Reading Reviews for Valour
  
44 Reviews Found

Review #1, 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 #2, 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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Review #3, by LivingFairytale The Miscommunication in the Many

28th August 2015:
Hi, it's me again! Let's start!

First Impression & Characterization:
Remus and Marlene doing desk work together. I like that, especially when you added the 'Full Moon' thing. A lot of people forget, when writing Remus, that he is a Werewolf. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for them to be together, they would make a cute couple after all.

So Lily has to keep a secret now.. I wonder if she can keep her mouth shut. And uh-oh.. Sirius isn't sending his Patronus for nothing, I guess. I really wonder what is going on! It must have something to do with the Potter Mansion on the 26th of January, right?

The characterization of all the characters is magnificent. I couldn't spot any flaws!

Flow/Pace/Plot:
So, you said this chapter flips around a lot, which I can't deny. It doesn't bother me though. I think you made those flips very clear by adding the date at the top. Personally, I would add not only the date, but also where they are at that very moment. For instance: Australia, Thursday, January 22nd, 1979 or something like that.

This was actually a quite interesting chapter. I like where the plot is heading thus far. So far, it progresses quite fast, but that's not per se a bad thing at all. Overall, you did a fantastic job again, well done! Keep it up!

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: I can't can't can't wait for Marlene to realize Remus' feelings for her! And yes. Unfortunately, Remus still has to be a werewolf.

Lily and secrets...can she do it? Was it right for them to trust her, or will she tell James everything? Who knows.

Okay that makes sense. I don't have any more chapters like this for a while, but I'll do that in the future!

I'm so happy you like how this is all progressing! See you soon!

blackballet


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Review #4, by LivingFairytale The Alarm in the Actuality

27th August 2015:
Hi, it's LivingFairytale again! Ready for another review? Christmas, I love Christmas! I know it's only August, but I just started to sing 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer' out loud lol.

Flow/Pace/Plot:
I like how the story starts off with them spending Christmas together. I found it surprising that Mary was present, too, nice! I was a little confused though; why did Sirius take Marlene to the hospital? I mean- Remus was already taking care of her, right? Why didn't he take her? I liked how you involved Samantha as well. I don't trust Peter though, I'm sure he has something to do with this! The only point of criticism being the pace of this chapter. I think it all went very fast.. a little bit too fast for my taste. Especially the part where Sirius left with Marlene. Personally, I would add some more description or maybe some dialogue.

Characterization:
Just like the previous chapters, you did a good job with the characterization. You have captured them all very well. I become to like Marlene more with each passing chapter; her character becomes more interesting. Hopefully, she will turn out fine. Remus staying with Marlene was great.

Overall:
Overall, another great chapter! I absolutely like how the story is progressing thus far. I am hungry for more!

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: The story does move rather quickly from August to December already! But on the actual chapter moving too quickly, I agree. Sirius leaves with Marlene because of their relationship. Basically, Sirius and Marlene fight a lot, but a very close. It's complicated.

I will definitely edit this chapter!

Yes, Marlene gets a lot more depth throughout the novel. And Remus also gets deeper than just pining after Marlene, I promise!

Thanks so much for your review, and I'll definitely re-request.

blackballet


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Review #5, by LivingFairytale The Pain in the Heart

26th August 2015:
Hi Blackballet! It's LivingFairytale again! Let's get started with chapter 4. I'm really excited!

First Impression & Characterization:
You asked me for an outside view regarding the characterization, so I'll focus on that. I really liked the way you started off with this chapter; Sirius and Marlene together, spying on the possible 'bad guys'. It pulled me into the story straight away, and it felt like I was actually right there with the characters, sharing their adventure. You are doing a really great job on writing Sirius and I even start to like Marlene a little bit more. She is starting to become an interesting character as well. You shouldn't be worrying about the characterization, as they are all spot on. I also like the way you write James, he sounds so sensible and mature already.

Well, I'm sure we're going to encounter a snitch during an attack, so it's lucky we've got you James. That sentence made me laugh out loud, well done! I'm glad you manage to bring in some humor as well. I felt sorry for Lily though, she must be so sad.

Flow/Pace/Plot:
Changing from point of view can be quite hard, but I think you did a phenomenal job on it. It was pleasant to read without it being confusing. I really like where the plot is heading, and I guess there will be quite some unexpected events in the upcoming chapters. Overall, you did a great job (again)! Keep it up!

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: I'm so glad that Marlene is becoming more likable. She is stuck between being professional and still being a teenager. This scene introduces Marlene and Sirius as a pair, and their tense banter is a good set up for the future. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Oh Remus, ever so snarky.

And yes, Lily. She will become stronger as the story progresses. She just needs to have some suffering with a side of suffering first.

Thanks again for your review!


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Review #6, by LivingFairytale The Chaos in the Order

25th August 2015:
Hi! It's LivingFairytale again, ready to read and review another chapter! I'm loving this story already.

First impression:
Yay, the first sentence includes Alastor Moody. I think he is a very interesting character, so that's a great way to start off a new chapter. (It's a pity we don't know a lot about him though.) The way you started off was great. I liked the dialogue and Sirius' squabble (he really is in the midst of puberty, isn't he? At least something is bothering him..)

