Reading Reviews for Miracle
  
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by 800 words of heaven Miracle

11th February 2014:
REVIEW TAG!

I must admit to not reading Sylvia Plath simply because she freaks me out a little. Her literary genius is beyond compare and I can totally see the influence of her work in this piece.

I am a little confused (but in a good way I think). Is Narcissa actually dying? Or is it like metaphorical death? Or perhaps it's a mix of both? Whatever it is, nine times is a lot of times to die, but also... not at the same time. The confusion adds to the character and overall appeal to the story in my opinion. A lot of the appeal in literature for me is that it has so many levels and can be interpreted any which way the reader pleases. Your piece achieves that, and that's just so fantastic!

In terms of characterisation, it was great to see that there was some level of forgiveness between the two sisters in the end. And it's nice that she dies with Andromeda next to her. I also liked the allusion to the Fates. I'm a huge fan of the Fates - totally hardcore trio of ladies.

I don't really have much else to say other than what I usually do, which is this was totally awesome, how do you do it, tell me your secrets, blah blah blah. On that note, if/when you edit this, might you be able to PM me (obv if you remember)? I'd love to see what you do with it!

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Ahh, I know what you mean. I would never read about her if it was dark and I was home alone. :P Oh dear, this story probably made no sense if you haven't read the poem! It draws a lot on the plot of 'Lady Lazarus' and turned out quite weird and symbolic. Really I have no idea what this story is about. :P

It's sort of a mix of both, like you said! In the poem the lady dies over and over again and is made a spectacle of by men/those in power, so I was trying to draw on those ideas. I'm so glad you liked it and how it could be interpreted in different ways - that's just how I feel too! :)

I'm glad you liked the forgiveness - I felt that for Bella it was out of the question but that Andromeda and Narcissa would live long lives and have the chance at redemption. Haha I'm glad you liked the mention of the Fates - indeed they are pretty intense. :D

Haha aw, you're so nice! :) Thank you! For editing, I was just thinking of adding some more details and scenes to the more sparse sections, just to make it a little less sparse. I can for sure let you know, I'm glad you're interested to see how it would change!

Thanks so much for the amazing review! :D


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Review #2, by peppersweet Miracle

2nd January 2014:
Hey, here for the 12 days of reviewing challenge! You had me at ‘contains references to suicide and death. Quite a bit of death.’

Holy moly, I loved this. I know the poem in question and love it too, and it’s wonderful to see how you’ve interpreted it and spun it into this one-shot. It’s so beautifully written and the concept is amazing (twisted, yes, but brilliant - and I have a weakness for twisted anyways). This was my favourite bit: Dying is your gift, I correct, as big sisters do. You stiffen, so like the strict realignment of bones of a corpse. I wonder you are all sharp, unbending bones bound in a dressing of blood and knit together by skin. The morbid imagery was perfect and wonderful and honestly I’m incapable of saying anything constructive about this fic, just lots of ‘wonderful’s and ‘lovely’s and ‘beautiful’s.

Amazing work. So glad I came across this! ♥

Author's Response: Hello! :) Haha, to say death is a big theme of the story is a bit of an understatement, and I'm so happy you found it intriguing!

I love getting reviews regardless, but to get one from someone who knows and likes the poem it was based on makes it extra special. I'm glad you found it interesting and twisted, I quite like getting into that dark frame of mind and coming up with creepy lines like the one you quoted. It's so fun, and I'm really pleased you pointed that line out as it was one of my favourites as well.

Thanks for this beautiful review, it was so lovely to receive! :D ♥


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Review #3, by Violet Gryfindor Miracle

29th December 2013:
Wow. I can see how this story won the challenge. It's startling beautiful in its language and imagery - there are far too many excellent examples to list here. There's a wonderful fluidity to the images your works evoke, and you particularly use water imagery effectively to symbolize how Narcissa constantly drifts between life and death. Andromeda can never quite get a hold of her sister, rather like trying to hold water in one's cupped hands - it somehow always escapes. You find incredible ways of describing Narcissa and Andromeda's experiences - everything is ghostly, fluid, neither here nor there, just like Narcissa. It's a haunting story, made more so by the second-person narration (which you use amazingly well!). You recreate the atmosphere and mood of Plath's writing with this, which is quite a feat.

