15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragon Spinning Circles

15th March 2014:
I was glad you changed the dynamic with the rooms here. I think that allowed you to do some good things for the plot and the characterizations because James and Valerie were able to settle down a bit more instead of constantly being on the move.

I liked that you used the note from the last chapter to create an added atmosphere of pressure to solving the puzzle in the room with only one door and I also liked the fact that this mysterious story includes a puzzle. In a shifting, labyrinthine house that seems thus far to only be defined by its enigmatic nature it seems only fitting. Definitely enjoyed the nature of Hogwarts Houses banter!

At the same time, I would have liked a little more detailed description of the puzzle itself. The one you provided at first had some details, but I would have liked to know how exactly it worked, how the designs were etched, etc. I think some of that was lost by the different aspects of the description being broken up. Just a thought.

I do like James and Valerie as characters so far. We have seen some peeks through his thoughts into some personal issues with James, while Valerie remains largely an enigma aside from her personality. I am guessing there is more to both really than we are seeing right now, but I think I would like a bit more seriousness injected into their dynamic given their situation. While we see some flashes of seriousness and concern, most notably in the tar monster scene, without some avoidance of their heavy reliance on witty banter in future chapters I think their dialogue could become a little predictable/one-dimensional even if their thoughts or observed expressions avoid that happening to the characters as a whole.

You are definitely keeping the story intriguing though, so I'm interested to see what happens next.

Author's Response: I definitely never want things to be too predictable in the 'house'. It's meant to feel very random and disjointed, and not making a whole lot of sense.

The Hogwarts houses thing is something I've always sort of debated with myself, so it was a lot of fun to write.

I'll see what I can do about the description. Thanks for pointing that out!

I see your point. Don't worry, things are going to get more serious soon. I think at this point the banter is very much a defense mechanism for James definitely, and Valerie a little too. It distracts them from the complete nonsensical and terrifying nature of their situation. I think that's something that teenagers tend to do--treat the situation lightly so they don't have to face it. But when things pick up, they'll be dropping a lot of the banter.

Thanks again! Your reviews are very helpful!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #2, by TidalDragon The Warning

15th March 2014:
Hello again!

So you are a fan of the mysterious chapter endings! I forgot to comment on the first one, but I can say that along with the second one here, I thought it was good. Neither was a case of laying it on too thick, but it still provided enough to make you wonder about the meaning or what was coming next.

I liked that we got a bit of description of Valerie here and she continued to be a rather sassy character, unimpressed with James, but I too am interested in how she knows his siblings better if she only knows James as basically a Potter and a prat. I get the feeling there is a lot more about her than there seems. And yes, my mind is running wild with some possible theories.

I liked the descriptions of the monster and the tree hallways. I think the way the house is laid out with all the (so far) relatively short hallways between doors and the characters (understandably) moving quickly between them poses a challenge for you as a writer to give more in-depth descriptions, but I think you've done a good job of setting the right tone for the room or giving enough to let us picture the object.

In terms of plot I did feel this chapter was a bit slow in between the attack and the box. I just didn't get the sense that a lot of significance happened in there aside from possibly the bits about Valerie knowing all three of the Potter kids. Every fic has those periods and I'm guilty of them too - after all, not every moment can be laden with significance - but it was just something I noticed.

Most importantly though, your story is still keeping me intrigued, so see you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again!

Mystery endings always make me want to read more, so I thought maybe I could keep my readers coming back if I used them!

Valerie has definitely got things going on that neither the reader or James knows about currently. But they won't come up until the time is right :)

This is actually one of the more challenging parts of writing this, so I'm glad you think the short hallways work.

Thanks again for the critique! I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it feel more significant without changing the plot around too much, but I'll definitely keep it in mind and see what I can do!

Thanks again! You are an excellent reviewer :)

Sam


 Report Review

Review #3, by TidalDragon Valerie

15th March 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to respond to your review request for this very intriguing story.

To start by answering the question in your A/N, it definitely made me want to keep reading for three reasons.

First, you drew me in with your concept. I don't read many Next-Gens, mostly because they have a reputation for being a certain type of story and yours totally bucks that, which I think is great.

