Hello there, teh tarik here from the forums with your requested review :)
I think you've got a really original idea here; I've not come across any other story on the archives which explores in depth the link between Ginny and teenage Tom Riddle from the diary Horcrux - and situating the story in the post-Hogwarts era. I was intrigued by your summary and I'm very keen to find out how you will develop the plot.
You've got quite a terrific prologue here. This is a fantastic beginning because of the directness and simplicity of your writing. Despite your story being categorised as angst/drama, there is an absence of excessive sentimentality or melodrama, which is great. Instead there's this understatedness to your writing, probably from Ginny's cool and collected POV, which subtly creates a tense and unsettling atmosphere to the story. Some horror/dark fics, I feel, are most effective when more is left to the reader to imagine, so the sparse descriptions work very well here. Also, I'm fond of stories where events are implied rather than confirmed, and this is done nicely with the sightings of Riddle through Ginny's viewpoint.
Your opening line: The first time she saw him was during the Easter holidays when she and her family were visiting her parents at the Burrow. is an instant hook. Straight into the conflict and tension. Well done. I've come across many stories where opening lines are a little flaccid with too much generic description, setting the scene etc.
As for Ginny's characterisation, you've got her pinned down pretty well. She sounds sensible, determined, impatient - very Ginny-like. There are telling lines which reveal heaps about her characterisation, and some of my favourites are: Pleased that she didn't puke everywhere when the nausea passed... and Honestly. She would take care of it herself if she wasn't pregnant.. And speaking of pregnancy, I do hope that you'll explore this aspect in greater depth (I'm writing a fic focused on pregnancy myself :)). I think pregnancy certainly would affect Ginny's frame of mind or psychological state; it would certainly make her more emotionally volatile (perhaps vulnerable?)...anyway, there's plenty of possibility with this aspect.
I am wondering, however, if you really needed to have Ginny see Tom Riddle four times. It gets a little repetitive, and a little formulaic with the: "the first time..." "the second time..." etc. I know you build little by little on her perception of Riddle and her emotional state with each encounter; but I would suggest that you consider either taking one out (probably the Diagon Alley scene), or merging two of the encounters together (possibly the first and second sightings). Merging scenes in writing might increase the dramatic impact and tension of that particular moment. It's up to you.
Her fourth encounter with Riddle, where she appears to be convinced that she's hallucinating did throw me off a little. I mean she's already glimpsed him three times previously, and she even alerted Harry before...and now he's standing right in front of her face and she's utterly sure he isn't real? I'm going to suggest that either you build further on that scene to convince the reader that Ginny really doesn't believe her eyes, or that you inject more doubt into her viewpoint. Also, that final line, which sounds like outright denial...it is very strong and it sort of contradicts all that atmosphere of uncertainty that has been so well-established in this chapter. Furthermore, I clicked over to your next chapter just to see how this line would carry forward - and it wasn't the smoothest of transitions (I know these are two separate chapters and all...). This final line is very strong and striking in its denial, and yet the next chapter begins as though this line never happened, annulling its impact, making it somewhat ineffective. Well, I'm not sure how to explain myself clearly, but if you juxtapose the line: Yes, she was fairly sure Tom Riddle was not standing in front of her face. with the opening part of Chapter 1: Tom Riddle was staring at her from the counter, his expression changing the longer she stared at him so that a delighted smirk (there was no way it could have been a smile) decorated his handsome face....it just feels as though there is something not quite right with the structure or the connectivity between them; they don't click too well. Sorry for all this vagueness! I hope I'm not being too confusing - it's getting rather late.
Other than that, this is a wonderful start to your story. Your writing is fluid and easy to read, fraught with tension and mystery. I think you've got a really great concept here and I'll probably come by to read your other chapter. I'd love to see how this turns out :) Good luck with writing and thanks for requesting!
-teh Report Review
Hey there. I'm here from the Review Tag thread on the forums :)
I must say you are off to a nice start with this. I like the idea behind the story. A very intriguing and not very often explored possibility: Voldemort still being alive. And the fact that you wrote it to look like Ginny is only imagining everything makes it even better.
I'm imagining that since this is only the prologue the next chapter chapters will be longer. I'd advise you to spend a bit more time and space to description. I'd like to write more about Ginny's thoughts and mounting nervousness at the thought that she's either seeing Tom Riddle for real or just imagining him. Either possibility is terrifying in itself so I think it deserves to be explored more. We have to feel what she feels :)
In any case, this seems like something worth reading so expect me sometime soon to return for the second chapter as I've seen it's already up :)Author's Response: Thank you for the review. Yes, since this is the prologue it is much shorter than the actual chapters which I will try to keep at over 5,000 words.
