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Reading Reviews for Shattered
  
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by LadyL8 Chapter 3

17th December 2015:
Hello Erin and Kaitlin.

Sorry for taking so extremely long time to get back here again. Iíve had the worst three months of my life. My exam was moved forward, I got sick, my father was hospitalized and had to go through three operations and now Iím sick again. But better late than never, right?

Anyway, I'm happy to finally be back, and since this is the third and final review, I will focus on saying what I think about the story as a whole. I wonít use the categories like Iíve done in the last two reviews. Iíll just say my thoughts and probably ramble on like crazy, cause I always do that. Just so you guys know, I re-read the last two chapters before I read this one, just so I was sure I remembered everything and really got the feeling of the story :)

What I love about this story is that it really shows how talented you guys are. This is just what the two of you are best at; to make readers connect to the characters. The Barty we know in the books are not the kind of character youíd want to feel sympathetic towards, and it seems like almost an impossible job to change our opinion of him, especially considering his horrible actions later in life. Youíd be almost crazy to attempt to sway us from our belief that he is just evil, but you guys dared to do it and Iím glad you did, cause you managed to do what seemed impossible - you made me, and probably all of your other readers, sympathise with him.

In this chapter, youíre particularly cruel. You give us this sense of hope for Barty. You make us believe that once he comes to Hogwarts, things will get better for him. Heíll be away from his father, heíd get friends and have a better life. Heíd be happy, something youíd already made us feel he really deserved to be. Heís nervous and excited all at once, and we canít help but feel the same. Itís just start of a better life for himÖ or so we think.

But then from the second his boards the train, you pretty much destroy all hope we have. First he canít find an empty compartment, and ends up sitting with who Iím guessing is Snape. We think itís horrible to see him sitting there alone, cause obviously we know from HP that the ride to Hogwarts is where you make close friendship and stuff like that. He, however, has been left out. Heís an outsider before heís even arrived, and my heart bleeds for him, because I think pretty much everyone can relate to that feeling of being left out of something.

But still we hope things will get better once he arrives, but then you destroy that hope once again. Thereís moment, I believe itís when heís on his own in the dormitory, that I actually find myself thinking ďhow does he even survive it?Ē. It just feels like the whole world is against him, nothing goes his way. And it hits me how strong Barty really is, cause many people wouldíve broken down had they experience that what seemed to be their last hope for a better life, was a total letdown.

I feel like what you guys do in this story, is something that I personally feel strongly about. I believe that bad people have mostly themselves to blame for their own actions, but I also think we need to see that sometimes we - as a society - are partly to blame as well. There so many kids (and grown-ups) that are suffering every day, and we donít see them, we donít help them like we should do. And that makes them turn to bad actions. Maybe because people like that are easy to trick into making bad choices - give the promises of friendships, family or just happiness and theyíll do it, cause theyíve never had any of those things and really want it - or maybe because thatís the only escape they see.

I canít say I think Barty is a good person, but thatís not something youíre trying to do either. What I can say is that youíre story does something really important - it brings depth to a very minor character, and it makes us understand him and his actions a little bit better. I think it will change my view of Barty Crouch Jr. forever, really, cause Iíve never ever thought of him this way, but now itís like I canít un-see him like this. And you take up really important themes, and I just feel like this story is something that HPFF needs. Iím so happy you wrote it, and Iím so happy you two teamed up because youíre amazing when you write on your own, but just brilliant when you write together.

So thank you for participating in my challenge. Iím honored to have two amazing authors like yourself write for it, and Iím so glad you guys wrote this truly amazing and important story. You really teared me up, because I feel really strongly about these themes, and I hope you guys continue to write it, cause Iíd love to know - even though itíll probably break my heart - what happens next.

Thank you for sharing the story. Hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Lots of love

Lotte

PS: The results should be up this weekend, so look out for a blog post from me :)

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Review #2, by carry on with your knitting Chapter 3

17th August 2015:
I really really love this story!
Both authors writings are truly brilliant!

Barty Croutch has alway intrigued me as a character and it's nice to see a fix which is dedicated to him and his back story. This is turning out to be a very interesting insight into the character's mind and I look forward to seeing how his character develops! :)

My heart aches for poor little Barty! For me you make him really relatable. I think everyone has felt like they are alone or people never see their side of things and I just can't help but feel bad for him and desperately want to mother him! :') His relationship with his actual mother is the sweetest thing, a mother's love is the strongest and you really show this through this story. The bond the too characters have is very touching and it comes across to me (I don't know about everyone else) that Barty's mother is just as lonely as he is and that they both feel like they only have each other, which is both sad but also touching.

I thought I hated Barty Sr before, but then I read this.. He is just horrible! You did a really good job of creating a character that has seemingly no redeeming features what so ever and you just love to hate! It makes me feel even worse for Barty and his Mother that they are completely controlled by such a horrible man.

