got several sets of car and house keys and flashlights, and a wand is even more crucial for a wizard. It kind of boggles my mind why Hermione didn't tuck some spare wands into her bag of awesomeness before the trio went on the run. I mean, really!

Yeah, Snape and the Ministry just don't get along. There'll be some more background on that in the prequel, but just a few hints in this story.

Thanks for your review!

Mottsnave


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Review #8, by Pixileanin Lit Up

20th December 2011:
Poor Kob. I get the feeling that he'd love to unleash more bad juju on Snape for using that potion, but he held back. I thought for sure he was going to try something. Kingsley Shackelbot! That was a surprise! Then all the confusion and the goblin and Lee and...

Great action here. Must move onward. Can't wait to see what's next.

Author's Response: Yes, both Snape and Kob are forced into cooperation now, even though they don't exactly trust each other. Who else is that about to happen to? Hmm.

Thanks for the review!

Mottsnave


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Review #9, by Pixileanin Messages

20th December 2011:
I liked how Snape so very cautiously approached his home, checking for the knives behind the door. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to risk going back there so soon after the wool coat incident.

Loved the albatross. Such a fresh alternative to an owl. I laughed out loud at the reveal that it wasn't the house attacking him at all. Well done! Also, the salt wards were a wonderful touch. Made electricity available, and I agree. American wizards would certainly jump on the computer revolution. Though, the Northwest Coast Wizarding Atlas and Gazetteer had me giggling too. Another fine touch!

Gosh, this story is entertaining!

Author's Response: Well, owls aren't known as long-distance flyers. If you're going to send a letter over open ocean, better choose an albatross! Also, it let me use up my Ancient Mariner jokes...

Floo call are all well and good... but hey, if you don't have a fireplace, there's always skype.

Thanks for the review!

Mottsnave


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Review #10, by Pixileanin The Clearcut

20th December 2011:
Really gruesome imagery, and very effective. From the forest to the description of Jody's body to the dark magic Snape had to use in order to get results. All of it extremely fascinating and well-written.

And then afterwards, these stuck out to me:

"I would have to put on a face and pretend to belong, like I always did, and they would put on their faces and pretend they couldn't see anything wrong with me..."

And this:

"When I was done the saucer was stacked high with a pile of paper and plastic packets. When I lifted the cup they were left in a high ring around it like the ring of logs."

Such fantastic pictures!

Author's Response: Ah, I do love Dark Magic. Again, I wanted to show it as having a real COST, especialy a powerful spell like this one. Not only does it have an obvious physical drain on Snape, but it also takes a psychological toll as well.

Thank you so much for commenting on the imagery! Sometimes I'm not sure if people are picking up on some of the parallels I like to throw around. I'm glad you enjoy them!

Mottsnave


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Review #11, by Pixileanin News

20th December 2011:
I liked the snippets of backstory you threw in here about Amy and Snape and what they went through. I kind of figured it was something like that. And then Kob. Hes really angry. Id take more than just a step back from him.

Author's Response: I'm just hinting at the backstory here. I'll fill in a little more later on, but it's going to come in bits and pieces. Snape really doesn't want to think about it.

Yep, he better stay away from Kob, for now!

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #12, by Pixileanin Sacked

20th December 2011:
Oh, the insults and injuries! That was fantastically entertaining, the way that Kob went off on Snape and then booted him from his home.

"Filthy skid-mark! It is permanent, it doesn't come clean!"

And the parallel between the sacking techniques of the house elf and the Dark Lord... very powerful magic indeed!

Author's Response: Ah yes, I had SO much fun coming up with house-elf insults!

I wanted to go back to how house-elves appear in folk tradition, often very powerful and a little scary (if they don't get their favorite food in exchange for their work, they will kill your livestock, and if you insult them, well, you better watch out.).

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #13, by Pixileanin Copy

19th December 2011:
Wonderful description of the point where the disillusionment met the raindrops. I love where we get to see how the wizards can sense the magic without actually using magic. It makes it more realistic that way, as if I can go around town and look for that sort of thing myself.

I also liked how Snape wasn't perfect with the Transfiguration. Though, I imagine he was better at it than he gave himself credit for. Such a perfectionist. And the characterization here:

"Dinner, sir?"

"It's not even three in the afternoon!" I peered past him to see the table set and an entire roast chicken steaming on a platter with vegetables set around it.

"No dinner?" His ears began to droop.

"I didn't say that."

In spite of his agenda, Kob is still a house elf. And in spite of, well... everything, Snape is still hungry. Loved it!

Author's Response: For the problem of dissillusionments in the rain, I was inspired by a shrot story in the book 'Merlin Dreams' about a knight who has to fight an invisible enemy. He waits until it rains.

Yes, I wanted to make sure that I didn't make Snape into that uber-Snape who is a genius at all forms of magic, fighting, etc. He's going to find himself outside his expertise and outclassed a few times in the story.

