Reading Reviews for the name.
  
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Violet Gryfindor shadows.

31st January 2014:
This is an amazing story, not to mention an amazing idea for a story. The whole notion that Voldemort's name held so much power, even after his death, is a fascinating aspect of wizarding history and culture, and I love how you've constructed a story around it. His name succeeded where he did not, becoming immortal, striking fear into a person's soul, and in this case, corrupting that soul with nightmares until it owns her. There's a culture of fear around Voldemort's name and around him within the magical community, which is something that I've never seen explored with such depth. It's a psychologically complicated story about what it means to fear something and the isolation that comes with it. It's the kind of story that leaves one thinking and unable to stop thinking about it - it strikes that deeply.

For instance, the name is essentially meaningless to the girl for a long time, and it's that very meaningless that haunts her. And in the end, she has to strip the word of meaning - of the meanings she's given it in her nightmares, from half-heard whispers and sugar-coated versions of the truth. Voldemort has to be meaningless again for her to stop fearing it. And what's really interesting is that she has to conquer the name in order to conquer her fear of it - it's no longer her imprinting meaning onto the name, but rather the name being imprinted onto her. The complexity of it is mind-blowing.

The ending, though triumphant, still has a dark twist to it, and I can't help but wonder what she will do now that she owns that segment of chilling inhumanity. What will she do with it? With herself? As much as it's a story about fear, it's also an interesting coming-of-age story ending with the moment when she's ready to move on and assert her own place in the world. One could read this story metaphorically, where Voldemort stands for all the horrors of the adult world - violence, hate, suffering, hopelessness. It's perfect that she imprints the name on her skin because that way she's not running away from it - she accepts it as her own, as part of herself, as part of being human (the chilling inhumanity of humankind?).

There are so many possibilities! So many readings for this story! It's an English major's dream (or nightmare, depending :P). I'm going to be puzzling over the various facets of this story for a while. Thank you for this! I love coming across this kind of fanfiction that teases out the complex and fascinating potential offered by the Potterverse.

This is a brilliant one-shot, very creative and thought-provoking! I must read more of your stories!

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Review #2, by GingeredTea shadows.

10th January 2014:
I really love how you enter into all the stories I've read of yours. You have a real knack for first sentences.

This was a really chilling story. To be honest when I review I typically pause here and there to make a comment, but I couldn't stop reading. Please take that as a the deepest compliment I can offer.

This was chilling and poignant and extremely, I mean extremely, well-written.

It has left me wordless but with all your words and my imaginations swimming in my head. Utterly wonderful. Thank you for the read!

Author's Response: I always feel like I struggle so much with starting stories, so that's great to hear, thanks!

Wow, I definitely take that as a compliment. I am so glad you were that deeply into the story! I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I wrote this, I still don't really know what it's about haha, so I'm really glad it was that captivating and not messy or nonsensical or anything!

Thanks so much for the awesome review :D

~Maia


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Review #3, by CambAngst shadows.

23rd December 2013:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

I have to say, I'm kind of amazed by this. I don't think there's any way that I could write a story that's so introspective and have it be this long yet this interesting. You were able to keep up a really gripping narrative flow and even with the length, nothing seemed superfluous or excessive. It was very nicely done.

It's horribly sad to read about an 8-year-old being uprooted from everything familiar because her parents feel like they have to do it in order to keep her safe. Less sad than if her parents had been killed by the Death Eaters or thrown into Azkaban, of course, but still sad. You picked out some really good details to bring the scene to life. One thing in particular made me wonder about who her father actually was. The fact that he knew how to cast the Dark Mark into the sky had me thinking that perhaps he was a Death Eater who switched sides. I guess the incantation wasn't a secret, but I'd never heard of anyone who wasn't a Death Eater using that spell. Then when you mentioned her mother's blood status at the end, well, that kind of blew that theory away.

I think it was Dumbledore who said that "fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself." You really took that idea and ran with it. You picked a really good way to set the fear in her mind. I think that the day that a child learns that their parents aren't invincible superheroes is always one of the hardest of their lives, and your main character had to learn that under especially horrific circumstances. Her reactions made perfect sense.

