Reading Reviews for Sheer Abandon
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by St. Brigid. Prologue

28th March 2015:
Hmm, this is set well into the future from my day and it appears to be quite a violent time.

"That means she;s found one; we can go in that direction.
There's a semi-colon in the word "she's" instead of an apostrophe.

It's darkly ironic that in some ways he's close to the truth - that he is half-blood, that his father had reason to be repulsed by his mother and deserted her, but has things sort of the wrong way around.

And he is already planning evil. At so young an age. That is truly horrifying.

What is this America you speak of? Is it some land that had in my time yet to be discovered?

*nods* It indeed sounds like a female Minister for Magic is long overdue. I believe those from other lands were most shocked and displeased that I and my successors had higher status than the local abbot. They did not believe women should hold authority over men in the church. What nonsense!

I find the changes of point of view in this story a little confusing at times.

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Review #2, by marauderfan A New Beginning

15th March 2014:
Um. How are there no reviews on this chapter so far? I just found this story today and I'm a little sad that there's only two chapters because I want more! haha. It's really good! I have read very little from this time period before and I love that you're exploring the lives of these minor characters in the Black family. You've done well writing Walburga, and I like the way you write Alphard! It's easy to tell he's on his way to being disowned, the way he acts inappropriately for a proper member of the Black family.

Fee is an interesting person too. I'm curious what happened to her at the end of the chapter! Aaa! I must say though, I suspect her bloodline is not as pure as she has come to believe - or her friends choose to believe.

Not sure what I think of Tom so far. He seems appropriately distant from people, though I thought he hated his name and by this point was going by Voldemort? Well, I guess no one actually called him Tom in the chapter. I'll have to wait and see haha.

This is a great start! I am so excited to read more!

Author's Response: Haha, I'm sorry I've been so bad at updating! I have a strong dislike of editing, so when the first four chapters are edited then updates will be more prompt, I assure you! I'll try to get chapter three up soon :)

I'm really pleased that you're finding Walburga and Alphard realistic so far, and heh, Alphard definitely likes to attract controversy. Fee, too, is surrounded in controvery and mystery :P I will remain tight-lipped about her bloodline, heh.

At present, they've only /just/ graduated. Tom does go by Lord Voldemort when he's around the Death Eaters, although they're not called that yet. He's still a part of wizarding society at present, so although he hates his name, he still has to use it for now.

And thank you so much for your lovely review! :)

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Review #3, by Secret Santa Prologue

21st December 2013:
I find it interesting how you show Tom with friends. And I now know his emotions and everything.

I guess it is just because I see Tom hiding his emotions, but now I can see them. It is startling.

I'm surprised at how Alphard is acting. I always pictured Alphard as sort of an older generation of Sirius, since he gave Sirius all of his gold and got burned off the Black family tree.

Although, it is possible that Alphard changes into a more Sirius- like figure. I wonder what sparks that change. Maybe a certain boy named Tom Marvolo Riddle? *ponders*

I find Wallburga and Alphard's bickering amusing. That's what happens I guess, when you are in the same year as your sibling.

Fee is very intriguing. Her mother left her abandoned in the street? Was it because Fee performed magic? I never read your previous version, so I have no idea.

All in all, I find these characters interesting, intriguing, and surprisingly well-developed so early in the story. Well done, this first chapter is a masterpiece!

Author's Response: Hehe, thank you! We heard from Slughorn and Dumbledore that Tom was quite likeable at Hogwarts and had several friends, so I wanted to depict that. :)

Heh. I imagine Sirius as a rather mischevious child, and so is Alphard. They definitely have a lot in common, and as for whether Tom changes Alphard - you'll have to wait and see ;)

I'm an only child, but I've heard that siblings who are near in age bicker quite a lot while growing up, (even the Weasley siblingss are shown to have disagreements) so I felt it would be natural for them to bicker, especially as they have different personalities.

Oooh, thank you! And you'll have to read on to find out ;) I never mentioned it in the previous version, either; this revised version has /extra/ bits in, but I haven't taken anything out because I want to keep my original plot.

And I'm really pleased to hear that you enjoyed this prologue, thank you so much!

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Review #4, by Cavell Prologue

1st November 2013:
Hi there! It's Raine from the forums with your requested review :) Firstly, I thought this was a really interesting idea for a story! I've never read very many stories set before the Marauders era, so this was a new thing for me, but I enjoyed it. Your writing was really easy to get into and the flow and pacing didn't seem rushed at all, so good job. I thought that Tom's character was very spot-on, even from the very beginning just by reading this sentence: Or is he more special than most, and the only one without a family? Typical, I thought to myself ;p Your description is just the right balance between too much and too little (I have a feeling I've told you this in a different review).

