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Reading Reviews for In Fields of Poppies
  
94 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dirigible_Plums Hold it High

9th April 2017:
Hello there!

I'm here to see if you've managed to hide a sneaky flag in this chapter for the CTF event!

I've always been fascinated with this story since it's summary is a killer. It hooks you in and keeps you there. It's fascinating to see how three different generations of Evans have beem dragged into a war and how they've reacted differently to it. Phil prefers not to fight, terrified of the thought of dying; Jack is more patriotic and a lot angrier than either of the other Evans; and Lily seems more level-headed. Just as ready to be involved but still somewhat collected.

Her conversation with James brought up interesting points and both of them were right in their own ways. It's true that Muggles should know about what affects them if it puts them in danger, but removing the International Statute of Secrecy is a risky move. At the end of the day, I personally believe it will do more harm than good. Realistically, many Muggles would believe wizarding kind to be a threat: they've lived amongst us in secret, they've wiped our memory when it suits them, they can do so much more than us with just a flick of their wand. They'd be the next "enemy within".

But it's still very interesting to read about how one world affects the other. As James said, they share a country. So to see people ignore laws like ones that forbid them to get involved in Muggle wars really gives an insight into how the two communities intersect.

Plums xo
♡♡♡

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Review #2, by merlins beard Still Bravely Singing

9th April 2017:
Hello again 😊 – well, CTF is fun! And we’ve ALMOST got the flag. Maybe it’s here 😊
Aw Fiona sounds lovely. This should be so good for Phillip 😊 Only love can make war better I think. Of course, Love without war would be a lot better still.
Phil’s mother must be feeling so many different things about this. Sad to let her boy go back to war, happy that there’s a friend he can talk to, worried that someone might break his heart or that he’ll be so busy with this girl, he won’t have time to be her little boy anymore… But I think she’s mostly happy to see how grown up he is already.
Wow war sucks and apparently, the people higher up really don’t care about their foot soldiers. I just hope for Jack he can get on one of these boats.
Hahaha remember me saying Lily and James didn’t hate each other? Well there goes that theory. But still, at least lily has a reason to be upset at him right now.
Wow both Jack and Phil are having a really tough chapter here. Technically I know they’ll both make it home because Lily exists and that kind of proofs that they both survive the war but I still worry about Jack right now…
And it’s heart breaking to see Phil suffer through having to go back to the Front. The letter he sends to Fiona is so sad ☹ Stupid wars. Why do they always happen? Why can’t humans start interacting peacefully instead of chopping each other’s limbs off?
Ohhh we’re about to find out whom Dorcas is going to introduce to Lily 😊 Exciting… Haha I remember when I used to be confused by the big city and how proud I always felt to find my way to places I needed to go. I totally get Lily ❤
Ohh it’s Marlene McKinnon – I wonder why Dorcas introduced her to Lily… Oh well I guess I’ll have to keep reading – not ha hard task at that.
I really love your story 😊 looking for the flag here has been a treat!
Xoxo
Anja

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Review #3, by ANightingaleInAGoldenCage Mark Our Place

9th April 2017:
Hi! here for CTF #5!

I must say, the lightness between the talk between Mary and Lily and the one between Phil and his mum give a sort of lightness I absolutely could use right now. It's nice to see, as it contrasts nicely with the war that's been going on and it also gives a bit of hope that things can get alrihgt, or that there is a sense or normalcy to be found in every day things, even if it might not always seem that way.
And despite not quite liking him, but that's maybe also because of his attitude and because of the POV it's told from - it was nice to see Rivers make a return. it also shows that we should not always go out from the worst, or assume the worst and move on regarless, because the outcome can absolutely be better than expected.
I am also pleased that Jack finally saw that the war and fighting is not always roses and that it's heavier than he thought it was, which clearly showed in the fact that he needed a drink for purposes other than fun. It really gave more depth to him in that regards, so absolutely well done.
Oh and I love the fact that mention about that letter too, that Phil wrote so quickly already. It really shows how much he cares for her and I'm sure it'll give him something to fight for and look forward to whenever he needs to get back to the frontline.
Well done!

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Review #4, by AbraxanUnicorn Short Days Ago

9th April 2017:
Hello again! This fifth flag is taking a while to find, but we're quite determined to hunt it down :)

The start of this chapter begins quite superficially, with a comment about how the Evans family was full of soldiers, and how Lily and Petunia's father and grandfather would tell them tales of their lives as soldiers. Obviously, they leave out the gruesome details and concentrate on the light-hearted stories to begin with. Until they get a bit older, then their grandfather begins to tell darker stories about his days during the war, to Lily.