One of the saddest things about this story, at least for me, is that she never tries to talk to anyone about her fears and nightmares. I understand why she feels that she can't; you crafted that part of the narrative brilliantly. I can't help but imagine that things would have turned out differently for her, however. Her mind takes that fear and crafts it into a personal prison of sorts.

It was difficult to read some parts of her story. The fact that she allowed this thing, this crippling association with a name, to control the direction of her school years to such an extent was awful. You know what just occurred to me? I wonder what the Sorting Hat said to her? Did it simply put her into Ravenclaw without much thought, knowing what lived inside? Sorry, I'm taking your story in a completely irrelevant direction, but you sparked my imagination that much.

So she does the only thing that seems to make sense, at the time.

She gets it tattooed.
-- So nothing about this story is really funny, per se, but that line still made me chuckle. I'm sure a lot of dubious decisions have been made on that basis.

The conclusion was actually quite brilliant. It reminds me of a story I read once where the survivor of a particularly heinous assault chose to purchase the building where she was assaulted, completely renovate it and ultimately decide to live there. Because it allowed her to take back control. It feels like your main character has finally achieved control of the name by making it a part of herself. That's a very powerful idea and I liked it.

There's really nothing I can recommend in the way of constructive criticism or pointing out typos. Excellent job!

Author's Response: Hiya!

Wow, thank you so much, I'm so glad you like it! Most of my stories tend to be quite introspective so I have quite a lot of practice in that area haha, but this does take it to a new extreme for me so I'm really glad you think it wasn't dull or excessive, and that it gripped you the whole way through! That's very flattering :P

Ooh, I like the idea of him being a Death Eater who switched sides. Maybe because his wife was a muggleborn and he'd been hiding that, but didn't want to risk anyone finding out? As you might be able to tell, I have kept her identity a secret from even myself, because I love hearing all these theories everyone's come up with! Truthfully, though, the identity of her and her family doesn't matter in a way, because she's quite symbolic. She's the collective extreme of every child who lived through the second wizarding war and ended up haunted by it.

I'm glad that you liked how she kept all these fears to herself. I think that after the initial childlike logic of not wanting her parents to know she was spying on them, it had very quickly become something so personal that she couldn't speak about it to anybody, so she really was stuck with that for the rest of her life. But, as it says in the story, that wasn't always a bad thing - having something constant in her life, even a fear, was a great comfort to her at times, because she was quite a troubled girl.

To be honest, I wasn't really sure where to sort her. I considered not mentioning her Hogwarts house at all, but she kind of seemed pulled to Ravenclaw, so I ended up putting it in. I think the sorting hat would have taken a long time to sort her - it would have thought about putting her in Gryffindor, for a while, because she'd braved this fear for so long, but in a way she wasn't really that brave about it all. I think she would have ended up in Ravenclaw because of her curiosity, the thing that got her into this whole mess in the first place, and because she was quiet and odd and wanted to be just a little bit out of the way.

Haha, I know for sure that when I got my tattoo that was pretty much all that was going through my mind! Just like, 'huh, well, why not'. I did think it would be a little funny to include that aspect of her decision ;)

'Taking back control' is the perfect way to summarise this ending. She's spent her whole life controlled by this single word and she just wants it to stop, but without losing the connection she has with it, which is the one thing that's kept her grounded through so many bad events in her life.

Thanks so much for this epic review! I'm really glad you liked the story, it means a lot :)

~Maia


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Review #4, by Lululuna shadows.

22nd December 2013:
Hi Maia! I'm here for your third prize review. :)

I really liked how you took the summary from the challenge and really made it into this powerful image and theme, and expanded the story into a story about growing up. The idea of the girl not being explicitly affected by Voldy - well, other than leaving from the country - was really unique, and a great insight into how it might be for an ordinary wizarding family to survive those times. I thought it was so creative how the name came to represent more than that one specific fear, but a fear of the unknown, hiding fear, and fear of loss such as when her father died.

The scene with her father being afraid of the name was so interesting as it represents that moment when parents stop being superheroes to their children and become figures with faults and fears as well. Hearing that her parents were afraid really had a damaging affect on the girl, since of course if they're frightened of something then it's logical for her to be as well.