I really do hope you get around to reading and reviewing the second chapter so I can see what you think of Ginny's thoughts there. Report Review
Hello! CalypsoJenna from the forums here with your requested review!
Oooh this was spooky! I really loved the way you built up the suspense with each sighting, culminating in the final appearance of him in her kitchen. I think the idea of this story is fascinating, not to mention original, and even though this is only a short chapter, it really piqued my curiosity about the storyline! I'm especially interested in the way Ginny is going to deal with Riddle turning up- you've already mentioned her worries about hallucinating, and I'm curious about how other characters will react to it.
I do like the way you've portrayed Ginny and Harry's relationship- the moment when she "could tell by the look in his eyes that he believed her before she even answered with a nod," was a really nice touch, underlining the trust and solidarity there seems to be in their marriage. I haven't read that many fics from Ginny's POV, so it's nice to hear her voice!
I was also impressed by the little details about their lives you managed to include in so few words- their friendship the Weasley's, their care and attention for their kids... It all seems very in character.
And your last line was just wow! It was a great way to end the chapter- creepy and intriguing but also slightly humourous... Just perfect!
So yeah a very tense and interesting beginning! I'm fascinated as to how you're going to tackle Tom Riddle as a character, and already interested in the characters and their relationships! If you'd like to re-request for further chapters, feel free to do so!
-BethanyAuthor's Response: First of all, thank you for the review. I lost internet some time after you reviewed and got it back a few days ago (by then I forgot people had reviewed)
Anyway, I'm glad you liked the sightings. I had wondered how I would introduce Tom for a while so its nice that someone likes it.
Someone else mentioned that they liked the little details of their life. It's funny because I hadn't exactly planned it that way, I just threw her in likely situations. Funny how that worked out. I'll probably throw in little details like that now. Also, if there's one thing I don't like, its a skeptic, which is why I had Harry take her seriously.
I found the last line weak, actually, so thank you for that bit of confidence.
How I'm going to characterize them is what makes me nervous about all my stories. So, so nervous.
Again, thank you for the review :D Report Review
Aaaah, so much happened in this chapter.
I love how well thought out this is! So that it's completely following on from canon. I also hate to say it but I really like the connection between Tom Riddle and Ginny. Harry seems kind of irrelevant at this point.
I can't wait for the next chapter and I have to know if Tom is evil or not?! I hope this doesn't mean Ginny's being led down a dangerous path.
Can't wait to read more.
I think you have a really easy and natural way of writing that doesn't overstate anything but conveys absolutely everything.Author's Response: I love trying to stick to canon (unless it's purposely AU) and I even came up with fake birthdays for the children so that it lined up to when they would go to Hogwarts (that's probably a bit too far though, heh)
Tom? Evil? That's probably what Ginny's gonna try to figure out.
Again, thank you for the review. Report Review
I just love this story.
The idea sounds fascinating. It also reminds me of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman because (and I'm just speculating) I feel like, similarly to the protagonist in Yellow Wallpaper, Ginny appears to be in a loveless marriage. I'm not sure if that's your intention but Ginny's pregnancy seems to make her quite distant from Harry. Causing her to make up phantom beings/hallucinations.
I NEVER read Harry/Ginny stories but this one seems intriguing, kind of like all is not as it seems. Ginny's internal narration is brilliant. It's not too assertive but it's very effective. I really like her as a character in this. And although Harry is a background character in this chapter, you can still make inferences towards their relationship like Harry is more hands-on with the children.
This story also reminds of Turn of the Screw by Henry James with the ambiguity towards whether Tom Riddle is real or not. As a Psychology student, there are so many clever psychoanalytical points that you could read into.
I just love it :DAuthor's Response: The Harry/Ginny in this story isn't the most important aspect of it, but it is one of the only pairings that will probably be shown.
It may have a larger part to play later in the story, though.
Thank you for the compliments and the review :D Report Review
I'm back with your second review! :)
Wow... This chapter was really surprising!
The plot has definitely thickened, and I think it's off to a really great, albeit spooky, start. Tom's story seems interesting, but as to whether it's TRUE or not remains to be seen. After all, he could be lying to trick Ginny into something nasty, as she suspects.