Flow/Pace/Plot:
So, I was right, Marlene is in love with Sirius, which is why she acted so strange around him. Even though I dislike her a little (I really can't tell why), I feel sorry for her. I think your plot is progressing nice and smoothly; Mary as Rita Skeeter's Head Assistant I definitely didn't see that one coming. The scene with Mr. Vance was very sad but also greatly written. I'm so curious about the mysterious man. Maybe she should have taken up with the Gryffindor's indeed, lol.

Overall:
That was another great chapter you wrote, well done! I couldn't find any flaws or grammar mistakes and it seems to me you have a great plot here. The last part really made me anxious for more! Keep up the great work.

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: He's definitely a huge authority figure for the kids in this story. You'll see him come back later, so I'm glad you like him.

Ah, Marlene. I can understand why you don't like her, because she can come off a bit as a Mary-Sue. She progresses maybe the most of any character though, so I hope you like her arc.

Mary is another mysterious character (let's face it, they all are) and she will develop, too. You will see her come back in a big way later in the series.

Thank you for your third review. I've re-requested, and am waiting anxiously for your input!

blackballet


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Review #7, by LivingFairytale The Beginning in the End

25th August 2015:
Hi! It's LivingFairytale again, from the forums!
I'm so excited to read chapter two, so let's start right away!

First impression:
First of all, I really like the way you started off, with Mary being straight to the point and discussing her uncertainty about the Order. It already feels like they are forming a close group. Mentioning Alice and Frank was also a good idea, as I was already wondering where they were in the story. I think Remus comforting Mary was cute as well. (I secretly hope they will get romantically involved or something!) I seriously hope Mary will join the Order any way, fingers crossed!

Flow/Pace/Plot:
I had some trouble with the flow of this chapter (especially with the little flash-forwards), but I understand they are necessary for the further development of the story. However, I'd personally add a little more detail to those flash-forwards, to make it a little bit more understandable. The graduating scene was really great; Lily's characterization really is spot on. You asked me if I think there's something unnecessary: no, I don't think there is. You could have dropped the whole graduation scene, but to be honest, I liked that scene, even though I think it wasn't particularly necessary.

Overall:
Overall, I think you did an amazing job on this chapter. You kept me reading until the very last line, well done! I'm curious to read and review more of your story, so again: don't hesitate to ask for another review, I'd be delighted! Keep it up!

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: I love reading your reviews! Okay time to respond.

I can tell you that Mary is going to have a sort of mixture of love interests. People you probably won't expect until it's said outright.

I think there is one flash forward in this chapter that I can edit out. As the story progresses, they become more lengthy and developed. And yes, the graduation is one of my favorites. I think of it as them leaving their youth behind.

I'm so happy you liked this too! I'm going back to request right now. I hope it's not too much Valour for one day.

blackballet


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Review #8, by LivingFairytale The Doubt in the Strength

25th August 2015:
Hi! It's LivingFairytale from the forum with your requested review. So let's get started.

First impression:
I really like the way you get the story started. It's a whole different way to introduce your characters, but I definitely like it. It pulled me into the story right away. Marlene as the 'other woman', that sounds very interesting and I'm dying to know more about her role in the Order. The characterization of Dumbledore is spot on, his dialogues are a delight to read.

Flow/Pace/Plot:
You asked for tips to make the story flow smoother. Well, honestly I don't think you really have to be concerned about the flow in this chapter. There is a lot of dialogue in this chapter, but it definitely fits the gloomy atmosphere you obviously want to create. One of my favourite parts of this chapter, was the part where they all started to look at each other. I felt really sorry for Mary, who didn't seem to understand the situation.

Overall:
Personally, I would like to see a little bit more description in this chapter (especially during Dumbledore's speech). How are the characters reacting? What kind of look are they wearing on their faces? But overall, I think you did a fantastic job, well done!

Please feel free to re-quest any time you want. I'm curious to know where the story is heading. :)

x LivingFairytale

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review! I'm definitely going to request again.

I am feeling pretty comfortable with this chapter now, so I'm happy to have that reinforcement about the flow.

Now I just have to work on my description! That could probably be more developed throughout most of my writing.

Thanks for getting to this so soon!

blackballet



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Review #9, by carry on with your knitting The Doubt in the Strength

24th August 2015:
Hello! I'm here for the review swap! :)

I just thought I'd start by saying thank you for your review! I've just seen it and will respond to it just after this! :)

I love this first chapter! It really sets a very tense environment right from the outset, which is perfect for the setting around the first wizarding world, so you did a great job with that! I see what you mean about the similar styles at the start of our fics and I think the style works really well for you as well :) I felt that the short and sweet way you wrote about each of the main characters added to the tension and suspense of the chapter and I'm looking forward to read more about how they develop to become that. It dove the reader straight into the story and gave them the bare minimal amount of information they needed, which work out as a really cool start! :)

I also like the split between time periods and that you chose to use the two very opposite ends of the time spectrum; the beginning and end of the original order. I'm looking forward to see how this works for the future chapters! :)

I really loved your characterisation of Dumbledore in this chapter as well. Especially the line : 'another rather spectacular one of mine, if I do say so' I just think that's such a Dumbledore thing to say, it's the perfect line! :)

Overall I really like this chapter and will definitely be giving the rest a read! :)

Katie
(Carry on with your knitting)

Author's Response: I'm so happy that you were happy with this chapter. After heavy editing, I am finally happy with it as well.