I think my favourite parts, though, were the repeated allusions to the Three Fates - the references to the thread that wouldn't snap, that even knits itself together again, too stubborn to let her die. This allusion revealed not Narcissa's weakness, but rather her strength, her ability to somehow keep coming back to life and going on no matter how many times she brushed with death. Lucius dies so easily in comparison. But I love how, in the end, Narcissa drifts away peacefully - she chooses to go, or rather chooses not to come back. Which it is depends on whether her gift is living or dying. I would agree with Narcissa that it's living, and it's interesting how Andromeda sees it as the opposite.

Another significant image that stood out was of course the mirror. It's perfect for Narcissa because of her name, but I'm also fascinated by the idea that she did become trapped in the mirror at her first death, or that the midwife's covering of the mirror made Narcissa become trapped in life. Once again, a lot of it depends on how one interprets that conversation between Narcissa and Andromeda in the middle of the story - what is "like hell?" for Narcissa, living or dying? That ambiguity is the heart of the story, a story about existing between life and death, about constantly being in a state of flux, caught between worlds.

I'm sorry for rambling. Your story is beautifully written, and I've enjoyed being lost in its magic for a little while. It's characterizations are equally well-done, and the references to the Black family and the war very carefully inserted, leaving the spotlight on the two sisters and their very complex relationship. You've done brilliant work with this story, and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read it!

Author's Response: Hi there! :)

Wow, thank you so much for all these amazing compliments. I loved writing this piece, and I'm glad you liked the imagery and the flow of the story. I'm glad you pikced up on the water imagery, and that's a beautiful way of describing it: how Narcissa is like trying to hold water in Andromeda's hands. I'm really pleased to hear you liked the perspective of addressing Narcissa, I was hopeful that would turn out alright. Hearing the story recreated and did homage to Plath's writing is what I really hoped to accomplish so getting your feedback is really lovely.

You liked the Fates! I'm so glad, I loved writing those allusions to Greek mythology and it's wonderful that you noticed and enjoyed them. Yes, her ability - or curse - to keep living is very questionable and difficult to pin down. I love your analysis of how the sisters see it differently: for Andromeda, seeing her sister die is horrific and the way that is exploited is even worse, whereas for Narcissa it's difficult for her to see it as anything other than a gift as that would mean admitting fault in herself.

Yes, I felt that the mirror was very important in symbolizing Narcissa, and that it went beyond the myth of Narcissus. The myth is not only about vanity, but on a deeper level about being trapped, and I wanted to convey that though it is very ambiguous as you said. I really love how you've described the ambiguity and contrast between life and death here: Narcissa is in a strange state of being in between and not quite pinned down, without her own identity, and in that way she is trapped.

I'm also so pleased to hear you liked the tie-ins with canon and the characterizations as well. I loved writing this and I'm very honoured you enjoyed it especially as I think so highly of your writing! :)

Thank you for the beautiful and thoughtful review, it was really such a lovely thing to receive on my story! ♥


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Review #4, by True Author Miracle

17th December 2013:
I was just scrolling through your author page, trying to decide what to read and review and the summary of this story just dragged me in. :) You have a really original plot here. So congratulations for that!

Your descriptions were beautiful. So artfully written! It gave a magical touch to the whole story and made it more interesting.

You have written your characters well, especially Bellatrix, which I find very hard to write.

This was an awesome read! Great job!

Ashwini

Author's Response: Hello! :) Ah, thank you! I'm glad the summary drew your attention, and that you found the story original! I really enjoyed writing it so it's great to get such nice feedback.

I really enjoyed writing the descriptions and imagining how the Plath poem that the story was based on could be translated into prose, hearing that you found it magical is so wonderful! :)

I find Bellatrix so hard as well, and the thought of writing her in first person terrifies me. As a supporting character she's quite creepy but still entertaining to write.

Thanks for a lovely review! :D


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Review #5, by toomanycurls Miracle

16th December 2013:
This reads like a lovely poetic narrative (which I might have also said in my review for Shadow - I'm not being redundant, you're being awesome).

Weaving in the imagery of a mirror and the passsage of her soul is brilliant. I think it resonates quite well as a symbol for death and the soul. I was a bit taken aback (no idea why) that once her parents found out about her dying episodes they almost put it on display for other people. I was so fascinated by the scene with her being burnt. Having Lucius there was an excellent touch.

