Reading Reviews for Nine Lives
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dumbledore_wannabe Wee Minnie

3rd May 2015:
I've always loved Minerva McGonagall and was so happy to come across this story. I'm even happier to have found her in the hands of such an inspired author. You set a mood seemingly without effort. You introduce us to a previously-unknown person in such a way that I already feel I understand him, both as a young man and an older, more bitter one. You tell us volumes about a person's character with a mere flick of a pen. You illuminate months - or years - of history in the briefest of paragraphs.

In just two chapters, you have expanded Minerva McGonagall's humanity so wonderfully. Can't wait to learn more about her, and to read more of your lovely writing.

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Review #2, by nott theodore An Annotation

22nd September 2014:
Hi there!

This story is one I actually read a while ago and now that it's receiving some extremely well deserved Dobby nominations, I really wanted to come back and leave you a review on it!

First of all, this is such an original story to write. I know that Minerva/Dougal is in canon from the information that went up on pottermore, but I have never seen another story that actually features them as a pairing so I loved the chance to be able to read about them in this, and I really hope that you continue to write it as I'd love to carry on reading about them too!

The opening idea of 'Nine Lives' and linking that into Minerva McGonagall and cats was really clever, and I loved the idea of this story exploring Minerva's life in a different way.

The writing style in this piece was so lovely to read - it flowed so well and I was just gripped from the start to the end of the chapter. It was really brilliant to see a style that managed that! The description was beautiful in this and I also loved the use of present tense because it brought me right into the story as I was reading, which worked well since it was set in the past. I felt like it really helped me to understand Minerva's story better as I watched it along with her.

Minerva was so well written too - I loved your characterisation of her! She was definitely recognisable as the woman that we see in the books but at the same time she was very different and I think that's the most original portrayal of her that I've seen. I really liked her vulnerability here - even though she's left her relationship with Dougal behind, she's still extremely vulnerable and I think that just illustrated how deeply she felt for him, as Dougal affected her composure more than anyone else could, I think. Tiny details like the way she wore her hair and how she stumbled a little at times over her words and what was best to say show how much she cares about Dougal. Because you conveyed that emotion so well, it made me feel really sad that Minerva wasn't going to be able to marry Dougal and have the relationship she dreams of, although I can understand why they couldn't be together as well.

I also absolutely loved the way that you portrayed Dougal in this story! Obviously there's almost nothing to go off when you start writing him, but I think you managed to create a great character here. He was easily believable as someone that Minerva had fallen in love with. I really liked the way that he changed his attitude over the course of the conversation - defensive and a bit indignant at times, and then at others gentle and caring. It's evident that the relationship with Minerva meant a lot to him and that he still cares for her, although he's trying to move on and doesn't want her to pity him or anything like that. But I warmed to him a lot in just this first chapter, so I'm really interested to see how you continue to develop his character after this fantastic start.

The tiny details that you included in this chapter did a lot to enhance the quality as well, and make everything feel a lot more authentic. I really liked the fact that you included some of the Scottish dialect words and wrote out Dougal's accent, as I could hear him even more clearly in my head because of it, and the differences between his accent and Minerva's here showed some of the ways that she's changed since moving away from Scotland. I always love the little details like those and you did such a great job of including them!

This was a really lovely first chapter, and I hope that you choose to continue the story soon!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by emmacweasley An Annotation

8th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

I'm sort of fascinated with the life of Minerva right now, so of *course* I had to read this. The prose is so beautiful. It's very poetic and gentle and just so fitting for her. My headcanon is a bit different from your version of Minerva, but I loved her all the same. And this relationship - it's so heartbreaking. Especially for them, I suppose, but still. This was just a beautiful, beautiful scene to write. I don't imagine Minerva often visiting her regrets, but I completely believe this one.

I do wish this would get updated! :) It would be a lovely thing to be able to continue reading.


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Review #4, by patronus_charm An Annotation

25th February 2014:
Hi Emma, here for the review exchange! Iím so glad I was paired with you because Nadia (MissesWeasley123) has been telling me about how great your writing is for a while now, and this is a story about a ship Iíve always liked but there are never any stories for it!

