Reading Reviews for How To Stop An Exploding Man
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MoonPrancerxoxo How To Stop An Exploding Man

25th August 2012:
Wow, this is truley amazing! :D

I love how you shpwed a nice side to him as a child, I always knew Tom wasn't born evil, it was the result of his upbringing.

But as he started to become the evil man that he is, I love how you captured his personality, so well done there! :D

It was also beautifully written, so well done! :) I really enjoyed reading this!

I hope you're well and having a lovely day! :)

Author's Response: Thank you! I always like to think that people are born good, even Lord Voldemort. He once was simply Tom Riddle, after all. Thanks again. I hope you're having a lovely day as well!

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Review #2, by starryskies55 How To Stop An Exploding Man

9th June 2012:

Creepy. Very creepy. And perhaps the creepiest thing about this, is that at the start, you can kind of, not relate to Voldemort, but understand him, at least. Which is super scary.

The twisted humour is pretty freaky, but what I think is the scariest is that Tom tried to be nice, and then retaliated to other's nastiness. That wasn't nice because I'm used to thinking about Voldemort as always inherently evil, and not ever as a small child who tried to help.

So yeah, this really made me think about Voldemort in a different way.

You've made a couple of grammar mistakes, and is there supposed to be another word in this sentence: "He was an orphan, he nothing of course"?

But really a rather amazing story, that has touched on Voldemort's life that nothing I have read has. Fantastic.


(was directed here by Story Seekers on HPPC)

Author's Response: Thank you! This is such a lovely review. Ah it seems I am always making one grammar mistake or another, but thank you for pointing those out! I'm really really curious about what was said on Story Seekers now! Thanks again.

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Review #3, by blueirony How To Stop An Exploding Man

4th February 2012:

Okay, I need some time to come back into the real world after reading that.

It's not often that I really get taken away when I read something. But I really can feel myself slowly returning to Earth after reading that.

God, I hate reviewing these types of stories. I just feel like I have so much to say but I can never get my thoughts out onto paper. I'm going to try my best.

First of all, well done on tackling Tom Riddle. He is such a complicated character. I think that a lot of people just think he is evil and nothing more. And even after reading HBP, it's hard to feel sympathy for him. You just think of him being cruel and evil his entire life and that he really did get what he deserved.

After reading this story, I almost feel sorry for him. Wow. I never thought I would say that. But there you go.

This story builds. The best way I can describe it is likening it to a piece of music. I don't know if you play and musical instruments, but this reminds me of a crescendo. It builds. It starts very softly but each sentence builds from the next, each paragraph builds from the next and then the ending explodes and then everything is calm once more.

My favourite part of this was how the sentences flowed on from one another. It really was like there was a chain linking each one together. The way you started with an idea and then built it through each sentence and then each paragraph was just... phenomenal. I know it might sound like a small thing but I don't know how to explain it well. It's just amazing. Nothing short of amazing.

I also kind of feel like there is a lot to be learnt from this story. As in, real life lessons. It just made me think so much. That, yes, Tom Riddle was born because of a love potion and could never feel love, but there was more to it. Perhaps the reason that he did not like muggles was because he was treated unkindly by muggles. Perhaps the reason why he had so much hatred was because of the neglect he felt. These two sentences sum it up pretty well: He did not believe that people were born evil - as many people believed he had been. He believed that society and other people was what made people evil.

I don't... Argh, see, I knew this would happen. I feel like I almost want to write an essay about this story (and I honestly could write a full, five paragraph expository essay on this if I wanted to) but I can't get my thoughts out in a coherent manner. All the beautiful things I wanted to say while reading this have completely left my memory.

I think of things in colours. When I read things, when I see things, when I hear things. I can assign colours to them. This story is a dark, dark green. It kind of makes me think of dark, murky places. Cold places, big chambers with lots of echoes, dripping water and stone floors. I can feel all of that when I read this story. The mood of it is just brilliant. Tom Riddle is so... so eerily calm in this. The way he "almost [wants] to laugh" at the end is just so creepy that it's brilliant. You have captured his character so well in this. He's creepy, subtle, soft but very, very evil at the same time.

Everything about this is amazing. The one thing I might reconsider is the title. I'm not saying that it's horrible. I just think that you can have a much more striking title. I understand what you are trying to say, but your banner, the summary, the overall mood of the story, the tone, everything about it... it's so eerily and scary that I think you can be a hit a much harder note with the title. That is just a small suggestion, though, because honestly? This is pretty close to perfection.


Author's Response: Hi. Oh. Okay. Wow? Thank you so much! This would have to be close to the longest and most lovely review I have ever received in all my many years on this site - so thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm afraid I'm not terribly good at responding to reviews - even those as long as yours - but thank you!

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Review #4, by angie123 How To Stop An Exploding Man

19th January 2012:
Wow. I really liked this story. It's amazing. I was a little confused while reading, but it could have just been me.

Sorry for the really short review.


Author's Response: Thanks very much! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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Review #5, by rj_sunshine How To Stop An Exploding Man

10th January 2012:
That is all I can say.
The results for the No Dialogue challenge will be up soon in the Hall of Fame and in a blog :)

Author's Response: Thank you so very much!