Tom seemed really nice in certain places, which was a bit odd. I never saw him as particularly pleasant, even when he was a handsome devil at school. An arbitrary suggestion I want to give to you is that you can make him nice, especially the way you did at the beginning, but try to lace it with forbidding imagery. Show his true intentions with his body (spirit?!) language, and let him act like he isn't evil anymore. Then when he turns super-nasty, it will connect a bit better. That's just a suggestion, though.
James, Teddy, and Albus are cute. And I don't even particularly like small children. :)
One last suggestion: Would it be possible for you to do a dofferer summary for each chapter? I noticed that you have the same thing for your story description as well as both of your chapter descriptions, and it does get a not redundant to have the same thing over and over again. I would suggest putting a little snippet (just a tiny bit) of the most intriguing part of each chapter, or even simply just writing a little blurb about what is going to happen in that chapter.
The story is extra-spooky. I admire your storytelling skills!!
~UnluckyStar57Author's Response: I hate children, heh.
About the summary for each chapter. I'm doing what you suggested about putting a bit of the chapter in the summary.
Thank you for the review. Report Review
Wow, just wow. That was scary, I have to say, it was scary. I'm serious, I'm actually scared now.
Well, looks like I'll be staying up all night …
I thought that this was a really cool idea for a story, I've never read a story like this before and I think it's a really cool and unique idea, keep going with it because something amazing.
There was a very creepy, scary feeling to the story which if you were aiming for it, you achieved.
For a Prologue, it was really good and interesting. You did an awesome job of capturing my attention as a reader which is always a good thing.
Over all, good job!Author's Response: Thank you for the review. Report Review
Hello! I'm here from the forums with the review you requested! Sorry it took so long; I've been a bit busy as of late.
I would like to say that I've never actually read anything like this before. It's very intriguing to me, and I don't understand why Riddle came back vim sure the answer is in the upcoming chapters. :)
However, let's focus on this chapter for now.
For a beginning, it was very strong. Your voice is clear, and I loved the dark undertones that were lying in wait beneath the surface. It was almost as if I was reading a sort of horror story, and it was definitely cool!!
So far, there is no constructive criticism for this... Just compliments! I really liked how you developed the initial problem of the story, and your character development is pretty awesome!
Keep on being fabulous, okay? :)
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
Hi darling! So you review said mainly you want to get to the first chapter. So I'll just give you my general thoughts with this :).
Really intriguing start. I had these flashback of Ginny being so susceptible to the diary, and instantly got curious after we learned who it was what was happening, why she was seeming him, if she was the only one who could... all those questions that you want a prologue to bring up so we have that desire to read on.
Your writing is incredibly easy to read. It's smooth, fluid, and you can just soak it in without getting stumped by odd imagery or over complicated styles. Not that there's anything wrong with either of those, this was just so perfect at sucking my attention in and never letting it go.
Honestly, I really don't have anything else to say in this. Hopefully I'll be able to offer more help for the next review! Please feel free to request as soon as my slots are open!
JamiAuthor's Response: Thank you for your review. I hope I'll get around to requesting another review soon. Report Review
Hello, I'm here with your requested review and I'm very sorry it has taken me a while to get to.
I'm very glad you've updated because, I stand assured, that this story has so much potential. The idea is very interesting and you write it wonderfully. This chapter was quite intense and explained most of the questions that were raised by the first chapter.
I have to congratulate you on your characterisation. I think you write Ginny brilliantly and I really enjoyed reading about her in this chapter, even if I generally don't. I like how strong she is being, how she really has grown since she last had an encounter with Tom.
Your Tom is great too, or so I believe. He is as taunting as ever and I love how he's just trying to get under her skin. Which I suppose he succeeded at doing by the end of the chapter.
I loved the scene in the bathroom! You've paved the way to it wonderfully because, honestly, since the beginning of the chapter, I wanted to know what Tom had in mind. And that scene had all the answers and it was quite action-packed.
I still can't believe Ginny has run away from Harry, but I sincerely hope she'll think up a way to prove to him that she hasn't gone insane and that Tom's really there, following her around.
I don't think I've caught onto any technical mistakes. Naturally, that made the narrative go smoothly and nothing distracted me. So well done with that.
I think you've gone a great job with this chapter as a whole and I can't wait to see where you'll be taking this next. Thank you for re-requesting! :)Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I'm happy that people seem to like it and that there are no obvious mistakes Report Review
OMG!!! that was a wonderful chapter!! it's so intense and captivating that I can't wait to see what will happen next!! You are doing a great job with this story and I really like the plot :) Keep up the good work!! Report Review
Hello, I'm here with your requested review and I apologise for the slight delay. It has been a hectic week for me. Anyway...