The idea that Draco might have gotten this gift of sorts is another fascinating idea. It's nice to think that Andromeda was keeping track of Narcissa after their estrangement.

Their reunion, so many years after the war, was so full of feels I nearly cried! I love the idea that they were reuinited after so long. ^_^

Narcissa's final death was heart wrenching. It was absolutely beautiful to read.

-Rose

Author's Response: Hi Rose! :)

Ah thanks very much! :) I love writing in this sort of poetic style, it comes a great deal easier than writing narrative and dialogue sometimes, so I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

I was always interested in the superstition of the soul being trapped in the mirror and thought the symbol fit well considering the background of Narcissa's name. :) I'm so glad you liked that and how it represented death. I felt like Andy would still care about her family and be worried about them even after all the troubles, and would still love her sister from a distant perspective. I loved writing the burning scene since witch burnings are quite fascinating to me, and it was a frightening and rather creepy way to show off her power which fit with the original poem as well.

Ah well I'm glad it gave off feels, even if they were sad ones! :( I felt like it was right for them to have a happy (ish) ending and to have each other for support in the end.

Thanks so much for a beautiful review! :) It was so lovely and I really enjoyed swapping with you as always! :D


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Review #6, by LilyLou Miracle

16th December 2013:
Jenna!

This story is beautiful. Everything about it is just perfect. I have never read anything quite like this, so it's originality definitely catches my attention.

I love how you wrote Bellatrix, in particular. Her cool demeanor is perfect. She has control and I just love how you wrote her. I like how you include Sirius in there as well. It was small, but it made the story that much more believable.

You most definitely deserved to win the challenge you wrote this for. Congratulations!

-Janelle

Author's Response: Hi Janelle! :)

Aw, thank you so much! The story was inspired by the Plath poem 'Lady Lazarus' and the poem really came through when I was writing it, so I'm so happy you found it original.

I love writing Bellatrix as a supporting character, though the idea of writing her in first person terrifies me. :P I'm glad you thought she was characterized well, and the little mention of Sirius.

Thanks so much for such a beautiful review! :) It was so sweet and great to get your lovely comments.


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Review #7, by patronus_charm Miracle

16th December 2013:
I really enjoyed Ice to Ashes, so it’s really great to see you explore the whole Black family dynamic again. As you may have guessed from Broken Crown, I am a massive fan of the Black sisters as they’re just so wonderfully complex and you really showed that in this piece! I will attempt to say a little about each section because they all deserve their own recognition!

One – wow even their birth is a dark one with it being all twisted and contorted. I don’t really know what to say really because that scene just blew me away but I think the most poignant moment was when Druella refused to have her daughter cared for by a Muggleborn. It showed how deep their prejudice went, and how they willing for their own child to die rather than it be ‘contaminated’.

Two – Her convulsions (I can’t really think of a better way to describe it) were really terrifying here. You’ve sort of built up this dark glamour about them in a way because even though they’re so horrifying they still draw me. Then the whole divide of power and influence between the Black siblings was shown brilliantly here too!

Three – I liked this one because it showed how their parents cared about their wellbeing after all. I know obviously they loved them, but the way their father said they would care for sister was really lovely. Care just suggests doing it with love and that’s not something usually associated with the Black family so it was a great twist.

Four – Gah, I can’t even think. It’s so horrible to see Bella like that, like she almost wants her sister to die because it’s so dramatic. In a way, with your descriptions about her being a Greek statue I can see how Bella could be drawn into, but I would have thought she might have a bit more love. There was some brilliant characterisation and description there!

Five – it was really interesting to explore the whole issue of immortality here and to see them discuss so rationally too, it was just unexpected really. It gave inklings of what we see of them in the future and there was a small sign of hope there which was really lovely compared to the other darker setting of this story.

Six – this was one really interesting and almost made me question whether Cissy almost nearly dies out of enjoyment of it. It’s just the silent composure she maintains throughout it, almost as if it’s a test for herself to see whether she will succeed or not, and that the idea of playing with life and death tempts in her some way. Hmm, I’ll just carry on musing.

Seven – this one was so bittersweet, there was the anguish of Andromeda craving for her family she lost, but then almost glad that they just died and didn’t keep on reappearing like Cissy because that must have caused a lot of pain. Then despite the pain Cissy causes, she still wanted to reach out to her. It was a wonderful mix of emotions.

