Reading Reviews for The Star Listener
13 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Your Secret Santa The Star Listener

31st December 2012:
Hi there

Wow. This story was really good. It's quite different from your other stories, but I really liked it. I have never read a story like this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Once again I love that you use underloved and minor characters.

In this story you again show your gift when it comes to description and characterization. What I actually love the most about Susan is that she's not like most characters from this time period. She is not your typical heroine. She seems sweet and kind, which is the way I imagine her being from the books. But you can also see she faces her own demons, her own fears. She wants to follow her dad's wish, but she also wants to carry on her family's legacy. At the same time, she's also afraid. It's an inner struggle, a difficult choice, and you write that really well. She doesn't want to accept that the Carrows are controlling her school, that the people who killed her family is taking over the wizarding world, but she's too scared to fight back.

You can't help but empathize with Susan. She has just lost her family, the people who killed them are taking over the wizarding world, and she is, understandably, scared. I like how astronomy is almost like her escape from it all, something that makes her momentarily forget about all her problems. When I want to forget my problems, I usually read a book. It's actually quite similar, since Susan is more interested in the stories behind the stars. Even more interesting is the fact that she seems more braver when it has something to do with this hobby. She, in some ways, oppose the Carrows when she goes to the Astronomy Tower after curfew, but she didn't seem so scared then. It's like she needs to watch the stars. It's more than a hobby.

I also love how Hannah is so determined to fight back. She actually reminded me a lot of Neville. Both wanted to stand up for what's right, and both acting like leaders. At the same time, you can tell that Hannah is really concerned for her friend. I just really liked how you characterized her. It's quite different from how most people portray her, but I like this version more.

I also like how Susan, in the end, finds the courage to fight back. In the end she becomes a hero like the rest of her family.

- Your Secret Santa

Author's Response: Hey!

Thank you so much! I love how you seem to have really gotten this piece and where able to see and feel with Susan. You hit spot on with all of your comments of what Susan was going through and the demons that were at her doorstep. I love minor characters. I really do because a lot of them there is so much to explore and Susan is just one of the many that have a massive story behind them. I'm really pleased you felt like i captured some of it well.

I agree with you that astronomy for her was more than just a hobby. It was her escape and her way to be brave. It was a small thing but she relied so heavily on it that she would do anything to be able to look at the stars. She just needed to transfer that feeling she had to the real life situation around her and be able to use her disregard of the rules and fear to see the sky with the Carrows.

Thank you so much for your review!

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Review #2, by Roots in Water The Star Listener

7th August 2012:
It's Roots in Water here with your review to thank you for reviewing the podcasts (whew- bit of a mouthful, that was!).

Wow- I really liked this story. I think that you did a fabulous job with your characterization of Susan. I understood her thoughts and her motivations as she moved through the story- to be afraid of acting because of the previous cruelty that had been done to your family (in living memory, which is even worse) is completely understandable and realistic.

And the development you managed to have in just one chapter! It think that your inclusion of the line "Sorry daddy" made her decision all that much more powerful because she was making the decision to enter the fight knowing that it wasn't what her father wanted her to do.

And just as I could easily understand Susan's point of view, so could I understand Hannah's frustration with her. They were living in a dangerous period and she wanted her friend to be completely at her side, in all things, in ways that she couldn't be if she was just neutral.

As well, your description was fantastic. I really liked how you were able to transmit their emotions through your writing and how you tied in Susan's love of astrology into her transformation. Though you didn't mention it specifically in the story, I could see how the thought of Andromeda as the innocent sacrifice could be applied to Ernie's - or any of the students of Hogwarts, really - situation and how the weak wills of others kept them in that situation.

Your ending was also really well done- I liked how you left it off at a moment that could be taken as a cliff-hanger but also could be seen as the beginning of a new chapter in her life. The last sentence summed up the story beautifully- Susan's fight has only just begun and she will go far now.

All in all, I think that you've done a marvelous job with this story. I haven't read many stories that deal with the time at Hogwarts when Harry, Ron and Hermione were on the run and I think that you did a great job of capturing the terrifying atmosphere of it without overexaggerating anything. There would be no rules, no way to stop them at their own game- only resistance, both subtle and overt. Great work!

Author's Response: Hey Roots!