The time splits will be pretty important throughout the story, so I'm glad you enjoyed that as well.

As for Dumbledore, just writing that one line took a lot of work. He's a difficult character, but I love him!

Thanks so much Katie

blackballet


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Review #10, by moonbaby11 The Pain in the Heart

6th August 2015:
Once again, your chapters continue to be great. I'm fully immersed into this story now, so great job! I know that sometimes it can be hard juggling so many characters, especially when there really doesn't seem to be any main character. Most of the characters seem to have the same amount of involvement in the story and have the same amount of important plot points going on, and I think it shows your strength as a writer that I'm interested by every single one of them. I found myself wondering how Dorcas was feeling while we were with Sirius and Marlene, and then found myself wondering about where Sirius was when we were with Dorcas and Remus. I think that's a really good thing that you have going here!

You're continuing to flesh out these characters and I'm continuing to adore your Sirius. He's so different than how I envision him during this era, but in a good way! I've never really thought into how this war would be taking it's toll on him, and I liked that you're exploring that. This story is much darker than most Marauders fics and I feel like you're executing that very well. (Also, on the topic of Sirius, I loved the thing you threw in about him and the word 'serious'. It made me chuckle).

I think your format continues to work. As I said, I'm so invested in the characters that I love when it skips around between scenes, showing me what's going on in a different part of the Order. I didn't notice any spelling or grammar mistakes, but I did notice one, minor thing: 'James said, letting himself sag into Lily, too. "I miss her, too."'. These two sentences back to back sound odd together, since they both end with the same word. I'd suggest changing one of them to a synonym because it kind of pulled me out of the story for the moment. Nothing too major, of course, as that was the only issue I noticed, but I'd definitely look into that if I were you!

Overall, I think you have a strong piece on your hands. Please drop by and rerequest if you think I've been helpful as I'm enjoying this story immensely.

Author's Response: I am so glad that you're invested! I know that the suspense between the characters can be frustrating, but everything will be resolved at the end!

Sirius gets a little better before he gets worse...so I'm glad you like him now. (Tee hee)

I will check that specific part when I go back and edit chapters, so thanks for pointing it out!

I'm so, so happy with your reviews. They are extremely helpful and insightful. Thanks so much I will definitely request again.


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Review #11, by moonbaby11 The Chaos in the Order

5th August 2015:
I'm continuing to love this story so I'm so glad that you returned to my thread to ask for more reviews!

A lot of questions were answered this chapter (such as what Mary's doing with her life and who Marlene has feelings for), but a lot of questions were also added (what did James do? what, exactly, happened to the Vance's? what's doing on in the end?) which I think is really helping to progress the story. So far everything you write seems important. There's nothing that just seems to be a filler, which I think is really admirable.

Your characterization of Sirius seems really interesting. In the last chapter he seemed so cocky and fun, whereas in this chapter he seems much more serious (no pun intended). I think it really shows how this war is weighing on all of them. I also still want to commend you on your characterization of Peter. He just seems like a normal guy, just like one of them, and you haven't fallen into any cliches with him so good job!

I didn't noticed any grammar or spelling errors here, so that's good! I think this story flowed together really well. All the cuts were appropriate and they left you wondering what would happen to the central characters of each scene, which I think is good when you're trying to reel in readers and keep them sticking around for more.

One thing that confused me, however, was the death of Emmeline Vance. In canon she lives until 1996, so is this a different Emmeline? Or is she really not dead? That raises a lot of questions for me, so I suppose I'll have to see where this goes!

I'm really excited to keep reading this story! I think you're doing a great job so far.

Author's Response: Everything will be explained eventually, I promise! It's a bit of a mystery, even though I didn't really plan the story that way.

Sirius is a dark character in this novel. He just is. You will definitely see more of that, and this helps lend to the reason that he is suspected of killing Peter and betraying the Potters.

Emmeline Vance is a character I'll be proud of. That's all I'm saying!!

thanks for your lovely review!


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Review #12, by Frankie05 The Beginning in the End

1st August 2015:
Okay.

So much happening in this chapter. The initial set off of them explaining the Order to Mary was good. I can completely understand her reservations. On top of that I am so sad about Peter and his lack of confidence. Doesn't he know that turning into an Animagus takes an extremely powerful wizard? The dialogue seems a bit forced but I think dialouge is one of the hardest things to write. With more practice, it should get easier.

I liked how your labeled the rest of the chapter with month and years and it didn't necessarily go in chronological order. You are unique andirons enjoy that!

That first 1981 paragraph. Ouch. The loss of innocence is sad especially since they are what? 20? 21?

I liked Lily's commencement speech. It was so full of hope. I liked how you mentioned that some scoffed at the idea of a muggleborn giving this speech. It truly shows the turmoil of the wizardjnf world right now.