I'm really looking forward to see how Barty does in school, and how he get into the 'death eater crowd.' He seems like such a nice boy, it'll be interesting to see how he gets corrupted by the other Slytherins (not that all Slytherins are bad, but I have a feeling he may have been influenced by the nasty ones:'))

But anyway, It's a really great and interesting story as well as very well written and I'm looking forward to your next chapters! Keep up the amazing work guys!

Katie :) (carry on with your knitting)

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Review #3, by LadyL8 Chapter 2

30th July 2015:
Hi Erin and Kaitlin. Iím finally back from my vacation, and have come here to leave you the review for this chapter. Itíll probably be as long as the last one, cause I ramble a lot. It will also focus more on the actual chapter, since Iíve now finished with categories like ďfirst impressionĒ and ďteamworkĒ (I havenít seen a change there, so Iím assuming itís just as good as it was when I left the last review)

Speaking of ďfirst impressionĒ, I donít normally (or more like for this challenge I wonít in most cases) go back to commenting on this category when itís the second chapter and so on. But Iím making an exception, cause I noticed youíve gotten a beautiful banner. Erin, youíre so talented. Iíve been seeing your progress over at TDA, and youíre really good. And the banner really helps draw my eyes to the story, so good job on it and I really do hope itíll bring new readers to it.

But thatís all Iíll say about that. Iíll instead focus on the other categories that I need to look at in each individual chapter.

I didnít spot anything grammatically wrong, but I didnít Ė like Iím sure I said in the last review Ė expect that because I know youíre both very good grammatically. I donít think Iíve ever spotted a mistake or even a simple typo in any of your fics, so that says a lot.

I really like your characterisation. Iím glad to see youíre still aiming to give us a different view of Barty, making him this sad, little boy, whoís father is abusive and just someone he fears. You can tell thereís still a little of that respect for his father that was also there in the last chapter, but now itís more out of fear than idolisation. And itís sad to see, of course, but unfortunately very believable. I like that you keep him very childlike Ė you start it at such a young age, making us - the readers Ė really see how his father has effected his life. I canít speak for everyone, of course, but I personally feel like it makes a greater impact on me and the story comes across as even more powerful because of his young age. It makes it easier to sympathise with Barty, which - as I said in the last review Ė is necessary in order for us to want to keep reading it, especially since we only know him as a bad guy from the books.

I like that so far weíve only seen small glimpses of a darker side to the young Barty. Itís a great way of building the story up, and Iím really wondering what it is that ultimately will make him the dark character we know from the books. What makes him go from fearing his father to fighting him? And how does he view Voldemort? Is the dark lord just a means to stand up to his father, or does he genuinely believe in what Voldemort stands for? There are many unanswered questions here, and I canít wait to find out some of the answers to them.

I donít have much to comment on when it comes to dialogue, description and flow. Youíve done it amazingly, Erin, and Iím very impressed with both of your writing (but not surprised, because I know youíre good writers). And one thing I really want to bring forth from both of the current chapters is your ability to convey emotions. I can tell when Bartyís scared, cause Iím literarily terrified myself. I can tell when heís sad, cause then I feel sad. I can just imagine someone talking to me like how his father spoke to him, and yeahÖ youíre just both really good at emotions. Itís your biggest strength.

I suppose if I had to give some feedback, and Iím not saying you havenít done this, but you just to advise you to still keep an eye on it, Iíd advise you to pay extra attention to the mother of the story. One of the main reasons why I never read much stories where thereís abusive relationships or marital abuse, is that I often feel like they make the mother/wife/girl (or in some cases the man/boy) seem very weak. My high schoolís donated money to a crisis centre for victims of marital abuse (only women), and we got to visit the centre once (only like 3 of us, because itís dangerous if too many people get to know its location), and the women there are to this day the strongest women Iíve ever met. I donít think women or men are weak for not being able to better defend themselves against that sort of treatment, being strong means accepting help, to realise you deserve better. So I would just probably keep an eye on it.


But like I said, Iím not saying you havenít done that so far. I donít feel like that at all. Itís just something to keep an eye on, because itís very easy to make that little mistake (I see it as a mistake anyway). But anyway, this is Bartyís story, so I assume it wonít focus a lot on the mother. But since we know Bartyís mother will switch place with him in prison, I think itís important for you to start really showing the close relationship between the two. Because the mother must really love her in order to do something like that for him (maybe she blames herself for not standing up to her husband, letting him [as she may see it] treat their son horribly for most of his childhood.

