12 Reviews Found

Review #1, by adluvshp Chapter One

15th October 2014:
Hello! I'm finally here with your requested review. I'm so sorry for the delay!

This story is definitely very intriguing and very interesting. I love your plot concept - it's so unique! The writing style is also amazing; there is a smooth beautiful flow to the narrative and I love that. I quite like your characterisations so far too, especially Weston, Imogen and Norman.

The entire chapter had this dark mysterious feel to it, and drew me in throughout. As for your concerns, I didn't really spot anything out of canon; but maybe I'm not the best person to judge that because I do write and read AU a lot.

Nonetheless, to me, this was an amazing start to what seems to be a great story, so do keep writing. I loved this chapter and don't have any CC to give you!

Cheers,
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Thank you for the review and the feedback! I'm glad that you enjoyed the chapter, and if you do decide to read on, I hope you enjoy the rest of the story thus far!

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Review #2, by hokiechick Chapter Five

18th September 2014:
This is an excellent story. Just some things I noticed and appreciated about your work so far:

You stay in canon very well. The characters that we are familiar with from the books are true to character. The way you've incorporated elements of canon, like the Dark Mark and the fate of Azkaban in a post-Dementor society are well-reasoned and you've used incredible imagery to expand on those concepts.

Your villain is truly scary. I can tell you've got a great plan for him and I'm excited to continue reading this story.

At one point while reading, I wondered why you chose Hermione as the other main character with Imogen. I think the choice was deliberate on your part, and I like the way using her allows you to take advantage of her intellect as a plot device for uncovering pieces of information to the reader. Also, I think the two primary characters being women is still so rare that I'm very interested in seeing their dynamic play out.

And finally, Imogen. What a fantastic job you've done developing her character. There's so much that I can tell you're holding back from telling us about her. She has such an interesting back story and her tattoos/abilities are very special. It takes a skilled writer to exercise that much restraint with an exciting character they've created and not just blurt out everything you want us to know about her. You let the reader in slowly and carefully, which makes me want to know even more.

All in all, very well done. Thank you for sharing this story and these characters.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your feedback!
To respond to one point, pairing two females as the lead protagonists was definitely a conscious choice. As you said, it's somewhat rare, and I wanted to explore how Hermione might respond when she's not constantly playing a supportive role to male characters.
I hope you continue to read the story as I update. The next chapter should be coming soon. :)
Thanks again!


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Review #3, by Lululuna Chapter One

31st August 2014:
Hi Hori! :) I'm finally here for your review from the Slytherin review exchange!

Wow, so this story is really intriguing and I'm excited that I got to discover it. It's quite different, both in content and in the mature, elaborate quality of the writing style from a lot of novels I've read on here. It's funny how you mentioned that our stories started off similarly with the descriptions of post-war Azkaban, and I love how you focused on the politics surrounding the changes at the prison as well.

One detail I really liked was how Azkaban was filled with talking and chatter. It's the sort of characterization which really brings the setting to life and helped me to really picture what it might be like there through sensory detail.

I also enjoyed how Weston was characterized: I'm not sure if he's going to be a continuing character in the story or was just a pair of eyes through which to describe Skerbetz's death, but I liked how you showed the motivations behind wizards who become guards there and how they're not necessarily driven by the most noble intentions. It's a funny balance, because while the prisoners are dangerous criminals, the conditions they are kept under are pretty inhumane and I could see the hints that the guards have let the power go to their heads and enjoy having that power over the inmates.

One thing I did find a little odd was how Weston was so shocked that the prisoner could be dead. I think it fit well with how he was afraid of the prisoners and of his own safety being threatened, but wouldn't they have people dying quite often, from the squalid conditions or even from taking their own lives? Just a thought there, though you did a good job of showing how Weston might not be completely rational when faced with fear.

I liked the vagueness of the discovery of Skerbetz's body, and how there wasn't a lot of detail in that section compared to the rest of the story. It did a good job of raising the mystery and intrigue surrounding him and made me want to know if there was something wrong with his body. I also love the background surrounding him: how you've taken the Dark Mark's powers as a tattoo and turned it into this whole culture of magical tattoos. It's such an original, amazing idea, and I really want to keep reading and learn more about it.