I don't wanna believe it but was that the first time they told each other they loved each other?! So cute. Even if not- I still liked it. We are headed to the nail place if you want to join us😋. We can come get you!

The bar scene was interesting. Peter wasn't there because he mom "got cancer". I am a little skeptical of the rat.. And Mary decided not to join up. That makes me sad. Real sad. I do enjoy the laughter and the freedom they are experiencing in this moment. They are still only teenagers and way too much is going on for them to be so sad all the time.

Dorcas and Sirius. Interesting. I think this is the first story that I've read where they are paired together. And James and Lily are adorable. And we're back to the other woman. Is Marlene wanting Sirius or James? Because there is only one right answer and she can't have him yet because he's taken?! And poor Remus. Clearly he's into the girl but she doesn't reciporcate :/.

Who's that girl in the last section? Marlene? Mary? Can't wait to read the rest. And is she getting tortured by Voldmort?

Frankie

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Review #13, by Frankie05 The Doubt in the Strength

1st August 2015:
Catherine-

The opening sequence slays me. Marlene McKinnon- other woman?! For who? Oh mercy this is going to be good. I like how each person has a expectation of whatever roll they are playing and then the reality sets in. It's very good.

Interesting way of starting out the story. I enjoyed it. It's a unique writing technique to not use their names and to just address them by their descriptions. I like that take on things.

It seems to be a very somber meeting and I'm curious why Dumbledore picked these eight to do something. Are most of them paired up? Is that why Dumbledore asked Remus to explain to Mary? And who is this Mary person. I can feel the awkwardness rolling off of her to be in the same room with the Marauders, and the girls who probably spent the most time with them. And she was chosen for this high intense meeting and is clearly uncomfortable. This was an interesting take on Dumbledore wanting to invite the others into the Order. I'm curious as to why there aren't many adults in the order yet.

Excited to read more,
Frankie

Author's Response: Oh poor Marlene. You'll understand pretty soon what that means, and it causes a lot of tension in the group.

I think that just describing them by their appearances helps readers identify the characters more easily later on in the novel. Maybe I'm wrong, but I know it helps me!

There actually are people already in the order, and you'll meet them in the chapters to come, but Dumbledore needs new recruits.

Thanks so much for your review (and I'm glad you enjoyed the very beginning)


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Review #14, by moonbaby11 The Beginning in the End

30th July 2015:
Another very interesting chapter! I have to admit it, it's refreshing to read a Marauders story that doesn't have humour as one of the main genres, as I think that's the majority of the longer stories set in that era on the archives. There were some moments that did make me laugh, though, and I think that's because your portrayals of James and Sirius seem very spot-on. They're not too over the top. They feel just right. Speaking of characterization, I'm liking your Peter as well. You've written him so that he fits into the group and that they all care about him, not like he's just some person they all put up with because they have to and then toss to the side, which is something else I see a lot in Marauders era fics.

The commencement speech was really good and all the little details you added into that scene (the blood purists sighing, the fact that they leave on the boats, etc.) were all really interesting to me and helped to complete the moment. I'm intrigued to see where the story goes now that the group is out in the 'real world' and are members of the Order. I also really want to know what's happening with Marlene and her lack of feelings for Remus. I'm thinking she has feelings for Sirius (or maybe Mary? I kinda caught a bit of that vibe near the beginning) which will obviously create some tension in the group.

The only thing that I think really threw off the flow was the last flash-forward at the end of this chapter. Quite honestly I found it confusing and unnecessary. That may just be because we don't know what's happening yet, but I think you could've ended it with Remus dropping of Marlene at her house and that would've been fine.

Overall, you have a strong second chapter and the start to an interesting story on your hands. I've really enjoyed doing these reviews for you so, if you want more, just drop by my thread again! I'd be happy to read more of this fic.

Author's Response: I was never very good with humor, but I love the marauders. It's kind of ironic, but I love writing it! I love that you like my marauders because sometimes I'm not too proud of Peter. Maybe it's because I secretly hate him, oops.
I love how you've made your own ideas about the relationships! I really never even thought about Marlene and Mary as a couple, thing, but now that you bring it up... I'm not saying anything, but it is a very intriguing idea!
The flash forwards may seem unnecessary, but they are important to the story. I will add page breaks, and maybe that will make it smoother.

Thanks for your reviews, and I will definitely re-request!


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Review #15, by moonbaby11 The Doubt in the Strength

29th July 2015:
So, I have to say that this story is intriguing from the get-go. It starts off right away with a flash-forward, sort of giving the reader a glimpse as to what will happen but not giving away enough for us to actually know for sure what's going on. It's the perfect amount of information - enough to keep us intrigued but not too much that we can already predict how the story will turn out.

I didn't notice any flow problems here. Nothing seemed to jump around too much and I never found myself struggling to figure out where we were or what was happening, so don't worry with this one. This chapter was short but, as it's your first one, it felt almost like a prologue so the length was acceptable. I think this was a good way to introduce us to the characters by giving the readers a little snippet of their personalities so that they're interested and want to stick around for more. And, speaking of characters, I think your Dumbledore is spot on. There were a few times where I could actually hear his voice in my head, so that was great!

