Reading Reviews for Effortlessly Dead
  
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BellaLestrange87 Death Comes Calling

22nd December 2014:
I love the premise of this story! The idea of a family who specifically hunt down and kill people was too tempting to not read. And I do love me a good murder mystery. Although I have to admit that when I saw the story summary I thought the Shrikes were a family of birds. I love the title, first of all. It reminds me of the In Death series by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, which are excellent books.

The cat and mouse reference was awesome. I liked how the timelines matched up - when the cat was playing with its prey, the girl was waiting for hers. When the cat caught and killed its prey, the girl did as well.

What would she have to get sentimental about? Did something happen to her uncle? I suppose I'll find out.

I loved the scene where Galen discusses his relationship with his colleagues. When I read that Rosie had been hypocritical in telling him not to talk to the bodies I had to laugh. I know quite a few hypocritical people in my own life!

I did notice a few things you might want to edit:

This was, after all, what she did for living. - what she did for a living

feeling it would be rude not acknowledge them in any way - not to acknowledge them

That's how I know this one was not killed by oppoturtinistic Muggles. - opportunistic

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review!

I'm really glad you found the premise interesting since it means I did my job well! Don't worry about thinking that the Shrikes were birds; you're not the first. ;) And yay for the title being successful! I'm rather pleased with it myself, though I've forgotten how I came up with it in the first place...

The cat and mouse reference sure is popular among the readers! That makes me really happy!

Her uncle is fine; she's merely been taught not to let her emotions interfere with her job. You see, getting sentimental when in the middle of a mission can be quite dangerous.

Galen and his coworkers are always fun to write about. Glad that Rosie's little antics amused you!

Thanks for pointing those out for me; I'll edit them as soon as possible.

Again, thanks for the review! It makes me so happy to hear you enjoyed the chapter!

- Emmi


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Review #2, by marauderfan A Chance Encounter

9th December 2014:
Here for the second half of your Puff Gift Tag :D

I was so nervous for Menna carelessly digging through piles of paper - like shouldn't she be worried she's not putting them back in the right order? Aah! I can't believe she was framed- and that Ifan knew about it! How did no one tell her?! And then the doorknob rattling eek!

Was not expecting that whole exchange - Galen actually saw her and discovered who she was (well not specifically, but he knows a bit about her now) and she raised a great deal of chaos! So much for a sneaky recon mission. Woah. Excellent writing on that action scene btw. I loved that bit when she kind of smiles at him as she sits on the windowsill. I love her attitude haha.

I do love that Ron and Harry are the Aurors on the case, it's this nice little tie into the characters we know, but it's kind of like they just have cameos in a bigger story. It's cool. :)

I know this is kind of a little thing, but I love that the home of the Shrikes is called 'the Nest' XD

This was such a great chapter! Love it!

Author's Response: Heh, I attribute that kind of behaviour to Menna being over-confident; she knows she's good so she can overlook small details every now and then. That's her reasoning anyway... The older Shrikes have a reason to keep quiet about certain things but you have to wonder if it was such a good idea after all...

Glad to hear the whole exchange between Menna and Galen came as a surprise! I'm also happy that the action sequence was to your liking! You've got to love Men's attitude (even if it is too much to handle sometimes...)

Harry and Ron have indeed only small roles in this fic (and the pairings Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione are in the background only), but they do fit into the story so nicely it would have been a shame to leave them out. Hopefully we'll be seeing them more in the future.

To be honest, I can't see the Nest being called anything but the Nest! Glad you like it!

Aw, thanks! And thanks for the review!

- Emmi


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Review #3, by marauderfan Secret Plans

8th December 2014:
So glad to see you posted in the Hufflepuff Gift Tag and had to snag you because I had wanted to get back around to this story! So, here I am with your gift! :)

Ooh, so it's revealed who the Magpie is! That scene was so great too, you have this really wonderful way of writing serious stuff with a kind of subtle humour which I love - in particular Murdo pointing out that the coffee is disgusting, right in front of the passing waitress :p You have a talent for writing strong character personalities that shine clearly even within just half a chapter of meeting them! :)

And the way you weave these stories into one another is really impressive too. At this point they seem mostly unrelated, except for the little threads connecting them: Cosmas Fawley, the Magpie vs Shrike assassin rivalry... and I have a feeling that pretty soon they are all suddenly going to become even more tangled together. I can't wait (although it does probably mean disaster and someone's death, sooo... ack)

I don't know if you will find the following comments useful or annoying (hopefully the former) but there were some instances with small word choice errors that I thought I'd point out: faithfull -- should be 'faithful'
control whether with magic -- should be 'weather'
non-descriptive handwriting -- should probably be 'nondescript'.