I adored the Scottish accent! Iím only partly Scottish too so I canít say whether it was spot on, but to me I thought it was very realistic and just added to Dougalís character so much. It just really gave me a sense of him and them really which was rather odd given how it was only an accent, but it was such a great addition and I hope to see it carried through.

Another thing I liked is the whole structure of the story with the idea of flicking back and forth and the different sections as weíll really get a sense of their whole relationship and I canít wait to see more of them. Then on a smaller level the whole sentence structure and style was really great and really capture the sorrowful air of Minerva and how she was still clinging on desperately to Dougal and just raised the angst to a really beautiful level if that makes some sort of sense :P

Minervaís thoughts before seeing Dougal again were really fantastic and they were the thing which made me want to keep on reading. I think it was the simple thing such as her wearing her hair down and realising the importance of that which gave the whole love which can never really succeed but I desperately want it to, because even after two years sheís still desperately clinging to him.

Dougalís character was really fantastic and it created a really interesting dynamic between him and Minerva. He had an almost indignant air about him with the way he teased Minerva about him being in London, and it sort of added to his gruff physical appearance. I canít wait to see more of them because thereís Minerva who seems so refined and almost regal and then thereís Dougal who has this rustic (terrible adjective choice but canít think of a better one) air about him, and I just want to find out more and more!

Ah the ending! ♥ It was so poignant and heartfelt and left me wanting moar! I really hope thereís more to this soon because it was such a fantastic read and makes me want to check out more of your writing :D Nadia definitely was right!


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Review #5, by CambAngst An Annotation

5th February 2014:
Hi, there!

I saw Nadia recommend this story in the forums, so I wanted to check it out myself. I have to say that I'm really glad I did.

I've done a bit of writing where I tried to affect a Scottish dialect, assisted by my friend and beta reader who's part Scottish, and on the basis of that experience I'm amazed at what a great job you did. You captures the intricacies of the dialect but did it in such a way that it didn't sound cartoonish or disrespectful. In fact, I thought Dougal was fairly easy to understand. If the words weren't perfectly clear, there was always plenty of context and other detail to make the point clear.

I loved the idea of the star-crossed relationship between Minerva and Dougal. Since JKR fleshed out her bio more in Pottermore, I've been really intrigued by the details of her early life and the marriage that she was forced to walk away from. In this chapter, I thought you did a fantastic job of capturing all of the gut-wrenching emotions that must have gripped both of them in the aftermath of her choice not to follow in her mother's footsteps.

Your physical descriptions of Dougal, both his appearance and his mannerisms, were awesome. He comes across as a rough-and-ready highlander with more than a bit of poetry in his soul. He sounds a lot like a man who would have proposed to Minerva over a freshly plowed field.

In spite of what she did to him -- for reasons that he can never possibly know -- he can't bring himself to hate her. Forgive her? Not so much. Let himself be hurt again? Probably not. But he can't hate her. And now with her moving back to Scotland, it seems like there might be a second chance for the two of them. We know it doesn't work out that way, but I'm really curious to see how it does work.

Your writing was superb. Everything flowed really nicely and I didn't see any typos or grammatical problems. There was only one place where I would suggest a small change: She brings the cup to her mouth in a vain attempt to hide her mouth. Using the words "her mouth" twice in this sentence sounds repetitive. Perhaps say, "... in a vain attempt to hide her expression."

Good job!

Author's Response: This was absolutely perfect, thank you! I'm so happy you stopped by - and I am BEYOND pleased that you liked the portrayal of Douglas. I've been so nervous about his accent and how I should portray him - this calms me.

Thank you so much for reviewing and all your critique! This really means a lot. xx

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Review #6, by HerEyesOnMeGazing An Annotation

2nd February 2014:
Your writing is AMAZING! Great job. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! This means a lot :)

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Review #7, by teh tarik An Annotation

29th January 2014:
Emma! Hello, my fellow newsie. I know you've just got laser eye surgery so you probably won't see this for a few days. :P But anyway. I've never read any of your writing before, and I saw your recent post in the Previews thread at TGS...and here I am.