One thing I did notice is that Dorcas is the only one who doesn't have the 'almost' in their sentence. It really threw me off nd I actually had to go back and read it to make sure I didn't simply miss it. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, but it really stands out in comparison to the seven other sentences at the beginning of the chapter. I would suggest looking into that but, other than that one thing, I don't have any complaints about this chapter! It's a great intro and it leaves me wanting more! I can't wait to read chapter 2.

Author's Response: You definitely boosted my confidence with this chapter. I was nervous posting it because Dumbledore was such a big part of it and I have a difficult time writing him no matter what.

I will definitely go back and edit Drocas' intro sentence. That part is really important, so thanks for pointing it out!

This review was perfect, so thanks for getting to it so quickly!

blackballet


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Review #16, by RavenclawFTW The Luck in the Few: Part II

29th July 2015:
Hey Catherine! Here for the review. Ahhh its hard to leave a long and thoughtful review after a cliffhanger like that! I cant wait to see what happens next!

So what has really stood out to me throughout this story so far is how wonderfully youve characterized and developed this cast of characters already! I like how many dynamics are in play and that you havent dragged down the narrative by doing a big info dump thats kinda awkwardly worked in. Youve let the characters reveal themselves much more naturally, and in a novel like this is en route to becoming, that works much better. It also leaves a bit more up to the reader to understand and internalize, which is great. I think thats something people sometimes struggle with when they start on a novel and already have a clear idea of the characters, but youve really let it develop naturally. So great job with that!

On top of your approach, I love the characters youve written, and how youve fleshed out their relationships. Im a huge Jily fan and they seem so realistic and close here-- youve done a great job establishing a stable relationship without hitting the reader over the head with it. They have history and they love each other, and that shines through. I love this Lily so much, and how much everybody seems to trust her and how caring she is to everybody in her own way. Her talk with Sirius was perfect and helpful and to the point. I love her friendships with the other girls and how that kind of mirrors the Marauders. You do such a great job showing how comfortable they all are together and how well they get along, even though theres tension beneath it at times (Dorcas and Marlene, man). They all seem so distinct but work well together.

Moving onto the Marauders...I love how slightly unhinged Sirius is, but his friends are there to help and support him and remember what he used to be like. He feels raw and realistic and flawed, and Im excited to see where he goes. Remus and Peter are a bit less notable just because of their characters, but Remus seems so in character with canon and protective of everybody all the time. The Marauders just make so much sense as a close-knit group, as theyre different but complementary.

A small thing that I love is how many nicknames you weave throughout the story. I feel like thats a great way of showing the rapport between the characters and its just a normal thing that friends do! So its nice to see that realistic touch. I think youve done a great job weaving the Order and their missions into the story and making it vague but believable. I wasnt bogged down in the details, but it felt like there is a lot going on and it makes sense what theyre doing.

Basically, I really like the characters and plot so far!! All that being said, there were some things that kinda stuck out to me that could use a bit of work. I dont want to discourage you or anything-- I really love this story so far, but this stuck out from an otherwise tight story.

First off, there were a few tiny canon slip ups that I noticed. Mary is a Gryffindor in canon, and Molly wasnt in the Order in the First Wizarding War (shedve had several kids at this point-- actually all but Ron and Ginny I think?). Those arent super important big picture, but I just wanted to point them out if you didnt know. If you leave that in, its totally fine, but maybe mention something about it in an AN or something? As a reader Im always slightly thrown when somethings suddenly different than canon, so just acknowledging it and moving on may be good.

The next thing that stuck out to me was how you write dialogue. You do a great job giving the characters different voices and keeping everything clear, but you sometimes run into a rut of using said like five times in a row. The prose couldve been a bit clearer if you varied it up to help convey the emotions going on sometimes, or just synonyms for said. (eg instead of said: cried, yelled, whispered, etc. or even just added, commented, told, etc.) Another thing I noticed in some of your dialogue was youll have somebody asking a question without a question mark-- like Whats that, Sirius asked, when it should be Whats that? Sirius asked. (That was a made up example.) Small thing, but if you tightened that up it could read a little clearer.

There were also a few times in dialogue when you had uncontracted it is or you are or something like that which just read as a little formal for the characters. There were a few times when I also noticed something like this quote: She walked firmly up the hill, skipping every other step to get as far away from James as possible in the shortest possible amount of time. where you repeat a word twice in a sentence (possible in this case) and it just reads a tiny bit awkwardly.

I think a lot of these errors are just like little things that happen when you post right after finishing a chapter or dont proofread super closely before posting. So maybe take a break after finishing chapters and do something else before going back over it? Sorry if you already do that-- thats just been a problem for me in the past so I may be projecting haha.

Also, I love how youre jumping around in time. Its really adding to the suspense, but its a tiny bit hard to follow sometimes. Something that could help clarify the sections to me is if you bolded the time changes? Its not a huge change but I just think it could emphasize those changes better. Along the same vein, between the sections it could be cleaner if you added the section break lines to demonstrate the change, and in a few of the chapters have a lot of spaces between the paragraphs. If you went back over chapters to check that before posting, it could be easier to read.

