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Reading Reviews for The Best Kept Black Secret
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by pathfinder Revenge

16th January 2016:
I've really enjoyed reading this story. I love how you've brought hope to a hopeless situation and set the stage for later events. I sort of knew from the beginning that Aurora couldn't stick around (since she's not part of the canon) but how you got us here was a great ride.

Two suggestions for this chapter:
First, could Regulus try harder to open the cell door (alohamora) or maybe blast it off? Could he try to apparate to the inside of the cell? Just some ideas to heighten the frustration and lead him to the only remaining choice…
Second, I think there's a way to pull parts of Regulus' last internal soliloquy back into the narrative before he ends her suffering. That way, we can keep Aurora's POV to the end.
One of the reasons I think this is more effective is the use of the first person throughout. The reader isn't looking over Aurora's shoulder - I am Aurora…anything she doesn't see, I shouldn't be able to see either.
Again, amazing story. I really enjoyed reading it.

Author's Response: Thank you so much :) It means so much that you enjoyed it! From the beginning, I always knew how it would end. Many nights I would imagine how it would happen in my head, so when I finally got around to writing it, I think I sort of rushed it a bit. I will definitely include more details about how Regulus tried to open the cell door.

And I see what you mean, just adding a random third person at the end. And it's so short. Maybe Regulus could say it out loud to her before she dies, about how Lord Voldemort will pay? I will definitely play with it and see how it goes!

Oh my goodness, you took so much time out to critique my writing, and I'm grateful for that! In your reviews, you brought to light some things that I was either avoiding or didn't see, and thank you so much for that! I'm going to go back and fix all the things you mentioned. Seriously, I greatly appreciate the time it took you to point all those things out!

Glad you enjoyed and good look with your second novel :) I can't wait to read it!

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Review #2, by pathfinder The Werewolf

16th January 2016:
Awesome…just awesome. I really enjoyed how you got us to this point…an inevitable course of events…the bad guys win.

A few thoughts for this chapter:
The transition to the 3rd person POV is awkward and I think there may be a way you can pull this same information into Aurora's POV so the continuity isn't lost. Could she wake up in the village just before moonrise, recognize where she is and then have the transformation take her?
Also - I'm not sure I understand the reference to the St. Asaph werewolf…is this a story from canon that I've missed, or is it something else?

Author's Response: Thank you :)

And I see what you mean, it is random. I'll try to work it so that all of it is in Aurora's POV, since it has been the whole story.

The St. Asaph werewolf story was just an explanation for the survivors that night. Obviously, Aurora didn't kill everyone in the village, so I was just trying to imagine how a muggle would perceive those events. But maybe it's not necessary?

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Review #3, by pathfinder The Midnight Howl

16th January 2016:
Great! I loved the tension and the reasoning about why she would wander off in the woods in the middle of the night after hearing a wolf howl. Instead of just doing something stupid (like in most horror movies), there's a point behind her madness.

A minor comment: Is the "...of reading about Crystal…" necessary for the sentence? The reader doesn't know who Crystal is and she doesn't seem to be a part of the story, so the phrase seems out of place.

BTW, Wormtail seems to be the worst lookout in the universe. He's just supposed to shoot off some red sparks if he sees or hears anything, but when Aurora comes barging out of the house screaming "Sirius!" he's nowhere to be found. Should there be a reason for this (or some ribbing of him afterwards for his miserable effort?…"You only had ONE job Wormtail…"

Author's Response: Thank you :) I was afraid of it seeming to silly, her running off at midnight towards the werewolf, but I'm glad you thought it was plausible!

It totally isn't, and such a good point. It does drive the plot or develop the characters- definitely learned something from you! So yeah, Crystal is gone.

Yeah I know! I was thinking he wasn't expecting someone from that direction and was making sure no one from the muggle village would interrupt them, but it makes so much sense for the story if he's there as well, scurrying towards them from the woods. It would be an even stranger sight for Aurora, seeing a rat running towards a werewolf, stag and dog.

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Review #4, by pathfinder The Hangover

16th January 2016:
Another great chapter. I enjoyed the humor (Mrs. Potter waking them up and Sirius' reaction to the first kiss). Fluffy - but necessarily so considering what's coming...

Continuity question - does Aurora have to make a guess about how she got back into her bed after passing out in James'?
Another question that's buried in my own ignorance: did England have coffee shops in the 70s? I know coffee is growing big there now, but I don't know how widespread it was forty-five years ago.

Author's Response: That is true- I should just put a small tidbit of her wondering how she got there. Thanks :)

I looked it up and it seems that they did. I didn't even think to consider if they did or not. They were called cafes though, so I'm going to go back and correct that to the more British term!

Thank you for the review :) You have no idea how helpful you're being!

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Review #5, by pathfinder Meeting Moony

16th January 2016:
Great chapter - building the relationship between the Marauders, introducing Remus, throwing in the foreshadowing and I loved the humorous scene at the end. One minor detail that could be added: how did Aurora get clothes? She only had one outfit when she left her house.

Author's Response: Thank you :) Glad you enjoyed it!

When I wrote it, I was just thinking that she had a few outfits that Sirius had given her, but it makes more sense to say she had a shopping day in the muggle village. What girl doesn't love to shop? Thanks! :)

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Review #6, by pathfinder The Potters

16th January 2016:
Great chapter. I think you've captured her paranoia quite well. Again, only a few recommendations for this chapter:
She's afraid of "shady folk", but wouldn't everyone be 'shady' to her? After all, she's spent the last 11 years locked up in her room. Maybe she's afraid of everybody.
Second thought. When she meets James and Peter for the first time, she's actually seen them before - when the Boggart took their shapes. James was the mauled boy and Peter the accusing one. Should she recognize them?
Finally, another continuity point: she's never taken a bubble bath before in her life (or wouldn't remember it if she did before she was 4). Maybe she's read about them in a book?