Second, your descriptions of James waking up and the initial room are very nice. I feel his confusion, I feel the temperature rising, and I can visualize the room well in my mind's eye.

Third, I like the characterization of James. I think he's fairly in line with how he is typically portrayed, but you do a good job reigning him in from being too over-the-top.

In terms of the suspense, I think it could come off stronger. Some of that is down to word choice and some of it is down to description. For example, I know you were trying to advance James into encountering Valerie, but I noticed a drop off in the detail and effectiveness of the descriptions you used getting him from his room to hers. I also didn't see as much language that lent as much heaviness to the scene. Another example was the mist. I don't know if the mist will be important or not, but I thought a more detailed description of it and more of Valerie's panic or James's realization of its seriousness as a threat would have packed more punch.

I also think Valerie has potential to be an interesting companion/foil to James if that's what you have in mind. You've sort of walked a line of giving us information about her (making her not really shrouded in mystery) but not making that information terribly significant (at least at first glance). I'm interested to see how these plays out.

All in all it's a really interesting start and I look forward to seeing more.

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you for the review, and I'm sorry for taking so long to respond! I haven't been as active on here because of midterms and spring break, but I'm getting back into the swing of things now.

That was something I was aiming for. There are so many next-gen stories its hard to put your own spin on the standard sort of plot, so I tried to take this in a completely different direction. I'm glad you think it worked!

Over the top James is actually one of my pet peeves! I'm so glad you think I've got him under control.

I can see what you mean about this. I'm going over this chapter with my beta reader right now, so I'll keep your thoughts in mind while I'm editing!

Thanks again for this review! It is very thoughtful and helpful.

Sam


 Report Review

Review #4, by Lululuna Valerie

7th March 2014:
Hello! :)

This is so intriguing! I don't think I've ever read a story on here like this before, with all the suspense and mystery and not knowing exactly what's going on. It feels very frightening and tense, and I'm excited to learn more about what is going on and how James and Valerie got into the house.

Can I just say that a wizarding song called "My Patronus Is You" sounds perfect? :P I would love to hear the words to that!

The flames and the mist are so interesting. I guess they want to keep the prisoners moving from room to room. This story feels like it's going to be full of danger and excitement, and I loved the cliffhanger at the end.

Were you one of those girls in that sort of...herd...that always did everything together? Watching James put his foot in his mouth was actually quite entertaining, and I think he was being quite the jerk to Valerie. I like her a lot so far - she seems like she has a good head on her shoulders and isn't afraid to stand up to him, and he was being quite rude with accusing her of kidnapping him and everything. I definitely cringed when he kept asking her questions about who she was and not knowing!

Did you think toilets just sprung from the bathroom floor? This is such a good point! I can imagine wizards taking toilets for granted, and James' interest (not the time, buddy!) made me laugh as well. He's just such a typical wizard. :P

I'm excited to see where this goes and how James and Valerie progress, they seem like awesome and entertaining characters so far to bring some humour into a rather spooky and confusing situation. This was brilliant, and I'll definitely be back! :)

Gry/Sly Battle, Round 2 - Review 15 of 15

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing!

My goal was for tension and suspense, so I'm glad you picked up on that!

I may at some point write the words for that, just for laughs. And maybe put it in a humor one-shot or something :D

Danger and excitement are definitely going to be happening. And lots more mystery!

I'm glad you like Valerie, and that part! She's fun to write.

Thanks again!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #5, by ohmymerlin Valerie

7th March 2014:
Hi there! I'm here from my review thread!

First of all, I am SO sorry about the huge delay on this! I never meant to to go so long, I feel so terrible about it!

Okay, so now onto the review!

Let's do the plot first. It's amazing! It's really original and it is super interesting and intriguing. I haven't read the Maze Runner series yet but I've read a brief synopsis (with no spoilers of course) but it kind of sounds a bit similar?

But I still loved it. The way you described the fire was absolutely amazing! I could really feel the heat and James' fear. And the way you wrote his confusion was absolutely phenomenal.

And I really laughed at how he didn't remember/know Valerie. He was so clueless but he tried hard to remember her, haha!