Eight – this one was really great for showing how immortality can never really be achieved. There was the brief mention of Lucius and then his futile attempts, and then how Cissy was finally losing the battle against nature. It was as if her life was an example of how you could defy it to a certain extent but then you would have to give up.

Nine – this was almost expected, with the fact Cissy had to die one day, but then still so heart-breaking. Andromeda was really shone in a different light here and that was shown through her bond to Cissy was depicted brilliantly here. They had such a twisted and warped relationship, they almost needed to cling to one another to deal with life.

An amazing one-shot and a well-deserved win!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi Kiana! :) Wow, this is such a wonderful and detailed review, thank you! I really enjoyed writing about the sisters in Ice to Ashes and knew I wanted to write about Narcissa again for this story, but eventually ended up realizing that it had to be told through Andy's voice- Narcissa had her turn with ItA. :P I've been avoiding writing Bellatrix's POV so far as I just don't know if I'm ready for her yet, haha.

Thanks so much for going through and leaving your thoughts on each section! The story originally started out as being ridiculously complicated and would have been several chapters long, so I'm pleased the more reduced version came across alright.

One-Yes, it was so dark! :( I knew I wanted to start the story off with Narcissa dying right at her birth, and the idea of Druella being angry with the midwife for touching her daughter as a Muggleborn was an idea that felt really vicious but right. I have that whole scene written out as well from Narcissa's POV, but it fit much better for Andy to tell it since she was actually of an age to observe these things. :P

Two- Ah I'm really glad the power dynamics and relationships between them came across! This story felt quite creepy while writing it so I'm glad that was a strong part of it.

Three- Yes, I felt like their parents would be loving, in their own ways, but also cold and strict in others. I enjoyed imagining how a young Andy might remember her father, and how there might be some good in him that she would recall.

Four-Ah, Bella is just awful here. :( I was a little inspired by how she was so eager to get Draco involved with Voldy and to sacrifice Draco to his service, and figured she might treat Narcissa the same way, as a tool or act to be shown off and to further her own interests. Of course by this point she knows that Narcissa will recover from it, but she lacks the compassion and ability to see the horror of it that Andy feels.

Five- Yay I thought that section was really important in actually hearing from Narcissa and her thoughts on her situation, rather than just Andy's interpretation. :)

Six- Ooh that's a really interesting point about Cissy wanting to die! I think at that point she's still sort of relishing the glamour of it and how it gives her this status among the DEs- especially since Voldy himself is so interested in immortality so she would be of special notice to him. I definitely think she would be swept up in the idea of it and not recognize the true horror, so your musing was very interesting!

Seven- Ah yes I was sort of playing with the reverse of the idea in Ice to Ashes and how while Narcissa was keeping an eye on Andy, her sister was doing the same thing and carrying on this sort of distant fascination. I felt like after the war especially Cissy would be quite distressed and broken (in my head-canon Lucius is shipped off to Azkaban in a rather humiliating way :P), and I think Andy would notice that in a way others wouldn't.

Eight-Oh my goodness yes I forgot somehow about that really creepy line about Lucius drinking her blood! Yes, that's exactly what I was going for with talking about immortality, and how it can never really last. I loved writing that reunion and the recognition that each one has aged.

Nine- Aw I just knew I needed them to reconcile in the end! Ice to Ashes was so heartbreaking for me with its ending so it felt right that Andy would be there for Cissy's final passing. I'm glad you found it heart-breaking, however, as I did a little as well! :)

Thanks so much for this absolutely brilliant review Kiana! It was really wonderful to hear all your perceptive reactions and thoughts. ♥



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Review #8, by milominderbinder Miracle

16th December 2013:
Hiya!

Okay. I feel honestly blessed that you got this story validated in time. Because WOW.

I absolutely adore you took the wider context of the poem and turned it into this incredible story. I've had some amazing entries but you're the only one who's used the whole poem like that as opposed to just the quote, and while that was not required for the challenge, it works amazingly here.

Another thing that really stood out to me, is, actually, the ways you made it different to the poem. Namely, having this not from the point of view of 'Lady Lazarus', the woman fated to constantly die and resurrect. But told by her sister, a girl ordinary in comparison. It gives an even more poignant kind of melancholy to the story.