I'm glad you chose this one, Susan has always been one of my favourite characters to write about! I'm so pleased that this whole thing came across well and that her decision to not be involved made sense. I think that it could have easily gone both ways for her, Susan could be very willing to fight like her family always had or she wanted to avenge them. Or, as i wrote it, and her being fearful because of what happened with her family and having her dad wanting her to survive. I personally think that she might have been unsure about it all which is why i chose to go this way.

It was actually just providence that the Andromeda story fit so well. I hadn't really thought much about it, just chose a random constellation and when i was writing it in i realized how close it fit in with the story i was telling. :D I think you're the first to pick up on it.

It was really fun to write about the Puff's here because we don't see what they were like in the war effort. So it was interesting to explore them at Hogwarts during that time. I was hoping that the atmosphere would be good as we really don't know much about the time there other than there were students who resisted. I'm a bit overwhelmed that you thought it captured that time well though, thank you!!

Thanks so much Roots for this review! It meant a lot to get it!

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Review #3, by maskedmuggle The Star Listener

25th May 2012:
Woah I really loved this! I have never read anything like it - not only a story featuring Susan Bones, but a story where she tries to maintain a stance of neutrality on the war, and just.. her whole perspective on things was such a good insight into Susan's mind. I loved the different perspective Susan had - how she was hesitant to take action, but did so at the end for Ernie, and the stars and astronomy worked so well in this story too!

I thought this one-shot managed to really strongly convey how school was like at that time, like how all the Hufflepuffs were worried about Ernie being missing, the bird note, and Hannah's nudging that Susan should take a stance. I just really enjoyed how unique this story was - and brilliant writing too! :)

Author's Response: hey MM! Thank you so much for your words and compliments! I'm squeeing like mad just reading this :D I'm really pleased you liked Susan and i'm fascinated by her. Her story is so interesting and intense, her whole family was taken out by Voldemort because they were a strong family and one that fought against him. It just made me wonder who that would affect her and her actions in the war itself. I always saw her as someone who might be able to take action but was terrified of it because of her families history and also she's the last the carry on the Bones' name. It would be a tough decision to make. A

Anyway, thank you so much, i'm also loving the minor characters in Hogwarts era and what it was like for them during that final year. I'm pleased that you thought i portrayed it well! Thanks again!

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Review #4, by CambAngst The Star Listener

10th May 2012:
I noticed your story in a post you made in a writing challenge thread and the description caught my eye. Susan is my favorite supporting character in my long-term WIP story, so I've been trying to read more about her when I have time. I am so glad I stumbled across this.

I absolutely loved the way that you portrayed both Susan and Hannah. In Susan, you created this very quiet strength and conviction. First off, it was the conviction to honor her father's request and not become another casualty of the war. Her family was obviously decimated by Voldemort, so it was easy to understand why her father would have been terrified for her. At the same time, the way she describes him as being as good as dead was my first clue that there was a spark there. She knew and understood that she had a moral obligation to stand up and be counted, to honor her family's legacy.

In Hannah, I think you did a great job of giving a voice to the conscience of Hufflepuff house. She was so determined to help oppose the Carrows, and she didn't demand any less of anybody else.

The passages where you delve into her love of astronomy and mythology were beautiful. I took a lot of Latin in high school, so we spent a lot of time studying Greek and Roman myths. I love the way that you wove this into the story and used it to help convey her emotional turmoil.

And at the end, when she finally decided to stand up to the Carrows, I felt like standing up and cheering for her. This is the Susan that I've come to adore. The strong, brave, principled woman who stands up for what's right.

I don't know whether you're familiar with the song, but this story made me think of Coward of the County by Kenny Rogers. The song is a little cheesy, but the story it tells is so similar to this one: a boy who allows himself to be bullied in order to honor the request of his father, who died in prison. But when somebody he loves is hurt, he finally realizes that there are times that you have to stand up for what is right, even when it means courting trouble.

Like I said, I'm so glad that I found your story. It's a testament to the marvelous things that a talented writer can do with even the most minor characters in JKR's world.

Author's Response: Hi CA! Thanks for stopping by and reviewing this thing! You've seriously made my morning! I really love Susan to and i'm very interested in her story because it's so intense and deep. I really want to start a WIP about her some day.

I'm so pleased you picked up on those little cues of Susan's character and those changes in her beliefs. I don't know why but i've always seen Susan as sort of a quiet strength kind of girl as you said. She was scared because of her family but i always felt like there was more to her beneath the surface.