And Valerie is an awesome character! She seems like a stubborn, strong woman which is my favourite! I love how she called James' sexism out and told him that he was a git - that was brilliant!

Also, James is pretty cool. Even though it's in his point of view, I haven't gotten a real impression out of him just yet - which is fair enough because he's extremely confused and I doubt that he's really himself in this moment. All I can say is that maybe he's a bit too immature but if that's his actual personality, then that's fine! He just seems quite childish but if that was your intention then that's good! Go ahead and ignore me if that is the case! :p

You also asked about the flow and so far, there isn't any issue with it! It's extremely smooth and there's nothing that really pulled me out and made me feel a bit iffy about, so yay!

Ending the chapter on a cliffhanger was done really well! I'm super curious as to what's going to happen so it DEFINITELY draws the readers in!

Overall, you did an amazing job on this chapter. It was a great first chapter and I think you've done a super job on it (oh god, my inner teacher is coming out!) and you don't really need to worry about it so much!

Also, I love the banner! TDA has some incredible artists!

Feel free to request again (and hopefully next time it won't be as long)!

- Kayla :)

Author's Response: Hi! Don't worry about the delay! Life can be crazy sometimes :)

It has a similar concept as the Maze Runner I suppose (I have read it) in that the people just wake up suddenly in a mazish place, but I'm going to be taking it in a very different direction! I'm so glad you like the plot :)

Valerie is actually one of my favorite OC's I've written. My goal for her is to make her strong and interesting, but not in the sort of stereotypical "I'm a strong woman so I don't cry or like pink and I hate men" sort of way.

With James, I think being childish is sort of his defense mechanism. If he tried to be serious about everything, he'd have a hrad time dealing with the situation. He's also an 18 year old guy, and in my experience they tend to be a bit immature at times ;)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad everything worked for you!

Isn't the banner stunning? I am always in awe of their talent over at TDA.

I'll definitely pop over and re-request :)

Thanks again!!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #6, by K The Warning

2nd March 2014:
WHAT THE HECK THIS IS SO SCARY


You are the Queen of Suspense!

Author's Response: Awww thank you so much you just made my day!

Sorry for the scariness... ;)


 Report Review

Review #7, by Miss Muggle The Warning

2nd March 2014:
What! This chapter is just as, if not more, intense and confusing as the last one. There's a creepy tentacle thing, creepy trees, and now a creepy warning. This is creepy.

On another note, I love Valerie. Taking notes and trying to make sense of everything to come up with a plan of just what I would do.

Surely there must be more people in the house. Just James and Valerie is pretty random, like James said. Unless, of course, there is some unknown reason that makes it all make sense.

Author's Response: Heheheh yes I'm glad you find it creepy! I sound like a psycho when I say that but the story is supposed to be confusing and intense and a little creepy!

Valerie's fun to write, so I'm glad you love her!

All shall be revealed at some point *cackles*

Thanks!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #8, by HufflePuff_Blitz The Warning

1st March 2014:
I love this! The house is really cool, but really really really creepy! I'm guessing Scorpius M is also in the house cause it said his name in the description, or am I just imagining things? I am really intrigued by this story and would love to see more! -Hufflepuff_Blitz

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks! You're quite observant :) Scorpius will be showing up at some point...I'm not telling when or how though! I already have chapter 3 and 4 written ahead, so I'll be updating fairly regularly!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #9, by K Valerie

28th February 2014:
Wow. I'm so excited for the next chapter!

Author's Response: I'm glad you're excited! The next chapter is in the queue, so should be up soon :)

 Report Review

Review #10, by magnolia_magic Valerie

28th February 2014:
Hi! Maggie here with your review! Thank you so much for swapping with me, I really appreciate it :) And I'm so glad I got to read this! It's a really intriguing start to your story, and I've definitely never read anything like it before.

I'm really impressed with the thought you put into the traps and the detail you give about that aspect. It's such an unsettling thought, waking up suddenly in a house that's out to get you, and I thought you wrote that first escape scene very well. The pace is quick and urgent, which helped me really get into the action. And I liked the little mention of James's palms sweating because he was so nervous. I just thought that was a great touch; a good physical way of showing us what was going on in his head without spelling it out for us. Awesome job!

