Reading Reviews for Valour
  
67 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Rex The New in the Old

7th March 2016:
This is so bloody good! I feel like it's the Harry Potter series all over again - I'm going to need a prequel to this story!! So intrigued by the Marlene/Sirius story at Hogwarts and also Marlene's back story! Nice twist by the way with why Sirius didn't end up with Marlene! Just love this story in general :)

Author's Response: oh my gosh you have no idea how much that means to me! I am going to hopefully finish this completely over my spring break...I can't wait for everyone to see what's coming!

I would love to write a prequel, but I'll need a little time for planning- so please stay tuned :)

blackballet


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Review #2, by Dirigible_Plums The Doubt in the Strength

6th March 2016:
Hey,

I was drawn in by your chapter summary. I've read Marauder fics of all kinds - the funny ones, the ridiculous ones and the angsty ones - and was drawn to this because it practically screamed 'realism' to me. The last lines of the chapter seems to resonate this: 'Short, fleeting. Like the time they had left together.' It's actually heartbreaking.

Something that I couldn't help but be shocked by was the fact that Dumbledore approached them. It makes perfect sense - the Order was top secret so how else would they have heard? - but they haven't even graduated yet and that really hit me hard. They are essentially being asked to risk their pitifully short lives when they have barely left their childhood, asked to join a vicious and brutal war hands on. It's terrifying.

I think the fact that this chapter in itself was short and fleeting, not overly showy with its words like I might have done it, really enhances this. There's no dressing the words up: they've been asked to risk everything for a better future. It is as it sounds.

Plums xo

(For HPFF's Review-a-thon)

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Review #3, by ITA2016 The Worst in the Possible: Part III

14th February 2016:
So many feels from these last few chapters! It will be interesting to see how Sirius and Marlene handle the funeral!

I can feel this story coming to a close and as much as I don't want it to, I am eager to see how you finish it!

Well done on such a brilliant take on the Marauders and the Order! :)

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Review #4, by witchingpower The Birth in the Bitter

22nd January 2016:
Love love love Marlene and Dorcas! Probably my favourite portrayal of them!

Really hope you're able to update soon if you're not too busy! This really is a brilliant story and I'd love to see how you'd finish it off! Xx

Author's Response: Wow thank you so much! Just a warning: you will not enjoy the upcoming chapters :)

blackballet


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Review #5, by notreallyblonde44 The Luck in the Few: Part III

13th January 2016:
Hey blackballet! Iím sorry this has taken forever, but I swear Iíve written this review like at least five times and have no idea where that rambling mess of a review goes every time I log back into my desktop to post something. Sorry!

Oh their first interaction/duping of Voldiepants! I love how you fleshed out this canon moment and inserted the added dynamics of Siriusí family issues. This is a good vehicle for seeing them fight in Order of the Phoenix, and it great reflection of later events in this sense.

Like the rest of your story, you handle multiple characters on the ďscreenĒ well, juggling that many people often leads to confusion, and I think if you make sure that when a person talks there name is associated with that dialogue tag, youíll have nailed down handling multiple characters in the same room.

In the same breathe though, this many characters means that we lose a bit of the depth Iím craving as I read this. The interactions with Dorcas, the meaning behind her words, really arenít clear because the history isnít fully fleshed out yet (which is part and parcel with time hopping a lot). Like does Marlene really love her? Itís not clear at all and never was. And what does Jamesí comment ďheís the best liar heís ever metĒ really mean Ė why would Peter be lying in this situation, and what is he lying about?

And having Mary enter the room at this time completely undermines what Dorcas just said, making it frustrating for me but completely understandable why you did it. I want to see the impact of what Dorcas said be fleshed out, and though maybe thatís too self-aware for real characters to be, I fear everything she said is going to get swept under the rug :/

Some other good things: your plot and pacing are excellent. You weave in canon events, you build character tensions well, and you critique the War all the time. I think itís too easy in this setting for writers to portray everyone to be gung-ho this is the right thing to do/hero-y, but you donít. You keep it realistic, and I like that a lot. The theme of Valour is prevalent, and this is aptly titled. Iím worried about the characters too and what will happen to them as the series progresses. Overall, like Iíve said a lot, I think youíre got a great baseline for an amazing story, there just needs to be a bit more depth in certain areas.

Cheers,
Ellie

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Review #6, by notreallyblonde44 The Luck in the Few: Part II

18th December 2015:
Grief!! That tensionnn~~ between Marlene and Dorcas is WOW-what a punch. Wonder how much animosity is from the situation at hand, and the triangle tension of their past.

Did Peter not go with them? *confused. And your Dumbledore was spot on, though him deferring to Moody seems semi-uncharacteristic/a little strange to me since I saw the Order as very much Albusí baby as he was the creator and leader. But w/e small detail.

Does Marleneís family live with the PottersÖIím kind of confused here too. I think Iím missing some history, especially as Sirius hangs with her brother and everything. Are your McKinnons purebloods?

Lots of action, lots of excitement and tension. NOT time to get all grossly sentimental-ish Black, geez. I enjoy their dynamics, even if I think itís not nice to Dorcas. Did they hit Charles with the spell? Itís really hard to tell, and very important detail.

ĎďMarlene the death eaters are still up there. I can catch them!Ē he said anxiously.í Ė There are multiple sentences like this sprinkled throughout this chapter, and so I assume throughout the fic. In every instance where there is an exclamation point or question mark, the following dialogue tag needs to be capitalized. For the content/plot, Iím internally screaming: NO, SIRIUS, DONíT BE SO CAVALIER! HELP CHARLES!

I got chills!!! When James said ďHeís hereĒ very ominously and with Lily, my whole body broke out into chills. So scary! What a cliffhanger, glad I know the next chapter is up ;)

Overall, the pacing is great and thatís hard to accomplish for sure, so be proud of yourself there. I like your characters and such throughout this, they remain true to themselves and itís hard to juggle this many people, so kudus for that ;) I hope these reviews are the least bit helpful. As Iíve said before, I think youíve got an excellent sense of your story and where you want to go, as well as what needs to happen to get there. Your timelines are spot on and Iím confident you can execute things nicely.