Hannah!! Ah yes, i love Hannah and she became this powerhorse in the house and the flame that ignited them all to action. However, it's not like she forced it down their throats and she still respected Susan even if Susan refused to act.

I don't know that song actually but i'm going to go listen to it now!

Anyway, thank you so much for your review! I really appreciated all of youf words and thoughts!

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Review #5, by magnolia_magic The Star Listener

24th March 2012:
Hi! Maggie here with your review!

I really, really enjoyed this. It's a beautiful story from a point of view I've never seen before. I think this is a very creative take on a time at Hogwarts that we don't get to see in the books.

Your description is lyrical and just gorgeous, especially when you talk about the stars and what they mean to Susan. The first paragraph completely drew me in! I could feel Susan's wonder as she looked up at the sky. That whole element of the story makes this piece stand out :)

Speaking of Susan, I love her as a character. I'm so used to reading about heroic, courageous people in this time period, and it's great to get a different sort of perspective. Susan's fear and reluctance to show her stance on the war makes her very relatable, and she just seems like a sweet and likeable girl. And I liked seeing her stand up to the Carrows at the end--even though she's afraid, she steps up to do the right thing when it's really needed.

I will say that I was a little distracted by some grammar issues here and there. Mostly I noticed places where you need commas, or where the commas were misplaced. And also, when you have a quote within a quote (the paragraph that begins, "And what will you do if you run into the Carrows?"), the inside quotation should have single quotes instead of double.

I think the relationship between Susan and Hannah is really well done. They are clearly very close friends, but tension is running high between them because of their differing values. You do a great job of showing that, and I also like your characterization of Hannah. She seems like a very passionate person, and she complements Susan's personality really well :)

This is a great piece! It definitely stands out from any other story I've read, and I'm so glad I read it. Keep up the good work! :)


Author's Response: I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVEN'T RESPONDED TO THIS!! I'm so sorry, my mind must have been off in lala land or something.

I've always been interested in seeing what Hogwarts was like in that final year. It would have been really intense and hard i presume. Especially for the kids who were so opposed to the Carrow's actions. But i don't feel like it is explored enough in ff. So i'm so pleased that you enjoyed this little window into their lives and found it realistic.

Lyrical? bah! You make me blush! Thank you. I don't really know where that came from, i just wrote the sentence look at the stars as the first line and somehow this story sort of snowballed from that.

I've always really liked Susan and i feel like her back story is so intense and deep that i'd love to explore her more one day. It just seemed logical to me that she'd be a little more hesitant about the whole thing because her whole family is basically dead. She's one of the last ones and her death could been the destruction of her family name. I'm glad that the struggle shone through though and that her inner battle was realistic as well ;D

Thank you again for all of your words and kindness! I will definitely look through it to fix some of those problems you mentioned! :D Cheers


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Review #6, by TalaTiva The Star Listener

16th February 2012:
Hey, I am new to this site, and I happened across your story while exploring. I want to let you know that I love it! It has been a long time since I have done any writing of note, and I think that you went a long way to get me into the right state of mind so that I can get back into it. Thanks so much!

Author's Response: Hi, i'm so pleased you enjoyed this little tale, it has been a favourite of mine simply because i adore Susan. I'm also incredibly humbled and pleased by your words and i really do hope you can get back into writing again. Good luck and thank you so much for taking the time to review my story

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Review #7, by EnigmaticEyes16 The Star Listener

30th November 2011:
Hey, finally here for our swap!

This was a really interesting story. I really liked the beginning and how she was so interested in not just Astronomy but the stories behind the stars and constellations. I especially liked how they even seemed to speak to her, she knew them so well. I think this love of looking at the stars was an intriguing hobby to give to a minor character like Susan.

I also really enjoyed your portrayal of Hannah. I rarely ever see her in stories but when I do, I think she's sort of a lot more like Susan. Fearful. And usually rather clumsy and not so smart. I liked how in your story she was like the force of the Hufflepuffs. It seems like she was their leader and she would fight for Harry's side til the end, no exceptions. She was also very motherly and understanding though toward Susan, caring for her when she came back and fixing her tea. I also found it funny that the Hufflepuffs had beanbags instead of real chairs. That was a really interesting tidbit. Although, I did notice you called the Room of Requirement the Room of Secrets, I think you might have been confusing it with the Chamber of Secrets, and so I thought I'd point that out to you.