I also loved the comic relief you threw in here and there. You don't know how much I wish "My Patronus is You" was a real song! I laughed out loud when I read that! And the little bit of banter between James and Valerie was cute too. I have to agree with James; toilets are very important in my opinion as well :)

The one thing I wanted out of this chapter was more buildup at the beginning. I sort of felt like I was just dropped into the action without warning, and it was overwhelming at first. And hey, that may be the effect you're going for here. But personally, I like to have at least a little time to ease into things, to get comfortable with my narrator, and get my bearings. Having that connection with the main character helps me become more emotionally invested in things, and I didn't really connect with James right off the bat. By the end I really liked him, though, so I know you've created an enjoyable narrator. Why not bring some of James' personality in at the beginning? The mention of the party was a great start, and I wanted to see you build on it. Maybe go into more detail about his memories of the event; tell us what he said and did, who was most important to him, things like that. That would help give your readers an immediate connection to the story.

I really like Valerie a lot so far! She seems really down to earth and smart, and I love the vibe between her and James--even if he didn't remember her from school at all! Hate it when that happens :) But anyway, I think you have two solid, likable main characters, and that makes me want to read on. And not to mention the suspense factor! How did they get in that place and why are they there? You do a great job of keeping the mystery alive, which is something I'm really bad at. I love getting the chance to learn from authors who do suspense well :)

Great start! I'm so glad I got to read it. Thank you again for agreeing to swap with me! I've been looking to start getting back into the swing of reading and reviewing, and I really appreciate you being willing to help. This opening chapter was a really fun way to break my HPFF hiatus :D

--Maggie

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you for such a long and lovely review!

I'm going to try and keep that intensity up, although the pace will slow a tiny bit as they get more into the swing of things. The one thing I always have trouble with is showing rather than telling, so I'm really glad you liked that touch of the sweat!

I want this to be dramatic and intense, but humorous too. Partly because humor is how James tends to deal with stress I think.

I see your point. I do want it to feel like the reader is just dropped in on the action and the story takes off running, but it makes sense to give a little more connection to James. I'll see if maybe I can work in a little more without taking away from the pace of the chapter. Thanks!

Suspense is the greatest! Both to read and write! I'm glad you've got a lot of questions, because curiosity keeps people reading right? ;)

Again, thank you so much for this review! It is super helpful and I'm definitely going to be keeping it in mind when I edit. I'm glad that you're getting back into HPFF again! I'll see you around the forums :)

Sam


 Report Review

Review #11, by Miss Muggle Valerie

27th February 2014:
What? What is it? Holy cow, how did you get so intense in only one chapter? I must know what is going on! But I doubt you'll be telling us anytime soon, right?

In case you couldn't tell, I already adore this story. It sort of reminds me of House Taken Over by Julio Cortazer, though they're completely different. I guess it is just the creepy house full of something evil and unknown.

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

I'm so glad you enjoyed it and found it suspenseful! That's the goal ;)

You won't be finding out what's going on in the house anytime soon, but the second chapter is in the queue now, so you'll find out what the thing in the hall is soon :)

I've never read that book, but maybe I'll check it out!

Thanks again!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #12, by The Ghost Of His Last Laugh Valerie

25th February 2014:
Hi! I think you have a very great start to the story. It definitely draws me in, and it's way longer than first chapters typically are, which I like! You have a very strong style and voice unique to you. I honestly have nothing bad to say about this. My best advice is just to encourage you to develop your story in your next chapters, I think you are a great writer! I will definitely be adding this to my reading list. Keep it up. :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm working on developing the story, and I'm planning on updating regularly because I actually have a lot written ahead on this :)

Sam


 Report Review

Review #13, by CambAngst Valerie

25th February 2014:
Hi! Tagging you from Review Tag!

So to answer the question in your Author's Note, yes, it did make me want to keep reading. I think your premise is interesting and you did a good job of getting across just enough information in your opening chapter to make me want to keep going. That last part is key. I'm not a big fan of stories that dump loads and loads of back story on me during the first chapter. For me, you struck a great balance between giving me enough to know who the key players are and leaving plenty to the imagination.