It's interesting how Imogen has the same skill and passion for tattoos as her father, but resents and fears him to the point of being glad he's dead. I like her as a character so far and really loved the scene with the cat tattoo and how it went to hide. That tattoo seemed pretty sweet and harmless but you've hinted at the more dark uses for these tattoos as well. I'm curious too about Imogen's tattoos and the unique powers they have. I can tell you've put a lot of creativity and effort into creating this sect of the wizarding world.

I really liked this, and will definitely be back to read and review the rest of the chapters when I have a chance! :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review! I'm very happy you enjoyed it so far, and I do hope you make it back to read on further.
The questions you have about Weston's surprise and Imogen's complex relationship to her father's vocation are precisely what I wanted readers to be curious about, so I thank you for confirming that I'm doing that at least passably. ;)
Thank you again for your thoughts and compliments!


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Review #4, by Stella Chapter Four

15th August 2014:
This story is awesome!!! Professionally written. I love it cant wait for the next chapter.

Author's Response: *You're* awesome! Thanks for taking the time to review! The next chapter is coming soon :)

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Review #5, by StarlightAsteria Chapter Four

12th August 2014:
Hi Hori!

Another mind-blowingly good chapter - my mind is still reeling. Gosh, there is so much!

Carrow - very interesting. Unusual, effective choice of perspective. Shall we be seeing much more of her? And your image descriptions... aside from reminding me of the Captain Barbossa and co in the first pirates film :), that was genuinely terrifying. And the Stranger - not a Dementor, but something similar - definitely a very scary creation of yours :)

Exciting chapter - the protagonists all meet! Lots of information - and the old crone - I'm really starting to love her cameos :) Please can we see more of her? On the tattoo process: very cool, very detailed, and it was also nice to see Hermione discovering new stuff as well as opposed to being the one who always teaches others :)

Imogen's rage. Wow. That was so well written, I am in awe. That Blakeney was there for decades, and never told anyone about his wife and daughter - there are lots of bombshells in this chapter.

Sorry about the rambling review :) Keep writing!

Celi :)

Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to review! Yes, this chapter was pretty packed with new information. I'm glad you liked it. :)
We'll likely be seeing a bit more of Carrow. She has a job to do, after all. ;)
As for the red haired witch, we shall see...
The next chapter will be coming soon, so look out for updates!


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Review #6, by Roisin Chapter One

10th August 2014:
Hello! Roisin here from the forums with your requested review.

Wow, what a compelling and strong first chapter!

One thing I wished for though: the authors note at the opening, I think, gave too much away. I think you could do without it :)

The descriptions are really lovely, and overall I really enjoyed the language. And you have so many interesting ideas! That the absence of dementors means encroaching sea life, and I love the "birds that feasted on them" line--so much!

My only point on characterization is that I had a hard time figuring out how old Imogen was. At first I imagined her as a bit of a crone (because: pipe), but then I figured out she must be much younger (and I actually like that a non-crone smokes a pipe! Rather a lot!) Maybe add some more physical description of Imogen earlier on?

The only point on canon is that the girl getting the tattoo is wearing a blouse. Now, this isn't necessarily a mistake (lots of FF writers put their characters in muggle clothes), but it's *technically* against canon. The Hogwarts uniforms and costuming in the HP movies weren't in line with the books, wear robes aren't just something you throw over a shirt and trousers; they are straight up middle-ages dress-like garments (hence Snape getting hung upside down by James in OotP, and his robes falling down to reveal his underwear). But, like I said, it's your choice if you want your characters to wear muggle clothes--most writers go that way anyway.

I definitely hope Imogen is a character we get to see more of, because she seems really potent and fascinating! I definitely don't get the sense that she's *evil,* quite the opposite, but she seems like an interestingly subversive, counter-culture type of character, who might know people who hang around the fringes of mainstream society. Which isn't something we see a whole lot of in FF (or canon!), outside of Mundungus Fletcher!

Otherwise, nothing stuck out to me that hasn't been mentioned in other reviews (Knockturn Alley, and so on).

All in all, a VERY strong first chapter, and I want to read more! This is already the kind of story that examines new ideas, and I'm super into that kind of thing. Hope you re-request soon!