Now for the summary CC: For the most part itís the technical things that need a bit of tweaking (like the correct dialogue tags and finer relaying of important details). Also I think the reader finds out a lot of things are happening after they happen rather than in the moment, which works with the POVs youíre using, but also makes the narrative a bit harder to follow. I would have loved to seen Jamesí POV since thatís where the majority of the action was taking place. So, Iím curious, why did we see the Potter Manor post-main fight scene from Marlene and Siriusí POV? I saw some character building moments, but am curious about your selection.

xx,
Ellie

Author's Response: Marlene and Dorcas are such a brotp for me, honestly. It broke me to write that scene, but it's really not about Sirius that much. A lot of their arguments are not based on Sirius, and that's what I love about them.

Peter didn't go with them because he didn't agree it was a good idea. I'll try to make it a bit clearer. In my mind, Dumbledore would not have made the Order as a dictatorship where he makes all the decisions, so that's where that idea comes from. I'll try and expand that idea as well.

Marlene and James live close to each other, and yes Marlene is a pureblood. That will become more apparent in the future. I'll try and incorporate some exposition into this chapter.

Thanks so much again, I'll look for those mistakes. And I'm happy I'm making you scared for Charles!

I'm so happy that my characters are working out. That has been the most important in the novel for me, because its so character-central.

Saying that, I can explain a bit why Sirius and Marlene had the POV this chapter. Although it's clearly about James and his dad, it also helps to explain why Sirius and Marlene are still attracted to each other. They have many similar points of view, while Dorcas is the opposition. Their backstory will help you hate Marlene a little more and Sirius a little less.

But next chapter is all James and Sirius!!

I can't wait to hear more from you. Thanks again, Ellie!

blackballet


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Review #7, by notreallyblonde44 The Luck in the Few: Part I

15th December 2015:
Hi blackballet! Back again, after a very long time, so I may need some refreshing, not going to lie :P

I notice a few of the frequent comments Iíve made in the past are still relevant in stances like the following:

ďThereís no helping him until we get more members.Ē James shook his head and clenched his teeth.
ďDeath eaters are here now. If we leave, who knows what weíll come back to?Ē Moody stared at James with his bright blue eyes.

-It appears like James is talking when heís not/Moody is responding when heís not. This is the first name that follows the dialogue is wrong. Try to make sure that the person whoís speaking is easily distinguished, as it confuses the reader when theyíre eyes canít scan quickly over dialogue ;)

-Also, the time hopping and scene is too choppy. While I understand it, and it build tensions, the frequent jumping around really rips me out of experiencing the full emotion behind each scene. Every time Iím settling into the new setting, with the different characterís personalities, I get jerked into a new place. Iím not sure if this is intentional-to match the caustic/boom-boom-boom action of War, but itís a bit too much for me personally, sorry.

Strong suits in this chapter are your characterizations and the character development overall. You show the good, bad, pretty, and ugly side to each character. Giving them a great balance of realness in their imperfections while still keeping the characters weíre familiar with loveable and endearing. Marlene will probably have to swallow her sentences soon, as I do not get a good feeling about whatís about to happen yikes! (Wasnít Marlene just really sick? Is she back to Order life already?)

Since you requested for comments on this directly: Your plot is interesting, for sure! You definitely know where youíre going and do a good job of getting the characters where they need to be physically as well as emotionally, and exploring different opinions and emotions in each scene. No character seems to have completely dropped off, though I keep forgetting about Mary. There is lots of action-packed scenes full of emotion and I think you capture the war really well. Iím scared to see what happens next in the Manor!

xx,
Ellie

Author's Response: Hello again! Always happy to hear from you!

I'm so sorry to hear you're still having trouble with my dialogue. I should start editing through my chapters as I've sort of hit a roadblock plot-wise.

Also sorry to hear that you don't like the time jumps...It is intentional, and I think it may just be a personal preference. But I'm happy to hear your critiques, and glad to see you're still sticking through my little experiment!

I love developing my characters! They start to differ even more after these few chapters. And also, it's been about a month sine Marlene was injured. I guess the time jumps are too much for this section.

Mary is coming back soon!! In the third installment of this section, she will appear and kind of explain herself.

Thanks so much for your honest critique! It's so helpful to me as a writer and person

blackballet


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Review #8, by mugglegeo The Good in the Last

5th December 2015:
No! My heart is breaking! As a massive 'Blackinnon' fan I'm being totally selfish when I say that can't be it haha!

Wonderful job! You've created a fantastic plot in general and I always get excited when I see you've uploaded a new chapter.

On another note, the relationship between Marlene and Remus appears to be quite frosty these days, for obvious reasons in previous chapters, does he still have feelings for her or is he just bitter at how things have developed?

There are so many questions I would love to ask but I'll just have to wait and see what comes next :)

Author's Response: Then I've done my job. mwahahaha :) I'm a Blackinnon fan too. Totally heart-breaking to write, but it had to be done!

Thanks so much! That means the world to me.

Remus still has feelings for Marlene, but at this point he's not really focused on them. He is still living with her, so they just get on bitterly. The war and its friends.

There are only ten chapters left, and I have everything planned out...You'll see the end soon enough.

blackballet


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Review #9, by Grednforge217 The Doubt in the Strength

2nd December 2015:
This is such an intriguing premise! Unusually the marauders stories start at the beginning of seventh year, not at the end. Very cool how you've incorporated everything, can't wait to see where it goes!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your lovely review! I can't wait to hear more of your thoughts as the novel progresses. :)

blackballet


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Review #10, by Rachel The Scare in the Halloween: Part I

4th November 2015:
That last sentence is so chilling! Shady Peter! Really well done on that!

Just brilliant! I really love this story and appreciate how consistently you upload!

Keep going as this is fast becoming my favourite marauders story! It feels so real! :)

Author's Response: Oh thank you so much! I'm trying to update as fast as I can, but November is a busy time for me. I'm halfway through chapter 30, so that should be up soon!

