Reading Reviews for Stolen Pieces
  
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Beeezie Worthy

21st May 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, finally here with your review! Sorry - I've been a bit busy lately with the CR activity, which I hope you've enjoyed. :)

I'm continuing to really, really like your writing style. I think that you've done a great job transitioning from the abstract style of the prologue to a more linear narrative while still maintaining the distinctive tone that (thus far, anyway) that I'm continuing to admire and enjoy.

One of the things that stands out to me about this story continues to be the strong statements Ariana is making. People attack others because they want to is just another example of an argument that really made me think. I'm glad that you didn't just cut it out entirely, because it helped draw me into this story and Ariana's character very early on in this chapter, and I remained absorbed in her throughout.

I also loved the way you started this: breaking it up by minutes, hours, and years really helped to illustrate how Ariana experienced the attack, and on a wider level, how people experience that kind of traumatic event in general. An act that takes only minutes can leave scars that last years, and this was a great way of communicating that. My only issue was that the way you used the theme of time wasn't consistent - first it was a colon, then a semi-colon, and then just a full sentence. I think that the years sentence can work as it is if you prefer it that way, but I'd strongly suggest that you make the first two consistent at the very least.

The way Ariana remembered her life before the attack was well done, on the whole - there was a certain childlike simplicity about what she noticed. However, I did feel like your description of the way she used magic needed a little work - the description of the maze she made felt too complicated for a six-year old to think of, and there was also a sense of deliberateness which struck me as odd for someone so young.

From what we saw in canon, children typically can't control their magic - Lily could only jump from the swing and make pedals move on a flower, and I think that we were told that she was unusual in that. For Ariana to be able to intentionally do things like refill her pumpkin juice, make a hedge to lay on, and create the maze seemed inconsistent with canon to me.

Additionally, while I felt like Ariana before the attack was done well, I thought that Ariana during and after the attack needed some work. The language was too complicated for a six-year old, and for a girl who was deeply scarred by the event and who we've been told was easily confused, she seemed quite aware of what was happening around her. I think that you could have cut out a lot of the details and emphasised the stress and the tension and the fear rather than lay out exactly what happened. This is a situation where I think that less is more - a lot of what you have could be replaced with her feelings and vague impressions, and for me, at least, that would have felt more real.

Other than that, this was good! I did feel like as with the last chapter, there were some points where your prose felt a little messy. Because this is a longer chapter than the first, however, I'm having a little more trouble picking out exactly what I think is problematic and how you might fix it without actually full on beta-ing it. I'd suggest seeing about running this past a beta who's good with grammar and mechanics, just to get the chapter to be as good as it can be. :)

Thanks for requesting, and feel free to rerequest when I've opened up spots. :)

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Review #2, by academica Worthy

8th May 2012:
Hey! I'm here with your requested review :) First off, let me mention that I was really intrigued by the first chapter of this story, and I have been meaning to come back and read on, but school got in the way pretty quickly after I read your first chapter. So it's really great that you requested and reminded me about this story!

My gut reaction is that this chapter was just as powerful as the first, but in a more concrete way. I liked hearing more of Ariana's story and I really felt for her as she relieved her torment. It's one thing to hear about it from Albus or Aberforth in canon, but something else entirely to really watch her play it out from where she lies in her grave. It's kind of strange, actually, but I almost felt life in her words, like she really does possess the emotions she claims to be bereft of now. You've created kind of an interesting effect.

A couple of small critiques for you -- generally speaking, the technical stuff is very good, but I did notice a few places scattered throughout where a word is missing or the tenses of the subject and verb do not agree. I don't think a beta is necessary, but another round of proofreading wouldn't hurt. Also, in the paragraph where Ariana compares herself to her brothers, I felt a little confused about which one she was talking about. She began talking about Albus and then switched to Aberforth, and my impression was that you either meant to use Aberforth throughout or she meant to characterize both of her brothers and a little more of a transition phrase or sentence was needed to help that along.

Overall, the chapter was very nice. I thought the imagery about the hedge was really cool, and I liked the metaphor of Ariana's very literal seeming train of thought. I definitely felt very drawn in to her attack and, as a fellow woman, I really felt a lot of pity for her and felt that I could identify with her pain, even though I've never experienced anything like what she did here. The chapter flowed nicely for me, and I'm still very interested in the story, so feel free to re-request later.

Nice work! Hope this is helpful! :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hello! I'm so sorry that my reply is so late - there's no exuse for it!

Still, I appreciated all your lovely comments and all the reviews I received in May were all so lovely and I honestly didn't know how to respond except to thank you because they mean so much and are brilliant motivation.