Sorry if I got nitpicky at the end-- I just wanted to be constructive and helpful! I really like this story and Im really excited to see where it goes. :)

--J

Author's Response: Hi J! Thanks for giving me such a great review. I can’t wait to read it!

Oh I am so happy the characterization panned out. I am really trying to keep each character distinct, so I go back to the beginning all the time to make sure I'm on track. I'm happy that there isn't too much information for the reader, because I was especially nervous about that in the first chapter especially.
I needed the characters to have a backstory for this to work, and I'€™m so happy it'€™s just enough to make you understand the relationships. Lily is one of my favorite characters to write. In the beginning of the novel, she is a little gentle and trusting, and she will gain a little more backbone as the novel progresses. Dorcas and Marlene have a lot of tension, but they truly love each other just like everyone else. There are flash backs in addition to the flash forwards, so you'€™ll see why Dorcas and Marlene have their tension if you haven't guessed already!
Sirius is probably the most broken and lost without Hogwarts. He has his friends of course, but Hogwarts was the place where he had the most joy in his life, and now there is little to no joy. He is having a tough time with that. Remus is my second favorite character to write because he is the voice of reason in the group, but has times where he acts emotionally just as you would expect from a Gryffindor. I'™m also so glad that you like my marauders because I'm always nervous writing canon characters!
The nicknames are just another way to show how close they were in Hogwarts. Remus calls Marlene "M", Marlene called Dorcas "Doe", and James calls Lily "Lils".
I definitely need to go through and re-read everything. I need to watch out for repeating words in sentences and even throughout chapters. I need time for a heavy editing session! I definitely need a break in between writing and posting because sometimes I just get so excited and proofread without taking a moment.
I think I'm going to italicize the flash forward and flash back sections. And I will add the section breaks whenever the story changes scenes. That was really helpful!

Thank you again so much for the review. It was really helpful and gave me my confidence back about this story and my writing in general. I'll think about editing the out of canon parts, or I will take your advice and edit in an author€™s note. This was perfect!
blackballet


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Review #17, by tangledconstellations The Doubt in the Strength

22nd July 2015:
Hey there!

I'm here with your requested review from the forums :) how are you? I hope you are good and dandy and the sun is shining where you are.

So, to start with, I thought this chapter was really, really great. The story you're going to tell here has already grabbed my attention, and I like that instead of focusing on one or two characters you're going to be showing eight characters instead. It feels very original and it means there's a lot of scope for all sorts of exciting things to happen! What was most striking to me was the way each character got the same amount of focus time in this introductory chapter. I liked the massive foreshadowing, the expectation that things aren't going to work out okay - which from canon, we know is sort of imminent. It really carries the chapter along, and provides a hook that makes the reader want to keep on going.

Something that is definitely worth mentioning too is how successfully you've managed to pull of the sort of mysterious, ominous tone. Everything is very serious and subtly dramatic, which again works wonders for setting up later intrigue. I especially liked the way Mary wasn't quite sure what was going on - it made the meeting and the Order of the Phoenix that much more elite and secretive. This was really refreshing to read, because in canon Harry is always in the know (just about) and so in some ways the dangers of the Order are pushed onto the backburner - perhaps because he's so heroic and the Order he sees is already kitted with experience and battle scars. But here, it was very clear that this group of eight are just students that don't really know how they can help just yet. They don't have roles, they don't feel quite grown up enough but they do have this fresh willingness to help. It was really, really nice to see.

One of the things you mentioned in your areas of concern was about the flow. I do know what you mean and I do think it's possible to make this chapter read a lot more smoothly. The tone you have and what actually goes on in this chapter is fine - it really works. But there is something about it that makes it a bit like, 'stop-start' as you're reading it, despite it being really good. For me I think it's the use of the repetition that you've included here. For example, there is already a sort of 'stop-start' effect from your first section, where you introduce the characters with a similar wording. I totally understand that you've done this for effect, and it does work - it makes the chapter feel really ominous. I think it was a good move to put that section first, however, I wonder whether rephrasing a few of those sections might add more of a flow? They all follow a similar style; their name, their role, a bit of info and a line of foreshadowing. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as this really does denote the tone, but each of the character profile bits don't follow on from each other, and I think that's where the problem lies. Every time a new character profile starts, the reader is sort of going back to the beginning and recreating a whole new character. BUT I think this could be easily fixed, and so the pace of this chapter could be upped a lot. For example, maybe if you kept the format that you have, you could have the characters last line (the foreshadowing one) gradually escalate and become more dramatic/evocative the more characters we read. So, by the time the reader reaches the last character, something has been built up between all of them. Eek I hope that makes sense!

There was one other area that I thought you might be able to change, to free the flow up slightly, and that was with this part, 'The students looked around at each other again. James to Lily, Lily to Dorcas, Dorcas to Sirius, Sirius to Remus, Remus to Marlene, Marlene to Mary, and Mary to Peter.' While I think this is good because you're showing us who is in the room, and its a really visual moment, on the page the repetition of 'Lily, Lily, Remus, Remus' etc is a bit jarring on the eye. I really think just taking out the extra use of their name and rephrasing it a bit would make this read a lot better, but you could still keep the actual motion of them looking to each other.