Thanks again
blackballet


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Review #11, by moonbaby11 The Luck in the Few: Part III

24th October 2015:
I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T SEE THE DEATH OF THE PREWETT TWINS COMING! I was really hoping we'd see more of them as I've always been intrigued by their characters and I wanted to see how you'd continue to write them, but I suppose this was as good a time as any to kill them off. It really shows that in war someone can be there one day and gone the next. It seems to add a feeling of urgency to this war that they are fighting and, personally, I feel like the members of the Order need that. Dorcas is right -- they're all just children.

I liked the way that you balanced this chapter. The first half was the most action packed we've had and the second half seemed to be the most deep and dialogue heavy we've had. I liked the way it all sort of wound down in the second part, only to pick back up again when Mary entered. That helps to encourage your readers to read on as you've still given them a bit of a cliffhanger.

Speaking of Mary, I'm very excited to see her back! I think she's a wonderful character and I've been missing her in this story. I'm assuming she's coming to join the Order, which I think would be great as I'm sure that means we'll be seeing a lot more of her.

I think I say this every time, but your characterizations are wonderful! Peter is great, as always, and you've given him characteristics that aren't just the cliche betrayer or 'left over Marauder'. I really liked his smirk at the end because I feel most authors wouldn't write Peter in that way, yet it still fits. Your characterization of Voldemort was also great. I've never attempted to write him as I'm too afraid that I won't do him justice but I think you have. He's the right balance of mad and heartless, if that makes sense. I could just picture those words coming from his mouth and a few of the lines even gave me shivers!

There were a few small things that I wanted to point out: ďThank Merlin,Ē she breathed out in relief that it was over. - this sentence reads a little weird to me so I'd suggest rewording it? Perhaps something like "she breathed out, relieved it was over" might read better. Of course, that may just be me that found it a little clunky! Another thing I noticed is that it mentioned Lily was unconcious, and then only a few lines later she was sitting up and speaking. It seemed a little sudden and I'd suggest changing that around a bit so that it feels a bit more seamless.

Overall, your story continues to be wonderful. You have great characters, an engaging plot, and always leave enough at the end that we want to keep reading on! Sorry that this took so long but please feel free to rerequest again! I truly do enjoy reading your work :)

Author's Response: I'M SORRY! That part did come up rather quickly, and I'm sorry it had to. I would love to write another story about them, but that will be saved for another time. Their deaths also really impacted the group, and showed how childish they can be.

I loved writing that ending, man. I couldn't wait to write Mary back into the story! And I can't wait for you to see what comes next with her...

I actually like Peter right now in this story, which stinks, because later we have to hate him. I feel that Peter lost a lot of his confident and comfortable ways after the murder of Lily and James, so I think it's important to show it. Voldemort is interesting. But unlike Dumbledore, I've always felt I had a good grasp on his voice, so I wasn't too nervous writing him. Thank you!

I see your confusion in that, and your version does make more sense. I will edit that! I also meant to edit the part about Lily. She should just be resting, not unconscious. I guess I edited one part and not the other. Thanks for pointing it out!

Yay! I can't wait to re-request. You'll see me soon! Thanks so much

blackballet


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Review #12, by moonbaby11 The Luck in the Few: Part II

24th October 2015:
Wow, this chapter was really emotionally charged! I loved it! We haven't really had a chance to see the characters stand at odds with each other yet, so it was interesting to see the relationship between Marlene and Dorcas break down a little bit. I think it's really helping add to their characters and it shows how hard war can be, even on close friends. People have to choose sides and make decisions, and these friends have made different choices, even if it's just in this one instance. I think that is a great way to show how hard war is.

This chapter had me on the edge of my seat for a lot of it. I have a feeling Charles is going to die, simply because we know he's not around when Harry is orphaned, but I'm still hoping he won't! There's so much at stake here with all of the characters - Charles, James, and Lily to be specific - that you've really brought a lot of suspense and tension to the table. I'm glad I offered to review all three chapters, otherwise I'd be sitting anxiously, waiting until you rerequested!

I think the last few moments in this chapter really helped to show the bonds between Sirius and James and the bonds between James and Lily. James is willing to sacrifice himself for his wife and Sirius is willing to go along with it because of the love he has for his friend. I think it was really nice to see that, especially after seeing the slight bit of animosity between Marlene and Dorcas. I guess it shows that war can either drive you together or drive you apart?

I just want to finish off by saying that your Dumbledore is characterized wonderfully! I know he was only in this chapter for a little bit but I still think you have a wonderful grasp on his voice! This was a great chapter overall and I'm anxious to see how it all wraps up.

Author's Response: Oh, I hated writing Dorcas and Marlene against each other. Honestly. I know it seems like I want everyone to hater each other, but I don't! They will be fine with each other again, and I think that stands to show how strong their relationship is.

I won't say anything about Charles... :) I'm glad that it actually seems suspenseful and not obvious. That's perfect!

Up until now, Sirius has basically been a really bad friend. It's time for his reconciliation. I feel that both pairs of friends are really like brothers and sisters. They truly care for each other, and just want what's best. And in that, they are going to fight and it's not going to be nice all the time. They're also going to have each other's backs when necessary (tear tear).

Wow! Thank you! I get so scared writing Dumbledore. Those are probably the most edited sections of any chapter because I never feel like I get his voice, but your validation is so helpful.

Thanks so much for all! I'll hear from you soon!

blackballet


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Review #13, by moonbaby11 The Luck in the Few: Part I

24th October 2015:
Hello! Apologies for taking so long with this -- I'm sure you know what it's like when real life decides it wants to barge in and suck up all your time!

Anyways, I thought this chapter was great! The length really seemed to suit it. It appears like you're really setting up something big, especially considering the fact that this section is split over three chapters. I think the length really works in this case as anything longer probably would have given away too much! Here you've given away just enough to keep the reader enthralled but not enough for me to guess what is going to happen next!