Anyway I found your last review helpful and I like remindong people of stories they liked because chances are that they just don't have the time to review or read them until you prompt them!

I also used to write a lot in this kind of style but haven't done so in a while so although I'm a bit rusty its good to know it still works haha.

I know this chapter needs a lot of work still because i have yet to re-edit and then send it off to my beta but thank you for pointing some of the things i should focus on as well. It definitely helpful !

Thanks again for such a lovely review!
Hanzi xxx


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Review #3, by Beeezie Grave

18th February 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, (finally) here with your review!

This was interesting to read. I tend not to like stories (or even prologues) that are more philosophical and don't really give any tangible grounding to the characters or plot, but I think that this might be the exception to the rule.

There were points that I felt like you could have tightened the prose up a little (I'll get to those in a bit), but you presented some really interesting arguments that I don't see a lot, which I think is why I'm not having my usual reaction to the abstractness of the chapter. A lot of chapters like this tend to deal with the same sorts of things - themes like fear, death, or love. In this, you talked about how wizards deal with theories, and how they deal with the unknown. I found myself wanting to argue with some of the things you said, which I actually often like in a story - it's a sign of a strong narrator, and often of an interesting story.

In particular, I liked your claim that wizards don't like theories and how you expanded on it. I think that the wizarding world is often presented as essentially being like the muggle world because everyone in it can do magic and is on an even footing. You - or rather, your character - seems to essentially be saying that magic changes the entire equation.

You also started and ended on a very strong note, which is important. The first sentence of the story was fun and engaging, and the last two or three paragraphs were positively chilling. They were also intriguing - they left me curious to read on and learn more about the story and the narrator. If I was just reading this for enjoyment rather than as a request, I'd absolutely be clicking next chapter immediately. (As is, I need to restrain myself, because I have approximately a million reviews to do.)

I did, however, find some points where your prose felt a little messy.


Some people like treacle tart, for example, because they know that's their preference.

I felt like you needed another sentence before this one, or perhaps just to reword this a bit. As is, it feels like you jumped from point A to point C - I can see how they relate, but I wanted you to touch on point B. I wanted you to talk about knowing that you're supposed to like something vs. your preference explicitly before you jumped to this.


Maybe that is how people know they are "self-actualised," they realise the differences between social influences and their own tastes.

I understand what you're getting at here, and I do think that you need something linking the first paragraph with the third one, but I don't feel like this works. I think a big part of it is use of the term "self-actualised" - for one thing, if this is set when Ariana is still alive, it's anachronistic: if I'm recalling correctly from my psych courses, the term wasn't really used before the World War II era. For another (and probably a bit more importantly, since most people probably don't know that), it just felt awkward. You're using fairly informal language and really just discussing human nature and growing up, and the term "self-actualised" doesn't really fit in there for me. It's not something that people tend to drop in conversation, you know?


Maybe that is why teenagers are so frustrated at times; they cannot comprehend the differences in society's influences and their personal feelings in regards to something or someone.

This feels a little muddled to me. Again, I do understand what you're saying, but as a sentence, it just doesn't flow as cleanly as it could. Maybe something more along the lines of, they cannot tell where society's influence ends and their personal feelings begin?


They can do whatever their heart's desire.

This is awkward grammatically. Because "heart" is singular possessive here rather than plural possessive (which would be hearts'), it reads like all wizards and witches share a single heart.


Strategy, timing and followers are the other keys to rise ultimately.

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here - it's a little awkwardly phrased.


There was a time where I was young and foolish; I had trusted four Wizards and one Witch of whom esteemed attributes were prejudice and gluttony, but distorted into great, influential, comforting and protective beings in my young mind's eye.

I think this should be when I was foolish, since you're talking about time. I was also a little confused about what you meant by the rest of the sentence. I can gather the basic gist, but the way it's worded is confusing.

Other than those, though, I thought that your prose was quite good! You've got an interesting start here, and I'd be happy to review the next chapter if you rerequest when I have slots open! :)

Author's Response: I'm so, so, so sorry for not answering your review - there really is no excuse why I shouldn't have answered sooner, but I loved every minute of reading it. :D

I'm glad that you liked this so much and I'll be requesting for the second chapter soon as well. :)

I'm glad that you thought you could make counter-arguments to the character's views! I really like that myself, wanting to argue a certain matter, because it makes you think and it makes for a good character who has strong opinions. :)

Most of the prose that you had pointed out I was a bit iffy about as well, but its nice to hear another opinion on it and I'm glad that you made those points, because I know what to look out for when I edit this!