James seems like a very realistic character. He obviously has an attitude and a bit of a superiority complex, but he's appropriately worried about his circumstances. He obviously didn't pay much attention to other students that he didn't consider interesting when he was at Hogwarts. He's a little cocky, but he knows when he's in over his head. He's not afraid to verbally mix it up with his companion in the mysterious house, and he hates it when people assume that he's living off of his father's fame. All around, I like him, even if he is a bit of a git.

We obviously know a lot less about Valerie, but she has spirit. I liked that she wasn't at all intimidated by James, even though she comes from a middle-class, non-magical family. She's willing to stand up and make him take notice.

The only thing I saw in this chapter that bugged me a little was the way that you sometimes didn't break up your paragraphs of dialog when one character interrupts the other. I think I understand the effect you're trying to get, I just don't think it's working very well for you. I found myself getting confused about who was talking, having to go back and re-read it once or twice to get clear. My suggestion would be ending the first character's dialog with a hyphen and quote marks ("Right, I said that, didn't I-") and then starting a new paragraph for the next speaker ("Maybe you did," Valerie broke in, folding her arms across her chest, "but that's not how I know.")

Good start! I hope you keep going with this.

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for the review!

My goal is to sort of fill in background info as I go, because I really want this story to be about the plot, here and now. James isn't going to be thinking about his life story with so much else going on. I'm trying to only write backstory that's relevant--which is hard sometimes, but hopefully I'll be able to do it!

I'm glad you like James! I think he's such an interesting character to explore, being Harry's oldest child. I think that his father's fame affects him more than he would like to admit, to be honest. That's where his confidence, and slight cockiness comes from I think! Valerie is a lot of fun to write, so it's good to hear that you liked her!

Ahh thanks for pointing that out. I've always been a bit iffy on how to write interrupted dialogue. I'll be editing this soon to fix it.

I actually have the next two and a half chapters written, so I'll be updating fairly regularly!

Thanks again!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #14, by lindslo2012 Valerie

24th February 2014:
Hey there!
Here for your requested review!
So I was like hooked on what was happening from the very beginning of your chapter.
You did such a good job in writing the character I would expect James to be like! A joker like his grandpa and uncles and a handful:)
That is okay that it doesn't have much romance, I like stories without romance too. I like stories like this that are intense and mysterious and I am excited to read more.
Valerie seems like she has a personality similar to James' but she seems a little more shy than he is. I am enjoying next gen more and more as I read them. It's fun to write them because we can typically make them how we want to because JK didn't say exactly how they are in the books.
I do not see any indication of errors with grammar or anything in your story and I enjoyed reading your first chapter alot. Your plot was intense from the beginning and I like that in a story because it gets you hooked!
I hope you re-request and I hope to talk to you soon!!!
Until next time,
-Lindsey

Author's Response: Eep! Thank you!

I think James definitely would grow up pretty confident and mischievous, with such a big, loving family. I'm glad you like him!

I'm really attached to Valerie as a character. She is fun to write, so I'm glad you like her :)

Next gen is great! You get the framework, but have so much freedom!

Again, thanks so much Lindsey!

Sam


 Report Review

Review #15, by LilyFire Valerie

23rd February 2014:
First, this. is. AWESOME.

Second, this is a very interesting plot, and I'd like to see where you take it. The set up and the characters are both very nice and defined (though, I admit I didn't look to hard, so I thought it was James I at first).

The only 'big' problem I noticed with this was when you're writing dialouge, you'll sometimes mix the next person speaking and the current person speaking into the same paragraph (as evidenced in the 17th paragraph from the bottom). Even when someone is being interrupted, and new paragraph is needed.

Your detail is great, which I expected given the premise of the setting. All in all, it's a very interesting story that I'm interested in continuing. Thank you for swapping with me!
~Lily

Author's Response: Ahhh! Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it!

I'll see if I can maybe make it a little clearer that its James II.

I always get all mixed up when I'm writing interrupted dialogue :P I'll do my best to fix it! Thanks for pointing it out!

I actually have a fair bit written ahead on this, so I should be updating regularly. Thanks for the swap!

Sam


 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login