Apart from these two things I've pointed out, for me there wasn't anything else about the chapter that I thought needed changing. I really, really enjoyed it - but I totally understand where you're coming from, when you've edited a chapter lots and you still can't get it quite right. But this was fab, and it makes me really excited for the chapters to come! Your characterisation is really good and your writing is awesome. I hope this review helped and gave you food for thought, or feel free to message me on the forums if I haven't explained myself very well! :D

Laura ♥ xxx

Author's Response: Hello! Upon seeing the length of this review, I became intimidated so I apologize for not answering right away. Here we go!

Your reaction overall is just what I was looking for. It needs to basically be obvious that things are not going to go well for this story to have the proper effect, so I'm glad that came across.

I always wanted to bring to light the original Order. They are heroes to the HP universe just as much as DA in my opinion. They are feeling just like the Golden Trio, but even less informed. People are even more scared, and even more clueless.

I understand about the introduction to the characters. I've been playing around with that since I first posted, but nothing better has come of it. I will keep trying, but I'm having a hard time connecting them all smoothly. Maybe luck will strike later tonight!

That part is basically in the same boat as the intro. It is awkward, but it needs to be addressed. Other reviews mentioned that without that, it was difficult to even know who was in the room. That one might have to stick, but thanks for the input. I'll see what I can do with it.

I'm so excited that you basically enjoyed it, and can't wait to request from you again. You're truly a great reviewer/editor.


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Review #18, by Emma The Alarm in the Actuality

14th July 2015:
How have I only just discovered your story? It's five chapters in for goodness sake?!!

Well anyway, I love it! Everything about it! I love your portrayal of the four boys, in particular I think you've captured Remus really well in what I've read so far!

I really love that you've included Marlene and Dorcas! As a huge Marauders-era/first Order of the Phoenix fan I always secretly hope they would have been the same age as the Marauders and friends with them (and maybe a little more!) but that's just me!

You write really well, with few errors and your style is fluid and has really captured my attention and imagination! I like the darkness of your fic, it makes a nice change from the usual portrayal of the boys at Hogwarts causing havoc.

I think I've said the word 'love' a lot throughout this review so I'll leave it there. But I'll be back...

Author's Response: I can't believe you've respond so well to this! I'm so glad that you like it, and as I get farther into the novel I will go back and try to smooth over any bumps.

The sixth chapter should be up tomorrow or the day after that. Summer vacation is great for writing!

blackballet


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Review #19, by Anonymous The Alarm in the Actuality

13th July 2015:
I really like what I've read of this fic so far, can't wait to see an update :)

Author's Response: this means so much to me! i have the next chapter almost completed so it will be up within the week!

thanks again


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Review #20, by The Basilisk The Doubt in the Strength

19th March 2015:
Hello! It'ss me, the Bassilisssk!

I love the repetitive format of the first few lines. It's really powerful and brings forwards the main issues without having completely strange exposition. :P There's a heck of a lot of dialogue, but it doesn't seem to get too confusing. The only thing that made it kind of hard to read was the spacing. There should be a line between each one in order to make it easier on the eyes. I know that spacing is hard when copy and pasting, though. It can be really frustrating. :P But I definitely like what you've got there. I'm incredibly glad I got the opportunity to read this story, so thank you! I'm not usually one for this genre, but I enjoyed this story. You may just convert me, yet! :P

(I've decided to post 44 reviews over the next little while. Each one of them has a character at the bottom. If you can find all 44 reviews (not all are out yet, so keep your eyes peeled) and rearrange the letters into a quote from Harry Potter and PM it to WriteYourHeartOut on the forums you could win a donation to HPFF in your name!)

Thankss again!

The Bassilisk

H

Author's Response: thanks so much for your input. I'm trying to fix the spacing a little bit a at a time, but it is tedious. i'm glad that you enjoyed overall!!

blackballet


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Review #21, by marauderfan The Doubt in the Strength

24th December 2014:
Hi! I'm here with your requested review :)

I love the contrasts you established between your eight lead characters in the beginning. It's very strong and shows just what directions the story might be going.

The tone you've created just in this short chapter is really great too. It's dark and foreboding, just how it should be, for teenagers about to be facing a war. You conveyed the gravity of the situation very nicely, in Dumbledore's very serious tone, the confusion of some of the students, and the way Lily and James held on to each other's hands - little things that really demonstrated this dark tone.

One thing I think would help a lot would be to add a space between your paragraphs in the May 1978 section, as right now it's kind of a big chunk of text.

Content wise: Perhaps this is just me getting ahead of myself, as you might go into this in future chapters that I've not read yet, but it seems Dumbledore is being very cryptic, like a bit too cryptic, given the conditions he's asking these students to adhere to. Mary doesn't seem to know anything about Voldemort at all. So is Voldemort just making his presence known at this time, or has Mary just been sheltered while James and Lily have already learnt of Voldemort? Either way, I'm confused about why some of the students seem to grasp why this is so important, and others are utterly lost. So I think... either a tiny bit more information from Dumbledore to get everyone on the same page, or at least a reason why he's not revealing any more information, might be a helpful thing to add.