I'm really having trouble isolating specific lines I loved because they were all, just, so beautiful. Here's a few that especially stand out to me:

In my dreams I see you tumbling through mirrors like they were lakes, unraveling from a shroud of woven spider webs. I see your nails grow long for years in a dark coffin, your toenails scraping the edge as you grow old beneath the earth, your pale blue eyes glinting in the darkness of the grave.

^God, this whole line is so perfect, I just don't know what to say. It truly feels like an excerpt from a Plath poem itself - haunting and odd imagery that utterly captivates me.

If you are enchanted in mirrors then I am a Greek maiden tied to a rock, thrashing in the sea. In our way, we both are sacrifices.

^Perfect, perfect, perfect metaphor. I love this comparison.

As the terrified gasps turn to squeals of delight, as you are passed between arms which touch your cheeks and marvel at their warmth, ask for bits of your hair as a souvenir or good-luck charm

^I love this so much because of its similarities to the poem, the way she begins to exploit her exploiters by charging them for a lock of her hair, a splash of her blood. She's playing into their fascination with her.

Your hair burns red and you do not shriek. They wonder how you will succeed this time, if your body will reform and regenerate from the ashes like a phoenix, flesh finding knotted bone to form a smiling woman, reaching with blackened hands for air.

^Again, wow, you take parts of the poem and expand it out into this perfectly. It's haunting and intense and perfect for the quote.

I catch a glimpse in the reflection from a shop and there we kneel, two fussy, lonely old women in a busy street drawing a scene, as Bellatrix always encouraged you to do.

^This bit's amazing and so touching because it shows their reunion. I also like the link to Bellatrix - it's kind of like she's there, in a way, her before she went so crazy and then died, and at a moment when Andromeda and Narcissa are reuniting after so long it's kind of like all three of the sisters are back together and the last however many years of bad stuff didn't happen.

And somewhere from the depths of my own heart I hear the tiny snap of a string being broken at last.

^This was a gorgeous way to end it. I love the use of 'at last' because it gives an air of relief to it all - like her death isn't, really, sad, because it's where she's been headed to and destined for all along. I've studied this poem in English so I have a pretty good understanding of it and this totally, completely links to the poem for me. She's finally fulfilled her purpose and gained relief, at the end here.

I have to say, the quote I gave you is my favourite Sylvia Plath quote, ever. I love it so much that I was actually really nervous to give it away in the challenge in case someone wrote bad fic about it! But this is incredible and more than I could have hoped for. This is the style of writing I am most captivated by and you use it perfectly.

Well done! I'm about to post the challenge results so check out my blog on the forums :)

~Maia

Author's Response: Hi Maia! Wow, this review is so amazing I don't even know where to begin. :) I feel so blessed just to have received this!

I knew right away when I got the quote that I wanted to use the whole poem, as I feel like conveying the themes and ideas of a quote are just as important as using it. I had a lot of fun coming up with this idea, though writing it was a little tricky at first- I kept trying to write it from Narcissa's POV but eventually realized that it really needed to be told by Andromeda.

I'm glad you liked how the story was both inspired by and different from the poem- it was really challenging but in a good way putting the story together. I really tried to draw inspiration from Plath's poetry and how creepy and often blunt it is, and I'm so happy that came across. :)

Ah yes, I thought the comparison to the myths that their names come from would be an interesting contrast as well. I'm so pleased you liked it!

Hehe, I have a bit of an obsession with writing about burnings and fires for some reason, and it fit with the poem perfectly what with the ideas of rebirth like a phoenix and the sort of danger of the woman coming back to life. I loved how in the poem Plath sort of takes ownership of the curse and turns it into an assault on the men and really wanted to reference that here as well.

Aw it is like a reunion between the three of them! I felt that even though Bellatrix did all these horrible things there would still be some family connection there after all those years, even if its a bitter one.

I'm really glad you pointed out the last line as I really liked it as well. I love how you pointed out that it's a relief for her to finally die a final time, and not sad but natural after all those unnatural deaths and rebirths. I'm really honoured that having studied the poem you thought the story fit it well- that's such amazing praise to receive!

Wow I'm so honoured that I got your favourite quote and did it justice! :D Thank you! I absolutely loved the challenge and am really glad I got the story finished in time. Thank you so much for the challenge, for choosing my story and for this amazing review! :D ♥


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