I really love the style of narration and point of view in the story. From the work I've read of yours you have this really powerful way of connecting with the reader through the style, I can't quite explain it but it's a sort of honesty and playing with words which is really effective. :P A sentence which is an example of that is this one: When shes twenty eight, she has honestly. quite honestly, quite honestly and candidly and genuinely and frankly, she has quite frankly descended just a little into madness. There's just something really unique and creative about the way you put sentences together which makes this story stand out for me. :)

Ah it's so interesting how the name is the only constant in her life and the thing which keeps her grounded, even if it's in a frightening and ominous way. I really liked the idea of the tattoo and how by making the name a part of her body she is able to accept it and claim it as her own. Although I'm glad she had it covered as that might be a little hard to explain to somebody! :P

The second to last paragraph was really powerful with the link to her when she was a little child and her possession of it and giving the name a body and role in her humanity instead of being this enigma. What I really loved about this story was how it really embraced the idea of Voldy's name itself stirring up fear, and how for the girl who didn't know who he was, the fear of the name did not increase fear of the thing but increased fear of fear itself. I feel like Dumbledore would have some wise words to contribute if he had been alive at the time, it's the sort of thing he would have understood perfectly. :)

Lovely job with this as usual, Maia! :) I really enjoyed reading it and good luck with the challenge - I'm sure you'll do very well! :D

Author's Response: Hiya! Wow, what an awesome review, as always :D

I think it would be quite normal for parents to want to shield their children from knowing about Voldemort during the war, espeically if the kids were young and if they were possibly in danger. Thinking back to when I was young, my parents always hid it from me when something bad was going on - but sometimes that can backfire, which was really the basis of this story.

I kind of think the moment she realises her dad's not invincible is the first moment of 'growing up' for her. And for a lot of people it's a sad moment when you realise your parents can't protect you from everything, but for her, it's really damaging, just because of how unknown the situation is - since she doesn't know what it is she's afraid of, her imagination is free to create a thousand of the absolute very worst scenarios, and that ends up haunting her.

Wow, I'm so glad you like my narration and think it connects to the reader! I usually try not to make my writing have too formal a tone, so even when I'm talking about serious topics it sounds a little playful, I guess... oooh I'm glad you liked that line. I debated not putting it in for ages because it makes a butchery of grammar and my beta hated it :P But I decided to keep it in the end, because I liked it!

Ahaha, yeah, I don't think walking around with 'voldemort' tattood on you would be particularly easy to explain :P I also think she would have liked the idea of linking the name to her, and her ONLY, so nobody else can know its significance. Because like it says in the story, she doesn't have many strong connections, and the name is her only 'constant'. I think she would be a very solitary person just naturally, and might not settle down and get married or have kids or whatever, and she'd probably travel around a lot. So it's nice, to her, that she has something to keep her connected to the world - even if it's something that started off as a nightmare.

I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for leaving such a fab review :D

~Maia



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Review #5, by Kat Klawz shadows.

20th December 2013:
Hi Maia!

It's your SS! I submitted a gift to a QTR but it hasn't been posted yet. :( I saw your post and wanted to make sure you got some love sooner rather than later.

Your writing style is magnificent. It's brilliant to spend the entire story stating how terrifying Voldemort's name is without saying the name of the protagonist.

Is she a child of Reg and Mary Cattermole? Maise or Ellie? I spent the last 15 minutes poking through characters to try to determine who it could be. It makes sense with the idea that Voldemort has an issue with her mother, escaping to another country while the war is sorted out, and the uter terror she grows to feel at his name. Please tell me I'm right!!

Comparing hearing about Voldemort to getting the talk was brilliant. The way you tie her fear of Voldemort's name to such normal events and feelings in life.

The tattoo scene - your description of getting a tattoo and her desire to hold the name close but yet hide it from other's eyes was so very poignant.

The ending was beautiful and left me with a touch of hope after such a dark journey with Voldemort's name.

Your secret santa,

Kat Klawz

Author's Response: Hi secret santa! Eek, this is such a sweet review :D

Wow, thank you! I tried to break away from my usual style a little here and be more outright dark, so I'm really glad you think it worked :)

Maybe it is Maisie or Ellie ;) Maybe we'll never know. haha, truthfully, I never even really decided who she was! I was having trouble getting started with this challenge so I just MADE myself start writing, and this story started coming out, and I figured I'd go back and add in names and details later. Then I kind of liked the ambiguity so I left it like that! But I do quite like the idea of her being Maisie Cattermole... hmm, okay, let's go with that for now :P

I'm glad you liked the tattoo scene! I didn't know if that was a totally weird way to end it or not but I'm about to get my second tattoo so I've kind of had it on my mind :P It kind of just crept into the story but I liked it so I kept it there!