Jump back to 1916 and the start of grandfather Phil's experiences. He's conscripted and called up to fight, there was no choice given to him in the matter. He struggled to sleep with all the disturbances around him

1940, and in contrast to his father's first experiences, Jack Evans has absolutely no trouble sleeping during the noise of war. He has chosen to fight and enlisted as soon as he looked old enough to pass inspection. So, he probably didn't make the minimum age for signing up.

1971 and Lily's first morning at Hogwarts. Having arrived at school with Severus, she was then parted from him by virtue of the Sorting Hat. Rather sadly and darkly, she encounters prejudice on her very first day - being called a mudblood by Thaddeus Avery, who then goes on to explain what he means by the offensive term. What a nasty piece of work he is for an eleven year old. Severus says nothing during this chapter, despite being present when Avery strikes verbally. Will he stick up for Lily, or will he succumb to peer pressure?

1940 again and Jack encounters Paddy Rivers, who seems to be overly attentive to young Jack; something which he doesn't appreciate. Maybe Paddy has realised that Jack is too young to fight and is trying to take him under his wing?

1916 again, and grandfather Phil takes the flack for someone else's error regarding wire wrapping, sustaining some minor injuries as he corrects the work. I hope the comrades responsible show Phil some respect for the fact that he didn't dob them in.

1971 again. Lily gets the better of Avery in a minor duel. (Expelliarmus! I loved the use of this spell by Lily, almost like it's a family trait!). Mary (McDonald?) seems quite disapproving of Lily's action at first, but I think she takes Lily's side after a bit of explanation.

Another fabulous chapter :)

Brax X

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Review #5, by merlins beard Mark Our Place

9th April 2017:
Hey 😊 back again for CTF – we’ve almost got it!!!
So two weeks seems like nowhere near enough time to get away from a war. It’s probably just enough for the exhaustion to wear off a bit and the nightmares to catch up to you. It’s so sweet how Phil still wants to take care of his mother while he’s home. (Sadly, I feel like that used to happen a lot more back then and happens a lot less now – not that women need as much taking care of as they supposedly did back then)…
Hm at first I really thought Dorcas’ article would be about Lily, too. But she does go on a bit about how Purebloods change their minds…
I do like how James and Lily seem to get along okay in your story. They’re like cat and dog in some other stories and it kind of irritates me – not here though. I can really see that they might end up together here. Sure, James is a bit of a prat and I can totally see how he could really annoy or irritate Lily with some of the things he does but in general she doesn’t mind being around him.
Oh Jack, the horrors you’re seeing :/ 1940 was an awful time to be alive anywhere in Europe.
Don’t get lost in a war seems like both an impossible task and an important lesson to learn here. The feeling of needing a drink is foreign to me but I kind of get the sentiment here. I so do not want to switch places with Jack here.
Am I right in assuming that the Marauders are messing with Severus and that’s what Lily is seeing here?
Aw I love the sweet little bit about Phil and his mother, where no one is fighting. I love that she made him a suit. Who makes things nowadays?? You’d be hard pressed to find someone who can really make you a suit.

Can’t wait to see how this continues ❤
Xoxo
Anja

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Review #6, by ANightingaleInAGoldenCage From Failing Hands We Throw

9th April 2017:
Hiya! Here for CTF #5

And I continue to be absolutely disgusted by the descriptions you give us, especially in the latest paragraph. I think it's necessary to put it in, however, but yeah, it is disgusting to read, if I have to be completely honest. That being said i do agree with it being the best chapter yet. It was quite heavy again and the part about her grandmother absolutely broke my heart into a million little pieces. It was so obvious from the get-go that she had Alzheimers and I completely felt with her granddad to, with his hestitance to send her to a home. I admire Petunia for offering to help though, because I am with Lily here at the point that I probably couldn't do it myself It's also sad to know that Lily can't be completely honest about the war she's living in and it kind of enraged me that Petunia thought it was only because she was a girl...
The Marauder action and Lily helping them out when needed and the other way around was very powerful as well and it set a good precedence for their relationship as it is. It shows growth as well and the tiny bit about James wanting to learn from Lily made me laugh a bit - which is good because there is hardly any light stuff in this story as it is. Yet again a great job!

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Review #7, by ANightingaleInAGoldenCage Amid the Guns Below

9th April 2017:
Hiya! Here again for CTF #5!