Every new thing I read about Menna is just so fascinating. There's something so fresh about her POV, and reading her bold plans and her ability to manipulate circumstances... it's funny because I want her to be able to get away with it, BUT she's a murderer so I don't... Ah! Confusion! I don't know what to feel! But this is the mark of great writing ;) I absolutely love the multiple POV's especially from the antagonists as that sort of POV really makes you question things and I love that.

Excellent chapter! I'll be back soon :)

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

So now you've met Murdo. He's got a habit for saying things at the worst possible moment, and most of the time, he's not even remotely sorry for it. I do feel sorry for Gry. I'm glad you like my style of writing, although I have to admit I don't consciously aim for that style of writing; it just happens on its own. :) I've said this before, but I'm happy you like the characters!

Aw, thanks for the compliment! I do my best. You're right about things getting more tangled and complicated. Also, I'm kind of worried about you being able to see inside my head since your guess about there being disaster and bodies is so accurate. ;)

Gah! I always seem miss those little things! Thanks for pointing them out to me!

Haha, Menna sure knows how to mess with people's heads! We'll have to see if she can get away with it, though. ;) I'm really glad you find her POV fresh and that you like the changing POVs! I'm a little worried people might find them to be too much. Glad to hear that's not the case!

Thank you so much for the review!

- Emmi


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Review #4, by marauderfan In the Nest of Shrikes

22nd November 2014:
Hello! I've had my eye on this fic for a while now and really have no excuse why it took me so long to start reading it, but anyway I did so and I must say I'm really impressed with what I've read so far.

The first chapter was so eerie and I loved the cat and mouse analogy of Menna stalking her victim - just enough to know what's going on, but not overly detailed. I'm really curious though about the whole family, why they continue their old 'business' of assassinations, how do they function as individuals within normal society/what are they like when they're not assassinating people? And who hired Menna to kill that victim? Aah! All of this things I assume I'm going to find out at some point in the story, but already I'm wondering about it.

I also love how you've built the horror of the Shrikes into the story in a realistic way - like of course we haven't heard of them before because of the tendency the wizarding world has to not repeat things they're scared of (i.e. not saying "Voldemort") it just seemed so natural that this family could easily be a part of the wizarding world that just isn't talked about. So really well done creating that whole aspect.

I like the scene in the Auror department as well; even after only two chapters your characterization of everyone is really impressive. One little thing I appreciate is how even though the tone is serious and there's just been a murder, there's still a touch of humour at the owl refusing to let Harry near it :p

Anyway, I am looking forward to reading on. There's a lot of mysterious things happening and honestly I have no idea what to expect - and I like that. Awesome work so far!

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for reading and reviewing! I'm glad you're enjoying this story so far!

I'm rather surprised how popular the cat and mouse analogy is; I'm glad I decided to include it after all. I'm also happy to hear you're intrigued by Menna and her family. All of those questions will be answered in the course of the story so I hope you'll stick around to find out the answers. :)

It's also great that you find the Shrikes to be a believable part of the wizarding world; that they've always been there but never talked about.

I'm glad that you like the characterisation. I was (and still am) a bit nervous about how people react to the OCs since there are so many of them, and am I able to stay true to the canon characters. It's great that you liked the scene with the owl since I really enjoyed writing it! It does add a little levity to what is otherwise a serious situation.

Thanks again for reading!

- Emmi


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Review #5, by writeyourheartout A Chance Encounter

7th November 2014:
Hi Emmi! Congratulations on completing the first fifth of your NaNo!!! I'm such a proud momma! *hugs* Thought it was only appropriate that I celebrate with a review on this brilliant chapter! Yayz! ^.^

Ah, Menna! She's so cool! I mean, she's also a murderer, but she's so awesome! Climbing trees, jumping through windows, snooping around; just basically being a boss. Her attitude cracks me up, too. When she gets annoyed and almost slams a door when she knows she needs to keep quiet sneaking around... hahaha Too good.

Eee, she was framed!!! And that letter was from the Magpie?!?! Cause they're still alive! I mean, I sort of assumed considering the premise of the plot, but still! Such a great moment when she realizes and accepts its truth. But oh man, did Ifan really know she was framed and still give her all that grief?? Rude.