Thank you so much for this lovely review, secret santa! Merry Christmas!

~Maia


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Review #6, by farrah shadows.

17th December 2013:
Wow really good. THis was intense but not quite horror I thought? I thought it was going to be horror but it was actually a bit poignant at the end idk. Well done anyway I like it a lot.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, it kind of started off heading towards horror, but then changed directions half way through writing it, haha.

Thanks for reviewing < 3

~Maia


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Review #7, by LilyLou shadows.

16th December 2013:
Hey, LilyLou here for my Challenge, the Surprise Summary Challenge!

I had a feeling that who ever ended up with this summary would write about Voldemort. However, I wanted it to be unique. Different. And this was undoubtedly a rather unique one shot.

I absolutely love the beginning. Using the words 'the first time' made it that much more haunting and attention grabbing. Immediately, the reader wants to know what happened the first time, as well as what happens all the other times. It then leads into her hearing it, and the effect and toll it took on her as a human, which went extremely well with the summary I supplied you with, as it refers to inhumanity.

I love her fate, and the possession the fear took of her. It was haunting, a bit cruel, and absolutely fascinating, I must say. The way you wrote her feelings and reactions were phenomenal, truly.

Well done! I loved it! Thanks so much for entering!

-Janelle

Author's Response: Hi Janelle!

Yeah, when I first got this summary I really didn't want to write about Voldemort, but I think it kind of became inevitable haha. So I just tried to do it as uniquely as possible - and I'm glad you think I succeeded!

I started writing this without any idea where the plot was gonna go, so I'm so glad you liked the beginning - I was just kind of typing for the sake of typing at that first stage but I didn't really edit it at all because I liked it, so I'm so glad you agree!

This was a super fun if difficult challenge - thanks so much for running it! Can't wait to read all the other entries :)

~Maia


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Review #8, by UnluckyStar57 shadows.

16th December 2013:
Hi! I'm here from the BvB review battle!

This was REALLY interesting! The little girl grew up haunted by the name of "Voldemort," and it seems like it'll continue to haunt her. I thought it was intriguing how she was afraid of it, but later she wanted to possess it, to take control of it. And I like that she saw so many things in it--not just fear and cruelty, but her own bravery as well.

My favorite quote was this: "She isn't afraid of the name - she's afraid of the inhumanity of it. There's something scary about the way words can strip someone down to their most base of functions, any words, and there's something most terrifying about the way this name stands for things, too many things to be contained in such a single [_]." (Sorry that I couldn't put the last word in there. The review box said that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th letters spelled a bad word.) ;)

This quote is SO TRUE. Words are so full of meaning--sometimes double and triple meanings--and this whole examination of the word "Voldemort" through the girl's eyes just makes this statement all the more valid.

You write very well! I loved all of the description and emotion behind the words!

~UnluckyStar57

Author's Response: Hiya! I'm glad you liked it :)

I was having a lot of trouble coming up with a plot for this challenge, but I just kind of started writing one day, and this spiralled out! A lot of it began as me rambling and got edited down to those thoughts about words and all the different things you can see in them. So I'm really glad you liked it!

Aww, I'm glad you liked that quote :) The first sentence is actually the one I got given for the challenge this is for, and I wanted to encorporate it into my story as naturally as I could, which is why I did that little paragraph. I ended up really liking it so I'm glad you did too!

Thanks so much for this awesome review!

~Maia


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Review #9, by kerrie shadows.

16th December 2013:
I really liked this! You are a very good author but very scary in some places as well I though she was goign to go mad for a while!! I like how we never found out who she is as well!

I love finding good stories in the recently added part!!

Author's Response: Glad you liked it! I didn't really mean to make this too scary haha, but okay, hope I didn't freak you out too much :P

Thanks for reviewing.

~Maia


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Review #10, by gleefreak123 shadows.

16th December 2013:
wow this was spookybut i kind of liked it, well done

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it :)

~Maia


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