I keep on loving the contrasts between all three of the wars they're fighting, as they are so different in each and every way and how they have to deal with all kinds of different things - things others don't understand for various reasons. It gives a lot of depth to the story and it's sad enough to know that while Lily's grandfather and father both survived, she will not. But the lapses in time periods are really well done, as it highlights both growth and how times have changed, especially when it comes to Lily. You can feel the rift forming already here, and despite the smoking (which normally puts me off big time in a story but seems to work here) not helping in the least bit when it comes to her and Snape, it just works. It gives a lot of extra to the story and I love the fact that her family is doing or used to do it back in their day too and that they also found some sort of comfort in it all.
I must say that some details were a little gross though, especially when it came to the wounded soldier and the follow up after that. It might put some others off big time so yeah. It does add to the storytelling though, so there's that too. Well done!

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Review #8, by AbraxanUnicorn From Failing Hands We Throw

9th April 2017:
Hello! I hear that there is a flag somewhere in this story, and I wonder if it's lurking in this chapter?

There is quite a lot going on in this chapter, which shifts from era to era. We begin with Lily's visit to her grandparents, for her grandfather's birthday during the Christmas holiday - I'm guessing she must be in 6th year at school by now? Her grandmother appears to be suffering from an age-related mental health condition, possibly form of dementia such as Alzheimer's? The conversations between members of the family that highlight this disease are particularly sad, especially when it comes to light that Lily's grandfather is not coping with looking after his wife on his own. I loved the fact that Petunia offered her help; it surprised me but it felt right. I knew she had to have some good in her somewhere. This was balanced by the exchange between the sisters at the dinner table, with Petunia intoning that Lily was a freak. Poor Lily. If only Petunia knew how much Lily suffered at the hands of the Slytherins at school, would she still be so cruel to her own sister during the holidays?

We flick back to scenes of grandfather Phil Evans during the war, and how he seems to be at the butt of his comrades' jokes, but gosh - what a horribly dangerous job to have to locate the enemy or ascertain their strategy. And later, there's an attack on the trenches, of which we don't know the outcome in this chapter.

Jack Evans's scenes are also war-based, and he seems to be having a few issues with his colleagues too. There are a few touching moments alluding to the fact that the men will look out for each other, but it must be unbelievably hard to be holed-up with people you would normally avoid on a day-to-day basis in the outside world. Yikes! The chapter finishes with Operation Dynamo and a march to Dunkirk.

I loved the inclusion of Wilfred Owen's Dulce et decorum est in this chapter. There was a huge amount of action going on in this chapter, but it was easy enough to follow. I look forward to reading more Thank you for a great read.

Brax X

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Review #9, by merlins beard Amid the Guns Below

9th April 2017:
Hello 😊 I’m here for the Claw CTF team – Claws for the win obviously ❤
Wow I love the idea behind this story. It’s so unique, I honestly have never seen it anywhere else before.
It must have been such a tough time when war was fought mostly on foot and you had to hike for a whole day and then if you got really unlucky you still had to fight. I can totally see how Jack’s legs would feel like they’re still walking, even after they stopped.
Wow that argument between Lily and Severus is pretty intense. It’s not even a real fight, but obviously whatever happened between the gryffindors and slytherins before must have been pretty bad. It makes me sad that Severus doesn’t see how wrong it is what his so-called friends are saying and doing. Sure, James and the others really aren’t angels but they don’t hurt people on purpose.
Wow you really have a way to show us the horrors of a war. Your description of the victims here is spot on and a little nauseating to be honest.
Ugh cigarettes. I don’t like them.
Oh Severus, please get it! You could make life so much easier for so many people in the future if you just stop and think. We all know you’re smart enough to get it. Muggleborns, Muggles, Wizards… does it really matter?
War is always toughest on the ones left behind by it, especially mothers, wives and children. Phil is right to worry about his mother here.
There’s so much war in this story, it’s kind of hard to find many positive things to write about here. But I guess that’s exactly one of those positive things. This is not a story to make the reader feel good and squee with excitement. It’s meant to be tough and frustrating and you’re meant to want to jump in and tell them all to stop fighting, to go home and be happy. I can honestly say that you managed to capture me completely. I just want to keep reading!!
Xoxo
Anja

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Review #10, by ANightingaleInAGoldenCage The Poppies Blow

9th April 2017:
Hiya! Here for CTF #5!