Best,
Roisin

Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to review!
I hadn't thought that the intro might be giving anything away. That's an interesting point. And now that the story is more than one chapter long now, maybe you're right about it not being necessary...
You're not the first to comment that Imogen in particular is physically ambiguous in the beginning. I think I will go back and try to incorporate a few more descriptives.
As for the girl wearing the blouse: As the date is August 25th, she is still six days away from actually being at Hogwarts. So I agree that she certainly would be wearing proper garb if it were the first day of September, but as she is just shopping and getting her tattoo, I thought it passable that she is wearing common clothing. :)
I'll be sure to re-request when I can. Very helpful points! Thanks again!


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Review #7, by simplelullaby Chapter One

8th August 2014:
Hey Hori, simplelullaby here from the review thread! Can I just apologise for the lateness, I was away from my laptop for a couple of (maddening) days.

This is a brilliant, if long, first chapter. I had a bit of trouble when I got to the end because I wanted to click onto the next chapter straight away, but alas I shall have to review instead. You've split it into two distinctive parts which at first seem completely unrelated except that they both feature tattoos. But then, bit by bit, you reveal exactly what you want revealed until your reader, now putty in your hands, is left staring at the screen wondering who really is in control. You, of course.

Technically, you're pretty sound. I only noticed a few things that seemed a little off. "Inside...was another story entirely." This isn't the right moment to use ellipsis. I think it would actually have more of an impact if you removed the ellipsis entirely and left it as "Inside was another story entirely." Also, "penitentiary" is more of an American word than a British one. We Brits are far more likely to refer to Azkaban as a "prison" or "jail" as opposed to penitentiary." Sometimes, your sentences seem to go on for a long time when they could be split into two sentences and the like. I am, however, not in anyway the ruling authority on technical matter, so I'd suggest get a lovely beta, either from the forums or somewhere else! Even saying all this, mind you, if I was just READING this fic I wouldn't be nearly as nitpicky. These are tiny problems compared to the, quite frankly, brilliant word choice and well thought out plot you've obviously got in the works here.

Your characterisation was gorgeous. Weston and Imogen were your focuses of course, and they were developed very well throughout the chapter. It did take a while for you to get completely into it at the beginning, but once you had a foothold you took off running. I loved that Weston was so MINISTRY. My particular favourite part with him was that he didn't identify any particular talents within himself, negating the fact that many people just don't possess the ambition to take a post at Azkaban. His character was so well developed in such a short time, that when you stopped his POV half way through the story I did get a little sad.

But then there was Imogen. I think what created her character wasn't her dialogue, her movements, it was the way that when you wrote in her POV the focus wasn't actually on HER, it was on her work, on the other witch, on her pipe, her Galleon box. I feel like I know Imogen through how she notices the world.

Another short note, because minor characters are almost always shoved away, described minimally and then put away and forgotten. I hate that. You took your minor characters and fleshed them out, gave them descriptions, personalities (the fat guard, the annoyed witch who thought her father had come to get her, even the old woman in her cell). It's great, not only because it adds to how real your world seems, but because it keeps us readers on our toes, forces us to focus on the story as opposed to the characters. You also wield these minor guys so that they reflect off of your MCs and characterise THEM as well. Brilliant!

If I could say something about your characterisation, I would like a little more physical description of your MCs. Weston and Imogen, I know how they think and act as well as anyone could after one chapter, but unfortunately they are still people transforming as I see fit because they haven't been given a proper description. Even a few bits here and there, what colour clothes they're wearing, maybe the other witch getting tattooed envies Imogen's tattoos (which I'm assuming she has many of). You've got the inside sooo right, just try to focus more on the outside.

Goodness, your world is sooo developed. I loved the detail of Azkaban, my favourite line was probably the description of Azkaban as a giant tooth erupting out of the ocean. Brilliant! I love the detail in general to be honest, you make sure to lounge around, describe things until they have formed a solid picture in the reader's mind before moving on. Your word choice is pretty brilliant, and I think it's what contributes most to how solid your world seems after just one chapter. Probably my favourite description was of how a magical tattoo is applied. Genius!

In answer to your areas of concern, I only noticed one instance where I needed to Britpick, which I've already mentioned. I'd say that your fic is unique, but not that it seems odd or outside of the universe, just that its another side of the HP world JK just didn't write about. Getting rid of the Dementors was a logical step, but replacing them with muggles? Maybe Squibs, Filch style, would be better? The tattoo shop in Knockturn Alley, the ambitious wizards, the witch who was terrified of getting a tattoo. It was all very well-written, very well established and just interesting. Well done!