I adored the flashback scene at the beginning. I'm assuming their partoni will come into play at some point in this section which is why it was included, but it just seemed so genuine and so James/Lily. It's weird to see them at odds with each other instead of married, but I think that scene was a true testament to your understandings of these characters. You are able to write Lily when she hated James and when she loved James and both are believable. You really do have a solid grasp on all your characters (I think I've said that before but no harm in repeating myself!).

As this was short I don't really have a lot of feedback to give. I did notice one typo -- a sentence in the second to last paragraph is not capitalized properly -- but that's it! I'm hoping James' dad will be alright, but I have a feeling that may not be the case... Either way, I'm excited to see what comes next! Off to the next chapter I go.

Author's Response: No problem! I'm just glad to get this

Oh, thanks so much! I was afraid that the chapter was too short, but I'm glad you caught my intention.

I wish I had put their patronuses in this now! That beginning part just served to represent their relationship, as the next two chapters will focus on the two a bit. Also, thanks so much! I love my characters.

I will look for that typo. And James' dad will be okay...for now. Thanks again!

blackballet


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Review #14, by notreallyblonde44 The Miscommunication in the Many

15th October 2015:
I suggest consistency between how you date things Ė some have days like Wednesday or Monday (are those important?) others just have months like December, then others are strictly Christmas Eve. OK, Iím mid-way through the chapter, and I see why youíre specifying dates now, but I still think consistency is key ;)

Ďď-the Head of the Department of MysteriesĒ, Alice added.í Ė comma inside the quotation mark

ĎLily couldnít help but wonder not if they deserved to know, but if they wanted to.í Ė This is a great line! Youíre doing a great job with the plot and flow of your story. Kudus to you for like posting upwards of 20 chapters (though I know I havenít gotten that far to know if theyíre good yet, but Iím optimistic that they are!) and like really showing a mastery for details in the plot and building all the needed nuances of life in the Order. The espionage, the intrigue, the HUMANITY in it, everything.

Ďleast five original membersí Ė who? The devil is in the details ;)

Weaving chart??

Ohh the plot thickens! Iím curious (aka really terrified) to see what happens. Again, I think you could work on beefing sections up and expanding them, diving in deeper to the descriptions a bit more here and there to ground the reader before flipping to another section. But thatís just me, let me know if you want more reviews, Iím probably going to just start reading for funsies now :)

xo Ellie

Author's Response: Okay, I understand the confusion here too. Sometimes it's important to date them (like in this chapter). Other days it's not really necessary to know the dates, but I think I will edit that in for every chapter, because I think it adds a sense of specificity that will help readers.

I love this era/time period SO MUCH. It intrigues me, so I think that's why it comes across in the writing. Thank you endlessly, that was so sweet.

I think you're completely right about everything. I have trouble fitting in descriptions from the third POV. Darn my affinity for first POV!! I will try and work on that.

(Also if you read this, you can just make a reaction review at the last chapter if you get that far!!)

Thanks so much for everything! Incredibly helpful.

blackballet


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Review #15, by notreallyblonde44 The Alarm in the Actuality

15th October 2015:
Looks like another chapter that takes place in a different time but is the whole chapter. If you do the hop around thing, I think this method makes the most sense. Showing us different days from different times, but keeping them in one or two chapters before switching time periods again works really well!!! Maybe you can tag each individual chapter with the date too that might be a good idea (Iím just spit balling here) like where you put the quote, put the quote and the date. Helps people keep track of your timetable maybe? Like I canít remember from the last chapter what the years were (Iím very comfortable stating that I absolutely stick at memorizing years so maybe this is just me, but itís a thought).

ĎLilyís hair whipped around her neck as if it was a scarf of fire.í Ė cool description here!

Wait, Maryís there? She joined? She still hangs out with them and would be invited to Christmas? What?

ĎďSure youíre okay, M?Ē She smiled weakly up at Remus,í Ė this is another example of where the dialogue tags get fuzzy. One M could be Marlene or Mary in this case, and itís unclear whoís asking it because ďsheĒ refers to any girl in the room. Make sure your modifiers are clear ;)

Oh the glorious love square tension. And Marlene, no! Looks like the riffs are forming between Sirius and Remus, which is how the whole Peter debacle happens later with being a secret keeper. Awesome work weaving this in. I think your love situation works well and is very realistic btw.

Remus broke and entered something?? So against his mild mannered Prefecty ways, yikes!!

Peter, I may hate you now. More than I already did. Is no one going to seriously respond to what he said?? RED FLAGS PPL RED FLAGS A BURNING. Heís guilty!

Capitalize Healer/s and Auror.

I feel like Iím missing at lot here at the end of this chapter. Samantha was a friend? Missing details there. Is she the Healer? Itís implied, but not clear. And why does Lily know what this is? Out of nowhere she has the answer to what happened, but didnítí say anything until she sees Marlene? Wouldnít she have said it earlier when theyíre all pacing? And if Lily knows then she understands the legal dosage too right? Seems a bit off.

ďItís a commonly used date-rape drug in the Wizarding World. Not lethal in small doses, but leaves patients in a comatose state.Ē Lily looked up strangely at Samantha. ďSheíll come out of it, right?Ēí Ė who is talking in each of these instances?

Aww Remus. I just want to squish him, heís so darling for sticking by her side and ~gushes~ the lurve.

Interesting, very interesting tension youíre building. Iím starting to really worry for the characters, which is awesome. That means youíre connecting the audience to whatís happening emotionally, and thatís how you drag readers in :)

Onto the next chapter, sorry if these reviewers arenít as thorough or anything like that, there isnít too much to say just yet, which is a great thing!

xx Ellie

Author's Response: Oh that IS a good idea to tag the chapters with dates! And I mostly stick to showing flashbacks and forwards only when absolutely necessary in the future.

Mary is still friends with everyone, and you will kind of see why she does in a bit, I think. Marlene is a big part of that.

Poor, poor Marlene. Everything seems to happen to her. I feel so bad because I love Sirius and Remus, but they are at odds a lot in this :(.

Peter is so obvious, and everyone else is so oblivious.