I must say that I loved the fact that you wrote so much of Lily's backstory in it, telling about the wars her family have fought in and the pain and despair and fear and regret that all come with fighting a war, be it because you want to or because you have to. The contrast of the sounds you describe both wars are really well done too and I loved the fact that one was loud and the other more silent but nonetheless as impressive and unforgettable as the other regardless.
The fact that Lily does it because she has to and can't sit just idly by is also a nice thing in comparision to both her father and grandfather and I think it's kind of a good mix between the two and makes me see more familiar bonding and genetics. Maybe that was unintentional, but regardless it's how I feel, so really great job at that.
What makes me most curious about this chapter is how it's gonna continue in later chapters, just because of the way this one was written. But regardless of how it does, I love the way you narrated this, desctibing only and giving no dialogue whatsoever. It really worked well, and gave the exact right atmosphere for the story. I don't think it could've worked as well in any kind of other pov or narrative telling. Well done!

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Review #11, by AbraxanUnicorn The Poppies Blow

9th April 2017:
Hello! I'm here for CTF #4. It's not camping out in this story, by any chance? I hope it is; I've had this one on my "to read" list for a little while, but just haven't got around to reading it yet. This might be my lucky day!

What a very sombre start to this story, with the first two chapters detailing the female protagonist's ancestors' struggles in each of their wars. I'm presuming her father fought in World War Two and her grandfather in World War One, going by the descriptions of each. We do not know our protagonist as yet but I'm leaning towards someone from the marauder's era. It would have to be someone magical with a muggle background, so possibly Lily Evans?

Contrasts and comparisons between muggle and magical wars are then made, with our protagonist sure that magical deaths are less drawn out and painful (I'm sure of this too; slow death and disease were rife in both World Wars), but unsure about the fear factor. I don't think anyone could compare the fear of war - it's fighting for your life, however you do it. She'll never know.

I'm intrigued to find out who our protagonist is, and what period she's writing from. I hope the flag is hidden in this story somewhere as I've really enjoyed the first chapter and cannot wait to find out what more you have in store for us. Thank you for a great read.

Brax X

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Review #12, by PaulaTheProkaryote Hold it High

14th February 2017:
Hi katie!

I’m throwing a minor temper tantrum because this is the last available chapter. I know you’re all ~happy~ and ~having a life~ and all of that but WHAT ABOUT ME. and you haven’t published in two years? (yes I went back to check). You’re a cruel, mean person.

I’ve got to be honest I never even considered which family Alice might have been, but I love the idea of Fawley. Especially because the family is so heavily associated with Hufflepuff and both Alice and Neville put off Hufflepuff vibes. I’m down with it.

I love this meeting. I love Marlene recruiting Lily and I love Dorcas setting it all up and there's just so much opportunity here. It's a good scene.

I love mae. Is mae going to end up with Jack? I didn't pay close enough attention to names.
I love the cafe and James and Marlene and I keep saying I love stuff, but I love it. I love Lily's sheer enthusiasm. James is woke with the muggle news bit. He’ll definitely be someone she nerds out with.

“They can’t fight a war on two fronts.” There you go again with your transitions.

That Phil and Jack scene was everything.

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Review #13, by PaulaTheProkaryote Still Bravely Singing

14th February 2017:
Hi Katie!

Phil and Fiona might be the best part of this story. I'm falling in love with both of them. Phil's mother is such a perfect depiction of a mother. And then you'll still be my first priority line was hilarious.

Have I mentioned I love Lily and James dialogue? Is that what 90% of my reviews consist of? I do.

Phil’s letter broke my heart quite a bit. The fact that being shot for deserting might be preferable and then the entire thing about being so pressured to serve and who actually finds glory in battle? Then knowing all of this and realizing that Jack and Lily will be going to fight wars of their own. I mean he probably doesn’t know much about Lily’s, but if he did I imagine he’d be faced with his own gut wrenching fear for her.

Marlene! I love how all the girls aren’t in the same year as lily and we have all of this separation of age and skill set and all that. It just adds more interest and depth and dynamic and honestly I never considered they might not be the same year.

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Review #14, by PaulaTheProkaryote Mark Our Place

14th February 2017:
Hi katie!

I love Phil's mother. She reminds me a bit of molly. Very precious.

I love your transitions from scene to scene. They are seriously so seamless. Like the transition from him posting the letter to Lily and her mail. I swear I love it.

Oooh Who will Dorcas be introducing? I love the suspense.

"You mean you don't know?" There seems to be a common theme here. Everyone else seems to know except Lily!

I’m in love with the James and Lily small talk. He’s so adorable. She’s so adorable. They are precious babies.

I wonder if maybe the other person who changed their opinion because of Dorcas is James. I don't have any concrete proof, but it would make sense. James knows that Lily likes Dorcas and her writing so if he truly is interested in her he'd probably check it out. He's the kind of fellow that would send in feedback so it's on my list of possibilities. Plus it would definitely send Lily into a tizzy.