Anyway, since this is the last chapter of yours right now, I'll sum up my thoughts about this story. I like the idea, and - as a lover of minor characters and as a criminology student - this is right up my alley. I like that we see a different side to Barty, and that you really show that he himself has been a victim, and maybe that's what made him eventually because a criminal himself. Cause - as I'm sure you guys probably know - victims of crimes often ends up being criminals themselves. So it's very believable. And I like your teamwork, you're writing is close to flawless and I was a lot more excited about the story after this chapter (mostly due to the ending of the last one, which to me felt a little bit to one-shot like. But this made it better). All in all, I'm very happy to have read this story. It's as brilliant as I expected of two wonderful writers like yourself. I'll have to cut now, due to the review limit

Hugs

Lotte

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Review #4, by LadyL8 Chapter 1

15th July 2015:
Hi Kaitlin and Erin. Sorry for the delay Ė I was, as you know, on vacation Ė but Iím finally here to give you the reviews I have promised you. So before I start Iíll have to make a couple of things clear;

Firstly, youíve both seen my judging point system, and Iíll be reviewing after it, of course, but Iíve made some changes to it; thereís more categories and the most important thing now is to make me like the story Ė that gives a higher score than anything else.

Secondly, I will not be telling you your current score after Iíve finished reading this chapter, because I donít want anyone to be able to guess whoíll win before they do. Besides, I might make some changes as I re-read stories or read more entries.

Thirdly, if this review gets cut I'll send you the whole on in a group PM over at the forums. I'm not sure if the character count thing works the way it is suppose to do, so I'm just going to say it here in case it ends up shortening it.

That being said, letís get to the actual review.

My first impression (that's one of the new categories, by the way) of the story is good. I really like the summary; the rhyming and the mysteriousness of it. It does intrigue me, and Iím excited to see what thisíll be all about. And Iím also thinking youíve done something different, as Iíve yet to read any Barty Crouch Jr. Story (it should be said that Iíve never actually searched for one, so there might be many of them on the forums). Iím liking the symmetry of it Ė each line shorter than the last (yes, Iím very much a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like that), and the last line; The tale of Barty Crouch Jr. makes me think itís his untold story, that youíll surprise me by showing another side of his story than the one we see in the books. So definitely a good first impression.

I like the first paragraph of the story. It sets a good scene, and I can definitely imagine it happening in my head. Iím also a sucker for descriptive beginnings, so it fit my liking well. And I think itís interesting to see you starting to tell his story at such a young age Ė it definitely adds to the feeling of it being a different side to his story, his version of his life, I suppose.

I was planning on leaving comments for every third paragraph, but I had to continue reading till the end because it was too good, and thatís obviously a good sign. I think you have a very realistic portrayal of a young Barty, whoís very much looking up to his father, idolises him, but then finds out heís not the father he thinks he is. The conversation with the mother is actually my favourite part of the story. I felt it right in my chest, pang ofÖ I donít know what to call it. I sympathised with him, because itís very easy to relate to. I think most kids look up to their parents, and to be let down by them was Ė and I still remember that from being a kid Ė the worst thing. It really shook your world, broke you. And I was never let down as badly as Barty was, thankfully, so I canít imagine how he felt. But I think itís very relatable and definitely a high score for characterisation Ė I love how you instantly make us sympathise with him, and thatís important considering itís his story youíre telling, and what we already know about him is not really good stuff.

I have nothing bad to say about the dialogue or grammar, because, as you guys know from my previous reviews to you, I know youíre awesome at that.

I like (and this sounds terrible, but youíll get what I mean) your genre and that write about such a difficult, horrible and traumatising theme as the one we see in this story. To see it from the perspective of a child always has a very strong effect, because, as adults, we canít help but feel for them Ė itís the parental/nursing feeling in us.

Itís hard to judge whether or not you did something new, because youíre both such diverse authors. I do, however, feel you did something different, creative and out-of the-ordinary, and, as a criminology student, I canít help but love the idea of showing that evil isnít born but made Ė we arenít born good or bad Ė and I get a feeling thatís where youíll be taking it.

I feel so-so about the ending. While I definitely understand the idea of wanting it to end with him understanding his father is not the man he thought that he was (and thatís smart because Iím guessing thatís what put him on the wrong track in life), I do get a one-shot feeling about it. For me, itís almost finished in a way. I donít fully understand where youíll take it from here, and I donít think Iíd understand it was a longer story if I wasnít aware of it beforehand. And Iím not sure if Iíd want to read more, if I wasnít in love with your writing before I read this and if it wasnít one of my challenge entries. It just feels a little finished to me, thatís what Iím trying to say.

But as a whole, I definitely have good feeling. I like what youíve done with Barty, and I think heís very relatable and likable; you just canít help but feel for him. And itís reflective in a way, because it can, if you arenít studying it like I am, make you understand people in a different way. While no amount of bad treatment will ever justify his bad actions, I do understand him better. And thatís something you can take with you to real life as well.