Otherwise this is really great chapter and the setup is very powerful, it promises to be a great story. Nice work! :)

Author's Response: I completely agree with you on everything. When I first wrote this, I wasn't really sure how to convey Dumbledore. Now that I'm finally going back to it, I am going to edit the first chapter to be more realistic.

Thank you for your time!

blackballet


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Review #22, by toomoony The Pain in the Heart

18th December 2014:
HI! It's toomoony here with your review!

I really enjoy the layout of this story. Sometimes it can feel a little jumpy, but it is still clear and easy to follow.

This story really began to pull me in around chapter 3. I really like your interpretation of how the Order works, like the different missions and assignments that they have. I really love it.

I also think that you're doing a great job with the characterization. Even though a few of the characters are not as well known, I think that you're doing a marvellous job bringing them to life and tying them into the Marauders storyline.

Usually the Marauders are written so playfully and lightheartedly, but I am really captivated by the darkness of their story and how working for the Order must have really changed their lives. As a reader of HP you don't really consider the hardships that they must have faced, but the way that you are writing it is very well thought and you have a lot of great ideas.

You shouldn't worry about your dialogue. I think that you write it perfectly fine, there's nothing obvious that I noticed about it.

Overall your story was a very interesting and nice read. You should definitely continue with this. I think that it could really become amazing.

Happy writing!

toomoony xx

Author's Response: This was duch a confidence booster! Thanks so much for your reassurances! I have always felt that this part of the story was more ignored than any other, and I'm glad that you understand why it's so dark. I'm so happy you responded well to it!

thanks again
blackballet


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Review #23, by Gabriella Hunter The Pain in the Heart

3rd October 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums with your review and I'm sorry that I'm a few days late. I was going to get to this yesterday but my wifi died and it was a major pain.

Anyhoo, on to this! It seems like the War is only getting darker and darker. Marlene and Sirius make an interesting pair but I like that they're able to do their jobs without losing focus. There were a few moments when their pasts might have come up but they quickly pushed it aside and I think that they did it on purpose, they didn't want to talk about their old wounds, I suppose?

Sirius's attitude and his quick thinking were really well written too. I think that he had more of an idea of what to expect than Marlene when they were stopped by that Death Eater in the streets. It helps when you're a bit more street smart and while they're currently lost, I'm thinking that they might grow together as a team and repair their friendship. There's obviously something broken there.

I liked the bit with James and the others too in this chapter. They were getting along so well while also balancing what they had to do for the Order as well. Remus didn't exactly do as well as he'd wanted but that's to be expected right now, he'll improve over time I'm sure. Hahahahah.

Now, what I really loved about this chapter was the ending with James and Lily. Usually in that sort of situation, James might have taken advantage of what she was offering but he really showed a good strength of character by not sleeping with Lily while she's upset. I kind of awwwed at that part. Hahahaha.

I think that this was a good chapter, your flow was pretty darn awesome and while I think the transitions could be a bit slower, everything else was great!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review! I had pretty low confidence in posting this, so I'm happy you enjoyed this.

I'll work on lengthening my transitions, and making them flow with more ease.

I'm so excited to write more for you to review!


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Review #24, by Gabriella Hunter The Chaos in the Order

29th September 2014:
HellO!

This is Gabbie from the forums with your review and it's been a minute, hasn't it? I was wondering what had happened with this story and I'm glad that you've returned. :D

I could tell from just this chapter that a lot of things have changed for the group. I'm sort of feeling like the weight of responsibility is all getting to them in different way. I'm not sure what's going on with Sirius though, he's in some kind of strange temper and I could really agree with Lily when she talked to him about it. Did the Vance's murder really affect him so badly or is it something else? I couldn't help but wonder but I noticed that he still has something with Mary? Or nothing at all, I wonder what's going on behind the scenes.

Mary is coming off as very capable and I think that it must have been really hard for her to talk to Mr. Vance. There was an air of sadness in that scene that I thought was written very well and I really would like to know what happens after that.

I wonder what's going on with Mary though towards the end. Who was this mysterious man? What did he want from her? I'm really curious and I hope you clear that up in the next few chapters!

This was a good chapter, I think and I've got a feeling that you're building up to some really great drama!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello there! I'm so happy you were hoping for me to re-request, and I'm sorry it took me so long. Your spots were filling up quickly!

Sirius is really affected by the war. He's not dealing with it very well, even though that's the exact opposite of what you'd think. You will see exactly what it is in a couple of chapters. Also, I think you meant Marlene?

Mary is trying her best to stay positive while keeping out of the war. I'm so happy you liked her parts with Mr. Vance. I'm so excited now to write more for her!

Thanks so much fort he review. I'll request ASAP


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Review #25, by Fan The Pain in the Heart

21st September 2014:
I really like your story. I'm curious and eager to read a new chapter!

Author's Response: thank you so much! I'll be updating this weekend hopefully

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