Oh man. Is this going to be the famous mudblood scene? I bet it is. I can’t wait to see how you characterize it. I know I’ll love it already.

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Review #15, by PaulaTheProkaryote If Ye Break Faith

14th February 2017:
HI Katie!

Happy birthday Lily! It feels like Lily’s birthday right after the last chapter with her grandad’s birthday was a nice touch. I feel like I connect her most to her grandad so I like when their lives parallel the most. Also her grandad making the dress was so, so sweet. My heart.

I like this James better too. Don't get me wrong I love obsessed weird awkward James as much as the next jilyer, but this just seems so much more authentic. If I had to pick one word to describe your writing, it'd be authentic.

"A misunderstanding." Oh my god, I love your dialogue.

I like the Fiona and Phil dialogue about how he won’t want to relive it and how rude it was and the whole everyone else will ask the same thing bits. When my best friend came back he said it was relive it nonstop and how people kept asking him how many people he killed like it was something to brag about. Blegh. But they are such a sweet love story. Perfect for Valentine’s day.

Also I loved the James at the end of the chapter. He was very tolerable.

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Review #16, by PaulaTheProkaryote From Failing Hands We Throw

14th February 2017:
Hi Katie!

All of them together for her granddad's birthday. Oh, I love the way this story is written. You're a brilliant person.

I love the domesticness of it. The way that life carries on post-war. The way that Lily is just peeling potatoes with her mom and grandma and the boys are off drinking. The scene with nan and her obvious memory issues was of course very sad, but I think that’s bringing your knowledge into your craft. You just paint people so well.

I love that you brought in those bits of Petunia's jealousy and the general tension there. It came really organically and didn't feel forced in the slightest.

This scene with Phil and everyone arguing about sending nan away is so, so, so important. I think it's every family's worst nightmare, but it's also something that happens to everyone. We all have loved ones that we have to make these decisions for and that's so scary. Also I love that Petunia not only stepped up to the plate, but that we get a glimpse of Petunia being caring and kind and all around sweet.

And Dorcas is strong as heck and I love her too. I love the way Lily kind of seems to idolize her too. She’s going to be a role model.

I wonder how Lily will handle war when the glamor of it fades. I bet she’ll soldier on like the Evanses before her.

All of this makes me angry. Why didn't Dumbledore do more to protect the students? Just casual duels and attacks and gruesome threats in the hallways? These kids don’t deserve that and now I’m grumpy for my sweet babies.

I think this was my favorite chapter so far too!

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Review #17, by PaulaTheProkaryote Amid the Guns Below

14th February 2017:
Hi Katie!

Holy Helga Hufflepuff! Your descriptive writing is everything I’ve ever wanted out of life. When I grow up I want to be you. This line: “The sun was still beating violently against his face; every so often a drop of sweat would tickle him as it ran down his neck.” Just so beautifully written and well done. All of it. That’s actually probably going to be all of my reviews.

Jack is very Lily in my mind. I love this whole drive to help and do something and actually be useful.

"He don't even shave yet, of course he wants a bit of excitement." My brother-in-law is a new army baby and this is literally him. Can’t even grow facial hair but dying to see the action. Thankfully he’s just a weekend warrior.

It probably wouldn’t be most prudent considering they are in actual war, but I’m surprised they made it through that entire walk without any jodies.

I liked the conversation between Lily and Sev a lot. It shows the budding division already. I also like that she doesn't just write him off as the victim in everything. And she hemmed him up about the Dark Magic use.

Just the word morphine makes me queasy. I have the worst reaction to it. Somehow all of that gore in that paragraph didn’t phase me at all though.

Hot dog, I’m just so in love with Lily. She’s a boss witch.

The thing I love most about this story is the structure of it. Like the way we alternate between all three perspectives and they are all in war and THEY ARE ALL SO DANG ALIKE. It’s so well crafted.

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Review #18, by PaulaTheProkaryote Short Days Ago

14th February 2017:
Hi Katie!

“He told her the stories of his battles, so different from those of his son. Like her father’s, they started funny at first, and as she aged, and he aged, they got darker and darker.” My dad lived through WWII and served in Korea and this is exactly how the stories started for me. He was 15 when he joined because his dad forged some papers and that makes me laugh because there’s Jack doing the same thing. They were light and silly stories and about the boys he bunked with at first. Then as I got older I started hearing the ones where dad almost didn’t make it. There was one in korea where he nearly froze to death on a mountain after a car accident and no one was looking for them because communication was nonexistent and some korean family dragged him miles down the mountain with a broken leg and ribs and kept him safe until the snow melted and they could take him to the hospital. But he had a lot of darker ones too. It’s just how funny that I relate to this so much.