Lastly, I really like your teamwork. What Iíve seen so far has been really good. The fact that you wrote an entry so fast makes me think youíre good at working together. I donít feel like any of you Ďwoní over the other, for the lack of better word; itís not like one of you is entirely in their comfort zone and the other isnít, so I do think youíve both worked well together (and will continue to do so).

Iím excited to read more of this story, and go on Barty Crouch Jr.ís journey with you guys. So Iíll be back very soon (like in 1-2 hour, when Iím done with your next review), and I canít wait to see what youíve done then :)

Hugs

Lotte

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Review #5, by Mrs. Claus Chapter 1

8th July 2015:
So, a little bird over on the forums told me about you. Like my husband, I know things, I know people, and I have a list. We all know Nick takes care of Christmas, but I'm put in charge of this newer Christmas in July tradition. Gets me out of the house, you see.

First of all, you and this TreacleTart person did a fantastic job. (But what a strange name. And this is from someone who deals with elves! Now those odd! You'll have to explain to me where that comes from sometime.)

I feel for this Barty. Being around Saint Nick, or Santa, or any of the other countless names he goes by, everyone up in the North Pole has developed a fondness for children, no matter if naughty, nice, or in between. Me and my husband have never been able to have a child of our own, which is actually a side effect of immortality (You didn't know? How else could we have been around so long?). However, I've watched many from all over grow, and I'm sad to say I also watched this one. I always have had a soft spot for children growing up like this, and it always hurts to see what happens. It makes me wonder how much he could have changed.

I remember when Bartemius was that age. You see, he wasn't always like this. I don't know what happened, but one day it was if he changed. Oh, if there weren't those blasted rules that disallowed me to intervene!

A sad reminder and a accurate portrayal of their tragic story. I hope you, unlike these two, will be happy for this next month. Along with that TreacleTart. Now, I must be off to leave presents for the other boys and girls of this marvelous site! Until next year!

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Review #6, by maskedmuggle Chapter 1

28th June 2015:
Hey!

This was such an eye-opening chapter for me. It's so strange seeing Barty Crouch Jr as a kid, but it was really great how realistic this was. I liked how he was portrayed as a child idolising his father, as a lot of kids are, before seeing the reality of his parents' relationship, getting a different perspective on his father and changing his mind about it. This also foreshadows very well how later in life he'd completely turn against everything his father stands for. I thought it was also very believable how you characterised Barty Crouch, in being obsessed with his work, and thinking it more important than his child. The dialogue in this was so spot on, and the plot and everything was really well done. I really liked this chapter because it was so different and a scene that I really feel could have happened. Wonderful writing!

- Charlotte
Ravenclaw, House Cup 2015

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Review #7, by adluvshp Chapter 1

27th June 2015:
Slytherin here for House Cup 2015.

Aw, this was really sad. I never gave much thought to Barty's childhood but you've made me sympathise with him here. The idea of him not having his father's attention, due to his father being such a busy Ministry professional and always putting work before anything else, makes sense and you definitely portrayed it well.

The setting was really sweet with the whole Birthday thing but the way things turned out was pretty awful. It must have been traumatising for a child to hear his parents fight like that. I liked how his mother stood up for her child though, and she event hit her husband, now that was interesting. Of course things ended badly.

But in the end, it was nice of Barty (child) to comfort his mother. Him saying he didn't want his father anymore was quite tragic though. Thinking about it, it seems like his childhood/relationship with his father must have been a contribution to him turning to the dark arts.

All in all, you wrote this very well and it's a great start. I loved the characterisation and narrative.

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Review #8, by CambAngst Chapter 1

18th June 2015:
Hi, Kaitlin and Theia! I saw the tweet about this story and it sounded interesting.

Bad people come from bad situations, or so the saying goes. I think you did a good job of showing the situation that gave us Barty, Sr. and Barty, Jr. It was heart-breaking to read, how the poor boy was neglected by his workaholic father.

The picture you painted here fits so perfectly with everything we know about this family from the books. Barty, Sr. is such a gruff, angry person. It's not at all hard to imagine him making snap decisions, like sending Sirius away to Azkaban with no trial. Given his violent nature, it's also not hard to imagine him allowing (probably even encouraging) the Aurors to use unforgivable curses against the Death Eaters.

Mrs. Crouch shows all the signs of being a battered spouse. It's also apparent that she's trying her hardest to compensate for her husband's pattern of neglecting Barty, Jr. Again, not hard at all to imagine her willingly taking her son's place in Azkaban.

The seeds of resentment are plainly being sown between Barty, Jr. and his father. A parent's attention means so much to little kids, and he isn't getting any. Then to hear his father say such hurtful things and physically assault his mother... awful!

I saw one thing that looked like a typo to me:

The smell of chocolate cake wafted through the air and politer chatter filled the room. -- polite chatter

Otherwise, lovely writing. Everything flowed nicely and it was an easy read that didn't feel as long as it was. Good job and good luck in your collab!

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