I did like the ending though. Although I wish more had happened. I enjoyed her battle cry although it was probably her downfall. She would have had a much better advantage remaining quiet and sneaking up on the Carrows than shouting as she ran toward them. And I enjoyed Ernie's comment, because he clearly saw this immediately and knew what would happen. But I was kind of hoping the other Hufflepuffs would come running and show the Carrows whose boss. Oh well.

Anyway, I did really enjoy this, even though I wished there was more. You did a really good job on this story!


Author's Response: Hello, thank you for stopping by!

I'm glad you appreciated the whole astronomy hobby, i've never really saw that in stories and as i was trying to has Susan out i just started seeing her as this whimsical woman who was more interested in words and stories because of the life she lived (most of her family being murdered and the absent father). She throws herself into a imaginary world to escape the real one because it frightens her.

About Hannah, i don't really understand those characteristics. I suppose mostly because, in the end, she marries Neville. What brought them together? Her timidness? Hardly. Hufflepuffs are hardy people, they have a lot of fight in them but also a huge caring side. I'm glad that came across.

Hehehe, i know it's the Room of Requirement. I wouldn't write that in a note, if it got intercepted and the spell figured out smart students wouldn't write the 'room of requirement', seems too obvious, to me anyway. And, in my head, i remembered that Draco was using the room of hidden things. I think the place transforms into whatever room that the group needs, so i was tranforming it into what the DA needed. A room of secrets, a place where they can hide, plan, and attack. That was my logic though. Might have been a bad word choice, i will think about it :D

I'm sorry you the ending wasn't exactly what you were looking for, i was just trying to portray the the simple change of a character. I felt like putting in more action, like the other Hufflepuff's randomly coming to that spot when she needed them, would convulate the whole idea. I wanted it to focus more on Susan's change rather than the action packed war. I hope that makes sense though :D

Thank you so much for your response and thoughtful review though! :D I really appreciate your thoughts :D

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Review #8, by MyMyMiss The Star Listener

12th October 2011:
So I am so sorry it took me so long to get here with your review hun, I know e swapped, but I did promise I would be here and it has taken m like three weeks, and I feel terrible, but I am here!

This was such a touching little one-shot *inserts emotional break down here*
I am a lot like you with the loving of underloved charactes such as Seamus, Hannah, Susan, Dead, I would say Luna but she isn't all that underloved anymore :P but you get the gist ;)

You wrote such an emotional piece, that I had troulbe tearig my eyes away for any second, (I have the LOTR playing and it was a very big struggle,) but in the end your story wn out and I read the entire thing from start to finish!! and it was brilliant.

The way you used the greek gods and godesses at the sart were amazing1! I really thought it had a nice touch on it as you say susan loves the stars and it is believed that the stars take form of Aphroditi and Zues... etc.etc. Praise for Greek/Romian mythology here ^_^ I think thats right anywa

Author's Response: Oh no worries! Thank you so much for your lovely words and i'm pleased you enjoyed it. Is it wrong that i'm glad you had an emotional reaction to it? Well i am, i was aiming for that :D Thank you again for the coming and reviewing my story! I loved writing it and adding the mythological aspect of it and i was actually really worried about that part coming off realistically, i'm pleased that it seems that i've done it well enough. Thank you again for taking the time to read and review :D

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Review #9, by forsakenphoenix The Star Listener

23rd September 2011:
Hi there!

I hope this review makes sense. I'm a bit under the weather but I'll try my best to make this as coherent as possible.

First off, I loved this story! I don't read many fanfics about little known characters so this was very refreshing and you picked a wonderful character to explore. Your descriptions here are fantastic - I could really picture everything as it was happening and that's my favorite part of descriptions, especially when it's done well.

I love how Susan uses astronomy to escape, how she seeks comfort in the figures' stories and strength in theirs. As I've never read much Susan, I can't comment much on her characterization here, but I love how you made her so withdrawn and unwilling to fight compared to Hannah, who is so gung-ho about it. I'm pretty sure she did join Dumbledore's Army though but it's such an insignificant canon detail that it doesn't really matter.

I think my favorite part of the story was when you said that Harry was off trying to save them but that they were the ones who were dealing with the consequences of his actions. That was a really powerful statement and I think one that isn't mentioned much in fanfics from POVs of those lesser known characters.