I mentioned this in the second chapter, but Samantha was a friend of Mary's in Hogwarts. You will also see in the future that Dorcas is a Healer (spoilers??) and she knows Samantha as well. Lily just knows this because she's Lily, although it may make more sense to have Dorcas say this. I'm not sure exactly how much Lily knows, but these are good points. Thanks!

Lily is speaking in both sentences, but I see how you're confused. I'll edit that to make it a bit cleaner.

Remus is such a little optimistic kid. He's my favorite.

Thanks so much! And your reviews are not lacking AT ALL. It makes me all the more confident.

blackballet


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Review #16, by notreallyblonde44 The Pain in the Heart

15th October 2015:
Gah! A snog to save their lives scene! Love it. The tension~between Sirius and Marlene~adore it. Like I wrote last time, you really have a sense of character and history and that comes across really well in your dialogue. So I enjoy reading your take on this era a lot.

A few minor things: I believe Apparate is capitalized as most of the things JK made up our capitalized (idk why this is a thing, like I said itís minor) and what is the baton-wielding thing doing? I may need to re-read HP, but were patrolmen Ministry officials a thing? Why would they need batons if they are wizards? :/

Ahhh! And you explained the ministry official part kind of. No badge, crepy. Wonder what we wanted with Marlene? And I think they need real disguises, Polyjuice or transfigured something or yeah. Why is this not a thing? The Order may be new, but espionage isnít. Goodness, cheap wigs arenít going to cut it lol.

Er-the states like US or ?? Iím an American, so I donít know the local lingo, is this local lingo? Also, did you make up the recorded Apparation thing? is that a thing? Real clever stuff. Orwellian creepy levels though.

Like Iíve mentioned a few times, your dialogue flows naturally and has a good rhythm to it. I would just watch out, especially with this many characters in the room, on how youíre tagging the dialogue. Example: Ď"Will one of you get me up?" Dorcas nodded immediately.í I get Lily is saying it, but having Dorcasí name next to it implies otherwise. Every time someone else is speaking, doing an action like shrugging, etc, they need to have their own line/enter a paragraph break. Itís an easier way for the eye not to get confused. Obviously this rule is loose in the sense that if you wrote: Ď"Will one of you get me up?" Lily asked, and Dorcas nodded immediately.í There wouldnít be an issue. Just something small to keep in mind as you go through this since who is speaking or responding gets confusing with incorrect dialogue tags :)

Lilyís mom died? Why is this mentioned in passing rather than fleshed out, seems like a big deal :/ OK I guess you go into it a bit, but you donít tell us what happened or why. Poor Lily. James kind of lashed out at her though, why was she laughing? I'm confused. I could use a bit more detail here, a bit more back and forth to understand how their relationship works like this.

Overall good chapter! Weíre learning a lot about the characters and theyíre getting their due screen time. I still think itís strange that all the girls know about Remusí condition, but w/e it works in your story for sure. Again, I emphasize stretching out these sections, really diving into their feelings and such. Right now youíre adding layers of tension and emotion, but their just bubbling on the surface and need to come to life a bit more. I imagine a lot of craziness is coming down the way, so I'm excited for that. Oh, and no time flipping in this one, which I enjoyed a lot.

Onto the next!
Ellie

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you for getting to these so quickly. You are a novel-saver!

Of course I had to do it. I love me some tension in dangerous situations. And thank you so much. Marlene and Sirius will be very interesting throughout the story. You will probably come to hate him/her more.

Ah, I have to fix that throughout the entire novel...Should've checked that before I wrote the whole thing! Also, I'm American as well, but I've heard that British people call the USA the states?? I thought I would wrap that in. And yes I made up the recorded apparition. Love my Orwell!

I do that a lot to mix up the syntax. I completely understand what you're saying, and will edit that in the future.

I will definitely re-write that whole section. When writing it, I don't think I gave that enough weight.

To me, everyone but Mary knows. The other seven were good friends throughout Hogwarts. And thanks again for your lovely review!

blackballet


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Review #17, by notreallyblonde44 The Chaos in the Order

12th October 2015:
My review was starting to get so long, so I had to break it in two o.O

So thereís a lot of time hopping in your story, which really breaks up the flow for me. I can hardly keep track of when and where things are happening. I know three years is a long time to cover, and some moments need to be shown to create tension/deeper understanding, but youíve flipped spots in time eight times in three chapters. Thatís a lot of mental hopping around-and that may give some readers confusion over the timeline. I get the story and plot and all, but all the dates take me out of the individual moments as just as Iím getting settled in one time and space, Iím being thrust into another very quickly.

Hopefully the timeline becomes more streamlined as the story progresses, otherwise I fear that a lot of the tension and things you build up wonít have the impact you want. Meaning that your readers will know certain things are going to happen before they do, so when they happen, thereís not as much shock value or feelings when characters are getting tortured, etc, later.

I really think you have a great concept and ideas brewing here, I just think how theyíre coming across needs to be deepened :) My suggestion would to be beef up the sections that you do have. Really dig into each characterís mind, or show fewer characters in one scene, so you can give them their due lime light. BUT we are finally seeing the character shine through a bit more here. Sirius seems like an arrogant Mature-level bad word, so Iím happy Moody put him in his place though Iím sad about Emmeline :( Oh and a small canon deviation, Emmeline doesnít die until 1996. Clearly doesnít matter now, but thought I would mention it :)

Oh, yikes! James didnít do his job? I feel like that should be more of a moment here. More accountability, a line of questioning about how this happened, anything? Like I wrote above, digging deeper in each scene may really help build up your story-giving the dimension and layers it needs.

ĎLily looked up at him, hoping that her old friend would come back for a second to understand. After both Peter and James' mothers passed, he'd never been the same.í Ė Iím sorry, I donít understand :/ Sirius was her old friend, since when? It seemed like a connection she would have only made through James. Do you think they developed a strong relationship in a yearís time when heís dating two other people (from the sounds of it)ÖI would need to see more here to believe it. Also, Sirius is acting like a deranged brat because his friendsí parents died? Hmm, not sure I buy into this sadly. So something is clear up with Sirius, but I have no idea what it is. Iím curious about it as itís such a dark version of him!