Over all, I believe this has been a very gripping prologue. The way you went from each instance Ginny had perceived the man/boy while giving us a moderate amount of information about what has been going on for the characters and what their life is like... I really do admire that. Also, you've sealed the chapter with a cliffie and that makes it all very intriguing. I really do wonder what'll happen next and how Tom Riddle has made his way to the Potter's kitchen.
You wondered if this is written well, and I must tell you that I think it is. In fact, I don't think I've managed to spot any typos, and there was hardly anything that confused me or distracted me from the story.
Now, the plot. It's an interesting idea to take on, the return of Tom Riddle. In all honesty, I haven't read anything like that yet and I don't know, at all, how you're going to make this work out. Nonetheless, that only makes me more eager to see more of this story.
'Privately she hoped she would have a chance at naming their third child, but she didn't have the heart to tell him that.'
Haha! I really liked that bit! Indeed, it seems as though Harry was the one to pick all the names for his three children and they were all named after dead people and war heroes. Sometimes I wonder how comfortable a child could be knowing that they're supposed to live up to the expectations that their name brings along.
Anyway, I think you've done a wonderful job on this chapter. Personally, I believe that you have me hooked. And feel free to re-request once the new chapter is out! Good luck with the rest of the story! :D
-MannoAuthor's Response: It's funny how you apologized for the slight delay and then I respond to this review over two months later. I know people like review responses, but I'm not sure if you were one of them so I'm responding any way just to thank you for your review.
The second chapter is up, so if you'd like, you can review it. Otherwise I'll just find you on the forums again and request it, heh.
Again, thank you for the review and compliments. Report Review
So I am finally here with your review and firstly I would like to apologize for taking so long to get this done for you. Real life can be a bugger sometimes.
I really liked your description of the chapter. It was subtle, but very well defined. I was able to capture a great, vivd picture in my mind as I read along. I also really liked the creeped out feeling that I had while reading this. You did a fabulous job of building up the suspense and anticipation as to who this staring boy was. Tom Riddle always gives me the creeps.
I also liked the characterization. I thought that you really defined Ginny well and the way that the other characters act around her. Hermione going into the bookstore was perfect and Harry being the protector was spot on. The flow was great even though it is a short chapter it really packed a punch in getting things moving along and capturing the readers attention.
I am looking forward to finding out what will happen next. Keep up the great writing!! =)
-SR17Author's Response: Two and a half months later, I'm thanking you for the review. So thank you :D
Sorry it took long just to say that. Report Review
You did a really nice job in this chapter weaving the mundane details of the Weasley-Potter families' daily lives with a building suspense. I think it's plausible for some connection between Ginny and Voldemort to remain even after his "final" death... The books and films gloss over it to some extent but I can definitely believe in an indelible mark made on Ginny's psyche.
I laughed at your description of Ginny strategizing where she is in the house when she starts to feel nauseous. Very realistic, I've been there & done that ;). Nice comic moment in the middle of a very creepy chapter.
I'm anxiously looking forward to more -- is the visitation real, is Ginny going to have to fight off Riddle's possession once more? I am on the edge of my seat :)Author's Response: I'm going through my chapter reviews and realizing that I hadn't replied to any of them.
So, three months later I'm thanking you for your review, even if you don't remember what you read. :P Report Review
Oh my, that was chilling. To see Tom Riddle all over the place, especially for Ginny, must be really freaky! I think this was a great little introduction, and I'm excited to see more! It flowed really well, going through each of the sightings. I think you're writing is very clean and smooth, which always makes stories easier to read. Great job, please feel free to re-request when the next chapter is up! Report Review
Emesias here with your requested review!
Grammar: I think you are safe on this part. I didn't spot anything throughout the chapter that's worth fussing over.
Characterization: I can't tell how the characters have developed considering that this is just the prologue, but so far so good. I think that you have created a firm base to work when it comes to the characters. I can't wait to see more of them as the story develops.
Plot: This is good. The plot is definitely living up to its genre. It made me really anxious to know who that figure was while I was reading through. Then when it finally came to the end, it definitely took me by surprised! I honestly can't wait to read more of this story!
Reader interest: This story has definitely kept me interested throughout ^_^ I think that the idea of this story is really unique and the mystery and suspense of it all is what definitely pulls me in. I hope this continues with the future chapters.
Overall, you did an excellent job with this prologue. Good job! Please feel free to drop in another request ^_^
Happy Writing! Report Review
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