There you are, hope this was helpful, and don't hesitate to rerequest!

Keep Writing


~Aimee~

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing! And don't worry about how long it took. I understand that real life tends to happen, and I'm just happy you took the time.
First off, thanks very much for the critical points. I already have a round of edits to do to the existing chapters, so I'll add your thoughts into the mix when I get around to it. A Beta might be a good idea, and I'll look into that.
I know that hyper-detailed, very gradual writing style isn't something that people generally gravitate towards in fan fiction. People want to know what they're in for in the first couple of paragraphs, generally. I've never been able to write that way, so I'm happy that my meandering, overly descriptive style seems to be going over well.
On character descriptions: You're right, I give almost no space to physical characteristics for my MCs. It's a conscious decision on my part. I dislike it in any writing when time is taken to describe a character physically. That said, as chapters go on there will be enough information dispensed that Imogen at least will become much clearer. I probably could be more generous with descriptions, but I've always firmly believed in avoiding them unless there is a feature that is specifically relevant to the narrative. But maybe I'll bend a little on that in the future.
Thank you again for taking the time to review. It's very helpful, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story if you choose to read on. :)
-Hori


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Review #8, by ginnypotter242 Chapter One

4th August 2014:
Hello! I'm here with your (very late) requested review! First off, I'm very sorry it took so long to get to this review! It definitely should not have taken me this long! So sorry!

Now onto the review.

This was a good start. I like how you described the current climate of Azkaban, and how it changed since the Dementors left. The beginning of this chapter seemed to drag a little bit at first, but it got into the swing of things a few chapters in. I liked how you wrote Weston though, and his thoughts on the Ministry and such. The point of view was well written. The way you led up to the arc, of the inmate's death was very good and well written. It definitely shocked me, and to be honest I thought you would end the chapter there. However, the continuation was good with Imogen.

I liked the tattoo shop, and how you described it and the actual process of getting the tattoo. Magical tattoos fascinate me, and i think you did a good job of explaining how they work- I especially loved that the cat moved!

I also liked "The Marked Man's" story, and how he did tattoos on the other inmates. It was a good explanation for prison tattoos, and I think it was well written. Also, your prison lingo is really good- I don't have any experience with prison lingo, but it seems pretty authentic, and has a bit of the magical touch from the Harry Potter world.

Imogen was interesting when the Ministry man came to see her. I liked her reaction, and it intrigued me to find out more about her relationship with her father. I liked her interaction with Norman, he seemed so awkward and uncomfortable.

One thing to say is when you switched scenes, you wrote that the tattoo shop was in Nocturne Alley- it's actually spelled Knockturn Alley.

You definitely have a nice writing style! It's nice to read, and flows pretty well. I think you're staying true to the Harry Potter world so far. For your first time writing something in this world, this is very good. You have a good plot going on, and it's very intriguing. Your writing makes me want to read more, and it kind of hooks you n, which isn't the easiest thing to do! Great job on this chapter!

Once again, I'm very sorry for the late review!
~Sara

Author's Response: Wow, you are totally right. I've been spelling 'Knockturn Alley' wrong this entire time! Yikes. Looks like I'll be taking advantage of the 'word search/replace' function. Thanks for bringing that up.
I'm glad you liked the story otherwise. I'm happy to hear that it seems to be integrated well into existing canon, at least so far. Thank you for the review!


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Review #9, by StarlightAsteria Chapter Two

2nd August 2014:
Hi!

ooh, two tattooists dead. Connected somehow? I really liked your characterisation of Hagrid in this; and that he tells Imogen about her mother, which I found really touching. Well done for keeping the tone not cheesy or melodramatic or anything else; I thought it was a very sad moment.

Interesting take on Hermione. She was always bossy and everything in the books, but it was tempered because Harry and Ron were her friends, and so when she's interacting with others, I liked how you took those characteristics and ran with them. Especially within the context of what Law Enforcement did to Imogen's mother, I have to say that you haven't made me very fond of Hermione at the minute :) I'm rooting for Imogen haha :)

Please update quickly; I genuinely can't wait for the next chapter :)

Celi :)

Author's Response: Again, very happy that you're enjoying the story! You pretty much nailed what I was trying to do with Hermione, which is to put her in a position of authority with an older, wiser, perhaps a bit rougher mindset.;)
The next chapter will be up soon! Thanks again!