Oh Maryís a Muggleborn, yes she probably should join the Order. I wonder who confronted her before she graduated??

As I reached the end of this chapter, like Iíve said before, I think youíve got a really good plot and grasp on war and the emotions and tensions that happen in it. I think that you should explore each scene deeper, really showing the characters reactions and emotions a bit more. So far the character that comes across the most clear is Mary. Sheís the only one with multiple individual scenes in which I feel like I know her best. If Valour is about all eight, then you need to give them their due justice because right now Mary is the focus to me. And maybe thatís your point, and thatís 100 percent fine, but I figure I would let you know this is the case ;)

Your writing is good overall. Youíve got a good level of description and dialogue, just enough to show the readers where your characters are their interactions. You pick up with action and horror early on, creating a solid tone and basis for the rest of your novel. I really think this story was a strong backbone and can go places; itís got the intrigue and character history and depth. I look forward to reading more, so re-request if you would like!

xxEllie

Author's Response: I'm a little nervous about my first couple chapters, I won't lie. I am very partial to my later writing, probably starting around chapter 9. I need to edit these, but it's so hard to get around to it!

The characters definitely start to come out as real, actual people in this chapter. And, about Emmeline, just wait.

I do need to re-do this scene. It is important, because it comes back in a chapter I wrote just recently. I will note that.

Sirius is a very difficult character to write for me. I hate him in this story, honestly. He is a whiny, little brat who can't get over himself. I always thought that I would love Sirius in Hogwarts, hate him in the first Order, and then love him again after. Also, the point of this chapter is to show the juxtaposition between pre-war and war era. They're all very much carefree in the end of chapter two, and then they are all but that in the second part. I'm sorry that's not working well!

Mary was not confronted before she graduated. I see what you mean about the time changes. She's actually confronted in 1979, about a year from their graduation. The timeline is very important, and I understand how it's difficult to follow.

This chapter focuses more on Mary, but then she will be gone for a bit. That's how the story rotates, going from one/two people to the next. I periodically have chapters that work in trios where the whole group comes together again, and then it breaks up again.

Thanks so much for your reviews again! I can go and edit these chapters tonight, and I will do my best to bring them up to par.

blackballet


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Review #18, by notreallyblonde44 The Beginning in the End

12th October 2015:
Hey blackballet! Here for your requested review. I see what you mean with being good for the first few chapters, which you have plenty of reviews on. So Iím skipping Iíll give my thought to one and two in one review. Then review your third chapter.

As for the banner and summary, I think they really draw readers in. I like the phrase of ďnewly-graduated revolutionariesĒ a lot as it is exactly how I picture this Marauders Era group. Theyíre young, thirsty for justice, but really getting deep into a War that they donít understand the cost of yet. Basically, this is my favorite era, so Iím excited to see where you go. One minor thing, and itís nitpicky of me, is that the punctuation is missing from your ďLife goes on But so does deathĒ phrasing. Any of these three could work: ďLife goes on, but so does deathĒ or ďLife goes on. But so does deathĒ or even ďLife goes on. So does death.Ē

Chapter One: You set the stage clearly with each of the charactersí roles and, though the parallelism was sort of redundant (by the time I got to Peter, I didnít care what his role was) and it seemed like all their lives have completely changed/been ruined/challenged over the three years. Which is exactly what I expect from war, so Iím curious to learn more about their roles and characterizations. I appreciate the background, going back in life to really set the stage. Dumbledore seems tense, and the ďkidsĒ-almost adults- donít seem to know how to handle this tense moment. Iím surprised Sirius didnít get more ďscreen timeĒ if you will, as he was mute. And the emotions could have been portrayed a little more. I know itís difficult to juggle that many people in the room, but some more expression would have helped show the reader whatís up. Some little facial tics or motions would have been helpful. Otherwise itís a great setting the stage chapter!

Chapter Two: Oh and Sirius is talking, and with Dorcas! Ohh interesting. Poor Mary, so confused. If she doesnít know what it is, you would think someone of authority would help her out. Or like why would she accept this invitation when her position/stake in the war isnít clear. Thatís confusing to me. Seems like she should have said no, I donít Dumbledore would force anyone to join and risk their life without a choice. Also we donít need to know Lily is a redhead or James is wearing glasses. Youíve described them both three times between the two chapters and they are canon, so everyone knows what they look like. I would focus on describing the semi-canon characters more like Mary, Dorcas, and Marlene ;) I do like Maryís questioning and confusion in contrast to everyone else whoís just like ďyup, sign me upĒ attitude. Itís refreshing to see someone not be fully committed to the cause. Though why is Mary crying?

Jumping back and forth in time to do two reflection sentences probably isnít necessary, sorry :/ You could have tacked that on to the end of the first 1978 section if you wanted to keep the meaning there. But I always find hoping around in time or having those ďreflectionĒ moments take readers out of whatís happening in that point in time. Like the foreshadowy warning isnít necessary if we see their sad lives later. The reader will make the connection later ;)

Honestly, you could probably combine the first section of chapter two with chapter one. I think they would flow better that way. Then start up with the reflection pieces (if you want to keep it) then jump to the graduation. Let me know if that doesnít make sense haha. Oh, does Marlene like Sirius? The awkwardness! Does Marlene know about Remusí condition, I imagined no one else would know outside his mates?


Overall your prose is straightforward, as it the plot. I don't know much about the characters thus far, so that's something I looking forward to as the plot thickens. Solid skeleton, now I'm looking for the flesh so to speak ;)

xx Ellie

Author's Response: Whoa this is awesome! I'm so happy you got so in depth with the review. It's really helpful.

Okay, so I'm so happy that you like the banner and summary. I think I will go with your third suggestion about editing the summary. It does sound/look better.

I think I may edit out/change that, even though it is very sentimental to me. It's the first thing I've ever written for this story, but I think it needs to change. I think I can edit it down to two or three sentences, which may work easier.