I think it's so crazy how Ifan and Menna both seem almost disinterested in magic. They're such unique characters. It's a distinct trait to give them. I love it, even if part of me wants to grab them by the shoulders and yell about how lucky they are to have magic and why would they not want to utilize its awesomeness. Such a Muggle reaction. ;)

OMG SOMEONE'S GONNA ENTER THE ROOM. I have 10 bucks that says it's Galen! *fingers crossed, cause I totally want them to have a scene together, although if it is him, I'm little afraid of what Menna might do*

Daww, poor Galen and his judgmental family members. I say whatever to them, cause Galen is awesome-sauce. Side-note: If I knew someone who worked in a morgue, I would totally behave just like those cousins asking crazy questions. hehehe

"After hearing the boy's exclamation he was more positive than ever that television was only a step away from dark magic." - LOL!!!

Okay, I'm solidifying the comment I made last time: I totally ship Galen/Menna. hehehe Not that they got much screen time together just yet, but I don't care. They're both just my favorites, so it can't be helped. I love how the shrike tattoo came into play! I remember it being hinted at in an earlier chapter and it was fun seeing it and having Galen recognize Menna for what she was. And that little smirk she gives him before jumping out the window - classic Menna. :-p

The ending section with Ron was great too! It was nice getting his perspective and I think you handled him really well! I particularly loved the way he was able to read Harry's expression and ascertain that they were both feeling suspicious about the circumstances surrounding the break-in and Cosmas.

A few tiny details:

"Menna grouched (crouched, not grouched) behind a waist-high hedge growing a few foot (feet, not foot) away from the manor and gazed at the building thoughtfully."

This wording is a little wonky: "Didn't they trust her after all?" - I would rephrase to maybe say, "Did they not trust her after all?"

"Besides, she mused, tapping her wand idly against her thigh which caused green sparks (to) erupt from its tip..."

"As he turned to glare at his elder sister she shot him a warning look that made him swallow any and all protests that had been threatening the (to, not the) spill from his lips."

Oh, Emmi. How do you do it? Another phenomenal chapter! Your characters are amazing as ever - even the ones we get only small glimpses of, like Annabel (I like her quite a lot ^.^) - and your attention to detail and talent regarding description is just the best. I love this story much! Eep!

Congrats again on 3k! And 6k is right around the corner! Woot woot! *cheers*

Tanya

Author's Response: Yay, another review!

I love the fact that you love Menna even though her attitude could definitely use some improvement - but then again, she wouldn't be the Menna we love if she changed too much, would she? Her attitude amuses me too, but I think the people who have to deal with her on a daily basis don't always share my sentiment :)

Ifan's ideas about raising children are rather skewed, indeed... Maybe it's a good thing he's childless himself!

Yes, the Magpies are indeed very much alive... or rather, one Magpie is alive. You've already met him ;)

Y'know... I never really planned to make both Ifan and Menna so disinterested in magic. It just... sort of happened on its own. I swear sometimes these characters are writing themselves.

Galen's family does give him a hard time for the choices he made, but I dare say he can be plenty difficult himself when he puts his mind to it... Also, I think I'd be asking stupid questions too, if I knew someone who works in a morgue :)

Just to let you know, Galen and Menna are both horrified at the thought of being paired together ;) And yay, you remembered the mark being mentioned! *does a little happy dance* It's the only sure-fire way to recognise a Shrike, so Galen has been told his whole life. I'd imagine that as a boy he sometimes had nightmares of those marks and the people who bear them... Not that he'll ever admit that.

I'm glad you liked Ron! At first I thought about writing that section from Harry's POV, but Ron kind of usurped his position :) I was a little concerned he sounded too much like Harry, though; I'm happy that that was not the case :)

As to how I do it... I honestly don't know ^.^; It just... happens, I guess. Thank you so much for the compliments!

As always, thank you for your help with the language matters (and with everything else, too)! And thank you for the review too, it really made my morning!

- Emmi


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Review #6, by writeyourheartout Secret Plans

27th October 2014:
Hello again, Emmi! ^.^ So sorry it's taken me so long to get around to reviewing these newer chapters, but I swear it does not mean my love for this fic has worn off at all (only that I'm a lazy procrastinator)! Also, side-note: I'm so excited to see you're working on this for NaNo! Yay! (Also, I may or may not be continually flipping through your character boards as I read cause I've been sucked into your world!)

You're such a detailed and descriptive writer without ever sacrificing pace and fluidity. The sense of environment you create is something I just love about your writing, because wherever the characters are, I feel transported there with them. At the coffee shop, for example - you never forget the location and how it impacts your characters and their actions/reactions. I love when Murdo says, "Disgusting" just as the waitress passes by. hahaha Things like that, those little details, really fill the story out in a way not every author utilizes.