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Review #10, by StarlightAsteria Chapter One

2nd August 2014:
Hi!

Thought I see what the rest of us new snakes are up to :)

This is a really original storyline, you've definitely got me hooked. Weston and Imogen are really interesting, well-rounded characters, and it's nice to see the wizarding world being expanded in such a way.

For some reason your writing style reminds me of Jane Austen, but in a more serious and modern way. I'm definitely going to keep reading this :)

Celi

Author's Response: Thanks very much for reviewing! I'm happy that you're enjoying it! I consider being compared to Jane Austen high praise indeed, so thanks also for such a lovely compliment. :)

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Review #11, by Rumpelstiltskin Chapter One

21st July 2014:
Hey there. How about a 'Welcome to Slytherin' review? ;)

Plot/plot arch: I can safely say that I haven't read anything quite like this before, and I definitely appreciate its uniqueness. Your introduction was lovely, and we gently guided into a bit of excitement with the unresponsive prisoner, Skerbetz, who had seemingly predicted his own death (or, at least, had heard of it otherwise). The scene change effectively created a mood-change in the story (and I love the idea that some tattoos, like cats, take some time to adjust to their owner before they'll appear). When we (the reader) learns that the tattoo artist in this scene is, in fact, be a relative to the dead prisoner, the story becomes even more interesting. Of course, having a father like Skerbetz, and his reputation, must have been difficult.

Characterization: In Weston you've created a flawed character, especially given that he was never particularly skilled as a wizard. The quality to depth that his flaws give him are tremendously refreshing. His reactions under the pressures of being a guard at Azkaban (...and who wants that job *shivers) are extremely human, which makes him incredibly relatable. I love Imogen's tough exterior. Her life couldn't have been easy living in the shadow of her father's reputation, and it's really no wonder why she'd choose to take her mother's maiden name or why she'd feel relieved that he's dead. Her confusing reaction, again, makes her human, which is absolutely fantastic.

Detail: This was packed with excellent detail, descriptions, and imagery. It was especially effective for scene and mood-setting, like the introduction surrounding Azkaban. It is extremely difficult for me to choose only one favorite description, so here's one OF my favorites: "On every floor and wall of every level there was evidence of decay and rot as nature did its best to take the black tooth of Azkaban back down into the ocean from whence it had apparently sprung." -- This was a particularly hauntingly breathtaking. It reminds me of nature's method of preserving order by attempting to destroy disorder (or in it's creation of disorder) -- and Azkaban certainly isn't of natural order.

Style: The elegant word-choice in combination with a well-written, thought out, unique and interesting plot created the perfect mixture for an enjoyable read.

Notes/other: My absolute favorite line overall? "His job was to preserve order, not create his own brand of mayhem." Perhaps standing on its own, it doesn't have as much impact as it does when reading the paragraph in its entirety, but I really love the way it speaks to Weston's character.

I'm really interested to see where Weston and Imogen's stories will intersect, and to find where this plot is headed!

On another note, this reviewing style is one I use in order to prevent rambling, especially late at night (such as now). Even still, I have the tendency to ramble so hopefully the majority of this review was somewhat coherent.

Fantastic job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Thanks so much for such an in-depth review! I'm very happy that you enjoyed it. I'm still getting the hang of writing with magic in mind, but I don't think I've committed any serious errors yet. Please let me know if I ever do in your opinion.
The next chapter is being validated and will be up soon! Thanks again!


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Review #12, by Meleessuhh Chapter One

21st July 2014:
I have a question, are you a criminal justice major/enthusiast? Because you wrote the prison scenes very well, along with basically everything in the chapter. I always wondered about tattoos as well and if they could move like portraits do. Your concept is really interesting, I can't wait to read more. Update soon :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it! I don't have any formalized knowledge of detention centers, but I did do a little quick research as I was writing this, as well as watching a few favorite prison films in the background. :)
The next chapter is awaiting validation and will be up soon!


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