I ALWAYS struggle with first chapters. Without fail. I liked the mystery of the anonymity, but I think it's a little over-played. You're right.

Yes, yes, yes. Dorcas and Sirius are very interesting [strokes beard]. You will see that Mary doesn't exactly completely end up in the Order. You'll see, I promise. She is a Ravenclaw, she'll do the smartest thing. That is a good point. I think I'll re-work that. I don't know why I was so focused on James and Lily's appearances!

I also was definitely going to take out that particular flashback. It's not necessary/helpful. Never was.

The reflection piece about torture is important, and I will think about changing up the chapters. The flash forwards will also end up being flashbacks, which are kind of important to the story in the future. They will have to stay in!

Marlene does know. As you'll find in further chapters, Marlene and Remus are very close.

Thanks so much for your lovely review! Can't wait to read the next.

blackballet


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Review #19, by MalfoysCarolinaGirl2010 The Doubt in the Strength

2nd October 2015:
Tasha here from the forums for the reviews I promised you.sorry its taking me so long to get these done, RL has decided to throw me a ton of curves and dead ends all at the same time lately so it's taking me longer than I intended to get to these.

I think this is a great start. I've always wondered how the Marauders found out about the Order since it was a secret organization and I think the idea of Dumbledore personally inviting them to join works very well, although I am curious to find out why he chose these eight people specifically.

I would have liked to see more of the inner-thoughts of the eight students to get more of the story I feel I'm missing here. Their reactions about being asked to join before they even leave school. Just something more in depth to develop their characters just a little bit more.

Overall I felt this was a good start and I'm interested to see where you decide to take this story. So off I go.

Peace, Love, and Tacos

Tasha

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Review #20, by Lili The Revival in the Reinforcement

2nd October 2015:
Just a wonderful story that I think very believable! I love the darkness of the story, it's so truly complex. Really excited for the upcoming 'induction'. Should be lots of fun and drama I imagine.

You're a truly brilliant writer, keep it up:)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I have a feeling you're going to be very surprised by the next few chapters...

blackballet :)


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Review #21, by moonbaby11 The Miscommunication in the Many

12th September 2015:
Hey! Here I am with your second review :)

I really liked the format of this chapter. At first I was worried that it may come off as too rushed like the previous chapter, but I think the way that you split everything up between days really helped to keep the flow of the story. I liked seeing what all of the groups were up to and I'm glad we're finally seeing more of the Longbottoms and Prewetts! I'd been hoping they would show up soon!

I know I keep going back to your characterization of Peter but I really do adore him. Actually, on that note, I think all of your characterizations are pretty spot on. The canon characters are recognizable but they don't stray into the territory of caricature, which I think is one of the biggest problems with most Marauders Era stories. All of the ladies, which are basically OCs personality wise, are also strong characters with clear traits about them. I think you've done a good job of creating separate characters that interact well with each other.

I'm intrigued by what seems to be a looming danger for the next chapter of the story. What will happen at Potter Manor? Will Remus and Marlene figure out what Sirius' patronus really means? I think you've set up the next set of chapters really well. You continue to reel me in with things like this and I think you've written a story that will easily cause people to want to continue reading it.

As you can see, I think you're doing a wonderful job. Feel free to drop by my thread again (next time I'll do three chapters as they seem to be connected)!

Author's Response: This chapters layout is all about the suspense and build=up. Sorry! And yes, the other families will become more and more important as the novel progresses.

thank you so much. That means the world to me. I always try and think like my characters when I'm writing. Their motivations, their gestures, all things like that.

I'm so glad you're excited for the next installment! And yes, there are three parts to this little section so I would love for you to read all three at once.

Thanks for everything!

blackballet


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Review #22, by moonbaby11 The Alarm in the Actuality

12th September 2015:
Hey there! Sorry for the delay, but I'm finally here with your requested review! :)

I love reading scenes about Christmas as they always seem to be happy and sentimental, but this chapter took a completely different turn. I actually like what you did here -- it was interesting to see something so terrible happen to Marlene on what's supposed to be the happiest day of the year. I think the timing worked really well.

The Dorcas/Sirius/Marlene/Remus love triangle (square?) continues in this chapter and, although I'm not normally one for love triangles, I think you're executing it very well. I'm intrigued to see how these four will end up together, if they even end up together at all, and you keep your readers in suspense in that sort of way.

I liked your use of Peter in this chapter. I'm assuming it's intentional that he was the one to order the spiked butterbeer. I'm not sure if that's just a coincidence or if it's an inkling of what's to come with his character, but I liked that it was included regardless. I really like what you've been doing with him overall -- his portrayal seems to be spot on and you're not just treating him like a tag along. He's actually important to the Order and is even going undercover and I really love that.

One thing I do have to say about this chapter (and it was mentioned by someone before me I've noticed) is that it felt a little rushed. There were a few moments where I was almost confused as to what was happening because it all seemed to go so fast. I'd suggest extending this chapter so that it reads a little better. That's my only real criticism, though. The rest of this was great. Your story continues to be strong and compelling and I think you're doing a great job!

Author's Response: I felt terrible writing this chapter! It was so sad, especially because they weren't expecting it at all.

The lovey-doveyness of all that is going to dissipate a little bit and you'll see what's rooted behind it, at least with Marlene and Sirius.

Peter was intentionally the one with the spiked beer. This was one way to basically kill all his friends off without having to do anything. Peter is so sad, and you'll see more about that later. And thanks for the comments on his characterization!

Okay, I'm not writing anymore until this chapter is edited! I know exactly what you mean. I have to make this chapter something I'm proud of!

Thanks again for your reviews. I'm going to the next one right now.

blackballet



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Review #23, by Emma The Face in the Truth

5th September 2015:
Wow so many new chapters I didn't even know which one to comment on! They are all superb! I am completely in love with this story!

I have to say I was surprised about the Mary/Marlene relationship. For some reason I had thought Marlene may have had feelings for Dorcas at one point but I think that's testament to your fantastic writing how there are a thousand possibilities and we simply have to wait for you to reveal more!