This has been one of my favourite reviews by far and what makes it better is that you enjoyed reading it!

So thank you for taking the time to read through all of this, make all your points to help me improve and for the praise -- it was immensely helpful. :D

xxx


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Review #4, by Indigo Seas Worthy

15th February 2012:
I LOVE the voice that shines through here. I mean, it's so strong. I can really hear the character speaking (versus the author, you), and her personality, intentions, values are so apparent. It's great.

And the way you've written this is - let me just say it again - so unique. The "theories" that are included in this chapter and the last are really original, and for that I love them. And the first three paragraph/line starters of this portion were just... breathtaking. I'm not being very eloquent, which is rare, but hopefully you get my point. :)

I love the suspense you've created and the world you've crafted for your characters to gallivant around in. And you've got so many directions you could go with this; I'm excited to read the rest.

Epic start.

xx
Rin

Author's Response: Thank you! This particular chapter was somewhat harder to write, because obviously I had to decide whether I wanted to keep the dark aspect in my story still & the content was iffy as well. Hopefully it worked out well enough. :)

The theories bit was spontaneous in itself, they were what helped me to keep the whole of the story dark.

I was only going to do main points to keep the story short, but I've been thinking about other options so it might end up a little longer in the length of chapters if not in the length of the story. :)

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and loving this.

xxx


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Review #5, by Indigo Seas Grave

15th February 2012:
Mm, that was so different, I'm not quite sure where to start with a review. First thing's first: I loved it. It's unique-ness and strong sense of style really led the reader (read: me) throughout the piece really easily, and though the word count is small, I can't imagine it being any longer.

The flow was really fluid, which was lovely. Sometimes you would break it intentionally, which, personally, is a fantastic (and sometimes difficult) thing to do, so kudos to you!

Creepy. Suspenseful. It's very different than anything I've read before, in a lovely, blow-your-mind kind of way. I'm off to read the next chapter.

xx
Rin

Author's Response: I'm so sorry for the late response, but thank you so much fo reviewing!

I'm glad you liked it enough to read both chapters and that you liked how I wrote it in particular - I've always thought that flow needed to have a particular way about it, that awkwardness would ruin it and sometimes it does, but intentionally breaking it was actually really scary so I'm glad you said that you liked it that much!

xxx


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Review #6, by shadowcat2 Worthy

1st February 2012:
OMG. This is absolutely amazing. I didn't expect this to be Ariana. I really like your writing style. Looking forward to reading your other chapters.
Happy writing.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for liking this! I've tried really hard with these chapters, to get into this perspective that Ariana wouldn't have necessarily while she was alive and also having to maintain the perspective she DID have when she was alive - that'll become more evident in the next few chapters, especially. :)

Thank you so much for reviewing; it means so much. xxx


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Review #7, by shadowcat2 Grave

1st February 2012:
Wow. Just wow. I think you just blew my mind away. That was creepy in an awesome way. The idea is so unique. Your writing is full of mystery. I have absolutely no clue what you're heading. This is brilliant.

P.S. I am shadowcat1432. I am here with the review swap you requested earlier. In case you lost the link to my story, it's in my author's page.:D

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your amazing review - it really is such a confidence boost as I don't really know whether people will go for Ariana like this. I'm glad I'm doing something right. :)

Thanks again for the compliments and just reading it really!

P.S. I'll be getting to your reviews tomorrow, I've already read both chapters! :D

xxx


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Review #8, by magnolia_magic Grave

16th January 2012:
Hi! magnolia_magic here with your requested review!

Wow. This is REALLY creepy, and really suspenseful as well. I'm so intrigued about what's going to come next! You've got a really compelling start here, and I think it's safe to say I'm already hooked.

I think the thing that makes this story stand out is the writing style you have. The short sentence structure and the way the thoughts sort of jump around without warning--it's all very mysterious. It also feels unpolished (in a great way, don't worry!), as if I'm reading the narrator's thoughts as they actually are. It makes for a very interesting read.

The very beginning was the only part that confused me. As I read on, I got the idea that the first two sentences were supposed to contrast with each other. I think that contrast should be a bit sharper, to clarify what you mean. Maybe a different phrase than "for example" in the second sentence would help. Such as:

"People like treacle tart, however, because they know that's their preference."

I think something like that would better show the reader the difference between people who conform to society and people who do their own thing. Hopefully that makes sense! Sometimes I think I'm incoherent when I'm trying to get a point across :P

I can't really give you many thoughts on characterization, since I can't even tell who is narrating this story. But I love the ambiguity of this, and later chapters will give you a chance to develop characters :)

Thanks so much for requesting this! Honestly, I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise, and now I'm so glad I did :) Feel free to re-request whenever you want!