Also, holy moly, mini Walburga xD I just kind of flailed a bit, and just her existence in the story really solidified the fact that this would be a really original story with an equally original plot and just wow. You can already see the Black family ways shining in her when she tells Alphard not to slouch or telling him to watch his language, and just your characterisation is amazing. I also thought the whole being-sorted-before-Hogwarts thing was very creative and definitely something they would pride themselves on.

Albus! His introduction was very neat and natural, and I loved the way you weaved in the part where Walburga had dragonpox and that was why she was in Alphard and Tom's year. Also, Fee's introduction was very mysterious and all in all, you just left me wanting to know more. You even made me like the characters, a little bit! I also loved how you put in the song in the sorting -- you see that so rarely in first day fics, it was a nice change. Totally adoring Alphard so far, by the way, he seems the nicest of the lot, and I loved the banter between the four and Abraxas at the Slytherin table.

All in all, this was a wonderful read and I basically adored all of your characters and your writing is terrific. The interactions were definitely realistic and I just enjoyed the whole thing, so thanks for requesting, feel free to re-request on another story (or on the next chapter when it's up -- I'll be looking out for it!), and see you around the forums!


Author's Response: Hi Linn! I'm really pleased that you liked this, and that it was easy to read :) Tom's character is very difficult to write, so it's absolutely great to hear that you feel he's spot-on! :D And thank you (and yes, I believe you also read my Albus/OC, Jordan & Parsons!)

Mini Walburga is definitely fun to write! I imagine her as this precocious, bossy girl and yep, she definitely wants to make the Black family proud :P Alphard is definitely still a little kid with his pranks, and he doesn't lose that mentality for a little while. The whole being-Sorted-before-Hogwarts thing was inspired by Draco in Philosopher's Stone ^.^

We already saw Harry's perspective of seeing Hogwarts for the first time, so I wanted to do something different and then I thought, what about Albus seeing the childrens' arrival? And that's how I played it out. I'm pleased that you like the characters, and thank you! I'm glad you like the song ^.^ Alphard and Sirius definitely have some things in common :P

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments, and I'll definitely rerequest! ♥


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Review #5, by Elphaba and Boyfriends Prologue

29th October 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!

After getting to know these characters as adults, it's quite an adjustment to go back to their childhood. :) I like your insight into Tom's motivations to succeed. It's interesting that his assumptions about his parents lineage are backwards. His theory makes a certain kind of sense, though and it fits with the canon that he resents his mother for not stopping her own death. I also find it interesting that he blames his father for his mixed lineage; again the opposite of the truth. I really like these contrasts. :)

This line of Walburga's made me laugh: "If you are not in Slytherin when we get Sorted, then our conversation on the platform and the fact that we share this compartment will be forgotten." I love it!

Of the four main children, Tom is the most developed, and with only the prolog to go in he seems like the protagonist, which is a significant change from the previous version of the story. I d like that he is so well-developed, here. Walburga comes off as a hardcore blood purity advocate, which fits with her portrayal in the earlier version, while Alphard seems like a sweet boy who was born into the wrong family. I think that also fits with what I remember of him.

Fiona is more of a mystery in this version, but I like that we get to peek in on her conversation with the sorting hat.

"I was remarking on how a mother could possibly leave her daughter in the street, abandoned and alone." It's really interesting to me that the hat points this out; I wonder whether it knows more about the situation than she does?

I also like your inclusion of Walburga's rationale to bend their social rules: "I understand the rules dictate that we shouldn't socialize with those who were raised by filth, but if they had been tainted, I am sure they would have been Sorted elsewhere." I like that she is so funny, albeit unintentionally so. Abraxas Malfoy seems like he'll be the butt of a lot of jokes, but I hope to see him developed more, as well.

You asked whether your writing is concise, and I can say that it doesn't feel weighed down by dull or extraneous details. The inclusion of Dumbledore's speech and the sorting hat's song in fanfics usually feel like filler to me, but in this case they seem right at home in the story. If you really wanted to cut your word count you could edit the hat's song, but I don't think it's necessary.

It's hard to say whether this is better than the original, yet. The order of chapters seems like it will be very different, and the main thing I notice so far is how the characters develop as children. I think this will be a positive change. :)

Author's Response: Hi Elphaba! Sorry for the time it's taken me to respond to this review -- I'll be more prompt about responding in the future!

I felt that this would make more sense in the long run, to have their childhood in a prologue instead of flashbacks, so that the more significant flashbacks can have their own chapters and the story could be chronological. It's actually canon that he originally believed his father to be the wizard, and his mother to be the Muggle, because in his opinion, if his mother had been a witch she would have survived. It was when he couldn't find anyone called Tom Riddle in Hogwarts' history that he realised the truth and shunned his name for the persona of Lord Voldemort.