I'm a huge Blackinnon fan so absolutely loved the scene included of them in bed the morning after even if it is very naughty of them! I'm interested to know how they got there and also a bit more about the nature of their feelings for one another! And of course what has happened in the past between them and Dorcas! I'd also love to know more about Marlene's elusive family who you've mentioned quite a few times and set up nicely ;)

Oh and I did not see that little moment between Dorcas and Remus coming! How intriguing! Very believable if you imagine the pressures and the heightened sense of emotion the first wizarding war would create.

Interesting that Peter is already in collusion with the death eaters and he's encouraging Mary to do what they say! It would be great at some point to know how his involvement came about! I also like your portrayal of Peter, one of the best ones I have read.

Also I love how you've approached the subject of James and Lily having a baby. In quite a lot of fan fictions it's often written as an accident or surprise that Lily is pregnant but I like the fact that Lily wants a baby and has her reasons for it! I also love that Lily and James argue and challenge each other in your fiction and aren't just a one dimensional loved up couple! Also that bit of foreshadowing you included how Lily believes they will both die together made me quite sad!

There is so much I could say about these last chapters posted but maybe I'll have to go back, re read and comment again haha! Anyway I'll finish by just saying please please don't stop writing this story! It's incredible and it makes me feel all kind of emotions it is so well done! You're doing a fantastic job!!!

Author's Response: Hello Emma!

I'm so glad that I got so many new chapters up, too! Our validators here have done some incredible work in the past week.

I at one point contemplated having Marlene and Dorcas having a past, but upon starting the story knew that Mary needed a connection to the group, and Marlene is the one with all the relationship troubles. Also, thanks! I try to keep it interesting...

I am a great Blackinnon fan, too, so I understand your happiness and frustration at the same time. There will be a flashback that helps explain it a bit further when we travel back to the Marlene/Dorcas/Sirius story line, but for now you will have to live with the tension!

Dorcas is a very physical being, and Remus is a werewolf. I guess I'll leave it at that...

Peter is a huge part of Mary's character development, and Mary a part of his. They'll play off each other a bit, and more will be revealed as we get closer to the end :(. Also, Peter's reason for involvement **SPOILER** is his mother. I'm not sure if you caught this, but in the beginning of the novel, Peter's mother is supposedly already dead from her cancer. His scene/chapter will come.

That whole scene was super difficult to write for me. I always thought that Lily would want a child and that nothing would stop her. James has grown up a lot, and I think that he is more idealistic. Lily is more realistic. I never thought they could live as a one dimensional couple either!

I'm so happy you're enjoying my novel so far! These words of encouragement mean more to me than I can explain. I'm so happy that I have such an invested reader. Thanks again!

blackballet


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Review #24, by LivingFairytale The Luck in the Few: Part II

1st September 2015:
Hi blackballet! Are you getting sick and tired of me yet? Lol. Chapter 8 already, it's going so fast! Let's get started.

First Impression & Characterization:
They really are young and reckless, right? I love the way you wrote Dumbledore, he's exactly how I imagined him to act in a situation like this and you portrayed him very realistically. One of the things I like most about his character, is that he remains calm at all times, regardless of the situation.

You are also doing a great job on the other characters, they are all spot on. The only person I'm missing, is Mary. She's not in the Order right? But where exactly is she? Will she be back soon? I feel very sorry for Lily. She's such a lovely character and I hope she'll be alright! And of course, Mr. Potter. I hope he's gonna be alright too.

Flow/Pace/Plot:
The plot is progressing nicely, but the only thing I regretted, was that we did not read this chapter from James' point of view. You wrote the previous chapter from James' point of view, so I kind of expected to move on from his perspective. I would have loved to see how he'd fought the death eaters off, along with his father. I think that would've created a much more exciting situation.

Ohh.. another cliffhanger. I can't wait to read more! (Voldy! Got to love the bad guys..) Anyway, you did an amazing job (again!), so keep up the great work!!

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: Never sick of you!

Yes they are young. YES they are reckless. I like writing different characters, because all this teen angst can get monotonous if I don't break it up.

Thanks again, I love my characters. Mary is gone but not forgotten. She will be back in a big way soon. Lily will have her moments in the coming chapters with the reveal of her pregnancy!

I get where you're coming from. I definitely have to stop writing from Marlene's perspective! It switches back to a general view in the next chapter, and there is definitely more Death Eater fighting then!

I can't wait to re-request and here more from you!

blackballet


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Review #25, by LivingFairytale The Luck in the Few: Part I

1st September 2015:
Hi blackballet! It's LivingFairytale again. Chapter 7 already, let's get started!

First Impression & Characterization:
I have to say, I really like your opening sentences. It doesn't take me much time to get back into the story again, which is absolutely great. When you are dealing with a story with multiple chapters, it can actually be quite difficult to keep the reader's attention, but you don't seem to have trouble with that at all. The opening scene with James and Lily trying to produce a Patronus was very enjoyable to read, especially the part where Lily got mad!

I really was at the edge of my seat at the point where Moody & James got into his parents' house. You've created this ominous mood, which I like very much. The only thing I didn't like, was Moody leaving James alone. I'm not sure if he'd actually leave him out there on his own, but on the other hand, it does make sense for him to summon the other members. But why didn't he just send a Patronus to the other members of the Order? It is, after all, one of the methods Dumbledore created to communicate amongst each other.

Flow/Pace/Plot:
I really liked this chapter. It's got the right amount of tension to keep the reader's attention. The plot is still running smoothly. I don't like such cliffhangers, though.. I'm way too curious for this lol. Anyway, keep up the great work, you are doing an amazing job!

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: Hi nice to hear from you again!

I loved the scene between Lily and James, too. I love innocent Jily!

I always thought that Moody would be James' mentor so I love their banter here. I do understand where you're coming from, but the Order that I created has somewhat of a council, as you saw with Dumbledore. They all need approval from each other before doing anything basically. It needs this for the next coming chapters, too.

After this chapter, it gets a little hectic, and there's a minor cliffhanger, but nothing too bad I don't think.

Can't wait to request again!

blackballet


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