--Maggie

Author's Response: HI! Thanks for taking the time to come over and review this - so quickly too! :)

I'm glad that you've liked it so far! I'm so bad with beginnings, because I always have the anonymity in it. Its become a deadly trend that i can't seem to break, haha.

Yes! That's exactly what I'm going for - its supposed to be almost, but not really, constructed thoughts in the character's mind. Its been fab to be so close to her, because the way we know her and the way she's described is completely different.

I'm glad you liked it and I'll definitely take into account with that particular phrase!

Thank you again for reviewing! xxx


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Review #9, by EverMalfoy Grave

13th January 2012:
Oh wow,show interesting.

This is unlike anything I've ever read.

I was really unsure about who this was coming from,a tad confusing. Otherwise it's very deep.

Id really like to hear about your inspiration for this.

A really strong was point is how you got in the characters mind. Very,very awesome!

xoxo

ever

9/10

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so glad that you liked it! :)

Yeah, I have a thing for not really revealing too much of my character in the first chapter/prologue - its become a habit, because I love the confusion. xD

Well, I've been intrigued with this particular pairing for a while and just generally the wizarding era when it was so much grander and older and fabulous when there were countless balls and decorum and prestige was all that really mattered - I've LOVED reading those kind of stories too with minor characters, so it partly comes from that, but also as I said in my AN from notreallyblonde44 who has posted so many amazing stories that she just made me want to write!

Again I'm glad that you liked this and thank you for doing the swap!

xxx


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Review #10, by academica Grave

6th January 2012:
Ooh, neat! What a cool selection of characters to write about!

This is such an interesting first chapter in its abstract-ness. I love your musings about Muggle theories and the contrast between that and the omnipotence of wizards. It's funny, now that you think about it, that some wizards have problems so similar to Muggle problems. The Weasleys are poor, for example, and Snape had a broken heart, both problems that they were either unable or unwilling to use their magical prowess to repair. (Personally, I'm kind of glad that they still have those issues. Fanfiction would probably be kind of boring if wizards could use magic to just wish away all of their problems.)

The end of this was incredibly haunting, and I think part of it is how quickly and smoothly the tone changed when you started talking about the cemetery. I like the earnest vulnerability and anger that you've lent to Ariana in this piece, as I imagine she would have a great deal of bitterness if she could speak from the grave.

Kudos to you for tackling a difficult event in canon history! This is a fantastic start, especially given its brevity.

Amanda

(Thanks for the swap!)

Author's Response: Thank you! :)

I'm glad you found it interesting, I tried to make it so that it was a bit different from the Ariana we would expect: the vulnerable, sweet child that wouldn't hurt anyone else. She was bound to have so many opinions and I wanted to give her the greatness she deserved - even if it was in a bitter way.

I'm glad that JK did put a limit to those type of issues too, after all, Wizards can't have everything - there'd be havoc everywhere! But, yes, Muggles and Wizards have always been alike and I think Harry stood for that in a way, because he'd felt like one for so long!

I really am glad that you liked it and thank you so much for reviewing AND favouriting it!

Hannah xxx



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Review #11, by AC_rules Grave

5th January 2012:
Okay, so I have absoloutely no idea where you're going with this at all. I mean honestly, not a clue. But I love it. I want to eat it all up and hug it.

You know that the stuff you mentioned at the beginning ^ is right up my street - mostly because I have identity issues but its a good thing because I'm going to be a PHILOSOPHY student (yeah, baby). I also loved the whole 'theory' thing at the end. You have an impeccable talent for your complicated confusing and mysterious prologues. This one seems particuarlly full of anger and angst - a bit like you've thrown all the words at the page in a mad rage (I mean that in a good way). It's kind of... rough to read (I don't mean that in a bad way either, if it sounds like a bad thing), but so like HERE IT IS. THIS IS THE WAY IT IS. TAKE IT!

Anyway, I love it and I can't wait to see what comes next Hanzi. You know I think all your ideas are fab :)

-AC

Author's Response: Yayayayayayay. But you know what the best thing is? I've actually gotten all the way up to chapter 3 and everything and every chapter is planned... maybe I should just do more short stories. :P

YES I like that bit to I was going with a sort of thought process kind of thing with this so it was all a bit choppy and then I don't know I just went with it. (':

I'M TAKING IT WOMAN. I'M TAKING IT. :D

Yaaay, well the next chapter will be up soon!

Thanks for reviewing lovely!

xxx


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