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Review #6, by rachm34 How To Stop An Exploding Man

2nd January 2012:
Literally, I'm shaking. This is so haunting. From the first sentence to the last sentence this is so amazing. I loved the last sentence, it just put everything into perspective. Voldemort is so evil, and this really was so good. Laura, I LOVE THIS. You're such an amazing, inspiring writer. You've improved so much since we've started to talk. I think that you definitely got inside of Voldy's head. The characterization is perfect. It's like everyone can understand what he is thinking now. Your word choice is beautiful, I could picture everything that was happening. I love this so much. This is definitely one of my new favorites of yours. You keep on improving and improving. Your writing is becoming flawless. It's so poised, and it's really, really good. I love this. The descriptions, the word choice, the characterization, the little dialogue, Tom's memories. It's so well written. LOVE THIS, and you.

Author's Response: thank you my darling! i love you too!

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Review #7, by Beeezie How To Stop An Exploding Man

24th December 2011:
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! Sorry it's taken me so long - I'm usually pretty prompt about reviewing, but lately I've just been swamped with life. Everything should settle down soon, though.

Before I get into the piece as a whole, I want to point out a couple mechanical errors.

In the first paragraph, you wrote, He looked just as he should, for a child of eight, nine and yes, even a child of eleven years of age. I understood your basic point - that he looked just like the other students - but when you started listing out ages, you lost me. It felt almost like you were saying that he could pass for 11. I'm fairly certain that that wasn't it, but the age listing is a little confusing.

In the second paragraph, you wrote, He was an orphan, he nothing of course. I think that there should be a "had" between "he" and "nothing." In the paragraph starting, "It happened when he was sixteen years old," you wrote, It was all his fault. I wasn't entirely sure whether you were referring to Voldemort or his father. In the paragraph starting, "It's a very nice evening," the "he" in the very first sentence should not have been capitalized.

Those aside:

I found this one-shot to be very interesting. It's a very different look at Tom Riddle, and in a lot of ways, I liked that. It is very easy to think of Voldemort as having been born evil, but you've really humanised him and put a lot of his attitudes into a certain context. More importantly, you've done so without making him OOC, which is often what happens when people try to write Voldemort in a more sympathetic light. You never gave any indication that he did not grow up to be a horrible person - you just tried to explain why.

Experiences in childhood really can shape one as an adult, and you captured that wonderfully. He was ostracised, so he became the sort of person who wouldn't care. The idea that his experience at the orphanage helped inform his hatred for muggles was really interesting, and the way you tell the story makes me think back to Dumbledore talking to the woman who ran it (Mrs. Cole, I think her name was) and look at that conversation in a very different light.

There were a couple parts that I didn't love. When you were talking about the rabbit and the hair ribbons, I wasn't really sure what you were trying to say about Voldemort. Feeding the boy's rabbit is fairly innocuous, but stealing the girl's ribbons isn't. I was just a little confused about the point there.

I also didn't like the last paragraph anywhere near as much as I liked the rest of the piece - when he murdered his father and grandparents, nobody thought that he was the most evil man in the world, so "It was true, he supposed," seemed a little out-of-place. And, in general, the paragraph just doesn't seem to sum up the feeling of the rest of the piece. I'm not sure if I'm articulating myself very well, but it just felt a little problematic to me.

On the whole, though, this was an excellent one-shot, and I'm very glad you requested it! :)

Author's Response: Goodness, I can't believe it's taken me so long to reply to such a wonderful review! Thank you so very much. This has been extremely helpful, you're a wonderful reviewer.

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Review #8, by javct How To Stop An Exploding Man

21st December 2011:
Here with your review!
I really enjoyed this. It's not very often that I come across a Tom Riddle story, so congratulations on branching out!

I think that you portrayed Tom brilliantly. I loved the start where Tom doesn't really understand why people treat him differently. His characterisation was perfect.

The mood was very fitting to Tom's transition to Voldemort; very dark and mysterious. I also liked it how you didn't include dialogue until the very end, it gave us a greater insight into Tom's personality.
*Jaz, 10/10

Author's Response: Hey there. I'm certainly glad I'm helping you to branch out. Thank you very much for your positive and encouraging review. It means a lot! Happy New Year!

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Review #9, by Emerald_Eyed_Bookworm How To Stop An Exploding Man

21st December 2011:
Amazingly written. Extremely descriptive, without being wordy. I only found two small typos:
- "He was an orphan, he nothing of course": I think a was between he and nothing my help it flow a bit better.
- "He had gone through the most important parts of ones life . . ." : There should be an apostrophe between e and s of one's.

Overall, I loved how you got inside Voldemort's head and walked around in it. It was a brilliant concept that he would not only think he was justified, but also that he was doing it to make the world a fair place, or rather his warped idea of fair.

Brilliant story!


Author's Response: Hahah, all the times I have received the comment about the "he nothing of course" line, I've never realised I actually missed a word. So thank you! It was meant to be "he had nothing, of course".

Thanks also for your wonderful, positive review!