Lily and her father and her grandfather all have that lively, spitfire personality in the bits we see of them and I’m in love with that characterization.

I love Lily and the way she fights back. I love her besting Avery like it’s nothing and I love, love, love how fiery she is. I don’t even have the right words to tell you how much I love her and because Lily is probably my favorite character in the entire series as a whole (and definitely my favorite to read) it means that much more to me that I think your Lily might be the best Lily I’ve ever read. Ignore that I’ve only just started the story. It’s irrelevant.

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Review #19, by PaulaTheProkaryote The Poppies Blow

14th February 2017:
Hi Katie! I'm here a *ahem* tad late with your winning reviews.

I saw Jily and I just couldn’t help myself!

Holy guacamole I find it amazing the way you've written about her grandfather's war. It's completely horrible and violent and icky, don't get me wrong, but you've painted this horrible icky violence in such a poetic way that I almost feel like I'm there when I read it. Like the rats and bugs and blown up body parts are falling around me in slow motion. This is some brilliant imagery.

You’ve won a dobby so I couldn’t say you were an underrated author, but I could truthfully sit in your AP all day.

Her war remind me a lot of the cold war despite the fact that there is obviously some very real battles in the form of dueling. Just the sheer contrast to her grandfather's war and the way that she was in a constant state of fear and ready to fight at any given time. Also she's a bit of a bamf. Like the motivation line at the end about how she's fighting this war for herself, for her integrity. That's amazing. So many people focus on the boys and their fight but this is so much better. So much. She’s so much better and the perspective and the passion that you write this is just everything.

God you have such a good writing voice. I’m honestly just so captivated by all of it.

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Review #20, by NB Hold it High

4th January 2017:
Oh I love this story so much! it is so great and such a different view on the war because i feel like people always assume the war was always plastered front and center on the prophet. oh i just adore this :)

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Review #21, by pathfinder Hold it High

5th March 2016:
For the Review-a-Thon

Katie,

Another outstanding chapter. I appreciated the balance that was in this chapter - treating each of the three storylines in about the same detail. As others have mentioned, you’ve done an amazing job with the development of these characters and the well-executed dialogue really pulled me through the narrative. Your transitions were very well done and there were very few typos or canon issues. I’ve outlined the few I could find below for your consideration. These are in order as I found them in the chapter:

“Sweet for them,” Marlene said. Dorcas laughed and Lily, a bit hesitantly followed suit. “So,” Marlene turned to Lily, “Dorcas tells me...” In this sentence, you don’t need Marlene ‘turning’ to Lily since she’s already talking to her at the beginning of the sentence.

“...and yet, Jack and never been so nervous.” [Jack had never]

Not cc, but I loved the detail when Jack was at the door of his parent’s house and realized that with his back being turned - it implied that his mom was about to get ‘the telegram’.

A canon point: James’ parents were Fleamont and Euphemia and were very late parents (like...in their 60s) when they had James, so they were also unlikely to be in Marlene’s class. I wouldn’t worry about changing it as almost nobody would know this.

“‘Oh, I don’t even read the Cokeworth Chronicles.’ She took a sip of her water.” I’d recommend clarifying it was Lily who said this...it took me a second to puzzle it out.

Again, not cc, but I appreciate the thought you put in here (the convo between James and Lily) regarding the interaction between the muggle and wizarding worlds. While I disagree with you that wizards wouldn’t be in danger if muggles knew about them, I think you raised some very thoughtful points in your dialogue and it’s obvious you put quite a bit of effort into how those interactions work...or should work.

The last part with Phil: ‘three days no bullets’ is certainly ominous - without meaning to be. The only addition I might recommend is to mention where he’s headed (probably somewhere named ‘the Somme’)

“I’m not going to get myself killed. I know how to avoid a bullet.” Here’s more of my confusion about how Jack sees warfare. Based off of his first encounter, where the person running just beside him was killed, but he wasn’t - how could he not see the randomness of death on the battlefield? Did he know better and was just lashing out at his dad?

Regardless of the minor cc I had, this bears the mark of an excellent story. I’ve finished all of your posted chapters and you leave me wanting more. As food for thought, here are my ideas about where - as a reader - I’d be looking to go:

For Lily’s story - I think you’re going to bring us into the first wizarding war and it will be fun to watch how you build the relationship between her and James. It’s only three years before she’s pregnant with Harry.