I've said this before, but I love your OC's. Gry and Murdo are really fantastic. I like that Gry is different to Menna - softer and more caring, while still being self-preserving. I'm remembering the egg scene and comparing it to this, and I can't imagine Menna would smile apologetically to the insulted waitress. hehehe And Murdo is a really fun combination of nonchalant and sweet. I also love the way they talk about their line of work so casually, as if they aren't assassins with deadly hopes and dreams. haha It's really great.

This Vance guy sounds super interesting! Can't wait to read more about him! - "We have to wait for Vance to complete his part, and for them to take the bait. Then, well..." His eyes hardened and his voice became a malicious whisper. "Then it is only a matter of time before they have to leave their sanctuary." - Eeee, what are they all up to?? haha Am I meant to be on Team Shrike, cause I'm leaning that way for now, as much as I like these new characters! I have no idea what's going to happen, and I absolutely love that. Also, I LOVE the way you incorporated the rhyme into this story! I was hoping we'd see it somewhere! :-D

Menna again! I love her. She's such a great OC. I just love how fierce she is. She's got such a vindictive, terrifying nature to her, and is so impossibly proud, but she's so fun to read! And her potentially sneaking into the morgue! I'll be so excited if that happens. I hope she and Galen meet! They're my two favorites at the moment. And the body!!! Is that what's happening? It was a fake?? Eep!

The moment when she hugs her grandfather was really sweet! That's definitely the nicest and most genuinely cheerful we've seen Menna thus far! hehehe The family dynamic is just phenomenal, by the way. Everyone is so distinct, and there's that perfect balance of irritation and genuine love for one another that most families seem to have. Oh, but wait! New mission! And it involves the Fawley's!! Dubious letters indeed... I wonder what's in them!? And who was the unreliable source? And is Cosmas Fawley a Magpie?? Or at least evil/somehow involved? And what's her grandfather hiding? So many questions! haha

Galen! I know I said this already, but he's my favorite alongside Menna. His relationship with his father seems really complex, and I can only imagine that will continue to gain tension as this mysterious letter business unfolds, because I get the feeling Cosmas is not a good guy while Galen is, and Galen doesn't even know his father's (presumably) dark secrets yet, it looks like. Maddie was a fun character, too! I kind of like that she's air-headed in a family full of Healers. hehehe And who is this Elinor Swift lady? Is it weird that I'm sort of rooting for a Galen/Menna thing to happen? LOL Whatever, I stand by it (for now). ;)

"Funny how your words seem to be contradicted by your actions..." - Love this line.

"Life and death go hand in hand. A healer knows this better than anyone else. They also know that sometimes the death of one means life for another. The question is: Who dies and who lives?" - Um... Holy cryptic message, Batman! hahaha I have so many questions about that note that I'm not even gonna try to list them all here. I'll just sum them all up in one word: WHAT?!!? O_O

Few minor things:
"She wasn't entire (entirely, not entire) certain if she could perform that kind of magic..."
"Time was of (the) essence, though."
"Well, it (there, not it) was no point in arguing about it."
""You want me to find out the contents of those letters," Menna said as her uncle's plan dawned to (on, not to) her."
"Then something dawned to (on, not to) her."

This story is excellent. It's hands down one of my favorites on the site. And I promise you'll see me soon in the next two chapters! Keep writing and good luck with NaNo! (Oh yeah, I'm your mom, aren't I? I'm totally going to pester you out of love for this fic. Muahahaha!)

Tanya ^.^

Author's Response: Hey Tanya! Thanks for stopping by! I'm always looking forward to your reviews, they are always so detailed and reading them puts me in such a good mood.

I'm really happy to hear that you think the description in this story is enough to give a mental image of the places a scene is set in. I think I've said it before (possibly somewhere else) that I don't like to use many descriptive words because it's easy to go overboard with those and flood the reader with adjectives and adverbs they could do without. At the same time, however, I'm a little worried that I'm not describing things enough and the reader is left confused. Glad it's working for you!

Ah, Murdo and Gry. They're so much fun to write about. Gry isn't intended to be an exact antithesis to Menna but they are very different in personality. I don't think they would come along very well even if they were on the same side!

Also, I find it funny you described Murdo as sweet, since that's not the way I would describe him ;) Or perhaps he's showing his softer side to Gry alone. Hmm...