Gah, this was absolutely gorgeous. You have an amazing way with words and language, and you brought the scene to life so effortlessly: Dougal's characterisation and his mannerisms and that gentle gruffness (that's an awful description, sorry!) and hesitance and the painful extent of Minerva's longing and guilt - all of these were written so convincingly. I can imagine both Minerva and Dougal sitting there in the pub, with a hundred unsaid and discordant things between them, and how they eventually reach out to each other at the end of the chapter; it's a moment of great tenderness and melancholy, and your writing was pitch perfect in this. I love the bittersweet tone to this story.

You've written Minerva so, so well; she's not an easy character to tackle, and I'm always a bit iffy about reading younger Minerva stories, in which she's portrayed as a significantly more vulnerable woman. But your depiction of her was so convincing; I can completely imagine her growing from her present self into that stern but just and courageous Transfig teacher and future Headmistress of Hogwarts. The way she feels guilt about her treatment toward Dougal, and yet she remains steadfast in her decision not to reconnect with him in a romantic way, and her determination in reaching out to him, even if it means that they'll both have to confront all the painful, tricky emotional things.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this! I'd love to see where you take the 'nine lives' concept - I just remembered Minerva's Animagus form is a cat. Lovely nod to canon! Apologies for this rather muddled review; I really hope you update this soon! You're a fabulous writer. :)


Author's Response: aw NICOLE!!! FELLOW NEWSIE! :) This made me so happy and I'm sorry I'm so late at responding to this! Life's been a mess as of late, and yeah, we're all busy, busy, aren't we? :)


I don't mind muddled review, especially not when they're as lovely as this! I'm so pleased you liked the characterizations. Dougal just... came to life on the screen while I was writing - there's a lot of my relatives in there. I'm a bit iffy about Minerva, too. I've was actually slightly hesitant about writing her, but this whole concept with the Nine Lives just came to me one night and I just HAD to write it, so here it is. I'm happy you liked her characterization, though. I haven't read a lot of tics about her, perhaps it's an advantage? I don't know...

Thank you so much for reviewing, though! This was such a lovely surprise.

HUGS!! xxx

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Review #8, by MissesWeasley123 An Annotation

24th January 2014:
I have reviews that need to be responded to, reviews that need to be left, exams that need to be studied for, but you started this and I knew I had to read it. I love your writing, it's breathtakingly amazing, every word is like poetry and flows so well. It's a mass of pain and emotions all into a single chapter, and I just hope you update this really soon, as well as Before:After, because these are stories that make HPFF what it is today. Everytime you contribute your talent to the archives, it makes me so happy because you raise the standard of this place every time. Beautiful writing.

The whole concept of nine lives is amazing. How you do it, I don't know. Your mind, UGH. ARE YOU ON TALENT PILLS? BECAUSE I WANT SOME PLEASE. Honestly, this is mindbogglingly infuriating but just so well written.

You characterized Minerva so well. The way she thought.. the way she acted. You painted her character so well. She was young and.. in love. It was beautiful. Her relationship with Dougal was emotional and sad too. When she was leaving.. well that was it.

Your descriptions, like can they please not be so amazing. I don't even understand how your mind works because you are so talented, and please, just go write a novel and I will buy it. You can be the next Matthew Quick or Stephen King -- you have the potential and the talent. Such beautiful imagery and emotions, honestly woman just you're amazing and I love you, and I love this.

Everything, literally every single letter was brilliant.
Thank you for this. Please update soon. I really want to get to know Minerva, and you just write so well.
- Nadia

Author's Response: I've been terrible at responding to this - usually I'm so quick at this, but I've had surgery and I wasn't allowed to read for a few days and then YOU made me sit down and write a bunch of different things, just because you left a bunch of reviews. But here I am. Responding.

The trouble is I'm not quite sure HOW to respond to this? I am flabbergasted, awed and STUNNED into silence by the UTTER AMAZINGNESS you are. I can be the next Matthew Quick or Stephen King? Really? Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou.

This is truly one of the reviews I appreciate the most - as a writer you're incredibly self-conscious, but my God. I have no words for how lovely you are. I just feel like flail around me, beaming, beaming, beaming.

Thank you.

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