For Jack, I’ve mentioned that I’d like to get into his head a little more, and maybe have him reach the revelation that Phil is dangling in front of him.

For Phil, well, we already know he gets injured and marries Fiona...so I think the interesting part will be getting there.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier reviews, the only other addition I could possibly think to add would be to show some more physical connections between the stories. Besides the pipe that I brought up before, it might be interesting to see one or two unexplained happenings in each of the world wars (i.e magic happening in the muggle battle) that better link the stories.

Thanks again for writing this amazing novel and I can’t wait for more.

-Drew

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Review #22, by pathfinder Still Bravely Singing

3rd March 2016:
Katie,
As others have mentioned, you've done an amazing job with writing the exchange between Phil and Fiona and it's clear to see the pending development of the relationship between them. What I think you've done an even more brilliant job with is the relationship between Lily and James and how that could possibly have bloomed from such inauspicious beginnings. Your character development and story arc are outstanding and the whole narrative is really a pleasure to read.

The cc I have to offer here is on Jack's story. It's certainly the shortest one here (a third as many words as Lily's story and a fifth of what Phil has), but I think there's more to be told about what he's doing, thinking, and how he's changed. I appreciate your writing about the Dunkirk evacuation, and the realistic portrayal of the soldiers waiting at the beach to be hauled away by every small craft that could make the trip. What I'd like to see more of is about what he thinks of war. Does he feel the same about the Germans? About the English army? About Rivers? It's obvious that he's changed his mind about fighting - but what was the trigger for that change (i.e. if the first 'skirmish' didn't seem to phase him - what has?)

Don't read anything negative into this - it's more a desire to see more than a complaint about anything that was written. As before, the prose is clean and flows easily, making it a pleasure to read and your story is engaging and well executed.
-Drew

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Review #23, by pathfinder Mark Our Place

28th February 2016:
This was a great chapter. Your development of all of the story lines is outstanding and draws the reader in. Your dialogue continues to flow seamlessly and stays natural. The transitions in this chapter were well done and flowed into one another visually.

“Prejudice is learned, and it is important for us to help students unlearn it.” This was my favorite quote from the whole chapter. It’s true to life and speaks to a much bigger issue than just this story, so I appreciated it on a number of levels.

I have some cc for this chapter, but not much:

In this chapter, we learn that Mary is also muggle born. The first question that I had is whether she is also having the same problem with the Slytherins. I’m curious to know if she dealt with the prejudice in a different way since she didn’t seem to be dueling in the hallways.

For the dialogue between James and Lily, it might be improved with some description rather than just the straight back-and-forth dialogue. (This is a similar comment to the one between Phil and Fiona on the train where a little more description of their mannerisms during conversation could bring more life to the scene.)

As with the last chapter, the only character I’m still struggling with is Jack. He seemed all gung ho before ‘The Battle’ and now he’s completely changed, but it wasn’t clear to me what happened to change his mind (getting knocked unconscious?). Perhaps you’re going to get there in later chapters with flashbacks or something - especially since he’s going to be in England for a while.

I loved the way you ended the section with Lily. Everyone who’s read the series knows exactly what scene Lily is referring to at the end and the cliffhanger was well done to just pull you into the next chapter - even through the sections with Phil and Jack.

So again, this was an outstanding chapter and I'm really enjoying this story.

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Review #24, by pathfinder If Ye Break Faith

24th February 2016:
Another wonderful chapter. The development of your characters continues to be exceptional and your dialogue and prose flow very well. I don’t recall seeing a single typo in this entire chapter, so well done (and - as a reader - thank you).

The only character I’m having trouble understanding is Jack. It’s interesting to try to figure out what Jack is thinking about war now that he’s had his first encounter. He certainly didn’t seem keen on battle when he was running for his life in the last chapter, but here we see him, anxious for another battle and talking big (or blowing smoke) about it. The short section with Jack at the end seemed almost out of place in its brevity and I’ll be curious to see where you’re going with it in the next chapter.

The friendly banter between Phil and Fiona is extremely well done. It’s very natural and you can easily tell who is speaking- even without identifying it. The only cc I would have here is to add some non-verbal actions (Fiona doing something with her hair, Phil reacting to what she said, etc.) to bring the dialogue more to life.