Look forward to meeting Vance properly in chapter five! As to what is everyone up to and what side you should be in... well, I guess you'll just have to keep on reading to find out ;)

I'm so, so glad you like Menna! I really like writing about her (she's my favourite even though she can be a handful), but at times I'm worried how readers will react to her, since she's not exactly the most likable person there is. But as you noticed, there is another side to her... hidden deep (very deep) beneath the layers of pride and (over)confidence.

About those questions... everything will be answered in due time ;)

Cosmas and Galen really don't come along. In fact, I don't think Galen is really close to anyone in his family save for his sister Annabel. He just sort of... lives together with them. And yes, there is definitely more tension coming, although I'm not telling whether your guess about Cosmas is correct or not ;)

And it's not weird at all that you're rooting for Galen/Menna. I am too, but you never know with those two... They have minds of their own.

Yay, you're asking more questions! That's good, because I feel I would have failed if everything was completely obvious ;)

Thanks for pointing those mistakes out, and thanks for reviewing! Looking forward to your next one :)

- Emmi


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Review #7, by StarlightAsteria Death Comes Calling

8th August 2014:
Hi!

A really intriguing beginning chapter!

I liked the extended cat/mouse metaphor - you handled it really well and it was a dramatic way of writing the assassination scene.

I also think your naming of characters is spot on - Galen especially, and he is a really interesting, rounded character. I liked his sardonic sense of humour, including how he and Rosie talk to corpses.

Well done - a really fantastic beginning :)

Celi :)

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! Glad to hear you liked it!

The cat and mouse metaphor has proven surprisingly popular - I never thought that might happen when I added it.

Galen is one of my favourite characters, he's fun to write about. I usually have trouble deciding what to name my characters, but Galen is an exception because his name felt right from the beginning. I'm happy to hear you found him interesting!

Thanks again!


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Review #8, by writeyourheartout In the Nest of Shrikes

29th January 2014:
Hi again, likeness_of_a_seabird! I'm finally back with another review, and I'm so happy to have gotten the chance to reread this chapter! It's just phenomenal.

First, though, after having read your previous review response, I just have to bring this up: English isn't your first language?! Are you kidding me?! Wow. I'm blown away. You've honestly got just an incredibly grasp on the English language and I'm so impressed that writing of this caliber comes from somebody who didn't have it as a first language. You should be doubly proud of your work, in that case. I know I am! Just... wow!

All of your characters are still just so great; and now there are even more of them to love! Menna is fantastic. I love delving deeper into her and discovering who she is outside of the job. She's very intense and stubborn and strong-willed and not easily shaken, but she takes her job with extreme seriousness so that making a slip is detrimental (which makes sense considering what a slip up in her particular profession could mean). She has a lot of pride in her work and doing it well, which is so absurd seeing as she's an assassin... hehehe But it's great, she's very complex and I'm really loving her development! The whole family you built is very clear as well, though, and the relations between them, their dynamics, are so authentic. Ifan was great fun to be introduced to. He's a bit wary to pick fights or start trouble when it truly isn't necessary, but when something goes wrong, he takes his stand and doesn't allow her to bully him at all; it's great to see a character who only takes a stand when it's necessary, and not simply for drama. I love his and Menna's relationship as well; how he does his best to appease her simply because she's as stubborn and relentless as she is, and how even in their casual exchanges, like when she says, "Make sure you don't burn my eggs," she's still got that attitude about her. Rhian is great as well. I love the command she has garnered through her age and experience and how she can shut an argument down with just a few words gently spoken.

It's a very serious subject matter with a lot of drama and angst and suspense, but I love that even with all of that going on, you still managed a few moments of light humor, like the thing with the cat! You've got a great balance going on that keeps me intrigued without feeling tired or drained by the end of the chapter and instead wishing there were more to read!

I really loved this line: "If nature had wanted magic to be the solution to everything, he reasoned, it wouldn't have given them hands." It sounds like something you might find in a book of wisdom and proverbs for Wizarding folk.

The second section of this story with Harry and Ron is fantastic as well. It's great to see that your exceptional grasp on characters and characterization extends past OC's and reaches those in canon too. As fantastically written as Harry and Ron both are, however, the stand-out to me in this bottom half is Bea! My goodness, you have a way with crafting OC's that just paints a picture of exactly who they are without dragging it out or making it feel too explainy or boring. You created this image of who Bea is in just one paragraph and filled the rest in with her dialogue and Harry's thoughts on her. It's just wonderful.

The final section was a perfect way to end the chapter. Seriously, I am so intrigued due to the first glimpse at the magpies! The son of the last known Magpie is also so alluring and I can't help but wonder who it might be! My only potential guess is the morgue guy (who's name slips my memory at the moment), but I really don't know! I'm just excited to find out! Also, I simply adore how you tied in both the shrikes and the magpies style of warfare with their clan names; so very clever!