I really felt for Susan in this story - that her family was murdered and she didn't want to join the student army because she felt that fighting against Voldemort is what got her family killed in the first place. She definitely felt out of place among her housemates who were all too happy to defy the Carrows and to fight against Voldemort. It made for a nice contrast.

But then, the end! Oh, poor, Susan. I love how she finally found her strength and she took a stand to save a friend. She just needed the right opportunity to prove her worth.

I did notice quite a few mechanical errors and some awkward sentences - you were missing some commas and semi-colons in certain places that broke up the flow. I think the major thing I noticed is your use of periods when you're writing dialogue tags. You do it correctly sometimes but most of the time it's done incorrectly, so I'm not sure why there's an inconsistency. But it should read: "Blah blah blah," Susan said. So there should be a comma rather than a period. Unless the sentence ends in say a question mark or an exclamation point, you should use a comma there rather than a period.

Other than that though, this was a fantastic story. This usually isn't something I read so I'm glad I decided to take a chance. Great job! :)

Author's Response: First of all, thank you SO SO much for this beautifully written review! You are too kind! I'm glad you enjoyed this and i'll definitely go through it again to iron anything out that is distrupting the flow.

I know Susan was in the DA, but i still feel like not every member would be strong all the time and sometimes they doubt or worry and are weak. It's not easy to be strong when you don't see the fruits of your efforts or hear from Harry and Co. for ages. It must feel sometimes like what's the point of revolting when it's just going to get you killed. I was trying to convey that anyway in this story.

Anyway, thank you so so so much for these words of encouragement and i'm so pleased you enjoyed it! I really love exploring reletively unknown characters and trying to give them a voice. I appreciate you taking the time to leave such a well thought of review! :D thank you thank you so much for stopping by!

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Review #10, by Goldemort The Star Listener

22nd September 2011:
Hi, it's Goldemort from the review swap, and I'm so so sorry this took so long.

This was amazing =) I loved it, especially the beginning when she was talking to the stars. It was really well written and it all flowed really well. You gave such minor characters really clear personalities, and I have never actually read a Susan fic before, so this was really nice =). Again, this was beautifully written, and I'm so sorry this review took so long. 10/10 =)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your lovely words and i'm so glad you felt like this fit her and gave her personality. I love exploring unknown characters! Thank you again!

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Review #11, by bri_5_stars The Star Listener

20th September 2011:
Wow, this piece is quite good honestly. I'm not good at branching out to stories not based on the more popular characters, but I'm beginning to think that now maybe I should.
Because, you've give very good character to one that we all know, just not as much as we'd think. Siriusly, not many stories are based on Susan, but like I said, you gave her character. There was only like one misplaced word which must mean you are magic. Bravo! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for stopping by for the review! I adore minor character stories, there is a lot of gems waiting in them :D
Thank you for your lovely comments and i'm pleased that you thought that my characterization of Susan worked!
-zay =D

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Review #12, by kestral14 The Star Listener

20th September 2011:
Amazing, 10/10. You took barely mentioned character, gave her a history, a personality, a weakness, and a mission. Amazing writing too.

Author's Response: :D thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for your lovely comments! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. ;D

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Review #13, by tangledconstellations The Star Listener

20th September 2011:
Oh wow, wow, wow. This was amazing. Beyond amazing. Just, so, so lovely. The way you linked the stars to the story and to Susan and to heroism and to the Greek mythology (of which I have a lot of love for) and just all of it was beautiful and heartwrenching and just brilliant.

Okay. Enough with the gushing.


I thought it was really touching the way it was from Susan's POV; Susan, a character who gets barely any love, a character who has so much of a background, so much inner strength. And her position, it was really really heartbreaking. Instinctively people imagine the DA to be so vivacious and solid during the last year but it seems so natural they should have moments like these, moments of doubt and distrust. I think if I was Susan I would feel exactly the same. Not everyone can be brave all the time.

The language you used was incredible and so refreshing too. You didn't douse us in description but you still made this sound so beautiful. I really enjoyed this, the triumph at the end, the sense that things are changing. Beautiful.

Laura xxx

Author's Response: aw thank you so much for your LOVELY LOVELY words! Ah! I don't know what to say your review is just so beautifully nice! Thank you! I love Susan and minor characters and i'm glad that you found this believeable! :D

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