I've always felt that one of the hallmarks of a Slytherin was that principles are all well and good, but practicality will trump them. So since the chicken is already roasted, well...

Thank you so much for your review!

Mottsnave


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Review #14, by academica Fortunate

4th December 2011:
A "fortunate coincidence"... cute ending. Nice to see a bit of levity to end this very dark tale. I'm glad to see some things wrapped up here, though the guilt was really unavoidable. I'll dig into the prequel when I get a chance - I'm excited about it, because I love post-war stories where Snape doesn't get to take the easy way out and has to live with the aftermath of it all. I'll also hang around and wait patiently for that sequel.

Sorry these reviews were so long coming! I really enjoyed this story, and I'm excited to see more from you. Great job! :)

academica

Author's Response: Thank you!

Though it may not be a completely 'happy' ending, I wanted to show a little hope, or well, peace of mind on Snape's part, that he's very slowly coming to terms with what he had to do in the war.

My prequel addresses this too, though he's less far along in the process than in this story. I hope you'll take a look.

And thank YOU so much for being such a loyal and dedicated reader! It means a lot to know that there are folks appreciating and enjoying the story!

Happy reading!

Mottsnave


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Review #15, by academica Notes

4th December 2011:
Oh my goodness! A pet snake! Adorable. But my oh my, where do the Gryffindors keep their mascot, I wonder? Hmm, a conundrum for another story. Anyway, nice of you to include Millicent. I like the cynical edge she's taken on here, and the fact that she's communicating on behalf of the house. I think I'm just a big fan of the biting way in which you write dialogue. It seemed like it was just related to Snape, but I see little bits of it in nearly everyone, and it makes things move along at a nice pace, so good creative choice there.

The final chapter! Off I go.

academica

Author's Response: Well, SOME houses have the initiative and dedication to smuggle in and keep a mascot, and SOME houses are just not up to the task, if you know what I mean.

I like Millicent too. There'll be a little background on how she got in that position in my prequel, but I'll go into a lot more detail in the sequel. In this post-war era, it seems like the house might need a special advocate to look out for them.

Yes, I do tend towards the cynical in my dialogue... I think part of that may have rubbed off from the noirish setting, but maybe part of it is just me. I do enjoy writing dialogue that has a little edge to it, so I'm glad that's coming through.

Thank you very much!

Mottsnave


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Review #16, by academica Revisit

4th December 2011:
So you're beginning to wrap things up nicely, even if the end isn't quite there yet. I agree with Sev in that it would probably be nice to be forbidden from re-entering the country after all that he went through there. (I'm also not a huge fan of Canada as is. Too cold, I think, and too French.) The ending here was nice. Good for Sev to get a chance to relax, however fleeting.

Nice work!

academica

Author's Response: Ha, I don't think Snape minds the cold weather, but he does NOT want to set foot in a Commonwealth nation. Queen on the money? Not goin' there, honey!

Yeah, I'm finally giving Snape a break. For a minute. I must be going soft.

Thanks for the review!

Mottsnave


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Review #17, by academica Immunity

4th December 2011:
"I'm so glad we've reached this level of trust." Hah. More great banter in this one, though the bit at the end where Shacklebolt admitted that he could see why Snape is the way that he is. I'm interested to see what will become of Lee now!

academica

Author's Response: Sorry it's taken me so long to respond! I'm out of town for the holidays and I only have sporadic computier access.

Yes, Snape can't quite bring himself to fully trust Shacklebolt and he does NOT like that he's in his hands at the moment.

Lee's fate is going to remain ambiguous for a while. With a case like this, it's going to take a while for a trial to get started.

Thank you for your review!

Mottsnave


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Review #18, by academica Interrogation

4th December 2011:
Ooh, I liked this one! The appearance of Regulus was pretty haunting (no pun intended... well, maybe a teensy one). I love stories that make he and Sev out to be friends, because they would have been entering Voldemort's service around the same time and it absolutely makes sense to me. The way you kept flashing back to Sev's previous experiences being interrogated was also kind of neat too. It's a period of his life that I find interesting and I rarely see it explored in fanfiction.

Reading on!

academica

Author's Response: Some interpretations of the books have Lily as Snape's only friend. I am going a different way with these stories; I think he probably had several close friends in his own house, otherwise he would not have been drawn over to the DEs. I also think that makes his choice to go against Voldemort much more meaningful: he is really betraying his friends.

There is a lot more background in the prequel, because I'm fascinated by that period too!

The Regulus dream is inspired by a Xingu folktale, of all things, about a man who goes mad while gathering honey and carves his leg down to a point.

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #19, by academica Allies

4th December 2011:
Interesting! Lots of action in this one. I liked the description you did with the goblins. The injuries were interesting and a bit sad, and you did a good job of showing us just how despicable Lee and his comrades can be in the pursuit of business success.