Here are just a few minor things!:

"Mornings where (were) hardly Ifan Goodwin's favourite time of the day."

"I take (it) everything went well?"

"And that's how we like it", Ifan replied as he took a seat across the table from her. "No extra fuss and nothing", he looked at the *other (or rather, the back of her book) sternly, "to tie it back to us." - *I'm a little confused here about the 'he looked at the other...' bit - the other what?

"She sounded close to tears, but Ifan thought (it) was just him hearing things."

"Besides, hadn't he himself been a long time ago in almost (the) exact same position as she was now?"

"Gawain Robards, the head of the Aurors, had decided to sent (send, not sent) someone more qualified with dealing dangerous curses."

"The victim's neck artillery (artery, not artillery) was severed and he consequently bled to death." - I would consider maybe using the technical term for the artery in the neck (carotid artery) rather than saying 'neck artery' considering it's a briefing; it sounds more professional, but that's simply my opinion! ^.^

"Had Aled not been born when he did (was, not did), she might have repeated her father's every mistake with Ifan."

"This was why Rhian knew that Aled was not merely concerned (with) his mother's health; he had come to talk about Menna."

I know you commented on this already in my last review, but I figured I'd point it out again just in case: Comma's and punctuation in general go inside of quotations. (Obviously, since it's different in your country, it makes complete sense why you wrote it this way, though! I'm still in complete and total awe of you.)

And that's everything! What a truly fantastic second chapter! I really cannot wait to see where you take this next! Your ideas and characters are so original and so well thought out that you've captured my interest so intensely! I hope chapter three is on the horizon because I'd love to see where this goes next! It's a fantastic story, it really is. Yay! ^.^

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! It means so much to me to know that people enjoy reading this story!

I do study English in a university, so that explains my knowledge about the language:)

First of all, thank you for pointing out the mistakes to me. I try to proofread the story the best I can before sending it to the queu but something always escapes me. I intend to edit these chapters according to your suggestions as soon as I progress a little further in the story.

You have grasped Menna and Ifan's characters so well. That's good! It means that I've done my job well! They are both very complex characters and not the easiest to write. They tend to have minds of their own:) I'm glad to hear that you like the OCs. I was worried about how people would react to them but so far the reception has been good.

I'm also happy to hear that you like my portrayal of Harry and Ron. I was a bit worried about if they were in in character and it's a relief to hear that they were. Yes, Bea is great, isn't she? Hopefully she can get more appearances in the future.

As for the magpie... Who can say? *smiles mysteriously* All I'm saying that it's not the person you're probably thinking about. More about the magpies coming in the next chapter!

Again, thank you so much for this review! It really made my day! Now I really must get the next chapter written soon!


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Review #9, by Aphoride Death Comes Calling

16th January 2014:
Hey there! I'm so so sorry it took me so long to get to this - it's a bit ridiculous, tbh - but I've been incredibly busy with RL, exams and essays and then holidays minus internet connection, so it's been a while! Anyway I'm here now! :)

First off, I have to say that I love your premise! I love the idea of a family of wizards who are trained killers and take hits for a living. Since it happened in the muggle world, it's incredibly likely it happened in theirs, you know? So yeah, I love the idea that they've been in hiding as well - helps make them more mysterious and build it up ;)

Your writing is so clean and clear, as well. It's so easy to read and you have such a lovely style. It's really, really great! You asked me about brit-picking, but, seriously, I couldn't find anything in here. No non-Brit terms for things, nothing at all - and I did look! ;) Grammar and spelling and everything was brilliant as well!

On top of that, I really like your characters so far. Obviously, we haven't seen all that much of them so far, apart from perhaps Galen, but you've given me enough to make me curious. I love how they're all so different, despite working in a morgue - like Galen seems so relaxed around the dead, and how you mentioned that Rosie (Weasley?) screamed when she saw the 'floater', and how Mac is the man in charge but always smiling... it's really, really great basis for the rest of it and they seem so real already!

A quick note - I loved the lingo you used as well. The way you said 'floater' and things. It really gave me the impression of a group of people who sort of mainly stuck around together and came up with abbreviations and things of their own.

The beginning, as well, was so great. I liked how you didn't show us the actual murder itself, or tell us why or who it was, so that we find all that out later. The analogous use of the cat and mouse was brilliant too - I loved how you segued so neatly from one to the other, and used both to show us a glimpse of the killer, as it were.