Author's Response: Yeah, I think at first when she's still in the same neighborhood as her mother, everyone around her seems shady. Later on, however, she was deprived of so much socialization that watching normal people live their lives was fascinating to her. I do want to rewrite this section though, as Aurora should specifically think about how everyone on the street seemed to be staring at her- that lovely paranoia of hers.

That is a perfectly good point that never crossed my mind! Remus was actually the accusing one, so maybe when she meets Remus she remembers him from the boggart? And the same for James, just a small note to tie her past experiences in with the new ones.

I never actually thought about that, and I have no idea how she would know about them. She could either have read it in a book, or just heard it in passing from her mother. Another good point and thank you :) I will definitely consider how to add that in.

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Review #7, by pathfinder Is This Freedom?

16th January 2016:
Note: I have a few comments on Chapter 3, but since I already left a review, it wouldn't let me go back and add another. Here are my thoughts on Ch3: Great idea with the boggart - it provides the reason why Mrs. Black was keeping her around for all those years…she still had hope that Aurora would somehow become magical. One suggestion - make it clear whether the 'mauled James' is standing or lying on the ground (i.e. alive or dead). I picture him standing, but him lying on the ground would better explain why he doesn't say anything. The "slamming the door open" part is fun and quirky, but I'm not sure that it works here, where the emotion is anger and fear. I found it distracted me from the emotion that Aurora was feeling…unless you intended it to be bemusement.

As for Chapter 4, I thought this was great. I loved the escape and the cliffhanger carryover from the last chapter was well done. The only suggestion I have here is that it isn't clear why Regulus and Aurora have no relationship. It's clear that he cares for her, but is there some reason he doesn't ever talk to her? Again, just a thought.

Author's Response: I went back and read the boggart section and now I totally understand what you mean; It's a bit confusing. I was writing this one pretty late :/ Will definitely add that in. About the slamming the door open, I guess I was just trying to show Aurora's character? But now that I went back and read it with fresh eyes, it is distracting from everything that's going on in this chapter, between Sirius leaving, Aurora's own inner debate between staying and leaving, and Walburga's anger that she's taking out on Aurora.

I'm glad you brought that up, because that was my biggest challenge when writing this: I wanted Regulus to care for her, but for him it was easier to ignore her and pretend that she didn't exist during the summers. Maybe he just didn't want to face the fact that his sister was abused, or maybe he thought if he was on his mother's good side he could manipulate the situation to take the heat off Aurora. It's so hard to portray that through Aurora's eyes though, but thank you for bringing it up because I do need to resolve this issue!

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Review #8, by pathfinder Facing Fears

16th January 2016:
Amazing story! I love it. I've finally finished the whole thing and I have some feedback on a few of the chapters.
I think you've done a great job developing Aurora's character over the first two chapters. Your description of her circumstances really helped me connect with her and I could really feel her helplessness and constant dread.
A couple of thoughts about this chapter. You have Sirius telling her "it doesn't have to end the way you think it has to." I wasn't able to find how exactly Aurora pictures the end. Is that something that could be brought out in this chapter or the one before? [or perhaps I missed it]
The second thought is really a technical detail…if she's been locked in this room since she was four…how did she learn to read? Is this something that Sirius could have done? That would make the gift of the book more special…just a thought.

Author's Response: Thanks for all your feedback!

I just realized that I never really explained the way she felt about herself compared to Sirius or Regulus, or any other witch or wizard. I guess the way that I've seen her at the beginning is that she feels lesser than all of them because she can't do magic, and therefore she feels like there's nothing special in store for her. The book was supposed to be the guiding light that sort of brought things to perspective for her, and helped her be happy with the way she is. I suppose I should rethink Sirius' phrasing and add in more about the way she sees herself in these first few chapters.

I totally didn't think of it! And now that you mention, I definitely see how I can add that in and explain a bit more why Aurora was closer to Sirius over Regulus.

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Review #9, by WindyIndyXan The Midnight Howl

14th January 2016:
Okay, so this is absolutely wonderful! I'm so glad I found this story! You my dear are brilliant. You had me on edge with the whole let's turn our daughter into a werewolf part, but thankfully Aurora is free! Can't wait to see where her and Remus's relationship go ;) anyway keep at it dear, I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapter! Xoxo

Author's Response: Aw thank you so much! I really appreciate the review, it means a lot to me. Yes, I do have another chapter in the works and I have the rest planned out as well :)

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Review #10, by naflower05 Is This Freedom?

8th January 2016:
This is an interesting idea for a story, I like it! I feel like there aren't a lot of stories about squibs. Update again soon! =]

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :) I'm updating again today!

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Review #11, by pathfinder The Runaway

7th January 2016:
I think the 1st person POV works here. I can really get inside Aurora's head. More importantly - is it easier for you to write? (When you envision the story, are you watching the characters, or are you Aurora?)
As for the story - very clever way to get an O.C. into the historical storyline without changing the canon. Good cliffhanger at the end of this chapter…let's see where you take them next.

Author's Response: Thank you! I actually originally had this story posted as third person, because that is usually how I write, but I realized after the third chapter that more sympathy was felt for Aurora in the first person and it also felt smoother, so I changed all of the chapters to first person. I personally write this through Aurora's eyes so I think that's why first person feels right for this story.

Thank you so much for the review. This is an idea I've had for a while and wanted to see how it would play out.

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