Thank you, I really like that line too! I thought she would say something along those lines, because if she refused and Tom turned out to be far superior to her, she'd have lost her opportunity at ascending the social ladder and tarnished her reputation, yet accepting him into her compartment /was/ a risk for her.

I felt that in the original version, Tom was undeveloped, so I wanted to really shape his character here since his narration doesn't come until later. Walburga and Alphard are indeed very different -- it's marvellous how they're brother and sister! Fee plays quite a major role in this novel, so I didn't want to overwhelm Tom's and Dumbledore's perspectives with too much of hers, too. I feel that the hat is able to see memories; after all, memories define us in some way and the hat is trying to decide which House best defines a person, and the hat saw that incident in her memory -- probably because it would be quite vivid, since something like that is bound to have quite the effect on her.

Walburga likes rational explanations. She can understand, explain and accept things as long as they're rational and justifiable. I'm pleased you think she's funny, and yes -- Abraxas Malfoy will be developed more in this story too.

Thank you, those compliments are great! I'm really pleased that I've accomplished not waffling or going off on a tangent, which I felt like I was doing in the original version. Don't worry, I don't have plans on cutting my word count, I just wanted to make sure the words actually needed to be there. You're correct in thinking that the order of chapters will be different, although the earlier ones will be more or less the same. It's the latter chapters that have received most revisions, and I hope they fulfil your prediction of a positive change, ^.^

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Review #6, by Violet Gryfindor Prologue

17th October 2013:
It's great to see you reposting this story! I wanted to read it the first time you had it up, but I never had the opportunity. You're writing in a time period I'm really interested in, and I'm excited to see how you write about Tom Riddle's time at Hogwarts. Your inclusion of Walburga and Alphard only makes me more pleased to read this because most authors tend to make Riddle friends with only his future Death Eaters. Walburga is as staunch a supporter of pureblood ideology as Riddle, and I'm interested in seeing how she develops into that horrifying mother of Sirius. One question, before I continue: why do you think that Orion wouldn't marry a witch older than him? It's actually something that occurred amongst the aristocracy and among "blue bloods", especially for those who placed breeding and family name above all else - a span of three years wouldn't be that big a deal (they don't have their first child until 1959 anyway). I'm just curious about that particular change you made.

Alphard's development should be interesting to watch because, at some point, he must change his mind, either about pureblood authority or, at the very least, about Blacks as Slytherins. Is this something that doesn't happen until he sees his nephew ill-treated by Walburga, or is it something that will develop over the course of his Hogwarts years? There's so much potential here! It's fantastic to see.

One thing that struck me about this prologue is the similarity to Harry's own entrance into the Wizarding World. You must have made these parallels on purpose because they're just too perfect, everything from the help he requires crossing the barrier to his sudden friendship with Alphard and Walburga (who are fantastically set up as mirror images to Ron and Hermione). It was all cleverly done - I love to see that kind of care taken in both the plot, structure, and details of a story. ^_^

I'm intrigued by Fiona, but there's so much more I want to know about her before I try to dissect her character. Although I liked being able to see her conversation with the Sorting Hat, there is a problem in how it's presented within the narrative - it's in the section that begins with Dumbledore's POV, then you switch to Fiona without warning and it's jarring. That's the only critique I can think of for this prologue - it's an excellent introduction for your characters, leaving the reader hungry for more. I can already tell that this will be a quality story and it'll be fantastic to see how you develop these characters. :D

Author's Response: Susan, hi! I'm honoured such a wonderfully talented author is reviewing my little story, so thank you! ♥ Also, I apologise for the inexcusable length of time it's taken me to respond; I assure you it won't take so long next time! I'm really pleased you're enjoying this story so far, and it's great that you like the inclusion of Walburga and Alphard! After Sirius said in OotP that while his parents didn't actively fight for Voldemort's cause, they supported it and encouraged Regulus to become a Death Eater, which made me think. Obviously, Voldemort would have needed money to support his evil misdeeds and the Death Eaters, no matter how devoted, would have needed money to live on -- particularly those who gave up their careers to serve him full-time. In my head canon, during the war Voldemort allowed the Death Eaters to steal whatever they wanted from the homes of people they killed, which they could then sell on for their own profit. However, in his early days before he officially became Voldemort, he would have needed money to rent his hideout, supply food, bribe people et cetera and the old pure-blood families with a lot of disposable wealth, like Walburga, could provide that willingly in order for Voldemort to give them the change they wanted.