Speaking of the killer, I liked how you made the mention of what her grandfather had told her, and then had her refuse to thing about sentimentality and just sort of ignore sentimental ideas. It was a lovely, human touch to give her.

I'm really curious about this story! I love the idea of an assassin family, and them coming above ground again, so to speak, and I'm so curious to know what happens, who they kill, what their motives are (if any), and, well, just about everything!

This was a really, really great start! Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you for your lovely review! Don't worry about it taking so long - I totally understand that real life can be very demanding!

Despite being such a last minute addition, the beginning seems to be very popular among the readers, which makes me very glad! I'm happy that you liked it as well.

I'm relieved to hear that there were no non-Brit terms. I'm used to writing all my essays and other school papers in American English but since this story (and the whole world of Harry Potter) is situated in Britain, using British English made more sense. I was worried, however, that I had accidentally used American terms.

I'm also glad to hear that you liked the characters even though they were featured so briefly. They are a very interesting group and I'm hoping I get to portray their group mechanism more in the future. I'm also happy to hear that the lingo worked! As someone who uses lingo in her daily life (although a very different kind of lingo:)), I know people can get annoyed with it when they don't understand it.

Ah, the killer. She's lots of fun to write about. Glad to hear she came across as humane, even if it's only a fraction.

Thank you again for reviewing! I might re-request sometime in the near future!


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Review #10, by MrsJaydeMalfoy In the Nest of Shrikes

6th January 2014:
Another amazing, intriguing and interesting chapter, dear! You really are very talented!

I really liked that we get to see all different angles of the story in this chapter. We've already seen the medical examiner's side, and now we got to see Harry and Ron's story, and the Shrikes' side as well, and even know their names! Talk about dramatic irony! :P

I know it probably sounds terrible, but I was really starting to feel bad for Menna... she seemed so upset, and everyone was coming down on her kind of harsh. But it just goes to show how incredible of a writer you are that you were able to make me sympathize with the murderer! :)

I think the "Magpie" issue is going to turn out to be quite interesting, as well! I can't wait to see what happens next! Please update soon!

Well done, dear!

Author's Response: Thank you again!

Glad to hear that the changing POVs worked. I felt that there was simply too much to be told from only one perspective, so I decided to switch the POVs from one person to another. I think there are only going to be four or five main POVs, though.

I wonder how you feel about her when she shows her nastier side... Menna was actually the first character to be created, so I'm rather fond of her. Glad to hear that she evokes even a little symphathy, however dubious her actions may be!

Magpie makes an appearance in the next chapter! Hopefully I'll be able to live up to your expectations!


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Review #11, by MrsJaydeMalfoy Death Comes Calling

6th January 2014:
Hi there dear! First off, Congratulations on winning Hufflepuff Featured Story!! :D And now, on to the review!

First off, I can not BELIEVE that this story only has 4 reviews! This is AMAZING!! Your writing is so clear and fluid, and your description is incredible! There's so much suspense; I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, even at the beginning!

You've already got an excellent story line going here, and this is just the first chapter! Already you've given us a ton of information about Galen and his co-workers, as well as about the Shrikes... I seriously can't wait to see what happens next!

GREAT chapter, dear! 10/10!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I'm so glad you liked it!

I'm also glad you liked the description. I always think "less is more" when it comes to describing things, but sometimes I fear I give too little description. Glad to know it works here!

Hopefully I'll have the next chapter up soon! Thank you again for your lovely review!


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Review #12, by Secret Santa 2013 Death Comes Calling

24th December 2013:
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas, likeness_of_a_seabird! It is I, your Secret Santa, here to deliver a very special first review for you! :-D

So wow! This was such a great start! Really, the entire chapter was just fantastic throughout; you're extremely talented! I can tell already that this story is going to become a pretty epic adventure, one that I now plan to follow (after I reveal myself, of course)! You do a phenomenal job at building up the suspense right from the top. The very first line is immediately gripping and intriguing and I love that it doubled as a metaphor for the girl hunting her own human prey. Very cleverly written!

The descriptions, during the first half in particular, were just great for this type of story; they added to that beautiful tension you're building. With every line I wanted to know more about what was going to happen and what you have prepared for us plot-wise.

This line here is what really set a whole new level of tone for this story: "Typical prey behaviour, she thought to herself." Everything switched from the actual cat hunting a mouse to a person in the mindset to hunt another person. Perfect.

I'm so intrigued by that memory of the conversation with her uncle! Like, I really want to know what's up with her whole family! Why is she being taught how to be a good predator? What is their family business? And more importantly: Why?? It's wonderful that you've got me asking all of these questions, because I have to know now! I have to come back to this story each time it's updated! I love that!