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Review #10, by Roots in Water How To Stop An Exploding Man

20th December 2011:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

That last sentence was haunting! "He really was the most evil man in the world"... At the age of sixteen, Tom Riddle was worse than everyone else. And he was almost happy with that.

I do think that you created a dark, moody atmosphere. You never showed any happy moments in his life, choosing instead to focus on what had made him into the man he became. It was almost scary how easily you built his personality and described how he viewed himself- your reasons for his behaviour were sound and very much in canon.

However I feel that if you were to place some of your sentences on their own (in very short paragraphs) then the power behind them would be increased. Because they would be all alone they would be read as more "important" and more significance would be placed on the words. Among others, I would put "He was just a boy" and "He had tried to be nice" as their own paragraphs. As well I would make "He didnít feel a thing..." a new paragraph because you're going into detail about the murder of his family- a very significant moment in his history.

Your prose was very good and easy to follow. There were no bumpy transitions or awkward sentences- everything flowed smoothly from point to point, which is hard to do when you're writing a story that spans many years. Your words in general were very well chosen, creating a dark and tense atmosphere, but I wonder if there is a better word you can find for the phrase "was not okay". The "okay" sounded out of place to me and a little jarring because it's more of a casual word and you're writing in a more serious manner.

I just noticed a small thing: in the phrase "he nothing of course", is there a missing word?

All in all, I think that you did a great job with your portrayal and characterization in this story. Tom Riddle was still a dark, twisted man, though the reasons why became clearer and more understandable. I enjoyed reading this piece and I hope that my comments are helpful! Thanks for requesting!

Author's Response: Hey there! Sorry it has taken me such a while to respond. However, thank you very much for this wonderful review. It seems I have managed to portray everything I wished to portray correctly.

The reason I did not want to go too into depth with this fic, although I know how easily I could have, is that I wanted to show the callous, nonchalant way that Voldemort thinks. How his life was made up of a series of incidents. How he felt no true emotions. How he was hardened and dry and how facts were fact. The line where I used the word "okay" was meant to be someone... ironic (although, that's not really the right word) because "okay" is so far from what everything was. It was meant to be jarring to use a casual word, because Voldemort truly believed that what he was doing was nothing too unjust, too out of the ordinary.

Anyway, thank you very much for the review and apologies for the somewhat inarticulate reply.

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Review #11, by Jade Sterling How To Stop An Exploding Man

19th December 2011:
Hi! I'll go ahead and dive right in! :)


"He was an orphan, he nothing of course."

Unfinished sentence.


I have nothing to say except holy crap. Not only is Tom Riddle my absolute favorite Harry Potter cannon character, but this portrays him beautifully. You are a truly amazing writer. I find it so interesting that you see him as actually trying to be nice younger and not being extremely vindictive his entire life. I love this so much I can't even tell you.

I am SO pleased I found this.

Favorite + 10/10

xx Alicia

Merry Christmas from Slytherin House!

Author's Response: Thanks very much for this helpful and amazing review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it - Tom has long been one of my favourite characters. I'm happy we're on the same page!

Thank you very much! Merry Christmas xx

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Review #12, by shabdabdingdong How To Stop An Exploding Man

15th December 2011:
This is shabdabdingdong with your requested review!

The story is good! I see nothing wrong, however, I suggest that you make it longer!

Good job!

Author's Response: Thanks for your review! I think making it any longer would ruin it :) But thanks!

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Review #13, by CloakAuror9 How To Stop An Exploding Man

14th December 2011:
"He did not believe that people were born evil Ė as many people believed he had been. He believed that society and other people was what made people evil."

That line was very...heart warming and very honest. Its nice to know that Tom and I share a thought or two.

Your story is very amazing. Its so great to read about Tom Riddle's point of view and to, at least, get a peek of his thoughts and how his mind works.

Your word choice was fantastic! It suited the way you portrayed Tom and if this wasn't a fanfiction I would've thought it was J.K Rowling's one-shot! (Yeah, that's how great your story is)

I am mesmerized and so happy to know another side of Tom or at least the side of Tom before he became Lord Voldemort.

(Favourite-ing it)

Happy Holidays,
CloakAuror9 xx

Author's Response: Thank you so much! This review was heart warming and very honest! You have literally made my day - thank you very much. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Happy holidays! xx

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Review #14, by academica How To Stop An Exploding Man

8th December 2011:
WOW. I really loved this! You really got at the heart of Voldemort, and you did so in a daring way, discussing aspects that are concealed from us in his canon efforts to make himself ultimately powerful. I love how you described him being fueled by hate and his secret desire to be loved by other people, how all of this culminated in the destructive force that we know. The ending was absolutely amazing, the callous cruelty described so well. It reminded me of the American serial killers I've heard described in documentaries. This story really deserves a longer review, but as I've got to get ready for work and couldn't resist not reading it now, this will have to suffice -- fantastic work! Very well done! :)


Author's Response: I have no idea what you're taking about! This is an amazing review. Thank you so much. This means a lot, all that you mentioned was exactly what I was attempting to portray, so thank you :)

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