As for why Orion wouldn't marry a woman three years older than him, that was because the pure-blood lineage was dwindling. Walburga and Orion were technically inbreeding, because there were few other pure-bloods about who didn't support Muggles and who they weren't closely related to. I imagine the focus at the time would be to have as many children as possible, to continue the Black line. Of course, Sirius wasn't born until 1959 but the /intent/ was to have children as soon as they married, and of course the younger a woman is, the time available for her to bear as many children as possible would be longer. So that was my thought process there...

Alphard is very much a rebel, and he enjoys causing mischief. I think he sees a lot of himself in Sirius, despite their different Houses, and that's what compels him to give his nephew gold when he runs away. As you'll see in this story, he doesn't have much patience for Walburga's focus on society, etiquette and so on, and Sirius doesn't either, so despite their different views on pure-bloods, they have a lot in common. I'm glad you're enjoying this porential!

I would love to accept your compliments, but I have to be honest and admit that such parallels were unintentional. I felt that Dumbledore was unlikely to have someone meet Tom at the platform, since he didn't do the same with Harry, and it made more sense to me to have Tom meet Slytherins on the train, because if he arrived at Hogwarts without knowing the social etiquette it'd have been difficult for him to be accepted by the Slytherins and command so much respect from them. That's why I chose to introduce him to Walburga and Alphard then; I didn't intend for the parallels to appear but clearly I have JKR's canon deeply embedded into my brain :P

Thank you so much! I see what you mean about the narrative and I will try and edit that so that the transition is smoother. I'm honoured to receive such lovely compliments and I hope you continue to enjoy this story! Once again, thank you for such a lovely review! ♥

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Review #7, by Cannons Prologue

16th October 2013:
Hi, I'm here with your requested review.

I have never read a fanfic this far back, and with Voldemort at school, or should I say Tom!

So I cannot help you much because I don't know any of the individual characters that well, but you've made them seem true to their families.

What I can say is that I love how you've written Tom, and how unfortunate it was for the wizarding world that the first people he met where pure blood slytherin snobs!

It must have been hard for Tom coming from the muggle world, where he always knew he was different but special, to the wizard world where he is different but not special anymore. He's different because he doesn't know anything about the wizard world and the Black's make him feel very inferior, although they seem to accept him all the same.

I don't like Walburga at all, she seems way to bossy and controlling and interfering of Alphard, so props to you for making her come across so strongly!

Also no wonder Lucius turned out the way he did with a Father like that!

I liked Fiona and was hoping you'd spare her from Slytherin!

The main thing I liked was how you showed Tom in his first important meeting with wizards and how that would play a part in what he becomes.


Author's Response: Hi Cannons!

It's absolutely fine that you're not too familiar with those characters, since we don't really know much about them anway :)

Yes, how unfortunate! Although I do think if he'd met people like Weasleys etc, he wouldn't like them at all :P

Tom indeed doesn't like not being special anymore; as you'll see in the story, he's determined to make himself stand out.

Walburga is Sirius' mother, so she's naturally bossy ;) She calms down a little when she gets to adulthood, before she goes crazy.

Heh. I wish I could see Abraxas' reaction upon learning that his son and grandson were servants of Tom. How the mighty fall...

Slytherin isn't all bad, in my opinion! Fee is ambitious and cunning, and she /can/ still be a good person even in Slytherin. Whether she will be... you'll have to wait to find out ;)

Thank you so much! :)


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Review #8, by bellatrixlestrange123 Prologue

14th October 2013:
I saw you write about this on the forums so I decided to come and have a look since I really can not resist a Tom Fic.
Your summery was very interesting and I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover blah blah but i'm very glad that I did click on here because even though this is only the prologue, I'm in love!

I love how your writing is so clear and simplistic yet you don't miss out on any detail. I think in terms of this being a Prologue, it did everything that a prologue should do! It was informative with the back story and sort of set a very strong base for the personalities of each character.

Everyone always writes about Alphard being this very cool and easy going character and ofcourse Tom to be so brooding and tense and complicated but for you to sort of elaborate on that and explain why exactly their like that was very refreshing!

I especially loved the bit about Tom in the Hogwarts Express, he was confused and a bit scared but I guess that type of scene is very important when it comes to the type of character he (might) eventually become!

good luck with the rest of the story!I can't wait to read more.

Bella x

Author's Response: Woo, I'm glad that the summary intrigued you - although you're right that you shouldn't judge by its cover, on HPFF it's summaries (mainly) that encourage someone to click on the story :)

Ah, that's so great to hear! I'm really pleased, especially since I didn't have a prologue in the first version of this story, and I'm pleased that you like my interpretations of Alphard and Tom!

Hehe, he'll /definitely/ become Lord Voldemort, because this is canon, but I think he was different as a child - not /too/ different, but definitely not precisely how he ended up.

And thank you so much! The next chapter's up in January :D

-Isobel x

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