The second half is just as great. I really love your OC, Galen! He feels very real to me and I particularly enjoyed the way he handles his job; the funny quips with his dead companions, his thought processes on his mother, sister, and Rosie, and the his interactions with her and Mac. In fact, I really like all of your OC's thus far! You've done a great job at making each of them distinct and original and intriguing/likable. I want to know more about them all!

Learning about the Shrikes was really cool! It's so awesome to now have a basic understanding of what the story as a whole is going to be focused around and I can't wait for you to expand on all of it with more chapters! And I really like how the Auror's will be brought in on this! In the story's description it has Ron and Harry as characters, so it will be cool to have them playing parts in your plot as well! I'm honestly very excited about the entire story!

I did notice just a few small grammatical things, so I thought I'd point them out quick while I'm here:

"...few people had bothered to leave the comforts of their homes in (on, not in) such a night."

"To him, the place had such a tranquil atmosphere, one that he was almost afraid he'd shatter with merely by talking." - The end of this sentence is just a little wonky! '...he'd shatter with merely by talking' isn't quite right. I think if you just removed the word 'with' you'd be set! Or you could phrase it '...he'd shatter with a mere word.' I don't know, something along those lines. haha

"Or is it one of those things that only women - especially those getting married - would care (about)?""

"She trailed of (off, not of) as Mac shook his head. "No Muggle could have done this", (this comma should be on the inside of the quotes) he said darkly." - And you do the comma-after-a-quote thing again here: ""Look at this", Mac said and moved the white cloth back to uncover the body." - Actually, I've seen it a few other times as well, so just in general, make sure comma's are on the inside of a quote! Example:

"Look at this," Mac said.

Does that make sense?

And that's it! The writing overall is just wonderful! You do suspense and tension extremely well and I'm just in love with the plot set-up so far! The whole thing is so intriguing and I can't wait to get to chapter two! I just want to let you know first, though, that the rest of my reviews will be coming after Christmas and after I've revealed myself, if that's all right! But I have every intention of getting to each of your stories/chapters! Yay!

Well likeness_of_a_seabird, I just want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy all of your gifts! :-D
xSanta

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your lovely review! So sorry it took me so long to answer it!

First of all, I would like to thank you for pointing out my grammatical mistakes. As you've probably guessed, English is not my native languages and although I think I'm reasonably competent in it, there are always things I miss when proofreading or, alternatively, don't even think to check. The comma-inside-the-quotes thing is one of them. In Finnish, you always place the comma after the quotes, so I instictively applied it here as well. I'll make sure to correct it in the future.

Secondly, I'm so glad that you liked this and the tone and the mood I was aiming for came through! Hopefully I can live up to your expectations (I'm a little nervous now...) The cat-and-mouse thing was a bit of a last minute addition, but I'm glad I added it, since two people now have expressed their liking for it.

Harry and Ron will be playing an fairly important role in this story, so they'll be appearing in the future quite often. Galen also has an important role to play so keep an eye on him (and remember his fascination with death). Adding OCs to the story is always a bit of a risky business but they seem to be well received, so that's good.

Again, thank you so much for your lovely review (and the signature set and the nomination for January's featured story in the Hufflepuff common room!). I'm looking forward to your reviews in the future!


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Review #13, by Cannons Death Comes Calling

2nd November 2013:
hey, here with your requested review, sorry it took so long!

Anyway I think you have made a really solid start to this story, I liked the way you started with the cat and mouse thing going on. It really gave it that suspense from the start.

It seems as if it is going to be quite a dark story just from the first chapter, and it was certainly intense and intriguing so you have done a good job with the beginning!

There are lots of ways this could go and it will be cool to read on.

Cannons

Author's Response: Thank you for you review! The beginning with the cat and mouse was sort of a last minute addition, but I'm glad it worked. Also happy that the mood I was aiming for showed.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read and review!


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Review #14, by shez In the Nest of Shrikes

26th October 2013:
I really like the premise of this story. There's a very chilly feel to it and your writing is spectacular. I hope you continue it :)

Author's Response: Aww, thanks! I'm really glad you liked it! I'm happy that the mood I was aiming for shows. As for the continuation, next chapter should be up sometime in November.

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Review #15, by lindslo2012 Death Comes Calling

2nd October 2013:
Wow.. that was intense!! I really enjoyed it!!! What's going to happen next? I can't wait to find out :D

10/10

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed it and hopefully I have the next chapter out some time this month :)

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