One continuity point I had trouble with were the compartments on the train. When I first thought of the scene, I imagined the compartments like the Hogwarts Express - that is, they open on an interior hallway. This made the scene where Phil watched Fiona step off the train confusing. Then I realized that the carriages are set up like the ones on a train I saw in Downton Abbey - each compartment has a door directly onto the platform. It might be worthwhile to take a sentence or two to describe the carriage (maybe as Fiona boards) so that the later action is more clear.

The simmering tension between Lily and Severus was well developed here and I’m enjoying how you are making the relationship dissipate over time like hot cocoa mix into warm milk rather than have it blow up all at once. The same with the relationship with James...one piece at a time, one small action at at time.

Thank you for posting such an interesting and well-developed story!

-Drew

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Review #25, by pathfinder From Failing Hands We Throw

21st February 2016:
I’ll start my reviews here, since almost all of my feedback on the first three chapters has already been covered by others.
First off, like many of your reviewers, I’m a history buff and I appreciate the effort you made to ensure the war scenes and facts were historically accurate. You did your homework - and it shows. Let me also say that I certainly agree with the praise that your other reviewers gave on the first three chapters. It’s easy to see why you won the Dobby award. This is truly an amazing story.

I only had one comment on Chapter 3 and it’s not worth a dedicated review: “‘I suppose not,’ Phil responded. It was not a skill he had ever hopped to need.” Should be ‘hoped’.

Now for Chapter 4:
“That’s very noble. That’s not war.” As others have mentioned, this is an amazing quote and I’m glad you captured this point. I think you’ll get there in the story, but as a reader, I’m looking to see the transition of innocent (Phil) to skeptic; idealistic (Jack) to realistic; and Lily’s own journey into the true nature of warfare.

One thing I might like to see are more tangible connections between these three stories. If I didn’t know that Phil, Jack, and Lily were related, the stories seem almost independent - with just the circumstances to connect them. For example, the pipes that Jack and Phil pull out in the dining room - how do they tie to the pipe that Lily gets later in the story? Did Lily ever notice the cigarette burn on her grandfather’s palm? Maybe you get to these points in future chapters.

The rest of my feedback is relatively minor cc and editorial recommendations, which moves through the chapter in order.

The transitions were outstanding and I agree with the comments made by other reviewers that it helps these large chapters flow from section to section and also connects the experiences of the characters. The only one I thought might be improved is the transition from Jack to Lily:
"My father would've been just as excited as I am," Jack said. Which transitions to: "I won't do it!"
The way you’ve written previous transitions (very cleverly, I might add) is that the last quote carries over to the next section, but this one doesn’t work that way. Although I like the delusion that Jack has about his father, wouldn’t the last thing Jack says be something like how ‘Rivers belongs in an old folks home’ or that ‘someone should take Rivers away’ to tie to the next section? Just a thought.

“All of the Muggleborns or else advocates...” Typo: ‘them’

I had difficulty with the ‘good day’ reference. As I was reading, I couldn't follow why Dorcas would call disappearances and deaths a ‘good day‘ without knowing what would be classified as a ‘bad day’. “There were no other words for what was happening.” Again, I didn't get the connection here (perhaps I missed something…) about why there would be no other words for kidnapping and murder than ‘a good day.’ I know you use this quote further along, so it has relevance later too.

“They hadn't fought because they believed in the cause, they had fought because they believed in their country.” As I mentioned above, as a reader I’m really interested in how the experience of war changes the characters. I’m pretty sure you get Phil and Jack to this point, but I also hope you get Lily to where she realizes that belief in her country has almost nothing to do with why she’s fighting.

“...wouldn't let her join with now OWLs.” Typo: ‘no’.

“...she was hurdling through the air” Typo: ‘hurtling’.

“...cornered by two men who want to do serious harm...” Word choice question here. Would Lily refer to 15 or 16 year olds as ‘men’?

A minor historical point: The grenade that Jack would have used is a 'Mills bomb' which had a 7-second fuse in 1940 (instead of 10 seconds).

“He moved passed the alley...” Typo: ‘past’.

“That was where they were mean to meet.” Typo: ‘meant’

Don’t read anything into the length of this review except that I’m into detail. I really enjoy your writing and I appreciate the attention you paid to grammar, sentence structure, and conversation. It makes reading your story effortless. In addition, the dialogue your characters use is natural, believable, and flows smoothly. I found it easy to connect to the OCs you created and found the dialogue of your canon characters to be spot on. The slow dissolution of the relationship with Snape and the difficult start of the relationship with James are brilliantly done (as others have mentioned.)

I liked the way you ended this chapter and I’m hoping to find out what Jack thinks of war now that he’s had his first taste. I’ll keep reading and reviewing.

-Drew

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