Nice work!

academica

Author's Response: Yes, this is the chapter where we finally get to see the cost of the operation in a more direct way.

This is the most, um, combat I've ever written...
I definitely wanted to go a different direction from so many stories that have Snape instantly dominating any fight he's in. He's pretty outclassed here.

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #20, by academica Heavy, Sharp

3rd December 2011:
"I do however approve of dark wizards insulting each other". Hah. And they do seem to do it quite frequently, don't they?

Well, one of many reasons why the story is rated Mature. Aside from the whole elf trafficking theme, of course... anyway, I liked the bit of banter between Snape and Shacklebolt. That was rather entertaining, and I can imagine them bickering that way if they were ever sent out on a mission for the Order together. Two very different personalities. Out of curiosity, why choose Kingsley? After all, there are many allies who might have clashed with Snape.

Great job as always!

academica

Author's Response: As usual for Snape, just because he is on the same side as someone, does NOT mean that he gets along with them in any way. I actually had a lot of fun writing their dialogue here, and there will be a little more to come, and then much more in the sequel to this story.

There is more background on why Kingsley has Snape on his radar in the prequel, which I've just started posting.

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #21, by academica Lit Up

3rd December 2011:
I am confused by the crack. We'll see!

Kingsley! That was a surprise. I've gotten so used to Snape being the only recognizable canon character featured in this tale that I was truly taken aback to see Shacklebolt mentioned. It's a good thing he's there, because things are not looking good for Snape at the moment. On to the next! :)

academica

Author's Response: Ah yes, Kingsley's my helpful deus ex machina here. Of course getting Snape out of trouble is not as simple as it looks.

Thank you!

Mottsnave


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Review #22, by academica Messages

3rd December 2011:
Oh my, an albatross! I see I got busy and took a hiatus from reading just when things were starting to get a bit zany, and thus I'm glad that I've returned to finish out the journey.

I like how you've infused magic with Muggle technology in this story. It adds a creative twist to the plot and makes it ever more original. I'm looking forward to seeing what awaits in Kastner!

academica

Author's Response: Albatross mail: Plus: Can travel long distances, and over open water, can carry large-sized packages.
Minus: Packages may smell of fish on arrival and large amounts of fish required on delivery.

I couldn't really imagine American wizards trying to do business without the conveniences of phones and computers. I thought they would probably come up with some method so they could use it all.

Glad you're back, thank you so much for the review!

Mottsnave


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Review #23, by Ardeith Notes

1st November 2011:
Great chapter. I love your little bits of wry humor, like this:

"I don't know why I felt nostalgic for a beast whose greatest talent was not moving for hours on end. I wondered how long it took them to notice he had expired."

Only one more chapter! :-( Will there be a sequel? Or a prequel (I think you've mentioned one...)

Author's Response: Thank you!

Yes, I am well into the prequel now, and I should be able to start posting it just as soon as I finish the banner and cleaning up my typos. The sequel will be longer in coming, since it's just in rough outline stage at this point.

Thank you for your review! The last chapter will be coming up soon.

Mottsnave


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Review #24, by Pixileanin The Woman

26th October 2011:
It's alright that you take your time with the backstory. I like it better that way. I loved the explanation of Snape's "unfortunate coincidences" and his reluctant admittance of "inadvisable experimentation". Funny, but I can imagine it to be so. Especially for talented Potions experts.

I have to comment on your delightful chapter images. They are really well done.

Author's Response: Thank you again!

There's more backstory to come on Amy. There will also be some more backstory on Snape's ill-advised potions experiments... in the prequel to this story. I should be able to start posting chapters of the prequel in a week or two.

It seemed really natural to me that Snape would mess around and experiment with different potions... I mean, it was the 70s, after all.

Thank you, I have had a lot of fun trying to think of images that encapsulate the chapter without giving it away.

And thank you for four reviews in one day! What a treat!

Mottsnave


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Review #25, by Pixileanin Coincidence

26th October 2011:
I liked the introduction on Amy, and as always, you have me intrigued with the details. She was so surprised that Snape hadn't come to find her and of course I want to know the backstory!

The reveal about what Jody's memories were about was really well-done. How it fell into place as the story moved forward was excellent. And I love how you show the intelligence of Avi, how she tried to keep herself safe the best she could. There aren't enough stories about the elves and the incredible power that they seem to have. You've done a wonderful job hinting at and highlighting bits of it. Lovely! (and gruesome)

Author's Response: Hi!

I've always considered that a subservient/oppressed/marginal group, such as house elves, would probably have highly developed survival instincts and a healthy dose of caution. I think that the elves and their complicated relationship to wizarding society are really fascinating.

With Jody's memories... let's just say that there's more than one thing that could be read in more than one way.

Thank you!


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